Ian Brodie just published a post I’ve been waiting for.
I learn a lot from Ian, who puts huge effort into building a well deserved online reputation. His website always has something worthwhile on it.
A year ago, Ian set out to get 10,000 subscribers to his website. He declared that goal in public, and promised to report on his progress. In the post he’s just published, Project 10K: Surprising Results, Lots of Lessons Learned, Ian reveals why he didn’t make the progress he thought he should, and needed to adjust his goal.
I take two things from his blog post.
- Putting your goals out for people to see is a good thing because it really encourages you to go after your goals – you don’t want to be seen to fail. But it also gives people a chance to help you achieve your goals. People who you might not have asked for help, but who may be able to provide tips, advice, connections, influence or resources.
- Adjusting your goals is often necessary, and nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes, and I think this is what happened to Ian, what you think is the goal turns out not to be. Just having 10,000 subscribers, it turned out, wasn’t going to get Ian the kind of business he wanted. So he changed his goal.
That’s why Ian’s handling of his ‘Project 10k’ impressed me, even when the project ‘failed’. Because it didn’t really fail. He was open about what he tried to do, and changed his plan when he needed to. I’m sure the lessons he’s passed on will help a lot of people. Go to the link above to read Ian’s full article.
Setting goals for your business is an iterative process. What seems to be a clear objective now may turn out to be the wrong one, but you’ll only discover that by striving to reach it.
Changing course, when you have new information, is sensible. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. Nor should you be embarrassed that you’re changing course in full view of your colleagues, shareholders and customers. Politicians might try to hide their changes of direction, but us business people don’t need to. You just need to keep explaining what you’re doing.
What’s been your experience of goal setting? Let me know in the comments.