Do I enjoy setting goals? Sure.
Can it be fun? Absolutely!
Yet, the negative thoughts still come forward sometimes.
It’s easy to feel stuck in a place of resentment. You get frustrated when your business isn’t where you want it to be, or worse — where you think it should be at this stage.
This has definitely happened to me before. And I’m sure you’ve found yourself in that same boat at one time or another, right? You’ve likely felt stuck just like I have, and you’ve even thought about giving up on your online business dreams.
And that’s what we don’t want! We want setting goals to be fun, and we want achieving them to be fun, too!
Because I feel like we could all use a healthy dose of positivity when it comes to our businesses, today I have 4 tips for you guys on how to set goals positively, stay patient with yourself, and reduce any negative thoughts you might be having.
4 Ways to Stop Negative Thoughts About Your Business
Firstly, I just want to point out that if you’re struggling with goal setting at all, I highly recommend that you join The Client Vault. Our most recent guest expert, Nadalie Bardo, shared a ton of super helpful information about setting and achieving goals.
But, actually, this particular topic came from a friend who’s in my Biz Bestie Squad. She spoke to me recently about feeling like she wants to eventually be at the same place in her business as where I am now, and she was getting kind of down on herself for not having as many clients as someone like me who is further along in their business. She felt like she is moving very slowly in her business, and wished she could achieve more and achieve it faster.
Remember that Achieving Your Goals Slowly is Not a Bad Thing
I told her, and this is what I want to tell all of you — there is nothing wrong with taking things slow!
She wasn’t being too negative, but she was making the common mistake of comparing her business to other people’s businesses. When you look at somebody else’s business and say to yourself “I want to be where they’re at,” you are doing a huge disservice to yourself.
Unsurprisingly, this type of comparison is often at the core of our negative thoughts.
What gets me personally is the thought that I’m not “playing big” enough. I’ve had people tell me this before! So it’s always something I focus on when I’m having negative thoughts about my business.
“You’re not playing big enough, you’re not putting yourself out there, you’re not growing fast enough, you’re not where you should be at…”
These are the types of thoughts that we tend to have when we feel like we’re not doing enough.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
But part of who I am and what I want to do in my business includes growing at a pace that suits me. Some people may think it’s fast, others may think it’s slow. What’s really important is that it feels right to me, and not like I’m getting too ahead of myself or like I’m trailing behind.
I really like to think about that parable with the turtle and the hare and how the moral of the story is “slow and steady wins the race.”
(P.S. Did you see that video where they test this, and the turtle totally does win?!)
This “slow and steady” principle applies even more so in business than it does in regular life.
If you go too fast in your business and try to explode your growth, you’re going to eventually burn out. You also may lack good self-awareness when you’re in this kind of hustle mode. Not having good perspective can cause you to make big mistakes.
This is not a longterm plan for success.
Going slow has so many benefits to it — trust me, it’s not a bad thing.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
It’s incredibly important to stop comparing yourself to others.
It’s one thing to have a role model or someone you look up to. But it’s another thing to put them up on a pedestal. You should never feel like you’re not good enough unless you’re on their “level.”
If you want to have 10 clients or make $10,000 per month, those are great goals!
The intentions behind the goal matter, too, though. Do you want to achieve that goal just because somebody else you look up to has done that? What’s the real WHY behind your goal?
Here’s the thing. It’s not all glorious from the top.
There is a lot that happens behind the scenes in people’s businesses that you never see. I’ve certainly had my days where I’ve cried, I’ve collapsed from exhaustion, and I’ve felt frustrated or hugely disappointed.
It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking “If I can just do this, everything will be so much better.”
For a very long time in my own business I was like “I just have to reach $5,000 per month and then I’ll be successful.” The funny thing is that, once I hit that point, I still felt like there was so much left for me to do, and there were still so many things I hadn’t achieved yet.
Before I knew it, I’d moved on to the next goal — hitting $10K months. It’s like I didn’t even give myself a chance to celebrate, I just immediately wanted more, more, more.
Because I was so focused on numbers, I lost sight of what I wanted my business to be at its heart. Instead of being happy with simply living the “laptop lifestyle,” I was burned out and stressed out to the max.
Now, instead of focusing on some perfect utopia I’d always imagined my business would eventually reach, I’ve switched my focus to continuing to grow at a steady pace and consistently moving in a positive direction. And doing things that make me happy!
Nobody’s business is perfect and everyone’s journey is unique.
Be Thankful for What You’ve Accomplished So Far
One important mindset to have in your business is to be grateful for what you’ve already been able to achieve.
You have to get in this place where you’re being patient with yourself, you’re enjoying the journey, and you’re having fun. You’re counting your blessings and you’re being really thankful for all the good things that are happening in your business.
When you’re focusing on those things, you achieve a happiness with where you are at in your business, instead of constantly yearning for what you want to happen in the future, or what you wish things were like now.
Here is my point: the more that you feel thankful and grateful for what you do have in your business, the happier you’re going to be.
Don’t get caught up in thinking that there is a magical place where your business exists in perfection. That’s not real! Your business will never reach perfection.
Break Your Goals Down to Smaller “Mini” Goals
The last tip is some advice I got from the book Finish by John Acuff. One of the things that really stood out to me as I was reading, was his piece of advice to “break your goals in half.”
Breaking your goals down into smaller pieces can make it easier to achieve them over time.
If we’re too focused on some big number, then we are going to feel overworked, exhausted, and filled with negative thoughts. And the likelihood you’ll eventually achieve that goal seems virtually impossible.
He goes into detail about the psychology of this, and why breaking your goals “in half” is a good idea.
The whole thing is super interesting, so I’d definitely recommend checking it out!
If you want to continue with this honest conversation and share your own thoughts, I’d love for you to join my Biz Bestie Squad, a mastermind group for female service providers in their first 2 years of business.