Do you set yourself realistic goals? Or are they too ambitious?
You can achieve more than you realise and we can risk putting our limitations on other people. This week I share how to make sure you’re setting goals that you can achieve while still pushing yourself to reach your potential.
Ready to get that balance in your business? Listen to the player above or read the blog below.
Setting realistic goals
This episode is inspired by an EverTrek customer. We were concerned about them as they’d not done any trips with us before and decided to take on a hard trek. We didn’t know their capabilities or experience and whether they’d be able to manage the challenge. At the same time, we were all rooting for him and he absolutely aced it.
This is a good reminder of times when we can assume people’s capabilities. In general, we shouldn’t do this. We will get concerned for our loved ones and put out limitations on others. As a coach, it’s really important to be careful around this. I’ve had clients who have exceeded their own expectations and done better than they wanted, which is incredible.
At the same time, I am careful not to put my own expectations and limitations on what people can achieve. I had a client years ago who were quite cheesed off that I had concerns about what they wanted to achieve in the time they had. They assumed I didn’t see their ambition and achievements. This was absolutely not the case. Instead, it’s about finding the balance as a business coach and as someone trying to strive for better.
Where is the line between ambitious and realistic?
We know the rags-to-riches stories. Andy and I come from humble backgrounds and now run a multi-million-pound business so we know it is possible. Yet, there are caveats to this. It comes down to integrity – so you are feeding back in a way that doesn’t give people false hope. False hope is not about saying someone cannot achieve it.
It’s about setting goals that might feel unachievable to some or yourself. Or you might be someone who sets conservative goals through fear and then isn’t aiming high enough.
Two years ago I did a presentation about belief and believing in yourself. Belief plays a huge part in achieving more, especially believing in yourself. However, when it comes to business and financial success, it’s about having evidence and a plan. It’s all well and good to want to achieve it one day but that’s not concrete enough.
Part of the belief process is having a plan. As with all plans, there is no straight line. If you have a plan and are flexible, you will have visibility of your next steps and the action you need to take. You need something in place to start trialling and testing. Part of success is also failure and knowing what doesn’t work – which is why the plan is never a straight line.
Life happens, kids happen, pandemics happen – you need to adapt to your plan. It gives progress and a path forward rather than a pipedream.
Too ambitious in your goal?
There is no such thing as having a too-ambitious goal. As a business coach, it is not my place to tell a client to get smaller in their thinking. I have never done this and I never will. I reinforce this with all my coaching clients. What I do believe is you need to take the plan and a timescale into account.
That is not to say you can’t achieve it quickly, you also need to look at the plan and implement it. You do need to set a time-bound goal. And you need to be realistic about that timeline. This is where the balance between realism and ambition comes in. If you feel your plan will take you too long to achieve then the plan needs to change.
Success can happen quickly if you have a plan. You can reach the top of a ladder and skip a couple of rungs but you won’t be able to touch the top rung due to height, logistics and agility. This is when being realistic comes into play. You can reach the top of the ladder if you hit the micro-goals first. It’s about science and maths, you have to look at whether achieving a certain financial goal is possible with how you work right now? If 1-1 will take you to that goal and is that how you want your life to look?
Instead, you need to look at what needs to change. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this and you need to start thinking about a more scalable product. It could be that the product stays the same but you scale your team to deliver. Or you cut down on your 1-1 to deliver the product.
You need to ask:
- How much money do you want to make?
- How long will this take you to do?
- And what is the launch, sales and marketing plan?
If you’re hoping to sell out a retreat or programme tomorrow on zero audiences, you need to think about how this will be possible. Maybe you need to raise your prices? Then look at a higher value product where you sell less of them but make more money. You then may need to change your audience to sell at a different price point.
Then you need to ask what you will compromise to reach this goal. You may decide that you don’t like the lifestyle of working long hours but you do like working 1-1. Maybe the compromise is keeping some 1-1 but creating a scalable product. Then you have two different types of clients, two different audiences and all under one umbrella.
Realism needs to hit here. People talk about working from a beach – not to say you can’t do this – but you need to look at what you are trying to create overall. This is why a plan is so important to look at what you want to achieve.
Set your goals, not someone else’s
Don’t set yourself goals far below your capabilities. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Equally, someone else’s goal is not your goal. Depending on where you are now and what your mindset is, you might have to concentrate on the first couple of rungs on the ladder.
Sometimes part of creating belief is proving to yourself that you can do it. And once you start achieving things, you start building momentum. You start thinking that if you can achieve one thing then you can achieve others.
You cannot compare your goals to others. It might be to hit six figures and not seven. It doesn’t matter. I remember a time that I signed up for a £30 a month membership and I was scared of signing up for this. My mindset and financial position were very different to what it is today. I remember that person and how they thought very differently from how I now think.
Don’t limit your goals
One thing I have noticed Andy and I do is we set ourselves a goal, such as generating 10k leads and we’ll reach that goal with a week left to run and stop. Our Facebook Manager asked us why we were stopping the ads. We have the budget to push more into the ads and get more leads. It boggles my brain that I’d never had this conversation with ‘earlier me’. I’ve had to start small and climb the ladder.
My first goal was the £10k goal and that felt huge to me. It was a push out of my comfort zone to do that let alone make £millions. The meaning on that £10k was the best thing I’d done. When we reach bigger goals it’s still amazing but I’ve had to climb the rungs. Don’t look at what others are achieving. While it might not feel achievable right now to reach that goal – if you want to – make a plan to make it happen.
Belief plays a huge part in your success.
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