I’m going to call you on a particularly pernicious piece of bullsh*t today. It’s this:


Let me explain.

Yesterday I was on call with Amanda Farough, the owner of Violet Minded Design. We were discussing the income & sales brackets her new target clients are in. I was a bit surprised that she didn’t have a quick answer because these are celebrities that you & I both know. These aren’t mystery people and they talk about their earning quite a bit because it’s part of their job!

That was the tip off.

If she wasn’t aware of their sales bracket, then she wasn’t aware of her sales goal.

She let me know she “hoped” for a certain figure this year.

“A hope is not a goal,” I said. “A goal has a plan.”

She wrote that down in her notes.

When you have a hope, there’s no ownership attached to that outcome.

You’re shooting blanks and you don’t even know what your target is.

If you’re operating your business on “a hope,” today is the day to get honest about that fact and turn your hope into a goal that shapes your business for the better. Here’s how:

  1. Fess up. Admit to yourself that the number, the milestone, the ideal you’ve had in mind is only a hope and not a goal.
  2. Get real. Is what you’ve been hoping for really what you desire? Is it more? Is it less? Is it different? Understand what you really want for yourself & your business. Often when something remains a hope and not a goal, it’s because it doesn’t represent the true desire.
  3. State the goal. Turn your hope into a goal by stating it directly & with confidence. Don’t dare use the word hope when you state your goal.
  4. Work backwards. Now that you have the goal, it’s time to work backwards to create the plan. How many widgets do you need to sell to make the sales number? How many phone calls do you need to make to reach the milestone? How many press releases do you need to send?
  5. Tell someone else. You are not alone. Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Tell someone your goal and use the same language you used when you stated it yourself. Better yet, fill them in on the plan and tell them how they can help. You’ll take the words right out of their mouth.

See the plan you created when you worked backwards? Those are your priorities. Anytime you are faced with the opportunity for something new & shiny in your business, ask yourself if it helps you accomplish any piece of that plan. If the answer is no, ignore the shiny!

Work that doesn’t fit the plan is busy work. It may need done but it probably needs to be done by someone else.

Work that doesn’t fit that plan is keeping you from serving clients the way you want to serve them and it’s keeping you from being served by your business in a way that moves you – as a human being – forward.

When all you have is a hope, that extraneous, sometimes shiny work, is attractive. Even addictive. It helps you keep the hope a hope and nothing more. It gives you an easy out on what could be true goals. It gives you excuses when you really you have none.

Check & recheck. Is it a hope — or is it a goal?

What hope have you been holding onto in lieu of a goal? Click here to share it on Twitter.