How To Set Achievable Goals For Women Entrepreneurs
Goal setting is one of the most important tasks for every entrepreneur. But setting goals and achieving them is more often the exception than the rule. So, many ask, "why bother to set goals at all if I never succeed at reaching them?"
My advice is to learn how to set achievable goals. In other words, you must take baby steps and, learn to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. For example, with regards to your wealth goals setting a target of one million dollars may not make sense (unless you already have $999,999).
For example, let's say you set an intention to save one million dollars. You decide you can save $100 per week from your paycheck. That means you can save $5200 for the year. Unfortunately, at this rate it will take you 192 years plus a few months to reach your goal. (I didn't bother compounding interest as it doesn't amount to much these days). Now you can see why so many people never bother setting goals - and, more specifically achievable goals.
But this doesn't mean you need to give up your goal - it only means you need to create a better plan. For example, if you truly want to accumulate one million dollars in your lifetime you need to start your goal setting with reasonable assertions.
First, how many years of work life do you have ahead of you? 30-40 years? Let's use 35 years as our target. Now we understand that we need to think about putting as much as $28,000+ away each year to achieve our goal. If you work with a company that matches your savings you have an opportunity to meet your goal. If you have your own business than you really need an exit strategy to get you there.
The fact is women do this every day using an IRA or 401K account. Others, women entrepreneurs, take a look at their company's earnings and create an exit strategy that will earn them their million or more. So you can see when the goal is set appropriately it can be achieved.
When it comes to health goals, and particularly diet goals, I hear women all the time tell me that they have a goal to lose 25 or so pounds. Rarely, do they determine a time frame for the goal to be completed. The diet starts off great and the weight loss of a couple of pounds per week is consistent for the first four or so weeks (8-10 pounds). Then a plateau occurs. Sometimes, even a weight gain happens. The goal is ditched and the diet fails.
What went wrong with the goal setting? It's the plan not the goal!
Goal setting means you have a desire to reach a particular benchmark and you MUST know where you are NOW, the where you want to go WHEN, and the HOW you can get to your target.
If the target is 25 pounds then you know that you must plan for a 1 to 2 pound loss each week and that means it will take 12 or more weeks (3 months) to reach your goal. If you want to do it for the weekend - well, let's face it - you are setting yourself up for failure before you start.
For women entrepreneurs in a growing business setting goals is critical to success. As I say regularly, in this blog and in person, it is easy to start a new business -- it is difficult to grow an existing business. Why? Because once a business has been launched the energy that it takes to get it to the next level is always 10 fold or more!
Women entrepreneurs instinctively know this. They give it their all in the startup phase and then lean back and expect growth to - well - just happen. Well, it doesn't just happen! Growth only happens when new blood, new energy, new ideas and new products and/or services are introduced. Sometimes it requires an influx of cash -- YES - lots of new cash to finance growth. Sometimes it requires new insight, a new path for growth because of new products and services being introduced to catapult the brand to a new level. And, yes, sometimes it requires new leadership that has a new perspective to take the company to a new level and beyond.
If this is what you have in mind for a goal then you need to think now about your exit strategy - selling the company that you gave birth to, but that has a whole lot of growth left with a new owner at the helm. This goal is critical to every small business owner's success.
Your company - your baby - the business you gave birth to has a lot more to contribute to the world, and perhaps it can do it with someone else in charge. If you start planning now you can make your dreams come true -- reach your goals for career and wealth and growth for the business.
Achievable goals are only reached if you plan correctly. Starting with the where am I NOW - and HOW will I get there - when do I need or want to reach my goal and the target - what is the REAL goal I am seeking.
Women entrepreneurs can set achievable goals and reach them if they plan realistically and take baby steps each day to make it happen.