- It’s that time of year to start planning on making next year your Best Year Ever
- DOS process – Dangers. Opportunities. Strengths.
- Find a goal that is realistic, but also motivating
- Stack wins to build your momentum
- Make both professional and personal goals
- Look into what you actually WANT. Is is clients or income?
- Reverse engineer your goal
- Who do you know that can help you achieve your goals?
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here. And in this episode, I want to talk with you about annual goal setting. I’m taking my clients through annual goal setting like we do every year. Every year we do what we call our best year ever workshop. This year, we’re doing it virtually and we take people through goal setting and breaking through, you know, their limiting beliefs and planning, and really trying to set them up to succeed for the upcoming year. And then, you know, I’ll work through one-on-one with clients individually and do the same. And I thought, man, it’d be a fun opportunity to talk through this process. On an episode of the podcast, Let’s do it.
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All right. And this episode, I want to talk with you about annual goal setting. It’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s not one of those processes that I just kind of had said pie in the sky goals that don’t ever go anywhere. It’s been really effective for me kind of variations of the process I’m going to walk you through. And I know it’s worked really well for my clients and, you know, we do it each and every year. So I think you can get a lot out of this. You know, this, this idea of setting a goal and crafting a plan to achieve that goal is nothing new, right? I mean, we do that with clients all the time, but it’s amazing how little of that we do for ourselves for our own goals, our own business. And, you know, there is a simple process that we use and some simple kind of, I guess, thoughts or ideas and concepts that, that you can employ that are going to give you a chance to, to succeed at a much higher level than you probably ever have in the past.
So the first thing that I do before I get into identifying what my goals are annually is I borrow something from a really smart mentor coach. Dan Sullivan called the DOS process, dangers opportunities and strengths. I basically just do kind of what my wife calls a mind spill, what I call a brain dump and just look at, Hey, what are all the dangers that, that my business faces currently? Not just time sensitive stuff, but big picture stuff. And it could be you know, a pandemic or you know a recession or it could be you know, maybe staff turnover or anything like that, but what are dangers that we’re facing? What are some opportunities that we can capitalize on in the next year, whether it be market trends, things that now we’ve got the bandwidth to work towards things that we can do with current offerings to improve, right? And then what are my strengths? What are my organization’s strengths? I just do this kind of a brain dump. If you will, in those three areas to help me kind of make sure that I’m focused on my things. It’s so easy to look at what other people’s goals are, or just write down random things because they sound good and they, they look good on a document. And, you know, I typically will print out my goals and an infographic and post them. But they’re for me. So I’m not worried about making this fit for somebody else, but I think a lot of goals are kind of crafted that way. Somebody sees that, Hey, I should have a six figure business or half a million dollar business or a seven-figure business. And they just map things out based on that with no real substance behind it, no real idea of what it takes to get there. So I start here just a few focus, kind of on my own things.
Now, the second kind of piece of goal setting for me is I look at this kind of thing balance between what’s realistic, but still inspiring or motivating. I think a lot of times people have these pie in the sky goals and they don’t you know, they don’t have the capacity to actually achieve them. They don’t know how to get there. They just say, well, it would be nice to get to this place, right? It’s a, it’s a dream we’re than a goal. And so I see this as almost like a GPS type thing. If I can’t reverse engineer it, if I don’t know how to get there within reason now, obviously if it’s somewhere new, what I’m saying is, is hypothetical because maybe I’ve not been there before, but if I don’t have a, at least a realistic plan to start with, then it’s probably beyond my annual goal capacity. It’s probably more like a vision thing. So, you know, but with that in mind, it still has to be motivating. And you know, all the time people write down goals that are not motivating to them because they think those are the benchmarks they should be hitting. And if it’s not motivating, you’re not going to wake up every day, really enthusiastic, really excited to pursue that goal. So it’s important that whatever your goal is, it inspires you. It motivates you to get out of your comfort zone to change, to, to plan your day with some time allocated in some effort, really, really put into pursuing that thing.
So here, here would be an easy way that I think about the balance between realistic and motivating. So last year at our last person, best year ever meeting, I asked people if adding a hundred new clients annually would be kind of too big for them, would it be intimidating? And you know, a lot of people said, yeah, they, they thought that it was big and it was a lot, I was kind of a daunting goal, but then I said, okay, well, how many of you have added at least 10 new clients in a month, everybody, but one person in the room had their hand up and that person was kind of a new business. And, you know, I said, okay, well, 10 a month, 12 months in a year. I mean, you’ve proven it. And that you can get 10 new clients in a month. If all you do is something that you you’ve already done, but you do it consistently. You have that same discipline for 12 months, we can blow right through that goal. So that’s kind of that balance between realistic and motivating.
So I would encourage you to select your goals with that in mind, you know, what inspires me? What gets me excited, but you know, is it something that I believe that not only can I do, do I have the aptitude, but will I do, do I have the attitude? Do I have the work ethic that I’m willing to put the time in to get there because let’s face it, goals are earned. And so if you’re not going to be motivated enough to do it, if it’s not something that you really have the bandwidth for, right, right now, put it off because to me there’s nothing more discouraging than identifying these goals that I always do my goal setting, you know, in early December. So I’ve got some time throughout December too, to kind of set the foundation, get the infrastructure in place so we can hit the ground running on January 1st. Well, there’s nothing more discouraging then by January 15th, realizing that there’s no way I’m going to get there. Right? So I’ve done all this planning and it’s for nothing. So my, my suggestion is find that balance between the two. Now, when it comes to selecting our goals, I think less is more right. I’d rather achieve four out of five business goals, four out of five personal goals than have 25 goals and, and feel like I struggled on two thirds of them. I mean, we just don’t have that much capacity to move forward in a short period of time. But if you, you stack up those wins year after year, you’d be amazed, amazing at how much ground you can cover. So I look at business and I have two categories of business goals. I have production goals. So sales goals, client grow like new client growth, profit, those sorts of things. But then I have platform goals like, Hey, I want to write a book or I’m going to, you know, make this podcast this much more successful and hit these benchmarks. So, so when I look at those two, I understand that, you know, I can do production-based things, but if I’m not continually reinvesting in my platform and growing my platform, that eventually some of that production stuff dries up because I don’t have enough audience to go put my message in front of to go put my offerings and solutions out to. So ideally there are three to five business goals and then three to five personal goals.
Now For me, personal goals typically involve, you know, some personal development stuff, but they’re very heavy on the family side, how you kind of balance your personal goals is up to you. But my suggestion is always understand that we need to do both and we should be planning both simultaneously because you know, if you’re going to try to be in this really heavy growth phase in business, you have to understand, you know, maybe that creates some challenges to move forward on some of these personal goals. We’ve got to, to understand that there’s this give and take as a small business owner. And if we’re not finding the rhythm between the two we’re setting both up to fail. So when we’re consistent corrupting a goal, you know, I kind of just go back to that old kind of smart goal acronym, if you will. I think all goals need to be very specific.
We need to be able to quantify exactly what, what we’re trying to achieve. There’s no real way to get to a specific place if we don’t have some clarity about what that is, right? So they need to be very specific. They need to be measurable. I think when somebody tells me they want more of something or less of something know that’s not, that’s not useful. It’s not helpful because you know, more could be 1% more. Is that enough to satisfy you? Is that enough to inspire You? So, you know, When we’re constructing a goal, find a way to quantify it. If it’s a revenue goal or a profit goal, set out that exact number, right? Make sure you know what you need to do. Whether it’s a platform thing, building an email list, having a certain number of podcasts, downloads, whatever it could be. If it’s a personal thing, instead of saying, I want to spend more time with my family put down, okay, I want to take Thursday nights off. I want to pick up my child at school, 80% of the school days. I want to take this many vacations or this many long weekends, but be very specific in what we’re setting out, because it’s much, much easier to not only achieve the target, But it’s much, much easier to stay Motivated because you you’ve gotten there. If it’s not something that you’ll know with some clarity that you’ve achieved, it can’t be very good or inspiring.
So we got specific, we’ve got measurable and then actionable. Now I would tell you, everybody has their own interpretation of what actionable means for me actionable means it’s something that I can control or at least I can be the primary driver of. So knowing that we’re, we’re dealing with the, You know, the, I, I guess Circumstances created by the pandemic, whether it be regulatory stuff or consumer behavior, well, we can’t control those things, but what can we control? Well, we can certainly control you know, what, what sort of offers we’re making, whether or not we’re growing our audience, we can control all sorts of things. And when I’m setting a goal, I want to make sure that I can be the driver. That doesn’t mean that, you know, whatever that goal is, isn’t going to be influenced by external forces, but I can have influence on moving forward on that thing each day And every day.
So we’ve got, you know, Specific, measurable, actionable, and then we have realistic, which I’ve already talked about. So we don’t need to get into it too much more, just understand that it’s better to rack up a bunch of small wins, then the set this grandiose goal and never get anywhere close to it. Because if you accrue those small wins day after day, you’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make. And then time sensitive, you know, just because you’re setting out a goal that we’re calling an annual goal, it doesn’t mean that it has to be achieved on December 31st, right? Maybe there’s some things that you want to get done early in the year because you think the impact on your business will really be meaningful after this thing’s done. So like, if you want to write a book, then the sooner you get it done, the, the sooner you can use it as a tool to grow your business. So you may say, Hey, that’s a first quarter goal, or that needs to be done by May 1st or something like That. If you have a personal goal by like An experiential thing, a vacation or whatever else, well, if you’re going on summer vacation, then you need to set that goal do by a date within the summer. So making sure that things are time sensitive, we got deadlines. We always work better with deadlines. And if you are not employing deadlines, you’re probably setting yourself up, Struggle so smarter. I think, well, smarter goals definitely are going to give you a much better chance to achieve what you want to achieve when you go through this goal setting process.
One last thing I’ll tell you about kind of setting goals before we get to the last piece of the puzzle us, which is reverse engineering. The goal is, I think it’s important to understand what you actually want. I mean, I had one, you know, one husband and wife, client team that always wanted to go from, go to like 150 clients. And, you know, they were hovering in that one 10 to one 20 range, ask them, well, why one 50? And there were all these kind of cascading benefits that they felt like might happen if they had 150 clients, you know, more revenue, more security, less stress like, well, I mean, we could achieve those things a lot of different ways, right? I mean, you could get one new corporate client, you could raise rates, you could add new offerings to sell to your current clients. We don’t only have to do it by adding, you know, 30 or 35 or 40 new clients to your business and having that many more people to serve and that many more people to manage. So just understand that sometimes there’s kind of a, a goal behind the goal, some assumptions we’re going to make like, Hey, if I have a business that generates $50,000 in gross revenue, all my problems will be gone if you’re at a business. Now that it’s at 25. Well, I mean, you need to have some clarity there. Like if it’s personal income, just because you’ve doubled your gross revenue, doesn’t mean your personal income is going to double. If personal income doubling the goal, then make that the goal. And then we can look for different ways to pursue that specific target. All right.
So kind of the last piece of the puzzle for us is what we call a reverse engineering goal. So we have just kind of a checklist, a process that we go through. The first thing that we do is name the goal. And then the second thing that we do is describe it in detail. So if I say that I want to go on a vacation to Florida, then you know, I’m going to describe it in detail. I’m going to say, okay, I want to go stay at a beachfront location for this many days at this type of resort and just add some depth to it. So, so I understand, and I can explain what I mean. And so that’s a good tool right there, if you’re not sure what the actual goal is or what is motivating you for that goal. Like these two questions that I’m going to give you really helped. So describe the goal in detail. Well, now, you know, I know that part of this is wanting to get away for this period of time. So taking a trip to Florida for me, this vacation, this goal, it’s not a four day thing. Maybe I’m saying it’s a 10 day or 14 day thing. So giving it some clarity, some depth, and then why is the goal important? And this is where, you know, if you say, Hey, I want to add, you know, $20,000 a month in gross revenue. If you say it’s so I can have more personal income or I can have more stability or security or so I can hire new people, then maybe we need to look at this and decide, well, should one of those things actually be the goal itself. It gives you kind of a filter to run each goal through to make sure that you’re describing it in the right way.
And you’re really setting out for the right target. So we named the goal. We describe it in detail. We, we define why it’s important. So if I’m going Florida, my family, Hey, maybe it’s just, I want to have a shared experience with them. Kids are getting older. I want to create memories. I want to have some time away where we get to be very present and all of the things that are kind of daily distractions and most of our lives can kind of be pushed to the side. So that might be my why for taking that trip. And then, you know, identifying three to five steps or action items that I can take. So they don’t have to be sequential. That’s why it could be action items and not just sequential steps, but three to five things that I could do to move towards that goal. And that helps to start shape this process, reverse engineering and saying, okay, no, this isn’t just this abstract destination. There are things that I can do to start moving there now. And so for me, it might be identifying where we’re going to stay in when we’re going to stay. That might be one like clarifying the details. Number two might be paying it a positive number three might be getting some staff coverage or canceling some obligations. And just making sure that I’m free that week and any responsibilities I have are, are addressed. And then, you know, maybe the last one is setting up a plan to pay for it. Maybe it’s setting up a savings account to put money in. So, you know, I’m not putting on a credit card or something like that, but having those, those allow me to, to again, add some depth to this plan. So it’s not just this thing. That’s way out there. It’s abstract. It’s, it’s a dream. It’s actually something that I have some idea on how to get there. And if I don’t have a way to get there, if I can’t put steps in place, then maybe I’m not ready for that goal yet. Maybe I need to do some more homework. Maybe I need to put myself in a different spot because let’s face it. Sometimes there can be a lot more than meets the eye to a goal. I mean, there are people that I’ll talk to that have a solo operation and they’re generating, you know, seven, eight, $9,000 a month. And they’ve got a nice little personal income there, they’re self-employed and they’re doing fine. And they’ll say, man, I’d like to have a business that’s making a hundred thousand dollars a and, and this bigger thing, because they’ve listened to a podcast or they’ve seen somebody in a testimonial or a case study or something, talk about what they’ve done. Like, well, yeah, you understand? I mean, that’s a completely different business model, right? I mean, you have employees, you’ve got, you know, 12 times the volume of people you’ve got to take care of. You’ve got so many other moving parts and you probably have, you know, eight, 10, 12 times the overhead in many cases.
Right. So we’ve got and we, we’ve got a lot of things to think about there. So before you say, Hey, I want that to be my goal, but probably need to know what goes into it. So we’ve got named the goal, describe it in detail you know, understanding why it’s important three to five steps or action items. Then this is a big one for me is who can help, you know, who can I go to? Whether it be like for a vacation, a travel agent or my wife, Holly, or somebody who’s already been to the place I want to go, they can give me some, you know, some feedback and kind of be almost you know, like a referral source, if you will. You know, my team, if I’m going to step away from work for a week, who do I need to, to help me kind of pick up the slack or, or navigate that so who can help? So I understand I’m not on an island here, all of this is kind of a team sport, right? And then finally we have a break it down for every goal that we do. We have you know, what can I get done in the next 72 hours? So kind of immediate steps. Yeah. And for me that might just be researching various resorts, selecting a date, that sort of thing. What can I get done during the first week? Well, during the first week I could probably book something and pay a deposit. I could probably book my flights, that sort of stuff. And then what do I, you know, what can I get done during the first month? And be honest, I can have a lot of things in place. I can have, you know, some, some excursions planned, if that’s the type of place that we’re going to vacation, I could have all my coverage in place if you know, for, for coaching or I could have canceled stuff off the schedule. You know, I could, you know, have any personal obligations, then I can do a mail hold. Even some mail is not coming to my house. There are a lot of things that could be done with that kind of timeframe.
So we, we knew this for every goal. I coach my clients to do this for every goal that we do, because, you know, obviously we’re taking the time and saying, this is important to us. So we want to give ourselves the best possible of achieving whatever we’re putting down. And that’s how most years, you know, most of the goals I set out either, you know, they get achieved. Or the last thing I’ll tell you is I consider every goal to be in pencil, right? Because if I’m doing goal setting in the beginning of December, I’m going to have more information in the beginning of March, you know, I’m going to have better information. So if I need to, re-engineer something. If I need to change the goal, if I decide, Hey, there’s something better to move me towards where I want to go there, my goals, I, I reserve the right to change them. And I think you should too. So, you know, I think this plan is really effective. It’s been proven time and time again with the people that we work with. And I know it’s helped me a bunch. So my suggestion is go through this. If you need to listen to it again, or, or browse the notes to make sure you have it, but as you do your annual planning, I think this process can help you a lot.
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