Whatever we set out to achieve, there are some steps that can help us whether we are striving for success in our personal life or in business.

Define success

To succeed you must define success.  What does success mean to you?  If you cannot define what success means to you, then you will never know if you have achieved it or not.

So many people think that success only consists of having money or power, but this is not the case.  Success will vary from one person to another.  For one person it may mean material wealth and therefore they define their success by achieving a sum of money in the bank, or by owning material items such as a luxury home or top of the range car.  To someone else, success may be time freedom.  They will consider themselves to be successful when they are able to have time to do the things they love and with the people they love when they want. 

Really think about what success means to you so you will know when you have achieved your dream. 

Be specific

Now you know what success means to you, make it specific.  You need to specific about what you are aiming for or it will all become a bit woolly around the edges and you will never be quite sure if you are on the right track to attaining it or not.

It's the same theory as saying you want to lose weight.  You won’t know if you have been successful unless you give yourself a specific target to work towards.

If you have decided that you will have achieved success by being debt free with ample disposable income, be clear on exactly what figure this income is that you will have.  If you want that top of the range car, what make, colour, and engine size will it have? 

The more detailed and specific you can be about what it is that you want to achieve, the better.  Get down to the nitty gritty of what you really want.   

Set a timeline

There is no point in setting a goal without a timeline or you may keep drifting along with no real sense of urgency.  Having a specific timeline for our goals helps us focus and put extra effort into those times when we may be tempted to stray off our chosen path and procrastinate.

Returning to the weight loss analogy, you are far more likely to be successful if you choose a firm date to achieve your target by.  This will help you keep motivated when you feel like you may fall off the wagon.

In business, having set timelines will help focus activities on achieving set goals and prioritising activities to meet deadlines.

Take into consideration how much time it is likely to take to achieve a set goal and also be realistic as to how much time you can commit each day, week or month working towards this. 


Plan small steps

Do something every day to take you towards your goal, no matter how small. By planning baby steps, or sub goals, the main goal feels more achievable. 

Draw a straight line on piece of paper and put the date you want to achieve your goal at the far end with a description of what you want to achieve.  Now work back in steps as to what you need to do to achieve that final step.  If your final goal is to achieve a diploma by studying online, work backwards by calculating the time frame for completing the diploma and how many modules there are to complete.  Mark off dates on the timeline by when each module needs completing.  These dates can be then be divided down into how much studying needs to be done on a daily or weekly basis.


Plan your finances

You wouldn’t go buy a new house without sitting down, looking at the income coming into the household, looking at all your expenses and then working out what is left to pay the mortgage.  But so many people start a business without doing this simple exercise.

Businesses rarely make a decent profit in the first few years, so you need to plan for this.  How are you going to survive financially?  Do you have savings, or do you need to take out a loan or apply for a grant?  Work it out before you start up.

And if you don’t have much money to set your business up, you need to be prepared for it to take a lot more work and a lot more time to really get off the ground.


Get a mentor

Having a mentor to turn to as a sounding board when you need one can be the difference between success and failure.  All professional athletes have coaches and all business professionals will have had a coach or mentor at some point.  Having an experienced mentor who can provide you with ongoing advice, guidance and support as work towards you goal can significantly help increase your chance of success.



Stay tuned for next month when we will be talking all about market research and why it is so important to do this before starting your business.


If you would like help and support growing your own business, get in touch with Angie now or visit The Small Business Ki

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