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HOW TO SET HIGH-PRIORITY GOALS

Your Business - 1 Feb 2017

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STRATEGY . . . Your Business interviews one of 4 orld's leading authorities on human behaviour and personal development, Dr John Demartini, on how to set strategic goals and see your business soar... "If you don't fill your day with highpriority actions that lead to profit, your day will fill up with low priority distractions that don't," says Demartini, as we start our conversation around what makes businesses fail or fly. Using this philosophy as a basis, he shared the following advice: explains. "When you focus on something that you see as a high priority, you develop creative insight and are more likely to tackle problems and find solutions, instead of avoiding them." Nicole Cameron Select goals that are authentic According to Demartini, a goal is only ever going to be a high priority if it matches your values, and what you deem to be important. So, before setting goals, take a step back and ensure that the business you're in is of high value to you. "Setting goals based on.comparisons to others is the number one thing that hinders business acceleration, so be sure that your goals are not linked to.competing with a.company or individual who you see as being more successful than you if you.compare yourself to others, and minimise yourself to them, you're going to shrink instead of shine, you're going to live in the shadows of people instead of on the shoulders of giants, and you're going to second guess yourself," he Make sure that these goals are authentic in your market Your next goal should be to make sure that you meet your target market's needs. "Entrepreneurs tend to project their own assumptions onto the market... and if there's no demand, they try to force it because they're fixed on their own fantasy about what people need." Henry Ford provides a great example of the route to follow. Rather than starting out with a car that was overpriced and trying to push it onto the market, "sales gimmicking" them into buying it, he turned the industry on its head by finding out exactly what the market wanted in a car, and producing it. Demand for the resulting Model T went nuts, of course. How do you set customercentric goals? Demartini recalls the story of a senator who went door to door across the country to meet with people from all walks of life, as opposed to using a television advertising campaign. He claimed that because he'd connected with people and found out what their needs were, they voted for him. "People can tell if you really care about them," says DeMartini. "And if you concentrate on meeting their needs, the rest of the challenges you face will be minor. That's what business is all about. " Keep them balanced "If you only see the positives and ignore the downside, you'll find it difficult to act because your unconscious will tell you that you have an unbalanced goal," says DeMartini. "True business planning steers clear of fantasy and is realistic about the negatives that could arise. This means putting contingency plans in place in order to mitigate the risk." Once you've investigated all the pros and cons, you'll have balanced a goal. Business, by its very nature, is challenging, so if you know what you face, you can put a strategy in place. The purpose of planning is to create this balance. Work on them incrementally Business owners often balk because they fail to break up their goals into manageable steps, says Demartini. "If you say you want to create a billion dollar.company, and you're sitting on a million dollar.company, you need to create incremental goals and break your plan down into small, doable bites." When goals seem doable, you are less hesitant and can pave the way towards steady growth, instead of crashing when you don't achieve your big goals.Back goals up with strategy If you set goals without a strategy to achieve them, you're building a fantasy without actually knowing all the repercussions. "If you plan properly, 99% of the things you've thought of don't happen. Being prepared leads to a smooth and successful execution," says DeMartini. "Be sure that your planning isn't influenced by other people's perceptions or by.comparing your business plans against others. Acting from an impulsive place, without foresight and planning, will up your chances of being sideswiped by the unexpected." MI

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