We’re entrepreneurs, we’ve got BIG dreams. And we’re determined to make them happen. So we often find ourselves wondering, “How do successful business owners set and track goals?”
In today’s episode of the Successfully Simple Show, we’re asking the experts just that. There are many recurring themes, but also some really brilliant and unique ideas that you can apply to your own business.
This episode is a great one, so tune in now to learn how you can set and achieve your goals this year!
This season’s experts:
Jordan Gill, operations consultant and founder of Systems Saved Me, helps overworked one-woman shows become streamlined solopreneurs. Her jam is creating a cohesive operating system for managing your tasks, files and inbox. She’s been on podcasts like What Works and CEO Vibes sharing her love of replacing monthly retainers with one day virtual intensives. She currently lives in Dallas TX with her cavapoo Vivienne and collection of 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles.
Katelyn began her career in marketing and public relations in Nashville, Tennessee. After working in the agency world for six years, she decided to pursue the entrepreneurship route to create more freedom and flexibility in her life. Now, Katelyn works as an Online Business Manager where she helps entrepreneurs organize, strategize and prioritize the backend of their business to go from overwhelmed to out-in-front. A Georgia grad, she bleeds red and black and is a diehard Georgia football fan, dog mom and outdoor enthusiast.
Megan is a Life and Business Coach that specializes in helping online course creators, coaches, and service providers build a scalable, sustainable, and enjoyable business… without sacrificing their personal life!
She does this through her coaching program, Empowered CEO™, and her weekly live show, The Productive Life.
Megan has a Master’s Degree in Organizational and Human Resource Development, corporate Human Resources and Recruiting experience, and has been helping online business owners streamline and systemize their businesses since 2015.
Quinn Tempest is a business strategist and coach who helps females founders create more purpose + profit in their business *without* burning out. She’s the founder of Create Your Purpose®, a community of global entrepreneurs dedicated to building impactful businesses with intention. Her professional expertise is in branding and holistic digital marketing strategy and she is a frequent speaker at events and organizations around the country.
Alisha Robertson is an author, business coach and the founder of Living Over Existing; a podcast, newsletter and community for women entrepreneurs who want to run a successful business without sacrificing the life she desires.
After experiencing severe burnout, Alisha tore down everything she thought she knew about becoming a successful entrepreneur and decided to build a brand that helped women to focus on building their business and life with intention. Through her work, Alisha strives to not only help women entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their brands but also help them to prioritize themselves in the process.
Erin Flynn helps creative entrepreneurs design profitable and sustainable businesses that are simple and streamlined so that they can work less and live more. She’s the founder of Successfully Simple™ and is on a mission to help other creatives slash their work hours, earn more, and enjoy their lives.
Today’s question is a good one: how do you set goals in your business and how do you track your progress and course correct if you are falling short of your goals?
I’m really excited to hear what our experts have to say. So let’s dive straight in and hear from them.
Hi, I’m Jordan Gill from Systems Saved Me. So what’s interesting about this year is that I have exactly, almost actually, even exceeded my goals for this year. Even when I set those goals in January when I really didn’t have a total clue of what I was doing for the year, I knew the revenue goals that I wanted to hit.
And so, it’s really interesting that through COVID and through a crazy election, we’ve still been able to hit our goals and bring on team members, and all those things. So you could probably hear from my answer is that I don’t typically set a ton of goals. I have found that it tends to almost put a false reality in my perspective on things. And it doesn’t take into a ton of perspective all of these life events things that could be happening, like COVID, like an election, like Black Lives Matter, like virtual learning, like all these other things.
I’m glad that I set the goals that I did, revenue-wise, however, I didn’t even know the offer that I was going to be creating for this year. So that just, again, goes to show you that I think I allow for, because my business is pretty simple, and maybe why Erin asked me to be on the show is I allow for my systems to do the work so that I can connect and collaborate, and allow the opportunities to guide me in the days, weeks, and months.
I’ve become a lot more rigid about that, now later in the year, now I have a team that you can’t just go run off the rails, but so we’re getting this more in place. And so again, if I’m falling short of my goals, I recognize that it’s not the end all be all, the more that you internalize when you don’t meet your goals, the worse it becomes.
I’ve literally offered 30 different offers in my four years of business. There were some fails in there, for sure. Fails as in zero or one person bought fails. And had I stopped because of that a lot of this amazingness that’s come wouldn’t have happened. So I think the biggest thing I would love for you to take away with is to not beat yourself up if you fall short in your goals and it’s important to pick yourself back up and try something new, or try it again with some educated course corrections, right?
So that’s what I would say about goal setting. And if you want to connect with me more, then go to my website, systemssavedme.com or find me on Instagram at systemssavedme.
Hi, this is Katelyn, and I’m an online business manager helping you go from overwhelmed to out in front. I set goals in my business on a yearly and monthly basis. I love to have a big picture plan to work towards and that big vision that scares me a little bit to be able to push me. And then, I break that down into monthly goals as to what I want to achieve.
So sometimes they’re strictly revenue-focused, other times it is a certain number of clients, or different service offerings that I want to reach. For example, if I want to sell two to three intensives a month, and then I want to maintain a client load of four to five clients, and then if I’m working on a new service offering, for example, I just started offering business coaching and building that out, how many clients do I want to have on my plate at one time as well?
So not just revenue goals, but also growth goals, in terms of my business and the services that I offer, and how I want to expand and grow throughout the year. So I think having your sales plan for the year built out and looking at, “Okay, I’m going to be offering this here. I’m going to be running this here. I want to have this many clients or hit this number here,” is important as a whole, especially from your revenue perspective as well, but then breaking that down into looking at the different quarters of the year, or different seasons of your life or your business.
So for me, I’m about to be a new mom. So I’m looking at, what do I want to accomplish in Q1? Because that is my time before baby, and then where do I want to be in Q2 and Q3? How can I work on creating maybe passive offers that will still propel me forward in terms of revenue growth, but will require less of my time present in that timeframe?
So you have to look at your seasons of life and figure out what fits where, what makes sense. Maybe when your kids are home for the summer, you take a step back a little bit more to be more present with them, but during the school year you kick it into full gear.
So I always tell my clients to set goals that are realistic but also stretch you, because you want to have a stretch point, but you also need to look at your responsibilities, and your schedule, and your life, and figure out how that can all fit in.
So for me, I do a monthly check-in with myself, see if I’ve hit those goals. I have a tracker that I use to just analyze where I’m at, analyze my growth. I rely on my team to also provide me some of those metrics, and that allows me to see where I’m at at all of those points in my business and go back to the goals I set at the beginning of the year and see where I’m at.
So I encourage you to write them down, put them in your task management tool, put them in a note, put them somewhere maybe you’ll see them. And then, make a note, a to-do, to check in with yourself once a month, I use Asana to check in on my tasks for the week and the month, and set a recurring task to check in with yourself on your goals. And that will keep you honest and keep you moving and tracking forward. So I would encourage you to do that as well, and again, look at those goals each day to push you to reach those big ones.
So if you want more information from me, you can find me online at www.K-A-T-E-L-Y-N-E-H-A-M-I-L-T-O-N.com. That’s katelynehamilton.com or on Instagram at katelynehamilton.
Hey, it’s Megan from Megan minns.com and I am a life and business coach for online business owners. And when it comes to setting goals in my business and tracking progress and monitoring my progress towards those goals, one of my favorite things to do, and what I help all of my clients do, is create 90-day goals and projects around your 90-day goal.
I’m a big believer that planning beyond 90 days is not a good use of your time because the truth is that so much changes after 90 days, and honestly, even within three months, a lot can change. So it’s really hard to accurately and efficiently plan beyond 90 days because ultimately those plans will change. So I focus on the next 90 days, the next 12 to 13 weeks, and I start by setting some good, better, best goals.
If you’re not familiar with the good, better, best system, it’s just choosing basically three levels of a goal, your good goal, what you would be really happy, would feel supportive, that you’d make the money you need. Better would be really, really exciting, so much momentum, big accomplishment as a team. And then, your best goal is the blow your mind, can’t believe it, super exciting goal.
I find that this good, better, best system is really helpful for business owners and visionaries like us who need that exciting, big, crazy goal to feel motivated, but then having a good and better goal is helpful for your team to stay motivated and to understand actual expectations.
So I do that for every 90 days. I set good, better, best goals. One of them is always a financial goal, and then we identify some other key metrics for the next 90 days, whether it’s applicants for our Empowered CEO program, or a various other stat that we are focused on for the next 90 days.
We set good, better, best for each of those, and then we are actually tracking our stats every single week so that we can compare that to the projections of where we should be versus where we are, and if we keep at the current pace where we’ll end up. So that is some good spreadsheet magic, some good formulas in place, that allow us to see the context of our weekly metrics, but we look at those every single week.
So my assistant updates our data before our Monday afternoon meeting, and then every time we get on our weekly team meeting, we actually look at the data and we draw conclusions based on where we’re at in the 90 days, where we’re at with our projects, where we’re expecting ourselves to be, and if we need to make any adjustments, we have that conversation together as a team on our weekly team meeting.
So what I would recommend for you is if you aren’t already setting good, better, best goals, I would love for you to experiment with that and see how it feels for you and your team as well, because I have found it to be a really fun way to have goals that are inspiring and meaningful without necessarily getting caught up on, did I hit or not hit my goal? So that has been really great for us.
So I’d love for you to try doing a good, better, best goal-setting system, and then start identifying those key metrics that are important and relevant for your 90-day goals and projects and starting to track them and look at them every single week.
I hope this helps. I would love for you to go to our website, meganminns.com, where you can learn more about how I help online business owners scale and run their online business, and I would hope to connect with you on Instagram as well over at megan_minns. See you there.
Hi everybody. This is Quinn Tempest, founder of Create Your Purpose and all over colorful gal. So how do I set goals in my business, and track progress, and even course-correct when I might be falling short on those goals?
Well, I like to use a framework that you may be familiar with, maybe not. It’s called OKRs which means objectives and key results. So really what I like to do is, on a quarterly basis, and by the way, I do this with the members in my community, so I have a lot of accountability which really helps, instead of just trying to do it on your own.
So every quarter I set up to three major objectives. Any more than that, your energy starts to get split up and spread out and you can’t really actually make progress. And oftentimes I don’t need three, so maybe I just have one really big honker of an objective, and that’s the one that I want to focus on that quarter. And these are things that help me move forward and make magic in my business.
So I set up to three objectives in my business. For example, right now, one of my biggest objectives is to move away from 100% client services. So I really want to reduce, within the next year, my client services web design branding strategy to about 25% of my income. I’m already a good way there, but I have some room to grow.
So under that objective, I actually focus on, what are the initiatives that I need to do in order to meet this objective? So for example, one of the things that will help me move away from that is creating a one-day intensive, so something a little bit different than a long-term service-based project, and something more focused in one day.
And then, it comes down to measurement. So how do I actually track that I’m making progress? For me, it has to be something number-based. So for example, that might be attending a seminar on VIP days and intensives, which I actually did. Also, it might be writing out the contract for my first VIP day, actually creating the content for my website page.
So you can see that there’s numbers mapped with actions. So one finished website page, one attended seminar, two drafts of the copy, et cetera, et cetera. And then, in order to make sure that I’m making progress towards these goals, or if I’m falling short, I also do a monthly reflection process. So it’s a little bit shorter and a little bit more, I guess, reflective is the best way to say it than the quarterly planning.
It’s much more about checking in with myself, looking at my numbers, but also looking at how I feel, because it’s really important for me and my business to like what I’m doing, to actually enjoy myself. Because for so long, my business used to feel like, honestly, a drag. So doing this quarterly planning helps me think big picture, and then my monthly reflection allows me to check in with myself, be honest and make sure I’m still enjoying what I’m doing.
So that’s a little bit about how I set goals and track progress, and I recommend to anyone to come up with some kind of structure that you can follow that doesn’t feel overwhelming yet helps you create sustainable progress. I know it can be really scary to follow your purpose and follow this thread of excitement and hope that it’s going to be profitable someday.
So feel free if anything resonated with you, or if you have questions, DM me. I am on Instagram way too much, so feel free, come find me. I am at quinn.tempest. You’re going to see a lot of colorful photos and murals. So feel free, DM me. I’m here for you.
Hey, you guys, it’s Alisha Robertson, business coach and founder of livingoverexisting.com. So when it comes to setting goals in my business, I actually start off with my big vision. So every single year I sit down and I create a big vision, or you can call it a vision board, of what it is I want to accomplish throughout that year.
Once I have that solid vision, and most of this vision is compiled of any projects that I want to launch during that year, any big marketing campaigns that I’ve been having my eye on that I’ve been wanting to try out, and especially income and growth goals. So how much money do I want to make for the year, and then also how much growth do I want to see in my business?
So once I have that big vision set up, I then break that vision down into either quarterly or monthly goals, so that means picking out a few of those goals from that big vision and then saying, “Okay, this is what I’m going to tackle in Q1. This is what I want to tackle in Q2,” and so forth. So once I have those goals on the calendar of when I want to tackle those, and I usually prioritize them depending on the season.
So if it’s something that I know I launch every single summer, then I build everything around that, so that’s how I put things on my calendar. But after I have my big goals on my calendar, I also sit down and think out what action steps I’m going to have to take in order to hit those goals.
And I keep all of this in both my power sheets that I use from Cultivate What Matters, and then also in my notion template as well. So I have it both physically and online for me to see, but I write out action steps of what I need to do in order to hit that goal. I think that’s one thing that a lot of entrepreneurs miss the mark on is they set these big goals, but they don’t actually create a plan for how they want to hit these goals, and I am definitely guilty of that myself.
So what has helped me is just really writing really specific action steps for how I’m going to hit those goals. And then what I do is I space out those action steps and put them in my planner, as far as like, “Okay, this week I’m going to tackle this action step,” or “This day I’m going to tackle this action step.”
And at the end of every week, so on Sundays is when I sit down and plan for the week ahead. So on Sundays, I sit down and I look at, what goals have I accomplished or what action steps have I accomplished? How many more action steps I have left in order to hit that big goal that I’ve been planning on. So I do that weekly is where I check in.
And then also, I check in at the end of the month too. So I do a big monthly overview and I see, “Okay, how far am I from hitting my income goal for the month?” Or, “How far am I from hitting my growth goal for the month?” And then, I also go look back at that action plan that I created. So I look back and see what I planned versus what I actually completed.
And this is where I have to give myself some grace, especially with so much I have going on as a mom, and a wife, and a business owner, and all these things, I do have to give myself some grace and say, “Okay, if I didn’t complete this action step this month, how can I either rework it to where I’m making it more of a priority going into the next month, or where can I fit this action step going into this new month that we are moving into?”
So giving myself a lot of grace, or giving yourself a lot of grace, I would say is the biggest takeaway I want you to get from this because things happen. You probably have a lot going on just like the rest of us, so don’t beat yourself up if one month you fall off from working on that plan to hitting your big goal.
But whenever I sit down and look at my goals and I sit down and look at the actual work that I’ve been doing, that really helps me to create a plan moving forward. And it also lets me know what needs to be adjusted, what I can maybe try differently, or where can I fit this goal in at another point of the year so that I am not just completely overwhelming or stressing myself out?
All right, you guys, I hope that helps. If you would like to learn more about me or follow me, you can find me at livingoverexisting.com, or you can follow me on Instagram, over at thealishanicole.
Hey, it’s Erin again. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to set goals in my business, but I find the best way is to start with the big picture.
Where do you want to be in a year? Work backwards from there. But don’t plan quarter 4 down to the minute, things will change as the year goes. Remember 2020? Yeah…
Instead, I decide where I want to be in a year, make note of big events I have planned for the next year–vacations, maternity leave, big launches, those kinds of things, and then plan my first quarter. ONLY.
When you work in 90-day chunks, you’re able to make progress toward your goals. 90 days is long enough to achieve some big things, but not so long that you procrastinate. You’re motivated to get things done. This works really well for me. Even if things start to feel like a slog, it’s only 90 days!
Each month I track my metrics as they relate to my 90-day goals. Your metrics will vary based on your goals, but for example, if I have a goal of making $25,000/month, I can track my monthly progress and see what products or services I sold the most of, and how much money they brought in. Then I know where to focus my efforts for the following month.
And each week I sit down and make a plan. I breakdown my monthly goals (which are a breakdown of my 90-day goals, which are a breakdown of my annual goals) into what I need to get done that week. But not just what, HOW I’m going to do it. The how is so important, without a how, you can’t get anything done.
An example might be that I want to enroll two new students into the Shortcut which is my program for creative entrepreneurs who want to work less and live more. To do that, I might seek out ten people who have expressed interest and I think would be a good fit but they haven’t joined yet. I’ll engage with them, in a non-spammy way, on Instagram. To do the engagement, I set aside 30 minutes each day to actually have conversations with them, and see if the Shortcut is a good fit, and if it is, invite them to it.
That engagement gets scheduled, and I make sure I stick to it each day. That sounds kind of clinical and cold, but if I didn’t schedule it, I would just keep pushing it off until “tomorrow” and it would never happen. You have to make a plan and stick to it, or you won’t reach your goals.
My takeaway for you is to break your big goals into 90 day plans and break those plans into daily and weekly action items. That way you’ll keep moving towards your goals.
I go way more in-depth into how I set and achieve goals inside the Shortcut, so if you want to reach your goals this year, head to outofofficeentrepreneur.com/shortcut now to join!