Outcomes, not Resolutions
Your business deserves some marketing attention in the coming year, and this is a great time to think about how you could do things a little differently from last year. If you’re not getting the outcomes you want to see, something needs to change. Doesn’t it?
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.“
– Albert Einstein
Part of the answer lies in planning your desired outcomes first.
This Isn’t About Goal Setting
Although it feels like it, we’re not talking about goal setting here. We’re certainly not talking about resolutions. In fact, this begins a little closer to a visualization exercise – but what it’s really about is taking back your power to choose.
How To Plan Your Outcomes for 2011
You’ll need a quiet, comfortable spot. A pad of paper and a pen (or crayons, if they make you feel more creative).
Let’s start with something that happened in 2010 that you didn’t like. Perhaps it was “peak and valley” marketing, where your business came in feast and famine bursts. Perhaps it was just not enough new customers. Perhaps it was customer service that didn’t make you proud. Maybe it was having no website, or having one that embarrassed you, and didn’t bring in any business.
I know this is hard stuff – we tend to pretend we don’t think about these things, but then they fester in us.
Take something you weren’t pleased with and write it on the top of a page.
“I should have contacted more new prospects every week“
Now, restate that into a specific, measurable, positive outcome. In other words, describe what will be different about your business at the end of 2011 if you do this thing, in positive, descriptive, specific language.
“I called five new prospects every working week, and at the end of 2011 I’d created relationships with over 250 new clients and prospective clients.“
It’s important to state your outcome as if it has been achieved. Describe it as you would looking back, if you were talking to a close friend with whom it was safe to brag a little. Now write your outcome on the page, in larger letters than the previous text. This is a great time to break out the crayons and color or decorate it a bit.
The Second to Last Step
Don’t skip this piece. It’s a very important couple of minutes of your time. What you’re going to do now is a bit of time travel. Visualize yourself at the end of 2011, having completed the steps necessary to bring about your desired outcome.
You’ll just take a minute or two, close your eyes, and “feel” into being the you who has achieved the outcome you chose for yourself and your company. If there are visible results, like new equipment, store traffic, or even an increased bank balance, see yourself in the picture with those results. Hold that hefty bank statement in your hand. Sit in front of the huge new monitor you bought with your increased revenues. Watch the eager customers crowding into your store and take pride in having taken action to make it happen.
Feel the feelings these results will bring about. Are you excited, exhilarated, proud? Feel it!
So What’s the Last Step?
Well, doing it, of course. You might want to tape your notepaper to a wall, bathroom mirror, or into your journal and review it periodically, including the visualization step. If you get off track for a bit, don’t use that as an excuse to take yourself out. Just choose to get back to working towards the desired outcome you chose.
You can repeat this for each outcome you want to achieve in 2011, and it can help with personal changes as well as business ones. However, don’t overwhelm yourself.
I’d suggest you limit yourself to a few clearly-visualized outcomes. The amount of effort involved in the steps you’ll take to achieve them should be realistic, even easy, for you. Set yourself up to win with this – it’s your choice to achieve the outcomes you choose in 2011.
Have a joyful, prosperous new year full of positive choices and outcomes successfully achieved!