Updated: Aug 31
Goal setting, we all know we should do it. Equally so, we all think we “kinda” do it. We “sort of” know where we want to go. Your goal might even end up in a business or marketing plan. So why do many solopreneurs feel stuck within the first year after launching their businesses? The answer lies in the nitty-gritty of SMART goal setting.
One of my female solopreneur clients came to me feeling stuck. She had so many great ideas, but after a relatively good start, her income stream dried up she was (almost) ready to call it quits.
She had done the math, knew her numbers, where she wanted to take her business, and had great ideas around her offerings. Everything to make her business successful. She had given herself 6 months to go at it alone, and those 6 months were almost over. Nothing was how she imagined it; she felt defeated, not good enough, and a failure.
Unfortunately, this is a familiar scenario for many (female) solopreneurs. The answer? Creating your accountability system through Goal Setting! Here are 5 reasons why you should make this a priority.
1. Make it Specific
Without knowing exactly where you are going, you go nowhere.
SMART Goal Setting means you not only set your goals, but you make them Specific. Thinking about every step you need to take to reach your goal makes reaching that goal realistic. Let me explain: Think about your Big Goal. Then consider every specific action you need to take to get there. For instance, you have set out an income goal for yourself. This requires a steady monthly flow of 10+ sales of your main product or service. Next, you determine smaller milestones and every specific action you need to take to reach each milestone.
2. Make it Measurable
Everyone can use an occasional pat on the back, so you want to Measure and celebrate your successes. Each milestone is a step closer to your main goal. Think of a way to celebrate each milestone, like giving yourself a raise.
3. Make it Achievable
Set yourself up for success! Hence, your goal and subsequent milestones should be challenging yet Achievable. Be honest with yourself. Is it possible to get to a steady flow of 10+ sales simply by saying it is so and writing a single blog? Although that would be awesome (and some ads might make you believe this), this is not how that goes. Instead, determine specific, achievable steps for yourself, allowing you to truly reach each milestone.
4. Make your milestones Relevant to your Big Goal
There are 24 hours in a day, and every day deserves a little balance between work and play. So stay focussed! With each great idea that bubbles up, or rabbit hole you are about to enter, step back and ask yourself: “Is this Relevant to the Goals I set out for myself?” If yes, do it! If not, leave it (for now). It will prevent you from burning out.
5. Set a Timeline
Lastly, fit your plan into a Timeline. If you want to reach your big goal within 12 months, work your way back and determine a realistic timeline for each milestone, and each related step. And remember to set yourself up for success: your plan has to be achievable!
Something holding you back?
Making it “real” leads to recognizing the challenges holding you back before they withhold you from becoming successful. And this is precisely where my client found herself stuck. During our coaching session, she realized that fear was holding her back. "What if I can’t do it? What if I fail?" Able to tap into her wisdom and strength, she changed her mindset from What if I fail? to What if I succeed? With SMART goals in place, my client is now well underway toward her main goal. Feeling energized and positive while attracting the clients she needs.
With SMART Goal Setting, you create your accountability system. It is YOU driving the bus, and it is YOU that makes your Solopreneurship a great success!
And this is why you should make SMART Goal Setting a priority.
About the author
Bouwien (Bo) Luppes is a seasoned serial solopreneur and CTA-certified life coach. She has launched six successful solo businesses across three countries and two continents, enriching her with extensive experience and knowledge of the challenges facing female solo entrepreneurs. Merging this experience with her passion for supporting others led her to establish Coach 4 Solopreneurs, where she provides support and guidance to fellow solo entrepreneurs.