It’s easy to show up to work every day, but with no sense of direction.
It’s also just as easy to set an arbitrary goal at the start of the year, and not really understand WHY you set the goal or know HOW to achieve it.
When setting a goal, you’ve got to be specific. I’m not going to talk about SMART goals here, as I bet you already know about those. The specifics I’m talking about are “WHY” your goal is important to you.
I encourage business owners I work with to focus on financial goals because they are easy to measure throughout and at the end of the year. Also, money means you can do things like take holidays, pay your mortgage, put food on the table, spend quality time with your children and occasionally buy them new shoes.
Simply put, those things I mentioned are the reason why your goal is important to you.
…and when times get tough because they will, you can always reach deep into your WHY pocket and use that energy to help push you over those humps.
But why are there humps?
Humps happen in business because there’s not always immediate feedback to tell you whether you’re going to hit your goal or not.
It’s a bit like going to the gym.
You go to the gym knowing that you want to get fitter/thinner/stronger – your reason why – and push everything to one side to get the results…for you.
You wouldn’t go to the gym for 3 days, look in the mirror, not see any results and then quit.
No! You know it will be 2-3 weeks before you start FEELING fitter, and 4-6 weeks before you can SEE the results.
These are what we call LEAD and LAG indications.
A LEAD indicator is measured by the number and consistency of the visits to the gym. A LAG indicator is the results you can see 4-6 weeks down the line once you’ve visited the gym enough times.
To achieve your goals, you’ll need to work out what the LEAD and LAG indicators for your business.
To give you an example, imagine you run a copywriting business, and you’ve set yourself a target to earn £50,000 in the next year.
Each client gives you approximately £5,000 per year across a number of projects. This means you need to create 10 new clients this year.
Google’s whitepaper (now a book) called Zero Moments of Truth highlighted 3 numbers…
With their gazillion bits of data Google recommend the following:
70 calls/conversations will LEAD to…
10 sales consultations which will LEAD to…
2 new clients (the LAG indicator).
If you start measuring the LEAD indicators (conversations and consultation) and hit those regularly then you stand a much better chance of getting the sales.
Or put another way.
Imagine you get to the end of the month and you’ve only got one new client. There’s nothing you can do right now to influence that number, up or down.
But on the other hand, you’re 2 weeks into a month and you’ve only started 20 conversations. Your LEAD indicators are telling you you’re already behind.
Now you have a choice; you can either give up, stop going to the gym and submit to the fact you may not get 2 new clients this month.
Or you can think of the holiday and the kid’s shoes, knuckle down, and hustle to start 50 more conversations before the month is over.