Goals Part 2 – A compas needs a map.

Welcome Back!

In the last article I talked about my 4 goal setting rules. Just to recap they were:

  1. Must be specific – $1,000,000, not I want to be rich.
  2. Must have a due date – It is December 2014 and I have $1,000,000 Deposited in my Bank Of America money market account.
  3. Must be measurable – If you cant measure it you don’t know if you are reaching it.
  4. Must be stated in the first person, present tense – I have, not I will have.

The point of this series is to show the big deal with goals. Every success book, or coach talks about goals and I know you have tried them at some point but whats the big deal. I mean if you try hard and know generally what you want shouldn’t that be enough? Do you really need to have clear specific goals?

Hopefully by the end of this series of blog posts you will know exactly why they are so important, and how they work.

Lets get started…

A goal when built using my 4 rules is not some pipe dream. It’s not something that would be nice if it happened someday but, ehh if not, well at least you tried. No! A true goal is a powerful life altering compass that can shape nations, build empires, and literally change the world.

Too dramatic? I don’t think so.

This very country (United States) was started because a few brave men made it their goal to live a life of freedom. They were sick and tired of dealing with the oppressive government in England and were willing to die trying to reach this goal.

Now you might say; “Dave that was not for a goal. Our founding fathers were fighting because of a deep rooted belief.” Which brings me to my first point. If a goal is going to have real meaning and significance in your life, it needs to be rooted in something you believe in, and truly desire at your core. Lets take a financial goal for example.  Lets say you want to be a millionaire. That’s still to vague so lets get more specific to 1 million dollars cash in your bank account. Well why do you want that money?

I’m sure you want some toys (boat, new car) or maybe to pay off some debt, or to impress your in-laws. Hey, been there, done that, got the tee shirt. The reality is that those things are surface level. Yes all of those things are nice and if used correctly can bring pleasure into your life. But if those material objects are all your after you will realize that your not satisfied.  Most likely what you are really after is a feeling of accomplishment or self worth. Maybe it’s dignity or security. The true meaning will be different for everyone but the first step is to go deep and determine what the goal really represents to you personally.

One side note… I believe you should have goals in every area of your life. Financially, Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually Everywhere. Since we are all auto repair shop owners looking to grow our business I will use financial examples.

OK now that we know the deepest reason why we are shooting for a specific goal its time to work backwards.

Setting a core goal will give you a direction, like a compass. But much like you need a map for a compass to work, you can’t stop at just coming up with a core goal.  As you start to work backwards and figure out what its going to take to reach that goal, you gain clear focus. This is where you develop your map.  So in keeping with our 1 million dollars in the bank goal lets start to work backwards.

First lets follow my four rules. Our goal looks like this. ” It is December 31st 2020 and there is $1,000,274 in my Bank of America Money Market Savings account”.

So I have given myself 5 and a half years to earn and save $1,000,274. That means that each month I need to be saving 15,162 dollars. If I was making enough money to save that much every month, than all I have to do is determine how to arrange my finances and make sure that amount of money is set aside every month. If I don’t make that money I need to find out how to increase my income.

Were all auto repair shop owners so lets talk about this in terms of auto repair.

The first question to ask is “Am I currently having to turn away work because we can’t get it all done?” OR “Is there plenty of free time and I need to get more business?” The answer to this question will tell you if you need to focus your attention on operations or marketing and sales.

Lets say the problem is marketing and sales.

Well There are 3 ways to grow a business.

  1. Get more customers – This is what everyone is drooling over, but usually the slowest, most difficult, and most expensive.
  2. Increase your transaction size – This can be done two ways. Either the service writer improves his skill and is able to sell more to each customer, or you simply raise your prices. I’m sure there is room for both in your auto repair shop.
  3. Increase the frequency of purchase – Getting your existing customers to come back more often. The fastest, easiest and most inexpensive way to grow your shop hands down!

If you have a marketing and sales issue you analyze which of these three areas is the weakest, and focus your attention on that specific area. Once you narrow it down to something specific you create a new goal. So for example: If you find out your average ticket is only $225, well you can quickly double your business by training your service adviser to sell better.

So the goal looks like this: “It is August 31st 2014 And the average Repair Order in the shop was $453.25 for the week.”

The key points I want you to have from today is that a goal must be rooted in a deep belief. Then the main goal acts as a compass that gives you a direction to travel in. Once you have the main goal you work backwards to understanding what it will take to make the goal a reality and create smaller “step” goals. These goals act as your map so that you know on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis what it is going to take to reach your main goal.

There is so much more I plan to cover so this series might take longer than I expected. Hey, that’s alright. I would rather take a while and cover everything than skip around just to hit the over hyped “talking points” that everyone mentions.

Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Also feel free to ask a question that you would like me to address as I complete this series.

To your success,

Dave

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