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5 Mistakes Most People Make When Setting Goals

Most of us know that setting goals is critical to achieving what we want in life. But what a lot of us don’t understand is how to set goals…and to stick with them!

Here are the top 5 mistakes most of us make when we set goals…and how to avoid them.

1. The goals are too broad or vague – really big goals are more like “dreams.” Actual goals are much smaller and they are baby steps to be taken to achieve something much bigger (the dream). And that’s where most of us go wrong. We know what we want the end result to be (start a business) but we don’t build each step into our daily lives. So, life goes on and months or years go by and we still haven’t started our business. Once we know the desired end result, we should begin to break that down into actionable steps and then take those actions. Next, we can do something every week (or even every day) to take a little step toward the dream. Momentum comes from taking small, frequent actions.

2. Deadlines are unrealistic – we may have big dreams and want to be really aggressive to achieve them. This might work for some people but, for others, it will just overwhelm them and cause the budding entrepreneur to jump ship. It’s important to set realistic deadlines that can be met under almost any circumstance. We must take into account our other commitments and responsibilities when setting deadlines. We’ll see more achievement with steady (or even slow) progression than if we get overwhelmed and don’t take action at all.

3. We don’t change our thinking – When we’re trying to accomplish goals, we must change our mindset to picture what life will be like when we reach the goal and achieve the dream. If we only look at the way things are now, we aren’t inspired to continue. We’ll get dragged down and give up on the end prize. In order to change our thinking, we must find people and things that inspire us. We must surround ourselves with those people and things that offer us encouragement so we can have enough fuel to endure the trip. Keeping a “dream board” where we have our big goals posted in words or pictures is a great way to keep our eyes looking forward. Building a strong network of like-minded people that can provide support is critical to keep us motivated.

4. We listen to “nay-sayers” – Not everyone will be as enthusiastic about our new ventures as we are. Some people will try to sabotage us and get us to stop thinking big. We must stop listening to these negative people and sometimes this means limiting our interaction with them about our new business plans. This doesn’t mean we can’t love them and spend time with them (they might be good friends or even family members) but it does mean that we not let their negativity cloud our vision. It may not be that they want us to fail, they may just fear change. It’s up to us to shut out the negativity and continue on our path. This is another reason why it is crucial that we surround ourselves with a team of positive supporters that want nothing more than to see us succeed on our journey.

5. We don’t have a plan – Without a plan, we will most certainly never reach our goals or our dreams. We will continue to let life happen rather than making life happen. When we have a solid plan of action, we are way more likely to take the steps toward achievement. Many goal-setting gurus will tell you to write your goals down every single day, by hand. This is a great way for you to start the day thinking about the bigger picture. You can then define the actionable steps you can take TODAY to move toward the goal. Some days that step might be to make a couple of phone calls or listen to a CD program…other days it may mean something much bigger.

Set the goal, make the plan, get to work, stick to it, and you will reach the goal.

Proven Business Relationship Agreement – Part 1

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Proven Business Relationship Agreement – Part 1

By DC Cordova

In this series of posts, I’m going to share with you what has worked for me in business for the last 30 years. I currently have business agreements with partners in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the United States. I’ve done business with well-known authors, speakers, artists, producers, film-makers, promoters, government ministries, large and small organizations – you name it. What I tell my clients is if you prepare for your business relationships, your partnerships, like you do marriage, then I can guarantee you a significantly higher success rate. This article contains steps 1 and 2 to creating a successful business relationship. Follow along, put it into practice and enjoy the fruits of clarity.

As all human beings have feelings, opinions, beliefs and emotions that can and do affect us in different ways in the various circumstances that make up our lives, I, _____________________ and I, _____________________ agree that as of this date: _______________________, we have read the chapter in What School Should have Taught You about Money & You and have fully discussed and hereby declare that we have discussed and are now fully aware of the following…

1. Be willing to make your partner happy

___ We have asked and told each other what makes each of us happy in business and personally.

___ We know what we can do to bother them and get the upset.

___ We are willing and committed to hear each other out – repeating the  other’s point of view before expressing our own opinion.

___ We are willing to have things go “their way” at times

___ We will consciously and clearly “agree to agree” or “agree to disagree” when necessary.

___ We will “share” in the way the business is run and agree to how that might look like.

2. Create joint ventures first before creating your business partnership.

___ We will go (or have not gone) into our partnership until we have worked on a few projects under “joint-venture” basis first.

___ We realize that this partnership/business venture is more like a marriage than anything is, and we will get to know each other like we would in a courtship.

___ I am willing to commit to my partner, as well as the business…

___ for a very long time.

___ through thick and through thin

___ to talk together and meet on a regular basis to evaluate how it is going

___ to call in a third party to facilitate when we don’t see eye to eye and cannot resolve a conflict within 45 minutes.

___ to get to know each other first for at least ___ months or ___ years.

___ We will spend plenty of time together before moving on to larger commitments.

___ To see each other working under a variety of situations, both when things are going well and when they aren’t.

___ To see each other when we are under pressure.

___ To spend time traveling together.

___ To get involved in activities together that will allow us to see how my potential partner(s) react under different situations.

___ To interview their old friends and ex-partners.

___ To attend several different types of seminars together, including intensive, long-term personal growth as well as business programs.

___ To learn how best to communicate with each other.

___ To work with a professional team builder and business coach to help us review or develop our business practices.

___ To develop a “language” we can use together.

___ To meet as soon as possible after each project we do together to review it, confirm what worked, list what didn’t work, and commit to the change that each “learning experience” indicated is needed.

___ To correct my systems (or attitudes) and learn from them.

This may sound like a lot to agree on – and if you really read this, you do this in regular relationships before fully committing in a marriage. I encourage you to approach your business partnerships like a marriage because you are legally agreeing to be in partnership. And sometimes dissolving a business can be more destructive and time-consuming than divorce. So be prepared.

And as my old partner used to say, “If someone will cheat in their marriage, what would stop them from cheating in business?”

In my next post I’ll share Steps 3 -9 in Proven Business Relationship Agreement – Part 2 …from “Get clear on your purpose” to “Who is going to do what?”

With loving thoughts,

DC Cordova

P.S. – Get Your Personal Entrepreneurial Strategy and take your business to the next level!

© Money & You® 2006 – 2009