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In episode #547, Eric and Neil explain the best way to set and achieve your goals. Tune in to hear the easiest way to make sure your company succeeds.
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
- [00:27] Today’s Topic: How to Achieve Your Goals in 2018
- [00:35] Eric recommends having a structure where you are operating off the Scaling Up Methodology or the Traction method.
- [01:20] Work backwards from your goal to determine the steps to success.
- [02:00] The main reason people don’t achieve their goals, is because they set their bar too high or their goal is too big.
- [02:30] Break your goal into smaller goals with small steps (“bite-sized, daily tasks”).
- [03:22] The ONE Thing is a great resource to help you set your goals.
- [04:26] IBM salespeople would crush quotas because their goals were set really low.
- [04:57] Neil finds that when he achieves small tasks, he can see how it will or won’t help him achieve his ultimate goal.
- [05:20] Better to waste a few hours than a whole month.
- [05:36] 15Five is a great tool that Eric’s team likes to use. It helps you understand how you are doing in terms of achieving your goal or goals.
- [06:41] Audit yourself every quarter!
- [07:22] To hit goals and succeed, you need to work with your team and be aligned with each other’s goals.
- [08:54] That’s it for today!
- [08:56] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special edition of Crazy Egg, the heat mapping tool.
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Full Transcript of The Episode
Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.
Neil Patel: And I am Neil Patel.
Eric Siu: And today we are gonna talk about how to achieve your goals in 2018. So I'll go ahead and kick things off. So let's assume you're running a business or you're part of an organization, I highly recommend having some kind of structure in it where maybe you're operating off the Scaling-up Methodology which is a book or Traction, the Entrepreneur's Operating System where there's actually both Neil and my company actually operate off of this.
So I think it's really important to be able to define, "What are all the good things that happened this year?" Right? Also do this for yourself at a personal level 'cause you'd be amazed at all the things that you've accomplished. And then also map Out all the things that didn't go well, right? What can you do to fix those problems, is it even worth it to fix those problems, right?
Then after that you define your goal, here's what I love doing. Let's say your goal next year you wanna hit 25 million dollars or something like that in revenue, right? Well, what are all the steps that you need to do working backwards to get there, what numbers do you need to hit every single month to get there and what kind of mechanisms or processes do you need to have in place to make sure that everyone's on track, everyone's moving in the right direction or steering the boat in the right direction, right? 'Cause that's how you achieve your goals, by staying on top of, by setting it, by also having some kind of mechanisms.
We use 15Five, we also have a weekly kind of traction meeting where we have a score card where we can see the numbers, right? What's the ad spend on their management, what's our client retention rate. All these different things where we could ask uncomfortable questions in the room and get to the root of the problem quickly.
Neil Patel: Yeah. Here is one thing to keep in mind, most people set New Year's resolutions and goals and they don't hit them. The reason they don't hit them is they're too big. If you don't break down your goals into bite-size tasks that could be accomplished within a day and yes I really mean within a day, not like, "Oh, this will take 20 hours to complete." I'm talking about, it should ideally be a few hours or four hours because you know most people don't work efficiently and work eight hours straight on one little thing.
But if your task can be broken down per day, you can end up being like, "All right. there's X amount of working days per year. This is what I really need to do and accomplish each and every single day to hit my goals." Sure, these tasks may change over time as your learnings progress and as time goes on because market conditions change, but if you don't break them down into little bite-size daily tasks ... like mine I tried to break them down into less than an hour, I know that creates one too many little tasks.
But of course I'm not trying to create 20 goals, I'm trying to create one or two goals and then break them down and be, "All right, if I could spend a hour a day trying to accomplish this goal and then break down this specific small little task, then I know I'm much more likely to achieve it." Versus if I'm like, "All right to achieve this goal, I'm gonna have to spend eight hours a day doing nothing but this and work seven days a week." That's unrealistic. So make sure your goals are realistic and break them down to really small bite-size tasks.
Eric Siu: Yeah, and to Neil's point just to build on that there's this book called The One Thing by Gary Keller which is a part of Keller Williams which is that large real estate company. I believe he's a billionaire actually. So the one thing is really good where let's say ... give you another example, let's say you wanna hit 10 million dollars in revenue, right? So what's the one thing you need to do in the next year to get there, what's the one thing you need to do this month to get there? What's the one thing you need to do this week, what's the one thing you need to do this hour? You can make it really granular, right? The one thing makes things a lot simpler.
And so some of you are probably thinking, "Well, I'm part of a marketing agency, I have to serve clients, things like that." Yes it might be difficult to do that, but what's the one thing you can do to get you away from doing that eventually. Is it to hire somebody else, right? So you gotta think about it that way where you can break things down into chunks, right?
And actually another thing to Neil's point is when you think about setting kind of more realistic goals, I think both Neil and I like to be aggressive with our goals. But also one thing I did at our offsite last week was I said, "We need to hit this many clients or whatever it is, right?" And then eventually what I said was, "Let's set the goal a lot lower." The reason I did that as a test was recently I heard about the story about IBM.
The reason why IBM ... their sales people used to crush quotas all the time was simply because their kind of goals were set really low, they're set really low so they just blew past their goals all the time and everyone felt good about it. I'm not saying you need to set your goals really low, I'm just giving you that as a story but the fact of the matter is Neil and I, we both like to be really aggressive, maybe unrealistic with our goals sometimes.
Neil Patel: Probably most of the time.
Eric Siu: Yeah. So just keep that in mind. But if you wanna motivate your team maybe you can do that.
Neil Patel: Yeah. And with goal setting what I found is when I break them down into little tasks that could be done in a hour or two, I'll find that a lot of times when I do those tasks, I can see how it's not gonna help me achieve my goal, and that's great because then I can re-shift the task I need to do to hit my goal versus making them into these really big tasks and then you spend a whole month doing something and like, "Oh wait, this isn't gonna help me hit my goal." Well, you just wasted a hole month versus wasting a few hours, that's why it's really important to break them down to little byte size tasks.
Eric Siu: Yeah, and what I like also about ... let's say this is holding yourself accountable and holding your team accountable, you can use different tools, you can use Trello, Asana. For us, we have a tool called 15Five, that's one, five, the number and then spell out the word five, 15Five. Every single week when people are kind of filling out, it basically says how you're feeling, certain things you accomplished that week, but also at the very top, it asks how is your goal or how is your objective going, right?
So, one of our goals for one of our guys, is to get our YouTube channel to about 50,000 YouTube subscribers, and it checks in with him every single week. So, after a while ... 'cause it's sitting here all the time, me as a manager, I'm reviewing his 15Five every week, "Hey, how is this going? What are we doing to get there? What's holding you back from getting there?" You keep asking these uncomfortable questions. I can tell he's uncomfortable when I ask these questions, but he starts to get the wheels turning and new ideas come out and we're trying different things.
The worst is if you set a goal, it's not top of mind in front of somebody else. We're thinking wiggle out of it, and trust me, people don't like being held accountable. If you're able to hold people accountable in that respect, I'm not saying you can't trust people, but I'm saying you gotta have some kind of mechanism or process in place, and you're able to constantly check in, that's gonna help you reach your goals as a company, not just for yourself.
Niel Patel: Yeah, I have nothing else on mind, do you?
Eric Siu: Yeah, I think the final ting to add is just audit yourself, right? Every quarter ... and this is something both Niel and I think about when we hire other people. It's like, what tasks are we doing right now that we should be taking off our play, maybe the 10% to 15%, right? What should we be taking off every quarter and then kind of delegating those tasks out to a new role or to somebody else, right?
And ideally, you're doing the same thing for your managers too, what 10% to 15%, can you be constantly be taking off their plate, 'cause these are your highest leverage kind of people on your team, how can you make their life easier, 'cause your job as a leader is to make people's lives easier not harder. It's not to dictate people, it's not to order people around, it's to make their life easier. Anything else to add?
Niel Patel: One last thing, and Eric brings of a good point. It's not just about what goals do you wanna hit, it's also what goals do your team members wanna hit because keep in mind, to hit goals and really succeed, you're not doing them by yourself, you need to make sure you work with your team and you guys are all aligned. Not just on their goals or how you're gonna get it done, but on the goal itself. If you don't have your whole team buying in and believing in it, and believing that they can achieve it, as a company you're gonna have a hard time succeeding.
Eric Siu: Yeah, so true, it's night and day difference, right? Like us doing the traction kind of offsite meeting and we actually had ... they are called the Entrepreneurial Operating System implementers. We had one come in, super successful girl, she sold her business before but she was just helping us implement. And when you're able to get people on the same page to all agree to a goal versus you as a leader or a manager just say, "We're gonna do this," without giving people context, it becomes a lot easier because people understand where you're going, why you're going there, and they understand how they're gonna get there, and they're gonna help you get there, right?
The final thing I'll add is, to Niel's point, it's not just about you, it's about the team too, but also, it's about what your team wants individually. You check in with these people using a tool like 15Five too. And I always check in with people at least every month or quarter or so, it's like, "What do you want? Are you getting what you want out of this? What do you wanna be doing in five years?" How can you support them, right? 'Cause it's not just about you, it's about helping people achieve what their dreams are or getting them closer to what they wanna go to, right?
So, anyway that's it for today, but before we go, just go to singlegrain.com/giveaway to learn about our special giveaway just for you, and we will see you tomorrow.
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