Aug 08 2011

NO PLAN TO PLAN?

What Makes You Think

                                           

You Can Wing It?

 

 Farmers, carpenters, doctors, lawyers, firefighters, pilots, seamstresses, stylists, realtors, even Cub Scouts do it.

                                                                  

So what makes you think that you can wing it? Now I’m not talking any hundred-page document with 37 pull-out spreadsheets and an annotated bibliography featuring a gazillion itemized resources. Who cares? I’m talking about an Entrepreneurial Action Plan.

Yes a plan of any kind needs a goal.

                                                      

And that goal has to be realistic and specific and flexible and due-dated. If it’s not all four of those criteria, it’s not a goal, it’s a wish. Wishing may work in Disneyland, but business success comes from taking action. Taking action without a goal-based action plan is like trying to control a rudderless ship in a storm.

Your Entrepreneurial Action Plan

                                                                  

Like any good news release, your Action Plan must answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? And be realistic, specific, flexible and due-dated. It’s always a worthy endeavor to include a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement at the beginning of your plan to set the stage.

A quick market assessment, a marketing plan, a management approach and/or team lineup, an operational outline and a financial plan and projections — that all answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? (and that are realistic, specific, flexible, and due-dated) will do the trick.    

                                                                                                          

Is this over-simplified?

                                                                    

No. It’s actually very simple. An Entrepreneurial Action Plan is simple and quick to execute. It is not a formal business plan. Many of the same ingredients are in both, but business plans are primarily done for the purpose of raising investor or lender money. Action Plans are to get things going, and build momentum; they are not fancy.

An Entrepreneurial Action Plan can be scribbled on the back of a large envelope.

                                                                     

It is definitely not for the feint-hearted crossed-t-dotted-i perfectionists or analysis-paralysis corporate types. The best results come from those who chunk up their plans and adjust them frequently. This doesn’t take thousands of hours or a rocket science degree. Oh, and what a great amnd illuminating collection the saved scribbles make.

BUT your Action Plan does need to capture.

                                                          

It needs to capture the five “W” questions and one “H” question above, and it does need to target goals that are realistic, specific, flexible, and due-dated. Otherwise, you are captaining a rudderless ship in a storm, and are bound to have schools of lawyers circling you, closing in for the kill.

Yes, put it in your pocket, not a spiral-bound or 3-ring binder.

                                                                        

It’s a working document for the day, week, or month. I do daily scribbled Action Plans for each blog post. I do weekly versions for my writing/consulting/marketing business. In the end, it’s all about why you are an entrepreneur in the first place . . . to make your idea work by exercising the freedom to continually adjust it.

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Hal@Businessworks.US

 Open Minds Open Doors

 Thanks for visiting.     God bless you.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone

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Feb 26 2011

Are You Conscious or Unconscious?

IN LEADERSHIP, SALES, AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP . . .

                                               

It’s NOT Consciousness

                                     

vs. Unconsciousness

                                      

It’s how you make them

                              

work together!

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                 

I just received an email from Dr. Royston Flude in Switzerland, a long-time friend and past business consulting associate. Our connection dates back to the “Dot Gone Revolution,” to Internet business management and writing interests we shared at that time in New York.

Dr. Flude, I might best categorize as a global futurist. He has one foot planted firmly in the pursuit of scientific discovery and applications to life and business management, and the other planted firmly in the universes of prayer, consciousness, and human behavior. More details available at www.cmdc-spoc.org

Royston tells me he has been working on “the impact of Consciousness and its therapeutic outcomes.” Related to that, he notes he “can confirm the power of a strong self-worth and prayer” and that he is conducting some research in the U.S. on the outcomes associated with the use of therapy dogs . . . these are all issues I have strong evidence of personally.

___________________________ 

Last week, someone sent me a video of a presentation given by one of my most admired and respected writers, Malcolm Gladwell (Blink, Tipping Point, What The Dog Saw, plus a zillion awards for his magazine and newspaper work as an imaginative investigative journalist).

In the video, Gladwell said his latest writing project is about “Taking the Unconscious Seriously” and relates that topic to relying on first impressions and snap judgments (particularly in war, dating, marriage, and police work) . . . quite a mix, but also concepts that I have strong evidence of personally.

___________________________

So, “conscious” and “unconscious” stuff has occupied much of my conscious and unconscious mind today.

Here’s where I’ve ended up:

                                                         

In business — 

Reliance on the UNconscious mind is what separates most corporate existence from most entrepreneurial ventures. The UNconscious mind is the trigger for creative development and the delivery of innovative thoughts and actions. It is also the trigger for sales inasmuch as it is most closely tied to emotional responses and emotional buying motives.

The UNconscious mind, however, is only as effective as it has the potential to be, when it is launched from a platform of Consciousness, and regularly serviced by an element of conscious control.

In other words, to make the most of most business problem/opportunity dynamics, the Conscious mind must assess, goal-set, and strategize with a thinking approach that’s logical, rational and unemotional before unleashing the UNconscious pursuits of tactics designed to implement the strategies to reach the objectives or goals.

But, ah, it’s not that simple: Booster shots of Consciousness in the Unconscious process, and vice versa, attest to the need to be (as Thoreau once urged) “forever on the alert.” It’s rare –if ever– one would simply use one tool , then drop it to use the next. Ah, consciously, that is.

To complicate matters even further, consider whether it can be possible for instantaneous “instinctive” decisions (which often seem the best) to come straight out of shoot-from-the-hip, knee-jerk, UNconscious mindsets that directly bypass Consciousness?

The solution: Like the creative wood-design carpenter who keeps a tape measure on her or his belt or in a pocket, keep Consciousness and Unconsciousness both, at the tip of your tongue, and at the edge of your mind. Why? There’s never just one way to look at any business situation.

And then there are those times when you simply need to let go of rational thinking and trust your SELF, your UNconscious judgments, and your prayers. 

                                                  

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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Feb 14 2011

Mind Your Own Business!

Failure to achieve

                 

can often be traced to

                                        

one’s own big mouth.

 

 

What’s the old German expression? “Vee ist too soon alt und too late schmart!” (…or something like that). Well, combine that truth with the tendency most of us have to shoot off our mouths about what we expect to achieve —often before we even get started— and what have we got? A situation in which we are too late being smart enough to realize we should have kept our goals to ourselves.

Other than a genuinely-shared pact with your soul mate or trusted long-term business partner, it’s just not ever a good idea to tell anyone else about what it is that you’re aiming to achieve. Others are not in your shoes and do not have the same energy or confidence levels. You, after all, own or operate or run or manage or partner in a business. You’re an entrepreneur.

Many others (including some close to you) may –for down-deep-inside resentment– simply not want you to succeed, and will discourage and undermine your efforts. For whatever their reasons, don’t allow those confrontations to occur. Keep your goals secret.

Perhaps you believe you have personal and or business “goals” in mind. I would respectfully suggest that the odds may not be very great that these pursuits are worthwhile. The truth is that all of history has proven goals are only worthy of pursuit to start with if they meet all five of the following criteria:

GOALS MUST BE

  • Specific

  • Flexible

  • Realistic

  • Due-Dated

  • In Writing

If what you’ve been thinking are meaningful personal or business goals, and they don’t measure up to solidly meeting five out of five of these requirements, they are not goals. They are wishes. Wishes are what people who wrap their lives around “hope” end up with. Wishing and hoping are the empty promises that empty people make to themselves and others. “Fantasizing” isn’t “taking action”!

Not only are each of us at the doorstep of success when we choose to quietly set and work toward goals that are specific, flexible, realistic, and due-dated, we can also measure the sincerity of others’ intents by applying these criteria to what we see them attempting to do with the major life tasks that face them. And from that kind of assessment, we can often determine another’s integrity.

Say, for example, a customer tilts his head, shrugs, faces his palms to the sky and says, “Sorry we’re taking our business elsewhere; it’s strictly a money decision; nothing personal; your prices are just too high for us; we can pay offshore operations half of your costs for the same results!”

This is a knee-jerk, marketplace-ignited decision. Otherwise, you’d be hearing about quality and service and deadlines and willingness to work out payment terms and exact shipments involved. A customer who simply up and leaves with an armful of flimsy excuses was probably never a good customer in the first place, right?.

Replace him with one that demonstrates by her attitude and conduct and the choices she makes that she is working with goals. You don’t need to know another’s goals or share yours. But when you look below the surface of smiles and handshakes and illusionist promotions, you’ll see that those who set and function with goals behave in certain committed ways. You know the difference.

These are the business and professional people

to choose to associate with.

They make the best customers and partners and investors and employees because relationships start from a position of honorability and support for one another in traveling on the high road. More quality work gets done more often, and besides moving in more profitable directions, it’s also more fun.

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Hal@BusinessWorks.US

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals!

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Oct 13 2010

BUZZ YOUR BUSINESS

Tooting Your Own Horn

                                                     

Starts With Having A Horn!

                                                                                                                                             

 

Simple, right? Wrong. Unless you are or have retained an expert writer and marketing professional, finding the right horn to toot can be a daunting task.

It means first having a Creative Action Plan and Production Action Plan built on Goals that are specific, flexible, realistic, and due-dated. Consider what must be done just to get that far.

Begin your Action Plan with a Branding Theme. (Best are seven words or less that tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an ending, and that are persuasive!)

Find an experienced pro for this part of the journey, or be prepared to spend much more time than you could ever imagine…and still not have good odds for success.  

Integrate that Theme as the central focus of your Elevator Speech (a persuasive 30-second verbal presentation of what you do/sell/offer, as well as underscoring the benefits of purchase or ownership).

It needs to answer the two questions: What’s the deal? and What’s in it for me?)  

                                                                                                                                                        

Compose an ongoing series of news releases and feature articles that dramatically emphasize and highlight your Elevator Speech. Distribute your releases to hand-picked target media people.

Follow up with strong, respectful, helpful, and pleasantly assertive media relations efforts.

Follow up with more news releases, and more media relations, followed by more news releases and more media relations, followed by more news releases and more media relations, followed by more news releases, followed by more media relations… 

Just as research proves that management training program participants typically fail to retain what they “learn” after only 21 days without some significant reminders and ongoing reinforcement…your news release target market will also fail to recall your “story” within 21 days, unless you reinforce it continually.

In other words, for PR to work, it needs to be an ongoing commitment, not a “one-night stand” or “overnight sensation” announcement.

  • You can try this yourself, but be prepared for rejection and misrepresented messages.
  • You can hire a professional PR firm, but be prepared to spend $5,000 to $25,000 a month in fees, plus expenses.
  • Or, you can find a “one-man-band” type professional who knows how to play the PR game and who will represent your interests for $1,500 to $4,500 a month.

Your PR efforts will produce a level of “BUZZ” (this century’s name for “word-of-mouth” advertising), and that BUZZ becomes your horn. Toot it on your website! Happy Tooting!

 

302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Sep 14 2010

ENTREPRENEURS REHAB

Your business has just been 

                                               

beaten up. NOW what?????

 

The Small Business ER. Paperwork. Name? Date of birth? sole proprietorship, Sub-S or LLC? Address? History of ailments? Next of kin? Organ donor? 

The Business Doctor. A diagnostic work-up. What seems to be the problem? Take a deep breath! http://bit.ly/bo3ZJy Where does it hurt? Let’s see – does this hurt? 

What did you do, get mugged on the way to a sales presentation?

No insurance? Hmmmm. Ah, Helen, let’s see if we can slide this business in under some kind of federal coverage — maybe one of those stimulus plans?

Sooooo, the good news is you’re not gonna die from this. Take your business home, ice it, give it aspirin and lots of rest; keep the bank loans floating, drink prune juice and call me in the morning.

In the meantime, I’m giving you a rehab prescription — you’ll need physical and mental therapy both, but it may only be for six months to a year.

If by then, things haven’t straightened out, we’ll need to do some MRIs and consider a frontal lobotomy, or we may decide it’s just best for you to simply fold your venture and go to work for the government or a large corporation …which would be something like a lobotomy anyway.

Someone here to drive you? Good. You should feel better in a year or two. Have a great day! 

 

Yuh! Well, things could be worse, said the bloated cow that hadn’t been milked for three days.

The point is that very little compares with the mental anguish, and painful feelings associated with your business taking a beating at the hands of incompetent government agencies, overly-aggressive industry or professional competition, the two-faced-forked-tongue media, the IRS, or your cousin Vinny.

But YOU are an ENTREPRENEUR! Everybody calls you that. You have a reputation to uphold. You’re a free spirit. Nothing gets you down (well, almost nothing).

So the bottom line is that it’s time to get up off the floor (or examination room gurney) and pick up the pieces and set some new goals that are realistic, specific, flexible, and have a due date. http://bit.ly/95XCJN

Yes, it’s true that entrepreneurs typically do not like to plan anything, but the point here is that when your business and/or business ideas have been assaulted, and you’re thinking about chucking it all and heading for the islands, you need to PLAN.

Most recoveries of any type do not generally occur miraculously. They take planning. http://bit.ly/c4puBz Just as you set goals for yourself when you started your business, set them anew for making a recovery.

You CAN do this.

You know why? Because it’s a choice! http://bit.ly/9GydiP 

 

www.TWWsells.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 
Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Aug 28 2010

CHASING BUSINESS DREAMS

Sounds like a plan . . .

 

There’s something in your mind that you

want to go after and try to make happen?

                                         

You’ve been dreaming about it for, it seems, forever. You’ve been careful about not telling too many others, but those you do mention it to give you the same 3-way response: a “that’s nice” smile, an agreeable nod of the head, and a pointed effort to steer the conversation in a different direction. They humor you. They don’t get it.

If you’re in big business or government work, those responses are enough to douse your fire. You get second and third thoughts and then back away and abandon your idea. You’re too invested in your own job security to dabble with ideas that will preoccupy your mind and lead you too far astray from your 401k and pension plan payoffs when you retire in twenty years.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t much care what anybody says, nor with whether they “get it” or not. You’re going to make your idea work regardless of the odds, the opinions, the financial insecurities associated with developing things to a startup stage, and beyond. Retirement and payoffs –even profits from sales– are the farthest thing from your mind.

The corporate executives and government administrators measure their innovative thinking in terms of whether the ideas they come up with fit into the grand scheme of long-term and strategic plans that blanket the organizations they serve. Entrepreneurs innovate without plans. Entrepreneurs have goals. They seek only the “end-result” of making their ideas work.

The odds for reaching a destination point are dramatically increased when goal-setting meets certain requirements and, once acknowledged, the focus is on each step that leads to the goal —- instead of on the goal itself.

                                       

For goals to be meaningful, they must satisfy all four of these criteria:

 they must be realistic, specific, flexible, and have a due date.

                              

Many people give up on goal-setting because they don’t want to feel like failures if a goal is not achieved. If it’s flexible, that won’t happen. Flexible goals can be redefined and be given new dimensions and new due dates. A goal in concrete is not a goal; it’s just a pile of concrete. Those fear-of-failure folks also need to be reminded that fear is a behavior, and behavior . . . is a choice! 

Those who think they have goals, but don’t adhere to all four criteria, have only wishes. And wishes only work for Disney characters!

Reality dictates that what “Sounds like a plan” rarely ever is, and what trys to pose as a goal without being specific, realistic, flexible and due-dated is simply a self-absorbing waste of time and energy, and often of money. Reality calls for disciplined action backed by burning desire. Reality is the stuff entrepreneurs are made of.

Entrepreneurs, some would argue, don’t plan; they just act. This is often true when it comes to describing the ways entrepreneurs appear to function in their business activities, but when it comes to getting started, and their daily pursuits, those who are most successful will inevitably point to having and constantly adjusting genuine goals to make their ideas work! Sounds like a plan, eh?  

                                   

 Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Aug 24 2010

DO YOUR ADS GRAB, WIN, LURK, OR SUCK?

Do your business messages 

                                                    

reach out and grab? 

 

Do they win meaningless awards?

Or do they just lurk quietly in the

shadows, sucking their thumbs?

                                            

Time and again , the slick-talking, 3-piece-suit, hot-shot marketing and ad agency “experts” came swooping and swaggering down into small town America from big city America, and stuck it to star-struck, bedazzled small business owners who learned the hard way that all that’s written doesn’t sell!”

                                                                    

Do your business sales messages sell? Have you been blaming the economy, the competition, the weather and your spouse for lousy words that simply don’t cut it?

Do the words and images your business uses to sell your products and services reach out and grab your ideal prospects and turn them into loyal customers? Or do they stand timidly in the shadows of your business entrance, with their thumbs stuck in their mouths, muttering quietly to themselves about how great your company is?

                                                              

If your words aren’t getting the job done, you have a copywriting catastrophe, and you are paying dearly for it!

                                                                   

If the words you are using to market, promote, publicize and advertise your business are not attracting attention, creating interest, stimulating desire, prompting action, and promoting satisfaction, you have a copywriting catastrophe. And you are paying dearly for it with more money, time, and effort than your business can afford.

First, you have to ask yourself if the person or entity who’s creating and producing your business messages has the right kind of skill, experience, and attitude to put you front and center on the competitive stage you most want to dominate — your neighborhood, your community, your state, region, industry, profession, nation, planet, or cyberspace.

Next, you need to outline or bulletpoint your goal issues. Be specific, flexible, realistic, and have a deadline.

Then go shopping. But battle-hardened advice would suggest that you avoid flashy Las Vegas-style or upscale “boutique” organizations that ooze out of high rent districts in favor of down-home, in-the-trenches wordsmiths with lots of business background (but not necessarily in your specific industry or business specialty), lots of diverse success stories, and a clear positive attitude.

You want a person or team that is more interested in making sales for you than in winning awards for her/him/themselves. You want a person or team that sees the long-term promise of a relationship with your business and is willing to put a meaningful chunk of fee compensation on a performance incentive basis. A bonus for demonstrated results puts a fire under most butts.

Great copywriting will do more than win sales. It can ignite innovative thinking and create revenue streams. It can reassure existing customers while bringing new ones to your door. It can motivate employees and suppliers alike. The right words can renew. revitalize and pump up entrepreneurial spirits. But, sorry, they can’t make your coffee for you. Cream and sugar?

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302.933.0116    Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

2 responses so far

Dec 30 2009

2010 MISSION OR 20/20 VISION??

Is Your Vision Statement A Mission?

                                                    

Does Your Mission Statement

                                                      

Have Vision?

                                                                               

You’re getting ready for 2010 and you’re confused?

Gee, hard to imagine.

Just because the media and politicians tell us the economy is getting better? Just because we’re looking at a healthcare reform proposal that has absolutely nothing to do with healthcare? Just because enemy combatant terrorist situations surface from circumstances that we’re assured do not exist? Just because global warming hoaxsters had us running to refrigeration investments? 

     We’re probably feeling like confusion is nothing new, right? So why not live with a little more? 

     Well, here’s why: The business you own or manage doesn’t need to be as misguided and convoluted as politicians and the media. Remember they get paid for creating confusion. Your success depends on keeping things simple.

     Keeping things simple starts with attitude, awareness, and hard work.

     First off, don’t let anyone tell you to work smarter and not harder. That’s baloney! Every business success comes from hard work. Next, don’t let people confuse you about the characteristics and values of Mission and Vision Statements. [No, they are NOT the same!]

     A Mission statement is essentially a declaration of intent, challenge and pursuit. It is your goal statement that clearly and succinctly explains what you plan to accomplish over what specific period of time and by what means. It is action-focused.

     And, like every meaningful goal, your Mission Statement needs t0 be specific, flexible, realistic and have a due date. [Without all four criteria, you’ve nothing more than a wishlist fantasy!] 

     A Vision statement is a summation of where you see your business in 5-10 years. It is a picture you paint in your mind and share with others. It answers the question: If you succeed in your mission, where will you be?

     It’s a set of words that best describes what you imagine to be your future state of existence, and how you expect (hope) to be viewed by others: your employees, associates, vendors, customers, markets, industry or profession, and community. It is dream-focused. It’s primary value is to inspire pursuit of your Mission. 

What’s your Mission for 2010? What’s your Vision for 2020?

     Oh, and in the same fashion that it helps to start ANY mission with 20/20 vision, it is often most useful to put your 2020 Vision on the table (to keep focused on it) while you develop your 2010 Mission (or while you think up the ways to get where you want to end up).  

More on 2010 “LEADERSHIP”? Come visit me and comment on my Guest Blog post at TBD Consulting’s Jonena Relth’s site http://bit.ly/XhN1h

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Reply Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US (Subject: “Blog”) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day!  Blog FREE via list-protected RSS email OR $.99/mo Amazon Kindle. Branding Line Exercise: 7Word Story (under RSS). GREAT GIFT:new Nightengale Press book THE ART OF GRANDPARENTING http://bit.ly/3nDlGF

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Jun 04 2009

Motivation: REWARDING FAILURE

Action In Pursuit Of

                                         

Meaningful Goals

                                                                               

Delivers Success

                                                                             

     Much has been made in motivational literature about the wisdom of rewarding those employees who have tried and failed—solving, launching, selling, creating, producing, developing, inventing—cited often as a best practices reverse-psychology hallmark of many of the human resource management approaches used by the same big business catastrophes that have dragged down the entire global economy 

     The point of this thinking is that by mollycoddling people who can’t cut the mustard, these non-performers will inevitably produce more positive results when you continually reward them with an “A” for effort. After all, shouldn’t business be like T-Ball or Cub Scouts where everybody who does a good job of trying gets rewarded? After all, rewarding employees for failed efforts that are born of sincerity may produce failures, but will also produce more sincere efforts, which will presumably and eventually pay off in success. Right? 

     Well, I don’t buy it. It’s non-productive circular reasoning. We’re not talking about sensitivity here. Insensitive bosses don’t survive long term. We’re talking about making businesses work. Period. I believe when you reward people for failing, you are simply prompting them to produce more failure. Don’t you think? I mean, it seems to me it makes more sense to instead reassess the goals attached to the challenges at hand.

     Are goals clearly defined? Specific? Flexible? Realistic? Due-dated? If they’re not ALL of these things, they’re not goals; they’re wishes. Wishes don’t get things done. Action gets things done. Real, meaningful goals that are specific, flexible, realistic and due-dated are the ones that trigger action. Action in pursuit of meaningful goals delivers success. 

     Huh? Well, consider that if perhaps the carrot is closer, the rabbit will actually reach it and then get a commensurate reward (a bite of carrot) vs. having to try getting to a far-away, out-of-reach carrot, the pursuit of which serves only to exhaust and stress out the rabbit, nes pas?

     It is a far more productive practice to reward steady small steps to achieving success with incremental (small, frequent) rewards along the way. It’s easy to say the sky’s the limit, and set off for the sky, but whatever is “easy to say” is rarely productive, and almost never is “reaching the sky” realistic.

     Except for those few wondrous gifts to humankind—like the Wright Brothers, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Helen Keller, Einstein—most of us will not achieve their levels of the impossible dream in our lifetimes.

     We can, though, most assuredly achieve our own levels of the impossible dream by scaling ourselves and our employees back to manageable steps and by chunking up tasks to within the range of reason. And to then appreciate and reward accordingly. “One small step…” proclaimed the first moon-landing Astronaut.

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Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

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Apr 26 2009

HOW TO MAKE YOUR GOALS WORK

Rule 1: Chunk it up!

 

If your job is to paint the Brooklyn Bridge, and your goal is to paint the Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll never make it!. If, on the other hand, your goal is to paint the first 100 feet of cable on the northeast quadrant by one week from Friday, and the first 100 feet of cable on the southwest quadrant by two weeks from Friday, and so on, and keep it flexible based on weather, etc, you will undoubtedly succeed.

If you put “clean house” on your list, it won’t happen. If you chunk it up into a series of small tasks like vacuum the second floor carpets, fold and put away the laundry, wash the first floor windows on the front of the house, de-clutter the kitchen counter, and so on, you will have much greater success.

Being specific and reducing the monster chores to small individual tasks not only keeps you on track, it serves to motivate as well because you’ll gain a sense of accomplishment each time you complete an item and cross it off your list (use a second color, by the way, to be able to still read what was on the list and keep track at the end of the day).

And interruptions? Life is an interruption! When interruptions come along add them to your list. (You run into a bee’s nest while painting the bridge and it takes an extra hour to get rid of it? Add “get rid of bee’s nest” to your list and then cross it out when you’ve taken care of it. While washing the first floor windows, you notice an overgrown shrub that’s scratching against the house siding? Add “trim overgrown shrub in front” to your list and cross it out when you’ve taken care of it.)

Keep reviewing your list of goals to see better ways to chunk it up. As you achieve or complete each chunk, cross it out, and add new chunks. Never-ending? Yes, goal-setting, like exercise and eating right, require commitment to changing your lifestyle. No one achieves their goals by dabbling with them. If you’re serious about goal-setting and pursuits, you need to be constantly monitoring them.

It helps to have a weekly checklist of goal criteria to be certain that you’re on track with keeping your goals specific, flexible, realistic, and due-dated. Without all four of these criteria, you have only a wish. Wishes, like hopes, get us nowhere. Action gets us somewhere. Any action is better than no action. Chunking up what you need to do and where you need to go works light year’s better than “paint the bridge” and “clean the house.” Now apply the same dynamics to your business and business planning.

# # #

Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

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