Small Business Saturday Blog

Setting BIG goals – why do it and how to go about it

Friday, March 23 at 09:53

Did you know that setting yourself a really challenging goal makes it much more likely that you will have a successful year, even if you don’t actually achieve the goal?
It’s because a stretching goal forces you to take big steps towards it, rather than just continuing to do what you’ve done before. It pushes you to think outside the box, and to make a shift.
I know, because I did it last year.
As a business coach, I work with small business owners. A year ago I was focusing exclusively on 1:1 coaching. Then I set myself a goal to “help 500 small business owners in 2017”.
I wasn’t going to achieve that simply by 1:1 coaching. I needed to reach groups of people. That led to me running workshops, writing guest blogs, sending a weekly newsletter to my mailing list, going out networking and giving talks.
I would probably never have done any of that without my BIG goal.
So how do you identify your goal?                           
Rather than a goal, I prefer to think of it as a vision. For me the word ‘vision’ conjures up something much more exciting and inspiring. Something that you can really connect with emotionally and get motivated to work towards. 
There are lots of ways to come up with your vision. The least effective way is to sit down with a blank document, write or type VISION at the top of the page and wait for inspiration to strike!
It’s far more effective to access the more creative parts of your brain. You could:
  • create a vision board
  • go to a creative space and reflect on your own
  • get together with a couple of other small business owners and brainstorm
  • do a visualisation.
If you’ve never used visualisation, I can recommend it! Start by closing your eyes and taking a couple of deep breaths to release any tension.
Now imagine that it is 12 months’ time, and you are looking at your business as it is then. It has evolved, grown and changed. It is thriving, and so are you.
Let this business take shape around you.  What do you see around you? What are you doing? Who else is here?
What can you hear, and smell? If you reached out and touched something, what would it be?
What’s important here? Soak this environment up with all of your senses.
Once you have completely immersed yourself in your future business, you can open your eyes. You’ve just ‘seen’ the vision of your business a year from now. 
Did I achieve MY vision last year?
By the end of the year I wasn’t really concerned whether I achieved it or not. I was more focused on the benefits that had flowed from aiming for it.
These benefits included:
  • Increasing my exposure online
  • Growing my mailing list to reach more small business owners
  • Reaching a wider audience through my workshops and speaking engagements
All of these contributed to an increase in paid work, both 1:1 coaching and workshop attendees.
And actually yes, I did achieve my vision too!
More About The Author:
Amanda Cullen is a business coach who helps small business owners to grow their business and run it better. She provides 1:1 coaching, either face-to-face in London and Surrey, or by Skype or phone nationwide. She also runs monthly workshops in London.
Social media
Facebook: @businessmadesimpler
Twitter: @AmandaCcoach


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