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Setting GoalsI’ll admit…I’m the worst when it comes to setting business goals. Normally I’m pretty good with seeing “the big picture” but when it comes to actually making an action list to get me from here to there, I fail miserably.

Intellectually, I know all the right things to do and I know the S.M.A.R.T. formula (Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely.) Heck, I just wrote an entire report about this very topic for a client!

But knowing the information and putting it into action is what’s most difficult for me and, I’m sure, many other service providers. We’re so intent on making our CLIENT’S personal business goals come to fruition that we forget – or don’t find the time – to set our own goals.

At least, that’s what happens with me.

So I have to run with the momentum when it appears rather than waiting until the new year. One thing I’ve realized (and it should be common sense, but it took some time for me to really embrace this) is that this is MY business and I should do things MY way. I’ve been so preoccupied these last few years with checking out what everyone else is doing but I haven’t taken real action in my own business plan. I was constantly switching hats from doing client work to comparing myself with other VAs. It’s kept me busy and has earned me a nice part-time income, but it could be so much more.

And that’s changing in a big way.

Step 1: Review Your Personal Business Goals

This is already checked off my list. Some people use mindmaps for this step but that confused me and learning how and where exactly to put my goals and actions was impeding my progress so I used a good ol’ spreadsheet. I wrote down my goals and under those the action steps necessary to reach those goals. Then I shared the file with my accountability partner, who is awesome and I know she’ll give me a butt kickin’ if I don’t make progress.

Step 2: Figure Out What’s Working and What’s Not Working

If you’re unhappy with how much money you make each month or how little time you have left for your family, it’s time to make changes. But rather than comparing yourself to other service providers – and maybe feeling a wee bit sorry for yourself that you’re not having the same success – analyze how you spend your working time and see if you can work more efficiently. Or learn how to outsource tasks, as your budget allows.

Step 3: Give Yourself Permission to Do Business YOUR Way

Have you ever gone to the same doctor that a friend referred you to, only to have a less than stellar experience? I’ve had the same thing happen with teachers at my daughter’s school…one friend LOVES the teacher and another doesn’t. If your business practices aren’t working out the same as someone else’s, it’s OK! Give yourself permission to do things your own way, even if you may get some strange looks from others in your field.

OK, friends. This is my personal kick-in-the-butt for you. Take some time – even just 15 or 20 minutes – and start jotting down some ideas of ways you can make YOUR business better. Write a list or create a mindmap. Doesn’t matter what you use so long as you DO IT! Then leave a comment here and tell me what about your next steps to success 🙂