In our fast-paced world, business owners and leaders are molded in a way that makes them want results. It's easy to get into a trap of becoming a forward-looking, goal-pursuing, results-focused machine.
This may sound optimal, but it's not. While setting business goals can help you attain tremendous success, research indicates that our obsession with results might do you more harm than good.
Instead, leaders who successfully shift their mindset from the end results of chasing their goals to the process for achieving them not only end up reaching goals faster, they are happier while doing so.
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Why goal-setting is holding you back
If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. It's true.
But how you go about setting them and achieving them makes all the difference. By focusing on the end result, you could wind up missing the target completely. That's because while most people understand what they want to achieve, they don't know how they are going to achieve it.
Having that SMART goal isn’t as important as you think. Wanting to close 2 clients this month or selling 10% more units this year might seem like a perfect objective. Yet, without the how, these goals aren’t determining where you will end up.
If you're caught up in an important vs. urgent dilemma, you should identify what matters most to your business and focus on the process to achieving your vision. Break down the steps, the milestones, the different avenues you can explore. It not only sets you up with a meaningful roadmap, it inherently provides much-needed flexibility and creativity.
In fact, by being wholly focused on a specific desired outcome, you’re less willing to try long shots, less open to serendipity, and less likely to stumble on an even better opportunity than the one you were aiming for.
Why you should shift from results to process
Instead of setting a goal to increase sales by 10%, we set a goal to call three new leads every day. This becomes the target. This becomes the thing we aim for. This is doing the work.
Still wondering why shifting your mindset from results to process is a good idea? Here are some few examples to consider:
- Viagra was initially developed to treat a painful heart condition known as angina pectoris. During clinical trials, researchers discovered that the treatment was very effective at treating erectile dysfunction.
- Samsung started out as a small business that shipped dried veggies, fish, and noodles from Korea to Beijing and Manchuria. Today, Samsung is recognized in the globe as a leading company in technology.
- Legend also has it that YouTube started off as a video dating site. Thankfully, that didn't work out, and YouTube soon became the leading online video streaming platform in the world.
These are a few examples of brands that turned out way differently than they started.
Instead of focusing only on their original business objectives, and most probably failing to attain them, the brilliant individuals working on these projects allowed themselves to take detours. They pivoted and, in the process, they created different breakthrough solutions that changed the world.
What you'll gain from focusing more on the process
What would happen if you adjusted your mindset and instead of obsessing on the result, turned your attention to the process? Take a look at some of the things that will happen:
You'll remove distractions
The moment you start focusing on what you have to do to get to where you need to be, you'll stop paying attention to all the distractions averting your attention from your current business objective. By focusing on a specific desired result, you'll be less inclined to experiment, less willing to try long shots, and more likely to stumble on an even better outcome than the one you were hoping to achieve.
You'll start to enjoy your work
Eyeing on the results has a way of making people hate the work and the efforts they have to put in to get them. The fact that you cannot get desired results now can make you feel unhappy with you're doing now. When you start paying attention to the process and focus on building the skills you need to get the desired results, you'll start to enjoy your work.
You'll overcome your fears
Failure is one of the biggest fears that most small business owners have. According to Forbes, this is a justified fear, considering that 50 percent of businesses fail within the fifth year. Shifting your mindset from results to process helps you to overcome this fear as you know that you'll be happy regardless of the outcome. You'll have the liberty to get out of your comfort zone, take risks, and be spontaneous.
Are you having difficulties navigating the shifting dynamics of doing business? Focused Energy can help. We are an experienced team of outsourced CFO and finance experts. Our organizational process professionals and financial experts strive to minimize inefficiencies and boost your profitability. There are many reasons why you should choose us as your business consultant.