One of the most-requested coaching topics I have encountered is for goal-setting. People often know what they want but have a hard time seeing a path. I have experienced this myself in a massive way these past two year and had a great opportunity to ‘practice what I preach.’ What I have found in the past few years is a shift in who is hiring me. In addition to individual coaching clients, businesses have sought me out for employee coaching and training. Along with those two topics came the obvious third request for help…consulting. It has been a very natural and organic progression. About a year ago, I made the decision to go with the direction of the wind. In the words of Jimmy Dean, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
Adjusting my sails to go where I am being led meant a transformation of my business. I set a goal of one year to launch Harney Business Group and planned backwards from there. A year may seem like a long time but it was actually a realistic goal when one considers all that needs to be done to launch a new business. It started with a vision for what could be. From there, we did a lot of brainstorming and researching. About six months into the plan, we were ready to put our thoughts on paper. Once we had a massive task-list, we began to prioritize that list. At the top of the list were writing our business plan; choosing a business name (the hardest task by far); and hiring someone to do a logo and website. Each of these jobs was assigned to either my business partner or me and given a due date. My partner and I had weekly meetings to check in with each other and discuss the status of each task. We also met with people who had expertise in areas we did not – business plans, logos and websites to name a few.
I used the following steps of goal-setting to achieve my goal:
- Know/decide what you want through research, investigation and discernment.
- Break the end goal into manageable pieces. Use the umbrella method. It works like this…if your goal is to ‘get my finances straightened out’ that is a pretty lofty goal. The umbrella, or over-arching goal, is to ‘get my finances straightened out’. Underneath that umbrella are several sub-goals such as setting a budget, starting a savings account and choosing investments for retirement.
- Brainstorm all of the tasks associated with the end goal, ensuring the goal is SMART – Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant to your life and Time-bound (in other words, has a due date).
- Begin to add date, time and details to each task. Research and investigation will be necessary throughout.
- Lean on your support network for help.