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Stop Setting and Chasing Annual Goals


TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED Hey, Hey, well, it's the time of year where pumpkin spice lattes start to show up. Flannels are getting unpacked and suddenly we go from super hot days to crisp clear, cool days of autumn or fall depending on where you are in the world. But what also happens in the business world is this is the time of year where people. To wonder if they're going to hit those annual goals that they set. And this is kind of always an amusing conversation for me, because as much as we like to scoff at corporate culture or roll eyes at big business, there are parts of the small business world that just really like to emulate them. One thing big business does really, really well is annual planning and annual goals. And those plans start with market expectations. It's a really bad signal to the market to say, Hey, this year I might not make as much money as I did last year or this year, I don't really intend to grow very much. And those kinds of market and shareholder expectations trickled down through the CEO, into every department, and ultimately into every employee. It makes sense that once we've stated those goals in our annual report, that shareholders, stakeholders, investors are expecting us to hit those goals, to keep their money with us, to keep extending us credit, whatever. I'm very aware of this being goes. My job for many years was building that plan, resetting that plan when this new top-down number appeared managing the cries of the people who now had what felt like an unrealistic expectation placed on them but felt compelled to try and hit it because that's what their compensation was tied to. And so it becomes this huge task. Like I said, almost an entire job. Of measuring, monitoring, analyzing, and predicting performance. And in January that's fairly chill. No one is freaking out, but when we start to hit September or October, things get really tense, half a million. Does that sound. So remember that goal that you set back at the end of 2020 after that horrendous year, when we still felt like 20, 21 was going to be all. Yeah. Maybe it's starting to look a little dicey to you and maybe you're starting to get that fear in your belly that you might not hit it. And so you start to think, oh, maybe I should do black Friday or a holiday sale, or one of those I'm going to put my prices up next year, kind of marketing campaigns. And I really want to encourage you before you dive into this cycle of stress and self-loathing and pushing yourselves and burning out before the holidays. I want you to ask yourself who set your annual goal and why. So annual reports and annual goals were designed to keep people external to the business happy because they provided investment because they controlled how much your business was worth through your share price. If you do not have shareholders and investors, and you're not building a very specific business model to sell who is really impacted. By your annual goal other than you. So why are you setting one? Why are you so intent on making 550,000 this year? Because you made 500,000 last year. What are you going to spend that extra money on? What is it going to do for you? What is it going to take for you to do that? So as you go into Q4, rather than trying to stick to your plan of last year, plus X percent guesstimation that nobody actually cares about. That's going to stretch you. That's potentially going to burn you out. I want you to ask yourself instead, what is the next step? What is the next thing you want to achieve in your business? Allow yourself to dream big and think where would I be in three to five years? What would that picture look like? And then ask yourself, what is the next step on that journey? What is the first marker you need? And why don't you focus on that? And when you hit it, then you can look to the next one, instead of trying to hit some annual revenue number that you had a good guess at last December, because you felt you needed to.

We’ve taken on annual goal-setting from big business but for most small businesses, it’s a waste of time.

Key Takeaway

Find your next mile marker and focus on that

In This Episode

  • Why annual goals are essential in big business
  • How this trickles into small business practices
  • What to do instead for your small business



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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.