Much has been said and written about the value of goal setting and the importance of guiding your business toward specific predetermined objectives. The science of goal setting manifests itself in business as a management-by-objective philosophy. In this article, Adam Ferrari discusses five things entrepreneurs should consider when making New Year's resolutions.
If goal setting and New Year's resolutions are your things, there are thousands, probably tens of thousands of books on the subject. This article is not intended to condense all that has been written on the subject; rather, its purpose is to shed some light on a few essential goal-setting ideas that pertain specifically to entrepreneurs.
Leverage what excites you
Setting goals and objectives to guide our efforts is one of the human dynamics processes proven to yield positive results. In short, it works. After all, you can't hit a target that doesn't exist and without a goal, backed up by a plan. Without a plan of action, what you want to achieve is only a dream.
Goals are most effective when they excite, challenge, and motivate you. You became an entrepreneur because you have a passion for something. Feed that passion with the goals you set. Be specific in what you want to achieve, create a way to measure your progress, and give yourself a timeline to complete it.
Most of all, know yourself well enough to understand what will and what won't motivate you to push through the hard times. Then, design your goals to excite you.
Carefully consider the 'why'
Appropriate and valuable objectives must be a direct outgrowth of your personal or business mission statement. They must serve as a means to achieve your purpose in life.
You should recognize that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things you could do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in your life.
For each business goal you adopt, you should be able to clearly and concisely articulate why that objective will help you fulfill your company's mission statement.
Set qualitative goals too
It is vital to bear in mind that worthwhile goals and objectives can, and should, be both quantitative and qualitative. Granted, quantitative goals are easier to track. They lend themselves to measurement by numbers such as a 20% increase in sales. But they don't readily relate to the quality of people, things, and relationships as well as they do numbers and sizes.
Along with your quantitative goals, try setting some qualitative objectives like improving your relationship with a particularly challenging employee or spending more time with your children. What gets measured indeed gets done, so find creative ways to measure your qualitative goals. For example, try tracking how many times you get exasperated with that difficult employee and work toward making that frequency go down.
Don't let your goals blind you
We've all been taught that we can't let anything stand between us and our goals to achieve success. While this is essentially true, there are at least two critical exceptions.
One exception is that you must leave room for the idea that you may have missed the mark when setting a goal. That's why you should regularly reevaluate them. Hold yourself accountable, but don't let the train run off the rails because your situation has changed.
Another exception is that you, as an entrepreneur, should always have your head on a swivel, watching for new opportunities. If a goal prevents flexible reactions to new developments, reevaluate that goal.
As an example, if a photographer visits Yellowstone Park with the specific goal of capturing great shots of a bison, a bear, and a moose, and they are too focused on this goal, they may miss other fantastic wildlife shots.
By keeping their options open, this photographer could, in addition to achieving their goal, capture images of big-horned sheep, bobcats, badgers, minks, and more. If your goal is still valid, don't abandon it, but allow yourself to augment it with alternative accomplishments.
Don't be afraid to fail
Being a successful entrepreneur is not about consistently winning. It's about winning more times than you lose. Sometimes failure is a vital part of the path to success. If two roads lie before you, make your best choice. If that doesn't work out, now you know what route to take - the other one.
About Adam Ferrari
Adam Ferrari was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL. He is the grandson of an Italian immigrant coal miner who worked in the mines of Coal City, IL. From an early age, Adam was taught the value and dignity achieved through a hard day's work. The oil and gas industry provides good-paying jobs for millions of blue-collar men and women across America. This is one of many reasons Adam and his company, Ferrari Energy, are such staunch supporters of the oil and gas industry. Blue-collar men and women built America, and the modern oil and gas industry keeps America moving forward.