Don’t let someone else tell you what you know is best for your life. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
You’ve been taught about SMART goals, and as a result, you’ve been setting small goals. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Don’t allow small goal setting to hold you back. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
All right. Hi and welcome to episode number 120 of The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. I’m your host, Tiffany Parson, but I think I want to start saying your virtual co-worker because lately I’ve been showing you a lot of the behind the scenes. If you were at my desk sitting right here, you would see all of my wonderful things that I’m sorting through including my makeup bag, had to make sure I had all that stuff lined up before I started the podcast.
But anyway, I want to talk to you about goal setting.
I figured out why I’ve always hated goal setting. For years, I hated goal setting because it seems like the only time somebody wanted me to set goals was at work and they really didn’t want me to set my own personal goals. They wanted me to set goals that were related to them. So for years, I have associated goals with corporate.
I was sitting today thinking about what the topic would be for the podcast. You know, at the beginning of the year, what do we think about? We think about goal setting and weight loss and financial planning and all that stuff comes up, right? It occurred to me why I never liked goal setting. I mean, I have always made out a list, things I was going to do, dreams, ideas. In a sense they were goals, but I never liked to call them goals.
Then whenever I would see SMART goals, it would drive me nuts. You’ve seen SMART goals, that acronym SMART. SMART breaks down to what? Let me pull up my notes because I don’t want to get it wrong. I want to make sure I say it exactly right. Specific is the S, so very specific goals. It needed to be very clear. This was how it was communicated for work too. You needed to have some clear goals.
Measurable. It needs to be measurable. We needed to be able to come back for your next review and look at what the goals you said you were going to have and match them up to what did you actually accomplish. This is part of the reason why I hated it.
The thing is, my goal when I worked in Corporate America was always not to be here next year, not to be here in time for the next review. That was always my goal, but I could never say that. I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know what it was going to look like. But really, that was always my goal.
The A is for Achievable, the R – Realistic, and the T – Timely. Okay, so here’s the deal with the SMART goals and this is something that you may be doing. I was doing this and that is making my goals too small because I’m thinking they’ve got to be realistic. They’ve got to be measurable. They have to be timely. They have to be achievable. Right? All that stuff.
But then I would end up setting goals for things that were already like in motion, like goals that by the time I filled out the review sheet were already accomplished. But it would be something easy that I knew was, like I said, already in the works.
As a result, when I left corporate, still setting teeny weeny goals because of the pattern created over the course of the 12 or so years that I was in Corporate America, and it’s been so long since I’ve been out. I think it was 12 years…maybe a little longer. No, 12, 12, 12, 12. 12 is right. 12 is right. But setting small goals.
Here’s the thing. If you feel like you’re just spinning, going round and round and round – and I can’t remember what that kid’s toy is I used to have. Sit ‘n Spin! I can’t believe it came to my mind [laughs]. Did you have a Sit ‘n Spin? You sit on it and you turn the wheel and you spin and spin and spin and spin.
That may be how you’re feeling if you’ve been setting small goals because you’ve been taught about the SMART goals, and as a result, you’ve been setting small goals. So you feel like you’re just going around and round and round and round and it makes you feel icky and yucky and dizzy to the point you don’t even want to get on this whole goal setting ride anymore.
Well, I want to challenge you to write down things that you want to accomplish.
Don’t think about how you’re going to accomplish it because more than likely we’ve been both in the same place and you’re like, oh, I’m already halfway there so I’ll write that on my list. But write down what you really want to achieve, different things. Don’t think about the whole SMART goal thing. Make a list of things that you want to do. Just dream. Write it all down. It could be related to your business, your personal life, whatever, but just for you. It’s not for anybody else. Have fun with that.
Then you can go back and maybe put them in different categories or maybe write a little chart or whatever works best for you. I like to categorize things. That may not be your deal. Maybe you want to draw it or something else. But this is just to help us get out of that whole thing of setting goals so small that we’ve already achieved it before the ink dries on our paper.
But things we really want to reach for, not because somebody told us we need to write goals, not because somebody is looking for us to set goals for something that they want to achieve. But what do you want? What do you want out of your life professionally, personally, relationship wise and on and on and on? What do you want? Start writing that down. Then you can go back and decide, okay, what is – what was the first one? Specific.
Is it specific enough? For example, if you put on the list that you want more clients in 2018, that’s not specific enough. What is more? I mean, one is more. Five is more. Ten is more. What is more for you? See, one person, they may just need one more client to put them at their full capacity, or maybe you just got started. You’re not sure what your full capacity is and your more is three, or maybe somebody else’s more is 20 because they’re working on expanding and building a team. So be specific to you.
But when you’re writing that first list, just write it all. Don’t worry about all the specifics. Then you can go back and say, okay, what does more clients look like? What does more money look like? Weight loss, you know, I want to lose weight. Well, how much weight do you want to lose, or what size dress do you want to get in? You know, what is the ultimate goal? What is it? That’s where you go into the whole specific thing.
Then, you know, once you’re specific, especially if there’s a number involved, that number automatically makes it measurable. If you say I want ten more clients this year or I want five more clients in the next quarter, that makes it measurable, right? This year, this quarter, that makes it measurable. You may even want to be more specific and decide specific to what service. You know, that part doesn’t matter. Again, it’s specific for you.
Now, is this achievable? Let’s think about this. If you are just getting started in your virtual assistant business and you don’t have any clients, are you going to be able to…well, that’s going to realistic. Let’s take it this way. You work full-time and you wrote that you want 20 more clients this year and you’re working full-time.
Now, it’s going to depend on what type of service that you’re providing. When I say 20, I don’t mean 20 and that’s it, but like ongoing. Let’s say 20 monthly clients. What is you put that down? 20 monthly clients. Be even more specific. Not just 20 clients, but monthly recurring clients, right. Not just 20 projects, 20 monthly recurring.
Let’s say you put that down but you work a full-time job. Is that achievable? Is that realistic based on your schedule? Now, it’s okay that you put it down initially, but you go back and refine. By being specific and putting some numbers in there, that will help you refine and think, okay, based on my schedule, what makes sense for me? Now, don’t make it so low that, you know, you’ve already achieved it, again, by the ink dries, but something realistic based on your schedule and what you know you can handle. Hope that makes sense.
But this makes goal setting more fun for us and focused on what we want to achieve and not what someone else wants us to achieve for them.
Now, I’m curious to know if you’ve been holding back on your goal setting because you’re used to doing the corporate goal setting, but not you goal setting for yourself. I’m curious to know that, and I want you to share with me over on my Facebook page if that is the case.
You know, one thing my mom always would tell me, “You’re never the only one.” Whenever, you know, I’d be like, oh, if she says, no, I couldn’t go somewhere, she’d be like, “You’re never the only one. There’s somebody.” I’m like, oh, I’m just missing it. Everybody is getting to do it. Her thing was you’re never the only one. Then you find out somebody else couldn’t go either.
Or we’re running late and you don’t want to be late to whatever it is. Oh, my gosh, we’re late. We’re going to be the last ones. Her thing was always we’re never the only one. It’s so funny, that has held true. I see it over and over and over again. You’re never the only one.
This is something that crossed my mind and I take the podcast very seriously and the subject matters that I bring to you. I put a lot of thought into it and just really wait until it hits me to know this is the right topic. This is the right thing. Somebody is on the other side struggling with their goals. You know what you want. You know this year you want to expand your virtual assistant business and bring on subcontractors. But because you’re used to setting the goals small, you’re still thinking about how can you carry the workload.
Or you’re trying to decide do I go ahead and get the clients or get the team together first? I’m with you. I understand that completely. These are the same questions that I ask myself because I’m ready to expand. I’m ready to bring on more clients and more team members to do it. That’s what I’m dealing with and so I figure somebody else is as well.
Or maybe it’s the flipside. You’re on the sidelines. You’re watching. You’ve been watching the podcast. You’ve been binging on the podcast. I get your emails. You tell me you listen to several episodes or watch several episodes, and I’m excited that you keep coming back, that you’re spending your time listening to these podcasts and you’re being encouraged to get started.
Don’t allow small goal setting to hold you back.
If you are sitting there and you have the time and you know you could bring on three new clients, five new clients, whatever your number is, you know you have the capacity to do that, but you’re afraid. You’re afraid of what someone is going to say about you. You’re afraid.
Let me tell you what people said to me before I started. You know, in your excitement, you tell people too much [laughs]. I’d advise don’t tell anybody what you’re doing except for the people that matter most and those that really need to know. But I had someone ask me, “Well, how do you guarantee that you’ll get paid?”
Someone else said, “Really? Well, what makes you think you can make money full-time on Elance?” These are just someone else’s opinion. It’s their fears they’re putting off on you. But that’s not you. Brush their fear, their small goals off of you and go big.
Go big! What is it that you want?
The day I turned in my resignation from my corporate job was one of the best days of my life. I was a contractor at the time and so I had to give that company 30 days’ notice. Can you imagine sitting for 30 days? I knew I was leaving. I don’t know how soon they told the company, you know, that I was assigned to. I’m not sure how soon they told them, but it was a hard 30 days because I was excited. I also had client work. My business had already started before I was leaving. It was on.
I don’t want you to let someone else tell you what you know is best for your life. It’s time to start setting some big goals and to start putting those goals into plans and turning those plans into action.
I’m here to help you. Keep listening to the podcast. Thank you so much. Come on over to the Facebook page and share with me that you are going to start setting some bigger goals for yourself. Facebook.com/TiffanyParsonBiz. That’s where you’ll find me. I’ll be there every single day. You post your question, and I’ll see it and I’ll respond to you there.
You have a wonderful and fabulous day.