Without the right goals, a small business owner can be boating upstream without a paddle.
I am a business coach so I know the importance of setting SMART goals. I know how to break a goal down into actionable steps, I know how to teach this to my clients (I know never to use the words I KNOW).
So isn’t it interesting that a ride in a paddle boat full of kids up at the lake would show me why my own goals are sometimes ineffective.
We paddle around on the lake often during the summer. We do not usually go very far before someone gets tired, needs a drink or we just get bored. On this day we had a particular destination in mind,; the best place on the lake to swim, the sand bar. We have a Specific Goal in mind, it is Measurable we know how far it is, Achievable yup we can do this, Realistic sure , Time measured not really, we are in no hurry.
As we start out with the goal in clear view, the people from shore start to wonder out loud, isn’t that a little too far? They’re not paddling?! Half way there and the whining starts, I try to control myself but it’s hot. So I refocus on why I am out here, the kids want to swim and I want them to accomplish this.
It is time to expand our focus. Thinking too small keeps us thinking about how hot the paddle boat is. Focusing on the shore line around us we begin to notice everything we didn’t see when we started out. Past each group of trees we see something new. Before we realize it we are at our destination. Great swimming, happy kids, and an added bonus a beautiful view of the lake around the point from the sand bar, something we cannot see from where we started.
So what was my BFO (Blinding flash of the obvious) from this adventure?
1. Goals need to be specific and clearly seen throughout the journey
2. Don’t let others tell you it’s too far (or too big).
3. The reason for the goal needs to be important to you
4. You cannot see everything from where you start, appreciate the process, it makes the journey much more enjoyable
5. When you reach your goal you can see new horizons that you could not see at the beginning.
Enjoy the ride.by