Goal setting. It’s a weird one right? If you Google it and look for advice on how to set goals you’ll probably come across articles describing the types of goals you should be setting, SMART Goals for example. These articles tell you that you should think long term and then work backwards. And when it comes to business goals, they’ll all tell you to look at previous data, which, if you’re just starting out kinda doesn’t exist.
Until I started a business, I can honestly say I never stopped to think and write down any goals.
Certain things I would’ve liked to achieve, but I’d never thought them through, never created a plan on how to achieve them and maybe, just maybe… that’s why I’ve not achieved some of them.
All of these, what seem to be successful people talk about setting goals, so whilst I’m in the startup stages I thought screw it – why not? What’s the worst that could happen? At the end of the day, if we don’t have something to aim for, what’s the purpose in us doing it? And I can honestly say, it’s already made a difference to my mindset.
So, today I just wanted to post about goal setting; why I think you should give it a go, why it’s completely ok if you never have before and I’ll even be sharing my own personal business goals (ooh, juicy!)
For starters… It’s okay if to not know what your long term goal is.
Some of us can’t think that far ahead. When it comes to setting goals, be it business or personal, most advice you read online talks about the ‘big picture’. Like the end goal. The goal of all goals. What do you want to achieve by the end of your life?
Honestly… I don’t know.
And I don’t think I’d be alone in that either.
The more goal setting stuff I read online, the more and more I felt like a failure.
Why can’t I plan that far ahead? Is there something wrong with me? Why don’t I know?
I gave myself a mental slap to snap out of it and decided to not worry about what other people were doing. How they set their goals. The conventional way. But how I want to set goals.
The Lorna way.
Tangent… How I imagined my life would be by the time I was 26 years old is not how it has turned out. AT ALL! When I was 16/17 and chatting with my mates, not having a care in the world, sat in the sixth form common room, we would all take bets on who would have babies first; get married first; go to prison; immigrate to a different country.
Looking back, I don’t think any of them worked out.
And truth be told, I had a hard time dealing with that, for a very long time. (I was always perceived as the one that would settle down, get married and have babies first. Spoiler alert, I don’t have any of those things!)
Luckily, I don’t have a hard time with that any more, I’ve completely come to terms with it, and I’m so okay with it, but it did take me quite some time!
But it’s safe to say, as time ticks on past, things change. We all know that.
When I was 16/17 I always knew I would be very career focused (it runs in the family!) BUT, I always thought I’d always have a boyfriend/partner. I could never imagine my life without children of my own.
Now… I find myself having conversations about never having children. And I’m alright about that too. I think I’ve genuinely come to terms with, what will be, will be. And for me, personally, the ‘dream’ or ‘goal’ has completely flipped 180 within what – 10 years? So who knows what the dream will be, or where I’ll be in 10 years from now.
I digress, but a little context is always good, right?
If you know what your goals are for the next 10, 20, 30 years then good for you! I mean it. I just wanted to reiterate that we are all very different and you are absolutely not alone if you don’t know what that the next 10, 20, 30 years look like for you. It’s okay!
I think I’ve always had thoughts about working for myself (hurray!)
However, I never envisioned what my job, company, business would be. Therefore, when it comes to the point of having to set goals for my business, I’ve really found it tough. But, I’m starting to understand the importance of them. I’ll get to that in a minute.
As of June 2019, I’m going into my 3rd month of self-employment and it all still feels very new and fresh to me. Like a bit of a whirlwind. But I’m pleased to say, more days than not, I’m enjoying the journey and process of what I’m building.
I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in a short space of time.
And to some, the ‘things’ I’m proud of won’t seem a lot, and that’s ok. However, to me, they’ve been huge! Just to touch on this point, I genuinely don’t think enough of us celebrate our ‘wins’ enough. We’re too scared of being seen to be ‘showing off’ or just showing our ‘highlight reel’, but I think there’s a big difference in those things.
Anyway, in the first two months of business I have;
- Signed my first retainer client – and it’s going bloody well! Want to be my second? 😉
- Learnt about business accountancy – that was a fun day… not.
- Been to two networking events, alone (for those of you who know me personally, you’ll know this was a massive thing for me.)
- Given my first presentation/talk to a room full of strangers, AND been asked to do another one at a completely different event
And, let’s be brutally honest right now… I did not PLAN for any of those things to happen.
They popped up, I saw them as opportunities and I ran with them. I’m all about trying something new because we don’t know what’s going to work and what’s not going to work until we try.
And I’m all for sharing my business journey, so here goes…
My Business Goals for 2019/2020
Given that I struggle to set goals for my entire future, I decided to break it down into something less overwhelming, and only set goals I would like my business to achieve in the next 12 months. 1st June 2019 – 1st June 2020.
Side note: Make sure you add some kind of date. It works. And I don’t know about you, but I definitely work better under pressure. Yes, I was that kid that left homework until the night before and stressed the entire house out because I had to stay up until it was finished!
Not this time Lorna, that is not how this is supposed to work!
The idea, so I’ve read, is that from this one big, end of year goal you create monthly goals. If you hit each of these monthly goals consistently, it will amount to achieving the big goal. Th next step after this is to then create tasks that will only help achieve these goals. If it doesn’t help you move towards achieving it, you don’t do it. But one thing at a time yeah…
Any goal setting experts hit me up if I’m doing it wrong!
Here goes, I’ve set myself three, rather large (I think) goals;
- Help 500 small businesses increase their turnover using digital marketing
- Generate £50k in revenue for my own business (EEK!)
- Work less than 14 hours a day without feeling guilty and be in a position to help a fellow freelancer out.
What do you think? Do they should achievable? In my eyes, sharing is caring and I’m 100% pledging to be fully transparent when it comes to business.