It’s been said that the only real resolution is “not to make another resolution.” There is quite a bit of wisdom in this, if we view resolutions as something that is a proclamation that we must keep to the letter.
However, in the real world, as entrepreneurs, we understand that everything is in a state of flux when it comes to our businesses. Customer demands can change and flow of the market can influence the outcome of even the best intentions. That being said, just because of the market, our customers, and the world, in general, are unpredictable does not mean that we should not plan. As a business owners or entrepreneur, these are all important things to keep in mind when planning for a new year.
In fact, planning is perhaps the most essential element of building an empire that you can have working in your favor.
The Importance of Planning
The old cliche, “Those who fail to plan are planning to fail,” is very true. If we do not have a game plan for where we want to be within a particular time frame, we can bet we will not get there.
In the business world, as in life, nothing happens by chance.
Even if some fortunate occurrence happens that we don’t expect, some serendipity of delight drops out of the sky and into our laps, we can be assured that it didn’t happen by accident.
The Practical Dreamers
The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners today are greatly in touch with reality. They understand that the world gives back to them an equal proportion of what they put out and it happens on a fairly regular basis.
So it is wise to put a plan in place and make it as detailed as possible while understanding that reality may force us to alter or change these plans somewhat to fit the need. This is not a failure. Rather, it is the mark of success that we recognize the need for flexibility when it is apparent and adjust ourselves accordingly.
7 Tips on Accomplishing your Goals in 2017
As you are planning for the new year of 2017, here are some ways to keep on your track toward your goals without becoming derailed. Remember that obstacle are a part of the challenge, and that’s one of the reasons you became an entrepreneur to start with.
Make Realistic but Quality Goals
When you make your goals list for 2017, remember to make the goals obtainable while maintaining a level of challenge. If you want to make more money in 2017, start brainstorming all of the ways that you can do that in a systematic procedure. For example, you could ask your clients to pay more for your time. If you are producing quality work for them, you are an asset to them, and they should be willing to pay you what you ask, within reason.
Setting a realistic goal, such as a $10 per hour increase in your rate could be an attainable but high-quality goal for you to achieve.
Create a systematic approach to get there.
As mentioned before, it’s not enough to set the goal. That’s the easy part. Remember that entrepreneurs are both dreamers and doers. The creation of the goal is the dreamer part. Implementing that goal is the “doer” or practical part. How will you physically accomplish your goal? Let’s go back to the idea of increasing your income by $10 per hour or per project. How will you present yourself to clients in the new year to get them to accept your pay increase?
A basic rule of business is that if you offer something of higher quality or something in addition to what you already give someone, they are more likely to pay more for it. Consider what you could offer such as helping a client with a bit of free work on the side to get them to see your value and increase your rate.
The bottom line is you are the entrepreneur, not an employee. Take control of your rates and speak frankly with customers about the need to raise their rates, but make sure you tell them how you will help them achieve their goals as well. If you help your clients out, they will help you in return in most cases.
All of this together will help you reach your goals and achieve at higher levels in 2017.
Write it down!
Even though we all have smart devices running out of our ears these days, and I use my Google smartphone with virtual calendars and scheduling tools regularly, it also helps to make a physical copy of your tasks and goals and keep it in front of you at all times.
You may also want to use paper and pen to brainstorm new goals and ideas and then insert them in your digital tools later.
Earl Nightingale, a well-known speaker, radio personality, and positive speaking expert once said that “Attitude is the magic word.” What he meant by this is that your attitude will help you close more sales, influence more people, and obtain a better lifestyle than anything else you can do.
He goes on to say that it is more important than any amount of talent, intelligence, or status. I agree with him on this point and believe that it is primarily what we think we can do that determines our results, more than any other factor.
Of course, real talent is great too! But if you’re an entrepreneur, you already have that.
Create a schedule
Even though Warren Buffet, well-known American financial wizard told Bill Gates two decades ago that he never created a schedule, I’m sure he had one, even if it was just a rough idea in his mind.
Entrepreneurs are inherently creative and impulsive. We want to experience life in a richer way and innovate, create, and invent. But all of that creativity can sometimes get in the way of getting things done. We need to focus on specific tasks every day that lead us toward the goal. The best way to do that is to create a schedule, even if you have to change it from time to time.
Remain flexible in your schedule in case something comes up that you want to do or need to do. But keep a general schedule in mind every day and write in a specific important task that most lead to your productivity and profit.
Learn extreme focus.
Focus may be the one key ingredient that many entrepreneurs miss. But it’s the most important for true success and profitability. Steve Jobs, whom we often refer to as one of our favorite entrepreneurs, had the most focused mind of anyone I’ve ever seen. It seemed he hardly wasted a minute. So finely tuned was his focus that he didn’t even notice when the CEO he hired had fired him! He did make his way back, though.
But the point is that he had an extreme focus that allowed him to create such a high level of quality that people felt they just “had to have one.” He sometimes announced to his staff that they were going to scrap every project except one. He never took his eyes off the ball.
If you can capture some of this focus level on your business projects, you will find a higher degree of success for your business in the coming years.
Never give up!
Winston Churchill said it first but it is still true today. It is those who keep on despite the obstacles, who win in the end. Have a plan, implement it with the day-to-day schedules you create and the tasks that you allocate. Delegate some tasks to others to save time and increase your ROI with carefully planned goals. Not only is it important to have your own goals and personal achievements in mind, it’s also important to see where other entrepreneurs are putting their focus in the new year as well.
Remember it is not the overall long-term things that get you to your goal, but the day-to-day smaller bite-sized tasks that help you shape and control your destiny, one task at a time.