Ignite Your Goals!

Gerry O’Brion gives unbelievable presentations to empower your company to achieve goals. We asked him to put together a Kwik-Tips distillation that could really get people started – this gives just a taste of the remarkable value and insight that Gerry offers! 

Ignite Your Goals! 
Six secrets to accelerating franchisee growth
By Gerry O’Brion 

“I’m swamped!  There is just too much to do!”  Success for franchise owners comes down to picking the right things to do – and then getting them done.  Whether you’re managing the business yourself or have a staff supporting you, there is a lot to do. 

Every day is filled with activities – some urgent, some important, and some simply distractions.  Many times small business owners don’t have the luxury to just pass projects to the next person down the line – you have to roll up your sleeves and get it done.  You need to be more efficient, more nimble, do more and work faster than the big guys.

Think about your business right now.  What are the one or two things you could do by the end of the year that would make a difference in your business?  We all have this list.  Those important things that we know we need to do, that we know would make a difference, and that we’re still not accomplishing.

There are a few simple steps that will move you from having goals to actually achieving your goals.  These are not for the faint of heart.  The techniques are basic and easy to implement, but there is a reason that almost no one does them – they might make you uncomfortable.  So answer this – would it be worth a little discomfort to accomplish more, accelerate your success, and take your business to the next level?  Let’s get started. 

    1. Have a goal.  Yes, this sounds very, very obvious.  Yet 80% of people in the US don’t have a stated goal they’re currently working towards.  What is it you really want to accomplish?  Get clear on the outcome you want and you’re already way ahead of the game.  Every large competitor out there has a goal their shooting for and you should too.
    2. Write it down.  All it takes is a pen and a piece of paper.  Bring your goal to life by writing it down.  Does this really make a difference?  Turns out, yes – a big one.  A recent study by Dr. Gail Matthews at Dominican University in California produced some striking results.  Those who wrote their goal down vs. those who just had a goal in their mind were 42% more likely to accomplish their goal.  So grab a pen and paper or open a new document on your computer and get writing!
    3. Tell others.  Now that you’ve written your goals down, don’t keep them to yourself.  Yes, here is where it starts to get uncomfortable.  Many of us tend to be hesitant to share our goals.  What if we fail?  Then we’ve put it out there and we’ll look bad.  Are you more concerned with looking good or achieving success?  People who write down their goal achieve a 50% higher success rate than those who simply have a goal.  As a business owner, it’s critical that everyone on your team knows the goal they’re shooting for.  It will motivate and focus them.  Have everyone who works for you create a personal goal that ladders up to your organizational goal.
    4. Create accountability.  If you want to really want to ignite your goals, tell someone and then have them follow up with you periodically.  Talk about getting out of your comfort zone!  We tend to think that we can stay accountable to ourselves.  In reality, studies show that we’re significantly more likely to do what we say when we have external motivation vs. internal motivation.  Matthews’ research showed a 77% increase in success when participants sent a weekly progress report to a friend.  Be accountable to other small business owners that you know.  Check in quarterly with your employees to see how they are doing against their goals.
    5. Have a plan.  The next step is to create a plan.  A big goal is always easier to master when we break it down into parts and put it on a timeline.  Do you have a written business plan?  When was the last time you looked at it?  Most independent business owners only write a business plan when they need money from the bank.  Sound familiar?  There is a reason why banks require people to have written plans.  They work.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Keeping your plan simple is more effective anyway.  A simple one-page plan is all any business should need to outline the key activities related to accomplishing their goals.  Have everyone in your organization contribute to building the plan, and be sure they all understand how they fit into accomplishing it.
    6. Track your results.  Finally, check in frequently to see how you’re doing against your plan and your goals.  It only takes a minute, but can be very powerful.  Benjamin Franklin was famously consistent about planning each day in the morning, and reflecting on each day in the evening.  Being purposeful about where we’re going can make a dramatic impact on the activities we choose each day.

Success in business comes down to the choices we make.  How will we spend our hours today?  Which projects are going to help accomplish our goals?  Are we willing to be uncomfortable to get what we want?  Write down your goals, tell others, create accountability, craft a plan and track your results. Here’s to your success! 

Gerry is a speaker, author and coach who helps companies achieve their goals.  Gerry was an executive for companies like P&G, Coors, Quiznos and Red Robin.  Visit to see his Ignite Your Goals video and get a free download from his workbook. 

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