Starting Out

Most people, whether in business or not, are too busy earning a living to make any real money!” So said a guy who became a major influence on my business life at an early stage. His name was Roy and he was what I often refer to affectionately as a `hustler’ – by which I mean someone who makes things happen by sheer force of will and personality. Roy introduced me to a number of `success’ concepts but the most important of all was the concept of setting goals.

I have since come across the same philosophy from a large number of people, all of whom are successful at what they do. They all say the same thing – “You can have anything you want if you know exactly what it is, set it as a specific objective and, most importantly, allow yourself to have it!”. So, it seams that you need to start out knowing what you want and set goals to achieve it.

Setting Goals

Over the years I have examined the ways in which these people set their goals and found a remarkably common approach. I have also refined this approach to ensure that goal conflicts don’t occur.

Hang on! What’s a goal conflict?” I hear you ask. Well, goal conflicts occur when individual goals are pursued in isolation without reference to or co-ordination with other goals. For example, a particular business goal may involve working long hours for a while or travelling away from home. At the same time you have a personal goal to spend more time playing golf, whilst a family goal may be to spend more time with the kids! Something has to give …. hence goal conflict, one goal gets in the way of others. Simple really, but so often overlooked.

So how do you get it right? First of all it is important to recognise exactly what a goal or objective is. Most people are too vague and specify aims rather than objectives. For instance an aim might be to get rich – but how do you define rich? In this case a specific objective might be – “By the end of 2008 I shall be earning $100,000 per year and have $250,000 invested.” I hope you see the difference.

A goal must be tangible, measurable, achievable and have a time scale for completion and it must be described in detail. Another example – “I want a new car” is not a goal, it is a wish and, as far as I have been able to ascertain, to get your wish you need either a genie or a fairy godmother – neither seem to be in particularly good supply!

On the other hand – “On 1 August this year I shall take full ownership of a brand new Lexus 2000 automatic in metallic red with grey trim.” – is pretty specific.


Try this exercise. Take a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the centre. On the left side write the heading Personal Goals and on the right side put the heading Business Goals. At the very top in the centre write the heading Immediate Objectives.

List as many immediate personal goals as you can think of on the left and do the same for business goals on the right. Personal goals are to do with achieving the life-style you want. Business goals are directed at the way you want the business to develop e.g. To increase market share to 40% or double turnover or increase profits by 25% or maybe to employ an effective manager to give you more time for other things.

Later you can do the same for medium and long term goals, say for one year and five years ahead.

Next make sure that there is no conflict between personal and business goals, or between goals on the same list, in fact business goals should ideally support the personal goals, after all, what are you in business for?

Now take three personal goals and two business ones, five in all, and think about them in more detail as in the car example above. Then write them out in a similar way to the car example, in the first person future tense. Make sure that each goal is described in full detail, that you state a date by which or on which the goal will be achieved and that you state that you will achieve it. Write them clearly in large print in priority order on a separate, clean sheet of paper. Do not show this list to anyone other than someone who is working with you towards your goals and don’t talk about it. The act of writing down your goals in this way sets in place the plan for their achievement.

Work Your Goals

Every morning read your list out aloud to yourself then close your eyes and picture in your mind the achievement of the goal. Imagine the feeling of driving the car, banking the business takings, relaxing on the sun-drenched beach or whatever your goal entails. Then put the list away and go about your daily business with confidence. What you have just done is to program your subconscious mind to act as an auto pilot to help you achieve your goals.
Operating on auto pilot is what the subconscious does best, after all it does a pretty good job of keeping us alive in an increasingly hostile environment.

It is important that having so programmed your subconscious that you now let it get on with the job without hindrance from the conscious mind. That means not actively struggling to make things happen. All things take time, but with this method they usually take less time than by applying conscious force. You will find that ideas for fulfilling your objectives will simply come to you. When they do, act on them at once and you will find yourself moving inexorably towards the kind of life you want.

As each goal is achieved place a tick next to it on the list and say “thank you” . Replace that goal with a new one and write out a fresh list, then continue the process.

How does it work? The truth is I don’t actually know. Many people have tried to give an explanation, either scientific or metaphysical, but we know too little about how the mind (or the universe) works! All I know is that whenever I use this system it gets results and it also works the same way for many other people. Frankly, as long as it does that’s all that matters to me. I don’t need to know how a computer works to use one and I don’t need to know how a car engine works to be able to drive! I’ll leave the PhDs to work
out how while I just enjoy he result.

Don’t be sceptical, give it a try for yourself. If it works for you just think how it could change your life! If it doesn’t, what have you lost?