July 17, 2017
How many times have you set goals and couldn’t follow through? Maybe you wanted to bring your product to a new market or build out your marketing team in a certain amount of time and just couldn’t pull it off. Whatever the case may be, setting goals doesn’t help anybody if you can’t follow through.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs either struggled or continue to struggle with executing goals. This is one of the major pain points during the early stages of Wakanow, an online travel agency for people traveling to and from Africa. So trust me when I say that meeting expectations is as tough as time management.
Fortunately, I learned a few things during my years that I’d argue will give many that competitive edge when building a business. In fact, they’ve helped me receive the AABLA award, Entrepreneur of the Year West Africa 2015. Here’s how to not only set goals, but also to achieve them.
Entrepreneurs naturally think big. There’s no doubting this, and it’s healthy for success. When setting goals, keep the big picture in mind, but make sure the goals are realistic. First, separate the wants from the needs (you’ll be shocked at how many goals are not urgent) and ask a lot of questions. For one, do you truly have the bandwidth to complete the task? Consider your time and resources as well as those of everybody involved in the project.
Once you reassess, you might find that your project will take longer than you anticipated. Factor in extra time to allow for unforeseeable circumstances. This will not only allow the process to run cleaner and smoother but will calm your nerves, allowing you to make more sound decisions.
Only a Few Goals
Now you have realistic goals. But, how many should be in play at the same time? From experience, five to seven goals works well — with a bulk of those being short-term, say within a quarter).
During the initial stages of Wakanow, I was trying to achieve too much too soon. I juggled building areas of the website that assisted visitors with simple hotel arrangements and setting up affiliates with multiple companies at once. Once I learned to slow down the rate at which I tried to achieve my goals, I was able to dedicate more time to each one, and things happened quicker – much quicker. It’s easier to focus when you don’t have other ideas weighing you down.
Track Progress with To-Do Lists
Just as solid reporting is an absolute must for correctly analyzing the financial situation of your business, it’s equally important for tracking the progress of goals. Use an excel sheet if you’re the analytical type, or write a simple, daily “to-do” list.
I set an hour every morning to plan my day, blocking off time for each project or meeting. I also schedule a half hour to track the progress of my goals – both short- and long-term. This technique can help minimize the stress of actually executing each goal.
Read more about motivational tips on TechCo
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