When Goals Actually Make Things Worse

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Over the course of the last week I’ve had at least 10 conversations with instructors who want advice on how to be “successful”.  They have a vague goal of being successful but that’s it.  This is wide ranging, broad goal that can’t be answered in a simple way.

There are many, many things to consider, many things you can do and tons of advice I can give you – but none of it will make any difference if you can’t take it and apply it to specific goals that you have in mind.  You have to know exactly and specifically what you want, what “success” means to you.

Being successful, making more money, enrolling more students and retaining more students are terrible goals.

That’s right.  I said they are TERRIBLE goals.

You still may want those things for your business (and you should), but they are terrible goals because they are vague, they are broad and they don’t pull you into action.  This is how some goals can make things worse!

Your goals need to be specific, measurable and have deadlines.

Your goals should look more like: I am going to make $xx,xxx next month, sign up x new members and have xxx students at my next testing.

I bet you don’t have an answer to this question…

How much money are you going to make next month?

I’m willing to bet that you don’t know.  You may have an idea, but you probably don’t have a specific goal of exactly how much you plan to make.  If you do know, pat yourself on the back because you are probably in the top 5% of school owners.

You may wonder why this matters.  You may think this is silly or a pain in the ass.  You may be thinking you’ll worry about that when the time comes.  You may just be so worried that you don’t want to think about it.  Or you may be crossing your fingers and hoping that next month just works out like months prior.

But… you still say you want to be successful and you have no idea, or very little idea of how you are going to get there.

Consider that when you are running a business, you are playing a game called:

Doing what I love AND making a profit!

Both aspects of the game are equally relevant.  You can’t just do what you love and not make a profit.  Or vice versa, you can’t just make a profit and sacrifice what it is you love.  Those are both are prescriptions for disaster.

I’m intentionally referring to this as a game because it is one.

How do you win a game?  You follow the rules, you create a game plan, you keep score and at the end of the game (end of the month), the final score (how much you made) tells you how well you performed.

What’s your game plan?

If you don’t have goals and a plan of action, you’re flying blind, have nothing guiding your actions and are wasting untold amounts of time just doing whatever you think you should be doing throughout the month with no direction.

When you have a plan, everyday can be filled with intentional actions that will take you closer and closer to your goals.  It will become painfully obvious when you are doing something that is not bringing you closer to your goals.  That painful obviousness is what you’ll use to make decisions and determine if new actions need to be taken.

There isn’t a coach in any major sport that throws their team out there without a plan and hopes that things go well, and then gets upset and frustrated after the fact when the team isn’t performing.

They go into every game with a game plan and expect the team to perform, to execute the plan from the beginning.  If needed they’ll make adjustments, change course and do whatever they need to do to get back on track.

Are you running your business this way?  What’s the plan in the background guiding your actions?  Is a specific plan waiting to be executed, or are you flying blind and relying on hope?

Do you know how much you’ve made on the 7th of the month?  On the 18th?  On the 26th?  Do you know if you are ahead or behind your goals for the month?  Do you know what to do to make up the difference when you get behind?

I have specific ways of tracking numbers at my school and don’t have the time to get into that here.

Goal setting isn’t complicated and if you want help, amazon has over 75,000 books on goal setting. They all say the same thing in different ways for different people, organizations and industries.

But goal setting is goal setting is goal setting. Declare what you want, write it down, be specific, make it measurable, give it a deadline and TAKE ACTION!


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About the Author:

taekwon-do phoenix, taekwon-do arizona, taekwondo phoenix, Phoenix taekwondo, itf taekwondo, taekwondo itf, tkd phoenix, taekwondo az, taekwondo Arizona, martial arts phoenix, martial arts Arizona, martial arts az, Phoenix Martial Arts, Arizona Martial Arts, Phoenix Karate, arizona taekwondo, karstadt, karstadt taekwondo, ITFJohn Karstadt

Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do

Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt.  He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline,  leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world.  He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do.  He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy.  Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children.  Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at 1tkdinsider@gmail.com


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