Small business owners and solopreneurs are often so busy with their business that they forget to set goals for their own personal development.
Running a business is a huge endeavour and it can leave little time for anything else. But if you’re a business owner, your actions set an example for everyone else on your team. Creating a culture that values personal growth and development is a smart business move on many levels. It shows your team that you are committed to their success and well-being. And that often translates into a happier, more engaged, and more productive workforce.
Even if you don’t have a staff or you work for someone else, setting and working towards your personal goals will help you refine your career goals, determine what you really want out of your life and work, and move in the right direction.
Habits of Successful People
If you look at the habits of highly successful people, they tend to share several characteristics. Tom Corley, a financial planner, surveyed more than 200 wealthy people to identify the habits that helped them become self-made millionaires. In his book Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, he demonstrates that highly successful people tend to have several habits in common.
Successful people tend to get up early, read a lot, devote time every day to focused thinking and personal reflection, and regularly set and pursue both short- and long-term goals. They share a burning desire to better and empower themselves by investing in their own personal development.
As Will Durant wrote in his interpretation of Aristotle’s work, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
In other words, success doesn’t happen all at once. It’s the result of small, habitual actions that may seem insignificant at the time, but add up to significant change over the course of several months or years.
Setting Achievable Goals
Setting and achieving goals — in both your personal and professional life — is something that takes practice and dedication. If we could all easily achieve the goals we dream up for ourselves, we would all be wildly successful. Clearly, though, this is not the case.
In one survey, 81% of respondents said they wanted to write a book. Many people give up when they discover how hard it really is. Studies also show that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions, and that most people actually give up by January 12.
Achieving goals requires cultivating and refining a specific set of skills. It means taking decisive action, breaking your goals down into specific and measurable milestones, and working on them every single day. It means refining your plan — not giving up — when things don’t go as you had envisioned. And it means seeing setbacks and roadblocks as opportunities for growth and learning rather than as failures.
Many of the goals that you set for your personal life can also be applied directly to your professional life. If your goal is to write a book and you set out to learn habits that will help you focus, minimize distractions, and eliminate time-wasters, this will obviously serve you well in your career.
Without clear goals, you lack focus and direction. It’s all too easy to become complacent in a career path that’s just okay, but doesn’t really allow you to reach your full potential — even as a business owner.
Learn more about achieving your personal and professional goals with my FREE guide The Art of Goal Setting. It’s full of actionable steps to help you transform your life for the better and live the life you deserve!