Success comes from simplicity. When I begin working with a new client, she often expects to hear complicated and fancy ways to create and grow her business. We often think that success has to be complicated and confusing – otherwise, wouldn’t everyone be successful?
While success doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing, it does need to be grounded in goals.
What is a goal? A goal is something you want in a certain way and by a certain time. A goal is your target, your destination, what you’re working towards.
Without goals, having a business can feel super messy, complicated and overwhelming because you don’t have a roadmap. We all need roadmaps. That’s not to say that you won’t be rerouted, but you need an initial blueprint to direct you from point A to point B.
When you start a business, I believe that there are three phases. The first one is goal-setting. We often forget about this because we’re so excited to just dive in and get started. This is when it’s important to take the reigns of your business, take a breath and a step back.
Before you do anything, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
1. How much money does your business need to generate to cover your basic expenses? Do you know how much money you spend on average every month? (If you don’t know, that’s totally okay – most people actually don’t. They are a few ways to figure this out – look back on your bank statements from the past month and tally up how much money you spent, or moving forward, keep track of how much you spend for the next 30 days).
2. How much money do you want to make? This is the fun number – the number that includes fun vacations and spa days and shopping sprees. For questions 1 and 2, if you set an annual goal, break it down into monthly goals as well.
3. What does your ideal schedule look like? Do you currently have a full time job that only allows you to devote nights and weekends to your business? Or are you set on working 9-5 during the week and then taking weekends off? Decide what an ideal week looks like to you.
4. Who do you want to help? What kinds of people do you like to spend time with the most? Who are you already hanging out with?
5. How do you want to help them? What specific service do you want to offer to help these people? How can you make their lives easier, better and more enjoyable?
Answering these questions involves little time and no money, and yet, so many people skip this part. Make sure that the first thing you do is to answer these five questions. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know once you get there.
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Jordana Jaffe is the founder of Embarkability, and teaches women business owners how to get clients. She is offering a free teleseminar on Wednesday, October 17, called, “Start and Grow Your First Business on a (practically) ZERO Budget!” Sign up here! You can find out more on facebook, twitter, or on her website.