Lights, camera… Action!

Wow, there’s so much to learn on this new WordPress blog platform I’ve found, I’m gonna need more hours in a day to absorb it all. And then I’ll need to take action on what I’ve learned.

Oh, wait, I’m doing that right now, aren’t I?

But learn all you like, it’s only info in your head if you don’t use it by taking action.
Take learning to drive as an example. It’s tough to begin, but if you listen to your
instructor and carry things out as they teach you to, less ‘weird things’ happen.
With practice, eventually you become good enough to pass your test.

Yay. Now you have a piece of paper that says you did the learning. And you get on the bus.

Why do you get on the bus? Because until you take action by buying a car and driving yourself to places, it’s all just information locked up in your head.
It only does you any good when you take action on that information.

So, learn all you like about network marketing, homeworking, and how to make money online.
But you won’t earn a penny from it until you take action on what you learned.
You can take at least some actions while you are doing the learning.

Until next time.

Carl

If you’re going places, you’ll need a plan

If you’ve set some SMART goals, whether in business or in life, you’ll now need a plan for how you’ll reach those goals.

To paraphrase Jim Rohn, if you don’t first plan and set out for a well-designed destination, you’ll end up somewhere else. And probably not somewhere that you would have liked to end up, either.

Something I’ve learned is that the best way to plan is to start by having your end outcome in mind. It’s a bit like planning a road journey using a map. First, put a pin where you want to finish. No point in putting a pin in Peterborough if you want to arrive in Penzance, no matter what your starting point may be. Next put a pin in that starting position. While it might be fun to plan a journey to Penzance from Liverpool, that won’t help much if you’re starting out from London.

Now put in pins for all the stopping points along the way. Do you need to pick someone up in Bristol en-route? Or might it be prudent to make a fuel and comfort stop near Basingstoke?

So it is with achieving  home business and life goals. If you want to achieve a six or seven figure income, put a pin there. Now, what’s your current reality? Put another pin there.

Take a look at the financial distance between those pins. What will need to happen in order to get there? What is the first step backwards from your destination pin? Perhaps it might be a premises you’ll need to acquire, or an item of machinery, or whatever. Now what’s the next step backwards? Maybe funding for that premises – how will you get that? And the next step back?

And carry on like this until you get back to your current reality pin, filling in the gaps with pins as necessary for each stage of your home business journey.

Now, having arrived back at your current reality, let’s go to work on that plan. Looking forward now, what actions can you take TODAY towards that first pin? And what actions can you take this week, or in the next 30 days. What can you do in the next 90 days? And in the next year? How many pins could you reach?

So, what are YOUR plans? Feel free to leave a comment.

To your success,

Carl

Oops!

Oh dear. Guess who forgot to write a blog post yesterday? Well, forgot is too strong a word, there was lots to do, and life can get in the way sometimes.

But it has lead me to think about something that is so important in business, and especially in most types of homeworking business. Consistency.

Those times when it’s sooooo hard to get out of bed in the morning? Well, there’s no boss to moan, but your bank balance might suffer. If you were your own employee, would you employ you?

So many things that are easy to do are also easy not to do. Of course, you don’t have to make that 10th phone call today. But if you don’t, you might miss out on the person who skyrockets your business.

Jeff Olson writes in his book ‘Slight Edge’ about how small actions, compounded over time, can work massively in your favour, or work massively against you.

Consistently eating an apple a day would lead to what? Well, probably a lot better health than eating a cake a day, that’s for sure.

So, consistent positive actions each day in your business, not focusing too much on the outcome, but focusing on continuing all those small activities that give you a slight edge over your peers would lead to what? Well, I would think a rather healthier business than if you neglect things a little every day.

What do you think?

To your success,

Carl

Goal!! Part 5

Hello again!

 

And so we reach this, the fifth and final part of the series on SMART goals. You’ve decided specifically what it is that you want your goal to achieve, and you’ve considered how you’ll measure how effective you are being in the process of achieving it. You’ve made sure that your goal is achievable, and that it is relevant to your needs and priorities.

 

All well and good, but when did you want to achieve this objective by, exactly? It’s fine to say that you want to be £1000, £100,000, or £1 million richer, but what good will it do you if you don’t achieve it for another 14 years, 27 years, or some other indeterminate point in the future? I wonder exactly how much £1000 will buy you in 27 years time?

 

To be a truly SMART goal, it needs to be time bound. You must decide what is a reasonable time-frame by which you will have reached your goal.

 

Now, it is all too easy to set an arbitrary time-frame, such as one week, month or year from now, or whatever multiples thereof. But, really, why should your business or personal goals be dictated by something as far beyond your control as the movements of a planet around a star? The calendar should only serve as a point of reference. Of course, if your business is seasonal, then it may be reasonable to set a time-frame dictated by the calendar.

 

The point of the above paragraph is, why should we so often set a goal to be achieved in, say, a year, when it might be perfectly possible to achieve that goal within eight months? Or, why should we set a goal that we might struggle to achieve in a month, if we have a strong chance of managing that goal in six weeks?

 

It could perhaps be reasonable to set a goal which may be split into elements to be achieved at different set points along a time-line

 

So, a truly SMART goal might sound something like: “I want my business to generate an additional one and a half million pounds in profit, by adding a further 10,000 internet customers, within the next eighteen months”. This does, of course, assume that this goal passes each element of SMART for your particular business. If not, adjust the figures as necessary.

 

A more personal goal might sound like: “I want to lose a stone in weight before my spring holiday this year (by careful eating habits), and a further seven pounds (through exercise) before my winter holiday.”

 

As we reach the end of our series on SMART goals, what new goals might you set yourself? Or do you have any adjustments or additions to the SMART goal process that you already use? Have you successfully achieved some SMART goals? Feel free to share some of your experiences in the comments box.

 

To tour success, (Hey, that’s a good typo! To tour success sounds like a great trip!)

 

Ahem!

 

To YOUR success (ah, that’s better!)

 

Carl

Goal!! Part 4

Hello people!

Wow! It’s a seriously hot day here, I think one of my SMART goals needs to be: “I will eat a whole ice-cream within 7 minutes of completing this blog post.”

Now that’s relevant, because failure to achieve this goal within the specified time will result in my ice-cream being a sticky puddle on the floor.

Actually, there is some debate as to whether the ‘R’ part of SMART stands for ‘Relevant’, or ‘Realistic’. But, since ‘realistic’ is not so very far from ‘achievable’ (the ‘A’ part of SMART from last time), I’m going to go with ‘relevant’. Anyway, realistically, my ice-cream will still melt if it’s out of the freezer for too long.

But, on a more serious note, while the ice cream goal is relevant to the weather conditions, it’s not going to help greatly with my business making money. While making money will help with the issue of needing to buy more ice-cream (or anything else for that matter). One thing that needs to be considered when setting your goals is what are your priorities.

If your priority is to make money, then our weight loss goal from the previous post isn’t relevant to that priority. Equally, our energy-saving goal may not be relevant if we try to apply it to the operators of our fixed energy consumption widget making machine, whereas it may be a priority in other areas of your business.

Of course, it’s fine to have several goals on-the-go, with relevance to several different areas of your life or your business, but do try to keep them down in number, as having too many goals will cause you to lose focus.

Perhaps have four or five goals relevant to different aspirations, and have them written down somewhere prominent so that you are frequently reminded of them, and have them numbered in order of priority. As you tick off the goals you achieve, replace them with new SMART goals, so that your goal-list is constantly evolving.

Well, time for that ice-cream. And time is the theme of the final installment in the SMART goals series, coming up next time.

To your success,

Carl

Goal!! Part 3

Hi folks

Last time we looked at ways to make your goals measurable. But, measure them as much as you like, your goals will do you no good if there is no possibility that you (or your team) can actually achieve them. And being achievable is the ‘A’ part of SMART.

“I want to have another £10 million in my bank account, through working at my computer, by 6pm tonight.” Well, that ticks most of the boxes we need for a SMART goal. It’s specific, measurable, and time-bound. But, unless you happen to be Richard Branson, or Warren Buffet, how likely are you to actually make it happen? Even those guys would find such a goal rather a big stretch on that time-scale, so you would be setting yourself up for failure from the very start.

To re-examine an example used in the previous post, we said that a goal such as “Departmental energy usage must be reduced by 15% to 25% within the next financial year,” was starting to sound like a smart goal, but that a number of factors must be considered if the goal is going to be achievable.

But what factors? Well, one would be which department are we talking about?

If we mean a department that has energy consuming facilities that are not essential to your business, then the goal might reasonably be achieved by the simple expedient of using those facilities less. Perhaps no personal use of the internet by employees during break times would be an example of how energy could be saved towards our goal. (That might, of course, have other less desirable effects, such as disgruntled, less productive employees!)

But, if we are talking about a department which absolutely requires the continual use of an energy consuming machine, such as the machine that actually makes the widgets you sell, then it becomes much more difficult to make our energy saving goal truly achievable. You might possibly achieve your goal at a heavy cost, such as not being able to make/sell so many widgets, or the cost of a very expensive but more efficient widget making machine. Is it then a goal that you truly want to achieve? This is why company-wide goals can be dangerous.

If our goal had said that we wanted to reduce energy ‘costs’ rather than ‘usage’, then seeking a cheaper energy supplier might be one way to help you to reach that goal.

You will also need to consider what resources and skills will be needed in order to achieve the goal, and who will be involved. And whether those resources and skills are something you already have, or something you will need to acquire. All this needs to taken into account before we can truly judge the goal to be achievable.

Your goal must not be impossible or improbable to reach, but it should at least stretch you a little to try harder. If your weight loss programme enables you to easily lose half a pound each week with a little effort, then setting a goal to lose one whole pound each week should inspire you to try just that little bit harder. Whereas trying to lose seven pounds each week would probably mean you lose motivation due to continually missing that unachievable goal.

So, before you call your goal a SMART goal, think about what factors you must consider to make sure that it is possible to achieve it. Then you’ll be able to celebrate the goal when you do achieve it.

But, as well as being achievable, your goal does need to relevant to you and your business in order to be worthwhile. And the R part of SMART is coming up next time.

To your success,

Carl

Goal!! Part 2

Hi folks!

Last time, we looked at SMART goals, what they are, and how to make your goals specific. Now, to the ‘M‘ part of SMART, how to make your goals MEASURABLE.

What it comes down to is this: What quantifiable benchmark will you use in order to tell whether you have, or have not, achieved your goal. Or, if your goal is a little less black-and-white, how will you measure to what degree you have achieved your goal?

To re-visit an idea we used in the last post, we started out with the notion of “I’d like to be richer”. But, as we said, finding yourself ten pence richer than you were this morning is hardly a cause for celebration for most people.

How much richer do you want to be? By when do you want to achieve this goal? And at what cost? (Have you truly achieved your goal if you die, go broke, or otherwise ruin your life in the effort?)

When we adjusted our goal to “I want my business to generate one million pounds in profit”, that’s when we made the goal measurable. If the business does generate £1M in profit, then we know that that we have achieved that goal. If it generates less than £1M, the goal has been missed.

The above is still not a great SMART goal, as it gives no notion as to when this goal should be achieved, nor how it might be achieved. But at least we’re moving in the right direction.

A goal that is measurable will answer these sorts of questions:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is achieved?
  • How can I quantify to what degree the goal has been achieved?
  • What things will indicate that the goal is being achieved?

It is worth bearing in mind that a goal can still be specific and measurable without necessarily having a rigid ‘black and white’ outcome. In some cases it may be deemed preferable to specify an acceptable range for the outcome of the goal. An example of this would be along the lines of “Departmental energy usage must be reduced by 15% to 25% within the next financial year.”

Now that is starting to sound like a SMART goal, but a number of factors would have to be considered before we can be certain that this goal ticks the next box for making SMART goals. Is it achievable?

And that’s a tale for the next post.

To your success.

Carl

Goal!! Part 1

Hi Folks.

I am not a football fan. The sight of a grown man (or woman) merely kicking a ball into the back of a net does not fill me with excitement. Hey, no problem if that’s your thing, but what gets me excited is the achievement of business goals or personal goals.

But what is a business or personal goal? Is it just an aim? Or perhaps a statement of intent? Well, yes, but it’s so much more than that, because it is much more structured than a wishy-washy “I’d like good things to happen.”

We’d all like good things to happen, but what sort of good things? Why do you want them? When do you want them by? And how are you going to make them happen? Who could help?

A good business goal or personal goal is a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It stands for a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Over the next few days, let’s take a look at each of the elements, because one of the main differences between the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy is that the wealthy set goals while others do not.

Specific

The specific element of your goal is the what, why, and how of what you want to achieve. If you are not properly clear about exactly what it is that you want, then you are going to be very fuzzy over trying to achieve it.

An example of a fuzzy, non-specific goal would be; “I’d like to be richer”. Well, what do you mean by richer?

A cake might be described as ‘very rich’, but I’m sure that’s not what you meant. Probably.

I found a five pence piece on the pavement this morning, so I suppose it could be said that I am richer than I was when I woke up. But if I only had another ten pence to my name, having an additional 50% wouldn’t exactly get me described as ‘rich’ by most people’s standards.

A better, more specific example than that above would be; “I want my business to generate one million pounds in profit”.

It’s still not a fully SMART objective, as it misses several of the other elements, but at least it’s clear as to what you meant by ‘richer’. “I want my business to…” touches on the notion of how we might reach this goal. The word “profit” makes it clear that we meant financially richer.

And “one million pounds” tells us specifically how much wealthier you want to be, and links in nicely to tomorrow’s lesson about being able to measure the success (or otherwise) of your goals.

A specific goal will usually answer the five ‘W’ questions, plus how:

  • What: What is it that we want to achieve?
  • Why: Why do we want to accomplish the goal? What are the reasons or benefits?
  • Who: Who is involved in reaching this goal? Do you have the right team?
  • Where: Identify the location(s) where this goal will take place
  • When: When do we need to achieve this goal?
  • How: How will we achieve this goal? What will we need?

Share your experiences of goal setting in the comments, and join me later for the next installment, all about the science of making your goals measurable.

To your success,

Carl

The Inner Journey

Hi everyone

Once you’ve decided that working from home has too many advantages to ignore, and you’ve selected what type of business or company is the perfect ‘vehicle’ for you, you’ll need to plug in to whatever training and orientation your company offers.

If you’re working in an MLM business, your upline will almost certainly offer you the chance to view some training videos, maybe join some webinars or go to some meetings. Your mentor should offer you some one-on-one training and support, whether that’s face to face, or over a video link such as Skype or Zoom.

But the nitty-gritty training to deal with the everyday processes such as advertising products, and ordering items for customers, is only a small part of the training that you’ll need to be taking up.

To quote the late, great Jim Rohn, “You need to work harder on yourself than you do on your job”. You need ‘bread for your head’. We are talking here about personal development.

There are books, audio recordings for your car stereo, YouTube videos, and any number of other ways of helping you to create the right business mindset to take your business to another level. It is on the other side of becoming a different person that the big rewards lie. If you want to have more, you’ll need to become more.

Personal development is a topic that my blog will touch on again and again, but one thing that recurs as a common theme in all the books is goal setting.

Over the weekend I plan to re-use some posts about goal setting from an old blog of mine. I found them while setting up this blog, and I was fascinated to find out what I had to say. Sometimes a poor memory makes your own mind it’s very own voyage of discovery.

Watch this space over the weekend!

Carl

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