Goal setting is often talked about but seldom do people actually have anything written down and it is normally more of a nice to have rather than something that they are truly willing to chase after. Many studies have proven that people with clearly thought out and written down goals are more successful and often achieve the goals that they have set. In my experience goals provide focus, it gives the person something to aim for. People are competitive by nature, it is why we have sports and in the game of business it is no different; we want to win. The goals you set for your business help to provide the way in which you “win” and this is different for each person because each person defines success in a different way based on their makeup and life experiences.
There are many ways that you can set goals. There are large amounts of resources online that can show you different methods and with so much choice it is important not to get overwhelmed. Find a way that works for you and set some goals around what you want your life, family and business to look like. Start simple and develop your own process over time. If something does not work well then pivot and adjust the process looking back at what you have learnt.
Furthermore having goals that you really want means that the journey is often difficult. It comes at a cost of sacrificing time, energy and resources to pursue your goals. When things get tough people often abandon their new course of action because there is no drive to push them through it, no force compelling enough to stand strong. Gym memberships soar in January however come February a lot of those people have dropped out, many people after hearing of health issues and the need to change lifestyle habits regularly don’t change anything long term. The reason why you have set the goals needs to be one to provide motivation so that you will chase after the goal in the face of adversity.
In the dynamic world of business there are so many factors that are variable and you will inevitably get knocked around. The tough times can be some of the greatest lessons you will ever learn. The tough times create increased levels of determination and perseverance if you have the right mind set. Reflecting back on the moments of hardship to know what to avoid and what to improve on next time while focusing on the goal ahead can be invaluable in years to come.
“Life is like a slingshot, the further you get set back the further you can reach” Michael Jr
Rachel never considered herself a business woman, despite the fact that she’d grown up in her Mum’s business, had been in business with her husband for twenty years, and started her own copywriting business. Joining business development group Rachel soon realised she was a bit of a veteran and did in fact have valuable business experience to share with the group.
Running Aerial Master in Palmerston North for twenty years hadn’t filled Rachel’s bucket, so she’d recently branched out, following her passion for words and starting her copywriting business: You Have My Word. With fresh excitement towards her work Rachel wanted to make sure she had all the tools she could to not only make sure You Have My Word was the best business it could be, but to also make sure that Aerial Master received a spruce up too. While she was concerned that the content could be very profit focused and pompous, Rachel actually found a group of people struggling with a lot of similar issues as herself, such as trying to juggle many different roles in their business at the same time. The course was structured foundationally on values with profit focused on near the end of the year. These values which aligned with her values and the personal focus that shone through the course were refreshing. The well structured course over a ten month period made it easy to look at the key learning’s in an organised format, away from the hustle and bustle of daily business stresses. Rachel realised the importance of taking time to ‘work on her business and not in it’ (all the time) and gained inspiration from other group members’ business practices and stories.
The BDG course has helped to raise some self-awareness for Rachel around her strengths including that she has a good deal of business experience but can always learn new and useful skills. Furthermore preparing a board report each month was a valuable exercise to not only focus on issues and information for the month but also to take the time to reflect on what she’d achieved. Because of her writing strengths Rachel always had her board report nicely written and in on time.
James from Village Valley Automotive recently celebrated ten years in business in his successful workshop in Ashhurst. Excellent skills on the tools and diverse knowledge in both mechanics and business is what has kept James’ mechanical business growing and thriving over the years but that wasn’t going to result in James taking his eye off the road ahead.
James joined the Business Development Group to get experience working with a board, and found he fitted in really well. Committing to attending the BDG (Business Development Group) allowed James an escape from the demanding environment and busy schedule of the day to day running of his mechanical workshop.
Board members quickly identified his strengths and weaknesses; James is a real entrepreneur with a strong work ethic and lots of great ideas. He realised that he’d achieved some things really well such as implementing systems and processes, making plans and setting goals, whereas other areas of his management suffered from his tendency to be too kind-hearted.
Being held accountable by board (group) members meant that James couldn’t put off attending to problems that he’d identified, and this was all the encouragement he needed to push ahead and make some necessary changes to the way he ran his business.
Building relationships with other business people and offering helpful advice and insights from his own experiences helped James to feel valued and helped allay feelings of isolation shared by many business owners. Watching other board members grow and implement changes they have learned from the course has been really satisfying for James; even though everyone’s businesses are different he’s found the basics of running a business are the same.
Malcolm Frost has been a successful insurance advisor for over nineteen years making the leap to being his own boss two years ago. Malcolm’s most enjoyed part of the job is talking to people, finding out what they need, and helping to protect them, their businesses and their families from unplanned, negative impacts on their livelihood. Joining the BDG (Business Development Group) was a way for Malcolm to enhance his business skills and make sure that the wheels kept turning so he could focus on the part of the job he enjoys the most – a cuppa and a chat.
The commitment to trust group members was initially confronting for Malcolm as discretion is crucial in the sensitive and cut-throat industry that he works in. Group members were reminded at the beginning of each session that everything they discussed was to remain in the boardroom, and eventually Malcolm relaxed and shared his business insights with the group. He found the group support to be valuable and noted with interest the similarities and differences between businesses. This offered him new perspectives and ideas.
Identifying that a weakness was having time to work ‘on’ his business Malcolm’s commitment to the material in the BDG allowed him to implement a lot of new systems and processes which contribute to a seamless, smooth-running operation in the background allowing him to focus on doing what he does best. Putting the time into making change was hard, but improving his business operation and increasing its value as a result has been worth it.