HOW? Make them SMARTER!
I learned the rules and made them faithfully year after year. It’s part of our standard toolbox of success strategies and systems, right?
But every January I would start with my dreams, try to turn them into goals, and then spend hours and more money at the office supply store to create some kind of system. File cards, notebooks, phone logs, colored file folders… then onto all the computer-based tools that often ended up taking more time to learn, then being left behind leaving me overwhelmed and under-performing!
Somehow it just wasn’t enough to keep me focused and productive, not to mention consistent. And I found I needed more to create a real masterpiece of action and effectiveness.
What was missing?
Let’s start by looking at the classic definition of SMART goals:
- Specific= Answering those ‘W’ questions: Who, What, Where, Which, When, What?
- Measurable= gotta have a yardstick! If they’re vague, you’ll get fuzzy results.
- Achievable= is it in the realm of possibility given the resources you’re willing to commit?
- Relevant– does each goal fit all your other goals and lead you to your long term goals?
- Time Bound– when will you achieve it? Too close may be unrealistic and lead to discouragement! Too far away… if you’re like me, you’ll procrastinate or worse yet, forget about it before you get close.
These are time-tested guidelines, so it’s hard to argue with them. However, I tend to think of this as ‘Level One’ goal setting, because if you want to generate income you need more tools in your toolbox… like systems that leverage your dreams into reality and your actions into results.
For instance… say you’re going to start a network marketing business, selling nutrition products. Your SMART goals help you determine you will market your products and opportunities to people you know, by emailing and calling them to invite them to hear about your company. You’ll do 10 calls a day, 5 appointments a week, recruit 1 distributor per week and achieve business leader level in 3 months with an income of $1000/month by working 10 hours/week.
This would be realistic and relevant if your long term goal is to achieve $3000/month income within a year by helping people live healthier lives. Good job!
To drill down to the deeper level, let’s take SMART goals to ‘Level Two’… my version of the NEW SMARTER goals.
Systematized = Scale-able & consistent- to ensure your success, be specific about the sales, marketing, social media, customer service, training & presentation systems you will use to accomplish your goal. Systems allow you to leverage your time, teach your downline more effectively and create a scale-able business for the marathon of life. This will take some time and effort, but is essential for real income potential. And, of course, it’s easier if you follow a great leader and ‘do what they do’, right?
Meaningful = helps you attain your dreams & lifestyle goals. Some goals end up taking us on a detour. Maybe you want to be a stay-at-home mom, so you start your home business. But, what if you miss out on your kids’ important moments because you have committed yourself to goals that draw you out of your ‘goal lifestyle’? This happened to me as a single mom and I almost quit, feeling overwhelmed and guilty when I couldn’t reach my goals. Yet, thousands of people DO develop home business income with kids running around! Keep balance and your long term priorities in mind when setting your goals, and use the systems that help you work smarter!
Activity-based – in order to generate income, you must focus on IPA’s or MMA’s… the income producing activities essential to growth! Meeting junkies never earn a dime until they put what they learn into action. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest… great tools, but if you let yourself get lost checking out what everyone else is doing… your business will suffer! Focus on income producing activities as your top priority and be accountable to your coach, as well as yourself.
Responsible = commit to be all in! The challenge for the new entrepreneur is… there’s no boss! If you’re a solo-preneur, you’re IT! f you’re in a network marketing business, you have some support, products and marketing provided for you, but you are a ‘volunteer’… no one can force you to take action or meet your goals. It’s all up to you, so a new mindset is essential!
Track-able= plant and nourish your seeds, then record your efforts!Do the right activities in the right order so they bear fruit and you can see the path clearly. Use a spreadsheet, database, online tracking tool, notebook (if you’re old school) or file cards (ditto on the old school!). If you track what you do, you will see the evidence that will tell you why you are falling short of your goals, or achieving them… or even surpassing them!
Goals can help you create the income you want from your home or mobile business. Unfortunately, no one but you can put in the effort to make them SMART.
Next step… find an accountability partner who is honest, consistent and understands your dreams and goals. Most of us just can’t do it solo unless our dreams are well defined and compelling. Even then… a buddy makes any journey more meaningful, productive and fun. More on that soon!
What you do have now is YOU and your dream for a better life that will keep you going past all the detours and disasters. In the end, it’s always up to you.
That’s the beauty, AND the challenge, of being an entrepreneur, baby!