by Jenn Uhen
Goal Methods are plenty: SMART, BSQ, WOOP, HARD. I like to take my favorite aspects of different methods to find one that will inspire me and motivate me to take action. Because action is required to achieve any big goal.
Before we start, I need your commitment to reward yourself when you hit milestones in achieving Big Financial Goals. Without rewards or celebrations, we keep moving the carrot and feel like we haven’t achieved anything and the status quo may never change. We’ll come back to rewards at the end of this article.
Start With the Outcome
I prefer to start with the Outcome. The outcome is why you’re going to take action to achieve your goal. Without it, you’re doing a lot of work because others have recommended you “should” do this or you “should” do that. The outcome provides purpose and clarity which then gives you motivation to take action. Here are some questions to find your Outcome.
- What is the change in your business that you would like to see?
- Is there a task that isn’t a superpower that you want to hire or outsource?
- Is there a big investment in a product or piece of equipment that will increase efficiency or quality?
- Is there a risk you want to take but want a financial runway to give it a chance at success?
An example of an Outcome would be to “hire someone to develop and execute a social media strategy.”
Determine the Financials
Now let’s determine the Financials for that Outcome. Dig deep on this step and get into the details. Your Financials will determine the timeline of when you are achieving the outcome, not some arbitrary dates you picked out of thin air. Here are some questions to ask yourself about the Financials.
- Is this a one-time or ongoing expense? In my service-based business I call these project-based or recurring expenses.
- What is the number? Go out and get a few quotes so you have the number.
- How will you achieve this number – increase income or reduce expenses?
- If you are reducing your expenses, show that in your budget and take action to do that.
- If you are increasing your income, what are some quick wins or incremental actions you can take (raise rates, add services, attract new customers). Since this blog is around goal-setting and not sales/marketing, I’m not digging too much into this.
- Where will the money for this goal be stored? Some people will create a separate business savings account to save for this goal. If you aren’t creating a separate account, you could also account for this on a Profit & Loss Statement each month or within your Budget.
Back to the outcome example of hiring a social media specialist. As I received quotes for social media strategy and execution, I realized it was both a project-based expense and an ongoing expense. I would need $2,000 for the initial social media strategy (project-based) and $500/month for the execution of the strategy (ongoing). So I need to save up for the initial expense and the ongoing expense. As I add the specific Financials to the Outcome, it may look like this.
“We will spend $2,000 to hire a Strategist to develop the social media strategy and then spend $500/month on a Social Media Specialist to execute the strategy.”
We end every Pledgettes event with “Discussion is important but Action is what builds wealth.” Without action, we have no chance of reaching our goals. Set a timer for 15 minutes to brainstorm a number of actions you can take to Reduce Your Expenses and Increase Your Revenues to reach the Financials to achieve this Outcome.
You can then prioritize the actions, add a timeline, and assign who is responsible for what.
In our example, some Action examples could be:
- Reviewing the budget to see if we can temporarily or permanently end or reduce fixed or variable expenses.
- Follow up with hot leads to close the deal.
- Reconnect with previous clients to see if they need a repeat or your services or the new offerings you added since you last spoke to them.
- Read an article on the latest social media trends and try some out for yourself.
Celebrate With Rewards
As you develop your Big Financial Goals, determine what Rewards you will receive along the way. The rewards should be aligned with the milestone to keep you moving forward to the goal, and not put you further away from your goals. Read more from a Pledgettes member on “How Celebration Changed my Mind about Financial Goal-Setting.”
Here are some examples of rewards aligned with actions.
- After I sit down and write out my goal, I am going to take an hour-long dog walk. It is likely I am going to take a dog walk today but when I set it up as a reward in the middle of the day, there is more joy.
- When we increase our Revenue to $500 for the first month, I’ll treat my team to an office lunch. If you are the only person on your team, treat yourself to lunch!
- When we reach $1000 in our saving goals for the Strategy, we’ll host a 20-minute office dance party. If you work alone, set a timer and dance your butt off with your dog or partner or dance like nobody’s watching!
Finally, when you do hit the Financials in your Goal, be sure to do the ultimate reward and hire people! This step can be the hardest and it goes back to our money mindset. Our money blocks can believe that we never have enough financial security in our business and there isn’t enough to make this new hire. But when we grip onto our money tightly with closed fists, our hands aren’t open to receive more money. So, take the leap and hire the person you committed to. And to quell your fears, you can set a new goal with the action to “review the social strategy to see if it is effective in producing the desired results.”
Put it All Together For Your Goal!
Your Financial Goal is the result of the Action you will take to get your Financials to a place where you realize your desired Outcome.
In this example,
“For the next five months, we’ll put aside $400/month by reducing our expenses in X and Y category to pay for the Social Media Strategy. Then, when we increase our revenue by $500/month to $XXXX, for three consecutive months, we will hire a Social Media Coordinator to execute the strategy. We’ll be working on the goals concurrently.”
This goal is clear on…
… what you are doing,
… how you are doing it,
… when you will do it,
… with whom you will do,
… how you will celebrate it!
With the new year around the corner, goal-setting is in the air. And when you are clear and confident in your Financials and how they help you achieve the Outcomes you want in your business, it’s easier and more fun to take Action! Wishing you a healthy, wealthy 2023 and beyond!
Jenn Uhen is the Founder of The Pledgettes, a Financial Community for Values-Driven women. Jenn built The Pledgettes to democratize access to financial literacy, build a supportive space for women to evolve their relationship with money, and create connections so no woman is going after her personal financial goals alone.
Jenn and her husband have clear financial goals, which include a diverse portfolio of investment property, retirement accounts, and businesses. All while living a minimalist (but comfortable) lifestyle, including traveling the country in an Airstream.
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