Goal Setting

There's a famous study that demonstrates the links between setting goals and financial success - you've probably seen it referred to in different guises over the years. 

Harvard Business School did a study on the financial status of its students 10 years after graduation and found that only 3 percent of them were financially independent. Interestingly, they were the ones who had written out their goals and the steps required to reach those goals. 10% who were living comfortably, and they had general goals. They thought they knew where they were going to be in the next five years.

As it turns out, this famous piece of research is an urban myth.  There was no such research, illustrating the old adage that 42% of statistics and research is made up by speakers on the spot.

The point is it doesn't matter.  Dr Mike Ashby says "I’ve spent years in strategic planning with small and large companies. Most of us know what a SWOT is (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats). When I was a consultant in an international firm, we often felt that we really specialized in SPOTS – Strategic Plans On The Shelf. After all these years, I still struggle with the difference between goals, strategies, objectives, outcomes etc etc. And you know what? I don’t think it matters. As a business coach, I think the most important thing is to make it as simple as possible, because we don’t need more complexity."

What matters most at the outset is to be able to answer these simple questions:

  • What’s the outcome I’m trying to achieve in general terms?
  • How will I know when I get there (ie SMART goal)?
  • What’s my plan?

But the critical thing is to make your goals dynamic. Your plan should contain lots of smaller, simpler objectives and targets, because I’m a firm believer in the idea that we set goals in order to create obstacles for ourselves. The truth is, as a business owner you like solving problems and surmounting obstacles. It gives you a sense of satisfaction and achievement. You don’t want to have a business that doesn’t have any challenge – you’d get bored. After all, if you’re cruising, you can only be going in one direction: downhill.

If you join The Breakthrough Company you’ll make more progress than ever before because:

  • You will be constantly monitoring your progress against your goals, and setting new ones. The structure and process of the programme holds you to a higher standard of accountability.
  • We’ll get you set stretch goals, which we define as having a 50% chance of failure. If there's a higher than 50% chance of failure, it's not credible, and you (and others) won't buy in. If there's less than a 50% chance of failure, you will not have to ask yourself the hard question: what will I have to do differently in order to achieve this goal?

As always, a good question changes everything.

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