Business goals and personal goals; are they the same thing?

By Executive Training and Consultancy

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Quite often I will ask a client… “What are your personal goals?”  They invariably talk about their business goals. So what is the difference? And why do we need to distinguish between the two?

Business owners tend to focus on their business goals. Not surprisingly, as our business is what we do and it is imperative to have business goals. But these are just a conduit to achieving our personal goals.

It is important that our business and personal goals are aligned, but separate. Our personal goals are the goals that need to be set as a priority. Our business facilitates our personal goals. By setting our personal goals we become more focused. They mean more to us; they are the goals that will keep us persistent, assured and motivated. They are not broad. They are specific; they come from a personal place and have personal meaning.

For example, a personal goal might be to own a beautiful chalet in the Alps where you can spend much of your time in the skiing season doing your favourite sport while your business takes care of itself. The business goal might be to earn £100k per year and have three management staff in order to facilitate this personal goal. Do you see the difference? The personal goal will inspire and motivate you, whereas having £100k per year and three management staff are merely figures; business goals that you need to achieve to make your personal goal possible.

By setting the personal goal of the Swiss chalet you can work out what you need to achieve this goal, eg. the cost of the chalet, the time of year that you want to be there, the skiing gear that you will need to buy, and the cost of flights etc. Then you will utilise your business to obtain these wants.

Your personal goals need to be more focused; they need to be realistic and attainable. Make sure you get to the core of what your goal is. Work out how your business goals will get you there. Be clear and concise about this and set your targets alongside your goals.

When setting goals we often keep them to ourselves. By telling someone about our goals, all of a sudden we become accountable. This may mean the difference between achieving them or losing focus. Telling friends and loved ones about our goals means that we are more likely to achieve them. They can help with motivation and keep our dreams alive.

For goals in our working lives I would recommend going one step further than sharing with family and friends. The technique of masterminding is one that I have used successfully for many years. It involves meeting on a regular basis with a group of like-minded people, usually from similar experience and career achievements; setting goals, brainstorming problems, setting targets, and re-assessing previous targets with the aim of moving forward each month.

By masterminding with people who are detached from your business and personal life, who can look objectively at your business and give helpful suggestions, and being accountable to these people, we are much more likely to stick with and achieve those goals – personal and business – that we set ourselves for our future.

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About the Author

Gavin Rookyard

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