To Successfully Reach Big Goals, You Need to Think Small

Big Goals Take Small Steps. Don’t fool yourself by thinking vague aspirations are going to get you where you want to go.

Often on an introductory [coaching] call with advisors, I’ll hear wonderful aspirations about growing their business or being the advisor of choice in their area. While, at first, these objectives might seem great, in that they are big, lofty objectives, that’s just the problem: they’re way too lofty, and they’re immeasurable.It can even be like wanting to grow your business by ten percent or grow your A clients by fifteen percent. That’s getting a little tighter, but it’s nowhere near tight enough. You need specific numbers:
  • I want to grow my A-client business by twelve clients over the coming year.
  • I want to improve net profit by $100,000 by the end of next year.
  • I want to bring on two more staff members. (I just don’t want to grow headcount.)
  • They’re very specific objectives.

    When you get that specific, things are far easier to track and not so daunting. They’re also more manageable, by the way. Often times we think that those aspirations can be a little daunting. Why? Because we’ve got to manage them; we’re not accountable for those things. But we’ve got to understand to really progress as soon as we can, it’s becoming accountable for those little steps that we do control.Related: Changing Forward Means Silencing Your Inner GremlinsIt’s like saying you want to go out and win an Olympic medal. That’s great, but we had to set a goal time of two minutes. What that meant was that I might hit my goal time and come stone-cold last at the Olympics, but I couldn’t just say I wanted to go to the Olympic Games and win a medal. We had to narrow that down to what I could control: training fast enough and hard enough to swim a time of two minutes we thought was manageable and we could control that. You can’t control what the other competitors do, so don’t worry about it.It’s just like as an advisor: you can’t control what’s happening with the economy, so don’t worry about that. Control what you can.


    Make your longer-term objectives relatable on a numeric basis. Get excited about the bigger picture, but really excited about delivering on those incremental steps. When you do deliver on those incremental steps, reward yourself.It might seem a little slower that what you first thought, but the reality is you’re now one step closer to that ultimate objective that you’ve set for yourself.Break the big picture down into small, bite-sized, daily deliverable activities, and you’ll get there far sooner.