Achieving goals can seem like running through McDonald’s cinnamon fruit oatmeal. The more you stir it up, the thicker it gets. Instead of looking at actions, try looking at the things which block your progress and keep you from reaching your business goals.
For example, if your goal is to double business, the barriers might be 1) you don’t know enough potential clients, 2)no one seems interested in your product, or 3) any one of a hundred other factors.
If you don’t know enough potential clients, secondary barriers may be: 1) you don’t attend events that they do, 2) you are afraid to make an approach, 3) you are trying to sell to the whole world, and haven’t focused your efforts for maximum impact.
Life is complicated, so look beyond secondary barriers. If you don’t attend the right events, some reasons may be that 1) you don’t know the events, 2) they are inconvenient for you, 3)they are expensive. Be honest with yourself. Don’t be surprised if some of the honest reasons boil down to “I don’t manage my schedule well,” or “I spend too much time on Facebook,” or “I hate doing that.”
Connect the barriers into logical chains. Goal: To double business / First Barrier: I don’t know potential clients. / Secondary Barrier: I don’t attend the right events / Root Cause Barrier: They are inconvenient/ Bottom Line Barrier: They really aren’t inconvenient, I just hate networking.
Achieving goals is breaking through barriers, one at a time. Define and commit to specific actions to break through each barrier. In this example, your strategy might include researching potential events, selecting those with a high probably payoff, and sending someone who really loves to network. If a barrier cannot be overcome, find another path.
When you have your primary strategy, be aware of other opportunities. Small changes, such as focusing on a specific market segment or repackaging your product can go a long way toward enhancing your impact.
As you work your plan, new opportunities, shortcuts and barriers will emerge. Re-evaluate your position and change your plan accordingly. If you truly cannot find any path to achieve your goals, change them or be willing to give them up. Be like Walter Payton. Spend your talents and efforts in a profitable direction.
Click here for the Achieving Goals Worksheet Download. Write down your goal, and the primary, secondary and additional barriers. Draw lines to show how the barriers relate to each other. Finally, plan your strategy. List and commit to the actions you will take to achieve your goals. Plan, focus, take action. Achieve your goals and grow your business now!