The path of an entrepreneur is littered with obstacles. Without question, it is one of the greatest exercises in patience, dedication, and determination.
Anyone who has found success knows - the path to entrepreneurial success is never a straight line. There are many ups and downs.
One thing that separates those who give up and those who ultimately find success, is how they set goals.
If you don’t have clearly defined goals, you can all but forget about your entrepreneurial aspirations. Without goals, there is no clear path to success. This is one of the reasons why setting clear goals is so important.
Goals give you a clear roadmap, a step-by-step playbook to achieve what you want.
Research shows that those who set well thought-out goals for themselves and their business, are much more likely to reach success.
In this article, we provide you with seven tips on how to set goals that set you up for success.
1. Be SMART About It
We’re not just talking about using your brain. When it comes to defining goals, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Based.
The SMART method is widely used by businesses worldwide because it works. All of your goals should be detailed and specific, able to be measured, achievable and realistic, and be given a timeframe in which it should be completed.
2. Get Really Specific
We know this is mentioned in tip number one, but it can’t be stressed enough: get super specific with your goals.
A trap many entrepreneurs fall into is being vague and undescriptive about their goals.
Many will say, “I want to grow my revenue” when they should set a goal more along the lines of, “I want to increase my revenue by 10% this year compared to last year.”
Specificity helps make goals more achievable. Your brain will have an easier time thinking of ways to get you to a 10% increase in revenue rather than just “more revenue”.
3. Do Weekly Check-Ins With Yourself
Set aside a time each week to check-in on your progress for each goal.
This will not only help ensure you’re making good on your deadlines, but you’ll also see what you’re doing right and where you need to improve. This allows you to pivot and make any necessary changes to help you reach your goals.
4. Define The Obstacles You’ll Face
It can be easy to get wrapped up in what you want to achieve that you forget to recognize the obstacles along the way.
By understanding and defining the potential hardships you’re going to face, you’ll be better prepared to handle them. This is why it is important to predict and define the obstacles.
Doing so will save you valuable time and resources as you won’t hit unforeseen snags. Unforeseen problems are motivation killers you want to avoid.
5. Write Out What Steps You Need To Take
Lay out every step you need to take to achieve each goal. Similar to what you did when you defined the goals themselves, make each of these steps specific and detailed. Stay away from vague descriptions.
Make sure to break down larger steps into smaller, more manageable tasks. This may make the process of defining steps more time consuming, but it will pay off in the end.
After you’ve written out each step, the next thing you must do is…
6. Identify Which Action Steps Should Take Priority
Chances are that the order in which your steps are written won’t be the best order when it comes to executing.
Take time to really think about which tasks should be completed first and which ones can be put off for later.
There’s no set right or wrong way to go about it as every business is different. It all depends on time, resources, level of importance, etc.
After you’ve reordered your actions steps, you should now have a set plan of attack to tackle your business goals.
7. Reward Yourself
Speaker entrepreneurs can be gluttons for punishment. So, the idea of giving yourself a reward can be easily overlooked and altogether forgotten.
However, it’s something all entrepreneurs should do.
Giving yourself rewards when you reach each goal will help motivate you when you know there’s more at stake than the goal itself.
Rewards don’t have to cost money either. It can be something as simple as a day off. Whatever your rewards are, make sure they’re all something you personally want and enjoy.
Entrepreneurship requires an incredible amount of self-discipline and patience. At times, it can feel like you’ve made zero progress despite long hours and herculean efforts.
But with the right goals and steps in place, you will always know whether you’re headed in the right direction.