Monday, December 29, 2014

6 Reasons Why You Didn't Reach Your Goals in 2014


I haven't achieved my 2014 goals yet.

Wait a minute.

I'm not ready for 2015.

Oh, no - here we go again!

I hate goals.

I always fail at goals.

Why set them when I never reach them?

I am doomed.

Stop setting goals until you know why
you are failing at goal setting.
If any of those statements sound familiar to you, then you need to figure out why you fail at goal setting before you set another goal for the new year.

I am not trying to be a negative ninny. I'm just trying to help you see why you may have failed at reaching your goals in 2014, so that you can succeed in 2015.

Do you want to increase your business in 2015 with more referrals? You can! Pay attention to what it takes.

Here are 6 Reasons Why You Didn't Reach Your Goals in 2014.

Goals fail because you may be...
1.  Creating Non-specific Goals:  A non-specific goal would be something like: I want to make more sales in 2015 or I want to lose weight.
A specific goal would be measurable, reachable and specific.  It would look like this. I want to weigh 130 lbs by June 30th or I want to increase my closed sales by $12,000 by July 15, 2015.
2.  Blaming Others:  Life gets in the way. We all know that, but has your life become an excuse for not reaching your goals? 
Own up to the responsibility of your goals. Fight for your goals! You, and only you, have control over whether you will reach your goals. When you realize that, you can figure out creative ways to success, even when life sends you a few detours.
3. Procrastinating:  Okay, we know that tomorrow is another day and we can do it later. However, later never comes and tomorrow is an illusion. All you have is today.
"Right now" is better than later. Let that be your mantra in 2015. Right now is better than later. Do a little bit or do a lot, but DO SOMETHING today toward reaching your goals.
4. Spreading Yourself Too Thin:  Are you involved in too many things? Too many projects? Newsletters? Blogs? Social Media? Volunteering? 
Understanding that you have a limited amount of time in a day, will empower you to stay focused on what is most important. You may have to back off from starting another project in order to reach your goals. Your goals should be worth being a priority for today. Your goals are worth it!
5. Surrounding Yourself With Negative Influences:  A negative influence could be a person or a habit or a thing. Look around. What's pulling you down?
Become aware of what people and which habits are an energy drain and avoid them as much as possible. This includes watching too much TV. Spend more time with positive uplifting actions and friends. 
6. Not Fighting For Success: At some point, you have to ask yourself, "How bad do I want it?"  Personally, I believe that if a goal is worth setting, it's worth fighting for.  
When you set terrific, measurable, reachable and specific goals they are worth protecting, they are worth sacrificing for and they are worth fighting for. Don't let other people, excuses, procrastination and lack of focus steal your dreams.

Happy New Year and may God knock your socks off with blessing in 2015.

It's time to succeed!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Net-work... not Net-sit or Net-eat

The simple truth is networking works if you work it.

It’s fun to go to your business networking meeting, visit with good friends and have a nice meal. It’s great to have a support group that cheers you on to success.

However, networking is not just about going to a lunch or breakfast, handing out a few cards and waiting for the phone to ring. As a business person, you understand that it takes work to make the phone ring.

The best way to make networking work for you is to follow these few principles:

Stand-up and move: You’re here to give and receive business. Arrive early, stay standing and greet guests and members. It’s net-work, not net-sit. Move around the room and make connections. Don’t be the person who comes in, sits down and hides behind the menu. The first fifteen minutes of most referral groups is usually a very important time of standing, welcoming guests and networking.

Net-work not Net-eat: This is probably not your last meal. The food is not that important. You’re here for the relationships. The menu may not be your favorite and the food might not be perfect, but that is not why you’re here. You are here for business and to form lasting relationships.  Many times the reason a venue is chosen is because the size, location and/or comfort of the room is ideal for networking.  Pay more attention to the meeting than the potatoes.

Visibility: Consistently attend your meetings, do one-to-ones and stay in contact with the members of your group. Make it easy for them to contact you. Have all their numbers programmed into your phone. Stay in touch through Facebook, LinkedIn and social media. Make yourself easy to find.

Credibility: Do the best job you can and deliver honesty and integrity. Be professional, courteous and always return phone calls promptly. Come to the meeting on time and stay until the end. If you volunteer for a leadership position, take it seriously and help make your group a success.

Give referrals: Sincerely look for opportunities to refer the members of your club, chapter or group to others. Take the time to get to know each member so you can easily refer them. Consider using the members for your own business and personal needs.

The WORK in networking brings great rewards.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Secret to Filling Your Calendar in December

Some business people don't consider the Holidays a happy time. In fact, for some, it's the slowest time of the year.

This morning, after a referral group meeting, Matt said to me, "My wife brought it to my attention that this is the first December we've had in years where our calendar is full of jobs." 

Matt has been with Gold Star Referral Clubs for about nine months. He went on the explain that in the tree trimming business, December can be a slow month. But since joining the business networking group, his work has been steady.

The meeting this morning was silly. It was a Christmas Breakfast and we even sang a silly song that one of the members wrote. We had visitors, we laughed and exchanged goodies like cookies and candy.

Toward the end of the meeting, when it's time to invite the visitors to come back, Another member, said something that stuck with me. We were talking about the cost of joining a business networking group, it can run anywhere from free up to about $400 a year. 

The comment was that when you put it into perspective, one color ad could cost $400 or even a $1000 or more. And the life of the ad? Thirty days? Maybe. When does the return on your investment die?

What the member said was this. "Relationships are the ads that last."

Wow! Doesn't that say it all?

If you want to fill your calendar in December, find a great referral group and let those referral relationships fill your calendar.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Why It Pays Not to Quit During the Holidays

Do you hear that sound?

No, it's not jingle bells or even the sound of reindeer on the roof. Pop... pop... pop.

It's the sound of the seams of your budget popping open. The Holiday Season is here.

Every month in Gold Star Referral Clubs there are members who quit. They leave because of job changes, family situations, health challenges and all sorts of reasons, most of them understandable. Many of the reasons make sense - but some don't.

This month, we will see what I call the "knee-jerk" cancellation. That's the member who realizes they haven't saved for the fun... and consequences of the Holiday season. Oops. Might I say, "BIG oops!"

So, the "knee-jerk" reaction is to quit anything that's costing money.

"Cut the marketing budget!" he cries.

It's a quick and easy click to start cancelling, quitting and withdrawing from all the relationships that have fed you business all year long. Stop going to chamber events, stop the business lunches. Drop that - stop this. No more business networking group!

However, slashing long-term referral relationships is one of - dare I say it? - STUPIDEST moves you can make. Maybe, I should soften this a little. Nope. I'm good.

Wouldn't it be better to take the investment you've already made of time, energy and money and use it? Call in favors. Do one-to-ones. Give referrals. Let your business networking group know that you need the work. Ask for referrals.

Your network of friends are there for you all year long. You can count on them especially during the Holidays - the season of giving.

Just the other day I heard a business networker ask her referral group to help her close three more transactions before Christmas. She got a GREAT referral that day.

She said, "Help me help you and let's reach our goals together."  Great idea.

Gary Ryan Blair, the Goals Guy, likes to say - Finish your year strong! I agree. Don't panic and make knee-jerk decisions that you'll regret in January. Stay the course, keep networking and let us know how to help you reach your December goals.