Business Goals: Why Start with Why?
One of the first things you learn in business coaching is to find your “why.” It’s the same for any business owner. It’s not so much about what you want to achieve but why you want to achieve it. This leads to setting clear and significant goals which are easy to quantify, understand and communicate.
To achieve success, you must start with the end in mind. You will no doubt have heard the analogy about driving. You would not set off in your car unless you had set the destination in your sat-nav or having consulted the map to confirm how to get to the selected destination. However, there is another more important question that should also be asked– why am I going to this destination? This is the same ideology that should apply to your business – clarifying you’re “why” will inform “where” you take it.
Business Goals: Starting with Why in Terms of Customer Communication
Simon Sinek talks about starting with why in terms of customer communication. This is the external “why” and enables you to link it, through how you do things to what you do and create better marketing messages to be used to acquire and develop customers. This external “why” is a fundamental requirement for achieving business success. However, the internal “why” should be clarified and understood to ensure your commitment to achieving success remains high and to create the drive and direction for your business. This is exactly why it is so important for setting your business goals.
There are two types of goals. There are “away-from goals,” those created by dissatisfaction at where you are now – or desperation. There are also “towards goals,” those created by a vision of where you want to be – or inspiration. History shows that where “away-from goals” are the main reason why one does something there is likely to be a decrease in drive or enthusiasm towards the activities required to maintain improvement once initial gains or successes are made. This is because the situation has improved and so the goals are not so strong. This leads to entering the comfort zone. When in the comfort zone no long-term improvements are made. Usually, short-term gains are followed by short-term losses and status quo is maintained, or a gradual decline over time is observed.
Business Goals: Set Clear “Towards Goals”
The only way to get out of, or to avoid entering the comfort zone is to set clear, significant and relevant “towards goals.” These may be financial, material, experiential, emotional such as pride in achieving something. Your goals also may be targeted towards improving the lives of others or impacting your community.
Whatever form these goals take; understand that it is the manifestation of your internal “why.” So, how well do you understand your “internal” business goal and how well is your business aligned to achieving it?