The other week I had the privilege of going along with Nicola Rutzou to business coach Ilan Kogus’ Mastermind program. As Ilan bounced various statistics around the antique boardroom table , two in particular made me instantly stop and think.

85% of new businesses die in the 1st year.  Out of the surviving 15%, 1 in 4 will still be in business after 5 years.

Weeks later I still find myself pondering this harsh reality. What is it that differentiates those that will survive from those who will fail and fade into oblivion?

There are many variables to be considered and there is no definite answer to settle my inquiring thoughts. However, I do agree with Illan that effective goal setting does have a lot to do with business success.

So on that thought, here are Ilan’s six steps to achieving such goals and succeeding in the great game of business.

1. Set your goal and see it – visualise your goal becoming a reality

2. Make it timely – in what time frame are you going to achieve your goal

3. Consider the cost – what are you going to have to pay for it, i.e. time, money, effort and so on

4. Plan – be as specific as possible and create a timeline which maps exactly how you plan to achieve your goal

5. Write it out – write your timeline out in a brief paragraph which describes your action plan. Your goal achieved must be the final sentence

6. Read it aloud – read this paragraph aloud to yourself morning and night.

This last step is a stumbling block for many. Most people would never be caught dead talking to themselves out loud. However, it has been proven to work wonders in helping people achieve their goals.

 Take tennis legend John McEnroe for example. As a teenager, McEnroe had a clear goal to become number one in the world. He visualised it, verbalised it and declared it to the world. In 1981, John McEnroe became the number one tennis player in the world. He had achieved his goal.

At DRPR, every staff member is required to develop a quarterly SMART goal. This goal is designed to challenge the team to extend themselves in an area in which they would like to see their skills improve. Personally, I’ve found these goals to be a great way to push myself beyond the every day tasks that need to be done.

I would love to hear how other people go about setting and achieving their goals? Does your workplace have a similar strategy in place and have you found this effective?

@GemCrowley