I’m a big believer in the Tortoise. Most of my accomplishments have been achieved by plodding. Plodding has an almost negative connotation but I like to think of it as working diligently on things and being content to achieve them in smaller increments. To me, that is the secret to success… setting and achieving small goals to work toward a larger goal.
Living in Los Angeles and being exposed to the entertainment industry, I am well acquainted with people that have the hare mentality. You may already know the type. They are always looking for the big hit, the big win, instead of working on a series of small wins that will eventually add up. As a result, they are almost never successful at reaching their goals and if they are – they eventually lose everything.
In the book “What They Don't Teach You in the Harvard Business School,” author Mark McCormack tells of a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program. In that year, the students were asked, "Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?" Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all.
Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
What was I able to take away from this?
I was reminded to set goals for myself. Simple but not easy. What kind of goals? There are a hundred different ways to set goals. Ultimately, I guessed that the best goal setting method is the one that works for you. Here’s what worked for me.
The first thing I did was to set the BIG GOAL. The BIG GOAL was to sell 10,001 books before the end of the year. I even created a hashtag: #10001booktour.
I then came up with hundreds of other little goals to make the BIG GOAL happen. Every day I made a list that covered a page. Every morning I went through my list and I highlighted the top six things I needed to do every day to make the biggest impact on moving my BIG GOAL forward. It’s worked pretty miraculously. I’m plodding and I’m comfortable with that.
As I have been marketing and selling my books, something that has become incredibly helpful to me is a quote by Stephen Covey, “The main thing, is to keep the main thing the main thing.” It is not just a question of coming up with my goals, it is to stay focused on them!!!! And the main thing is my BIG GOAL.
Lastly, I did a thorough S.W.O.T. analysis which is extremely helpful to use as a bridge for setting goals. That is the subject of my next post where I will list all my little goals that have helped me sell books.
In the meantime, as of my last quarterly report, I’ve sold 9,169 books so I’m close to selling my 10,001. I increased my BIG GOAL to 100,001.
What is your BIG GOAL right now? Do you have one?