Do you understand the difference between goals and intentions? They may seem similar on the outside, but a few distinct differences can impact any business owner.
Goal setting gives you a clear focus on what you want to do with your business. This might include driving traffic to your website, launching a new product or service, or reducing expenditure. However, life has a funny way of derailing us occasionally.
If you have followed the Woman Who story, you will know that I launched this community after breaking my ankle. Being immobile for an extended period allowed me time to think, plan, and create. As I write this post, I’m again off my feet, having broken my toe. Who knows what ideas I’ll come up with this time!
What happens to your goals when life gets in the way?
Entrepreneurs often pile on the pressure when setting goals. We all want to achieve great things, but sometimes that desire to succeed can be rushed, which becomes overwhelming and can manifest into stress, anxiety, and even burnout.
When you lose your focus, your passion wanes, or the challenges become too great, it can leave you feeling like you failed. That is not the case. It happens to everyone at some point in their journey. It can also occur more than once!
How can you soften the goal-setting process but still strive for growth and success?
Start setting intentions
There will always be a place for goal setting in business planning. Goals allow us to set timescales and action steps to know when we have achieved a specific goal. Starting with intentions, however, will enable you to explore what’s possible.
When creating Woman Who, I asked myself the following:
- What do I want to achieve?
- How do I want to accomplish this?
- What will success look like?
I had to decide what my intention was for this community of like-minded women, not just for the network but for myself.
My intentions would be something like ‘to build a powerful community of female entrepreneurs and to share my expertise and experience freely’ as well as ‘provide a life balance that allows me to work hard but with plenty of time for self-care, and football.’
According to the Oxford Dictionary, an intention is simply a thing intended, an aim or plan. I knew what I wanted to aim for (intention) and set out to create that (goals).
What would your business intentions be?
I’d love you to share it in our Facebook community group.
Although this post title refers to goal setting vs intentions, there is room for both in every business plan.
Start thinking about your intentions and jot them in a journal so you can refer to them often. Build on them as you spend time thinking about what you truly want, why you want it, and how you plan to get it.
Here are a few examples of intentions for you:
- Be supportive of my customers/community
- Look for opportunities to grow personally and professionally
- Stop making excuses and face my fears
Once you are clear on your intentions, you can begin to set your business goals. Here are a few examples of goals for you:
- Increase website traffic by 5% by the end of the next quarter and introduce this audience to my existing community
- Provide tailored products for my VIP clients by expanding my skillset
- Attend two networking events per month and make five new connections at each event
Record your goals in your journal alongside your intentions, and be sure to set a deadline for when you will achieve these goals.
Goals and intentions don’t have to be rigid. It’s okay to make changes, tweak your original ideas, or change direction altogether.
The importance of business planning
Every successful business starts with a business plan. Creating this document is not only essential to secure funding, set your financial projections, and record the story behind your business, but vital when it comes to goal setting and managing your achievements and growth. Just don’t leave your business plan sitting gathering dust in a drawer for two years as I did!
Your business goals every year, quarter, or month need to be sustainable, manageable, actionable, realistic, and timely. It’s far easier to analyse your growth and projection by writing your goals down on paper.
In the same way that setting intentions can help you understand what you want from your business while helping to combat overwhelm, business planning gives you a clear picture of how to get what you want.
I create 90-day plans for my business which helps me keep the content fresh, my goals up-to-date, and my intentions on track. Regular planning sessions were a huge help when a global pandemic brought the world to a standstill – I only had to tweak my plans rather than start from scratch.
Tap into your network for support
It’s worth mentioning that business planning, goal setting, and defining your intentions can feel like an uphill battle when working as a solopreneur.
Within the Woman Who Achieves Academy, our members support one another by making decisions on new product launches, updating services, pricing and supply, marketing, sales, and every aspect of running a business.
You don’t have to feel isolated when trying to grow your business. Being a part of a community of like-minded women who have experienced the same or similar challenges can be incredibly empowering. Embrace your purpose and passion and tap into your network for support.
September Woman Who Inspires Online Event
Each month Woman Who hosts the Woman Who Inspires Network, and tickets to our September event are now live.
With Woman Who events, there will be networking, inspirational speakers, and learning with this month’s theme, Resilience.
In business, we need to network to increase our contacts and our pipeline of work for the future. Whether you network online or in person, you’ll be able to share your networking tips and learn new ones.