Last week I sat with a client who wanted to review his 2016 plan. In presenting his plan the word I heard the most was “CAN’T”. His direction for 2016 was based on the things he felt he could do, not what he wanted to do or was needed. There were a lot of “wishes” which my client felt were beyond his reach.
I asked my client to start with a clean sheet and to disregard everything he created thus far for his 2016 plan. The exercise was simple, “if there are no limitations what are the two things you would like to accomplish that will make the biggest impact on your business in 2016?”
The original plan had a litany of goals to be accomplished. By eliminating all restrictions and asking for just two things to focus on, the plan had a major direction change. Neither of the two items were on the original plan. When asked why the shift in direction, the answer was “I can’t do those things.”
Like so many other business owners, the focus of the plan was on what could be accomplished within an existing comfort zone. The stretch factor was missing and the “can’t” mentality took over. I told him the same thing I tell my 9 year old grandson, “I don’t want to hear why you can’t do something; I want to know how you are going to do it.”
Two things to learn from this lesson:
- First and foremost, set one goal which will have the biggest positive impact on your business.
- Second, do everything possible to make that one goal a reality.
That one goal may have to be broken down into small bits. You may have to reach out to others to find the necessary support for each piece. Yes, it’s going to be harder than selecting easy-to-reach goals, but the end result will be a much better, stronger business, and a valuable lesson will be learned.
Setting too many goals and by selecting ones that are easy to reach will ultimately result in a failed business. I also understand that the “can’t” fear is very strong and can overpower the best of intentions. From my experience the best remedy is to have a strong ally in your corner who will provide the “push” when needed, ideas when needed and accountability to help you achieve your vision.
That is the job that we work at every day with our clinets. If you are just treading water and not going anywhere, now is the time to call Nick Petra at Strategic Duck.
Obstacles are the frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford
Nick J. Petra CFP