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Most resolutions for the New Year die in February.
Entrepreneurs are not immune to this phenomenon. Many successful business owners subscribe to the idea of management by objective (MBO), which is based on goal setting and achieving results — not dissimilar to the concept of New Year’s resolutions.
However, the truth is that despite their best efforts and intentions, entrepreneurs don’t always achieve their business goals. If you’re part of that 80 percent statistic, or can relate to it, New York Times bestselling author, productivity expert and executive coach Dan Miller says transforming failure into success is often, and literally, a matter of time.
“One of the biggest reasons for various types of failures that I hear from clients and executive coaches I train is that they don’t have enough time,” said Miller. “But whether you’re Warren Buffet or Jimmy Buffet, we all have 168 hours to fill each week. A critical key to success is deciding in advance how you’ll spend those hours. Consider that every successful business has a budget that allocates specific dollars for specific use. We have to apply the same intention to our time. Every week dedicate specific time blocks for specific use and don’t be distracted. You’ll be amazed at what you can get done.”
In addition to his dogged time management advice, Miller offers the following actionable tips based on his 30 plus years experience as a trainer of trainers, to help you get back on track if you happened to fail at any personal resolutions or business goals for this young year.
1. Revisit your goals.
Miller says something is misaligned if you’ve lost track or interest of a goal so soon after setting it.
“It’s important to honestly assess if that goal really was your own to begin with or merely something you were trying to achieve to meet someone else’s expectations or for some other reason. The truth is that if you don’t believe in a personal or professional objective, it’s much harder to achieve, but you have to be honest with yourself about that,” he said.
2. Know your “why”.
Many entrepreneurs are motivated by the desire for financial freedom and to make a lot of money, but Miller says that’s not enough of a reason.
“Making money is not a great goal for any of us because it’s a very temporary and fleeting feeling once a financial objective is met — trust me in that regard. There has to be a reason behind that to make the goal meaningful, sustainable and worthwhile. There are plenty of millionaires out there who are unhappy and unfulfilled because they don’t know their ‘why’,” said Miller.
He explains that to help determine your “why” begin asking yourself why you’re trying to accomplish a specific goal and then repeat the line of “why” questioning a total of five times to get to the underlying reason. It’s highly possible it’s a reason which you might not have previously recognized or addressed.
“If that underlying reason is not meaningful, sustainable or worthwhile it might be time to reevaluate and come up with another rationale because having a big why will drive big goals,” he said.
3. Effectively marshal your inner resources.
According to Miller one of the greatest ways to achieve your objectives is having the ability to apply the right skills to the right problem at the right time.
“One of the defining characteristics of an entrepreneur is that they have a lot of different skills, abilities and ideas. While those are great to have, they are not enough. To effectively achieve objectives those skills, abilities and ideas need to be shaped and transformed with direction and intention into something meaningful,” said Miller.
With those three tips, it’s time to resolve to reboot your business objectives—or maybe a failed New Year’s resolution or two.