Why Your New Year’s Business Goals Are Already Doomed To Fail

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WOOO! It’s that time of year that all we business minded folks set our goals and intentions for 2015. You probably have lists in your notebook, and vision boards on your wall, and mantras in your head, and benchmarks in your calendar. You have committed to FINALLY making this the year that you get your shit together, stay off Facebook, stop fucking around, and start to hustle hard and make things happen.

And as I sit here on January 1, nursing my (yoga) hangover, I can’t help but remember back to when I was starting  my business and I made goals like those too. And I can’t NOT chime in on your New Year’s day and help make sure that you’re actually planning the RIGHT things for 2015.

You intentions are all the best. They always are. But aren’t these same things you committed to last year? Didn’t you promise yourself all  of these things would happen in 2014? And did they? Mmmhmmmm.

This is so so so so SO common (did I mention it’s common?) We get all psyched up about all the things we’re going to do and then they don’t happen. And I’m not going to get into goal setting strategies and those kinds of things here. That’s not really my jam on this blog.

But I do want to talk about why some of the goals you may have set for 2015 might be doomed to fail.

Don’t take this personally – it’s nothing against you or your business. But after working with hundreds of newish business owners in Uncage Your Business, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when you set large and plentiful business goals.

So why don’t these inspired goals succeed?

 

Because most people are setting the wrong damn goals. Or they set goals that would be GREAT, but only after they have done certain other things in their business to set them up for success with those goals.

 

This happens alllll the time. It’s one of the main reasons why people sign up for my month long coaching program Uncage Your Business. They take course after course, listen to webinars, read all the blogs – but still can’t seem to get shit to work for THEIR business.

Here is a PRIME example of a misaligned goal, and one that many people fall into the trap of:

You decide you want to build your list to 10k. Everything will be so great when you can just get to 10k. Woo! But that requires creating a lot of content and guest posting and holding free calls and really putting your message out there in front of new audiences. And you freeze. Why? Because you have no idea what your message even IS. Or where to find these people. Or who the people even are. You have no idea what your business even is, for that matter.

And if you’re confused – your (potential) clients will be too.

Another example that I see all the time in Uncage Your Business are folks who want to create their new membership site, or launch high end programs – all during the course of our month together.

And I LOVE seeing people aim high – because all of that stuff is possible. But the reason they haven’t been able to accomplish it yet – the main reason they are working with me in the first place – is that there is no focus. Their businesses are vague, generic iterations of every other business out there, and they aren’t even clear yet on who their clients are, or exactly how they can best help them, or exactly what they want to be focusing on in their business.

 

It’s not that the goal of growing your email list, or creating VIP-style programs is a bad one. Those are GREAT goals.

It’s just that there are OTHER goals you need to focus on first, in order to get to the higher-level stuff in your business.

 

The equivalent would be like deciding to build a house. And spending all your time focusing on buying furniture, what color curtains you want to have, and obsessing over fancy rugs and vintage coffee tables.

But if you don’t build the foundation of the actual HOUSE first, from the ground up, all your expensive new furnishings will just be sitting in an empty lot. And it will get rained on. And you will be sad because you spent so much money and time planning it all out and getting excited about it and now it’s just a soggy piled up yesterday’s dreams.

This is the exact same thing that happens in your business.

 

It’s REALLY hard to do the more nitty gritty, how-to stuff if you haven’t taken the time to get clear on your foundations.

And that is why all the fancy, big goals you are setting for 2015 might not actually happen.

 

But there is hope! What can you do about this? Should you abandon those goals altogether?

Nope. Not at all.

Just shelf them – for now. And focus on making sure you have a really clear base.

Can you clearly and concisely answer these questions?

What is your business message?

Why do you give a shit about it?

Why should other people give a shit about it?

What is your unique approach or perspective in your business that makes you different from everyone else out there?

Who are your clients? What exact problems does your business solve?

How do you help people – tangibly? Not in terms of your packages and programs, but what do you DO for them? What are the results people get when working with you?

What is the scope of your business? How do you know when a client is done working with you? And where should they go next?

 

All of that? Those are your foundations. And until you know them CLEAR as day and inside and out, business building is going to be DAMN hard work.

It’s amazing to see people come into Uncage Your Business with all these goals that aren’t quiiiite right, and end the month without having accomplished any of them, BUT feeling SO much more clear, confident, and sure of where they are headed that their original goals now actually feel super easy to accomplish. They leave ACTUALLY in a position to now grow their list, or create those next level programs.

So if you’re one of those people who keeps aiming high in your business but you never seem to be able to get there, things never quite feel like they’re working – it’s time to switch up your goals. Get back to basics. Create a solid foundation that you can build on.

Trust me – your business will thank you for it for the entire rest of your year – and for the rest of your career, for that matter.

Happy 2015!

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Set a lofty goal that you need to lay some foundations for first? Hop into the comments and commit publicly taking the slow and steady route to grow your foundations first!

Read 8 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. Becca you always do an incredible job of calling out the BS that goes on inside an entrepreneur’s head. Reading this post gave me flashbacks to New Year’s Day 2014 ((shiver)) and I’ve really accomplished nothing since then. 2015 will be different (you’re probably thinking “ssssure it will”) and I know this because I’ve done a ton of work to answer the exact questions you posed above… With help from the Uncaged community, of course :)
    Happy New Year and all the best, Becca.

  2. Timmie

    Not what I was expecting, but EXACTLY what I needed to hear! Thank you.

  3. Excellent reminder to do the right things in the right order! Like you, so many clients come to me talking about launching digital products, building membership sites, doing some big ass group programs… without having clarity on their message, their “how, what, why and how” at the foundational level… of course they have no idea where to begin!

    They may not even be sure WHY the heck they want to do those things – except that seemingly “everyone else” is doing it – so they *think* in order to be “successful” they have to do those things too, without considering if they are the best venue to express themselves, their gifts and deliver the best results for their clients.

    I would say stop copying other people’s goals… get back to the foundational of your business and build it around your Truth.

  4. Wow, GREAT questions! And I was able to answer all but the last one. I have my packages set up for different lengths of time but when you asked how do I know when the client is done working with me and where they should go next, I paused. Gonna have to give that one more thought. Thank you! Great blog.

  5. No lie, but I think every business owner should stop once or twice a year just to make sure their answers to those questions haven’t changed. It’s like you mentioned in (this week’s?) #uncagedTOD email about reading your old copy to make sure it’s still aligned with where your business is now.

  6. Spot on! I had already come to the conclusion that I needed to take a step back and get REALLY clear on my niche and my message. I felt like I was getting close, but the questions you asked were PERFECT to help me clarify things even more. Thank you!

  7. This article was so incredibly helpful.

    I feel pretty clear on what I do and who I serve but just writing answers to all of the above helped me come up with some really great copy that rings true (better than what I currently have -fursure) !!

    Thank you!

    Happy New Year :)

    Carla xo

  8. Preach it, sister! Thank you for explaining this to people. I get so tired of seeing people duped into high-priced programs for things like, “Create Your Social Media Plan!” when they don’t even have anything to sell yet. Then they’ve wasted $5K and are out there thinking, “Coaching and programs just don’t work for me.” AAAAAAARGGGGH!!!!!! :-D