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Friday, December 16, 2011

6 Principles of Goal Setting

by Susanna Palomares

Why is setting goals important? Because goals can help you to be, do, and experience everything you want in life. Instead of just letting life happen to you, goals allow you to make your life happen.

Successful and happy women have a vision of how their lives should be, and they set lots of goals (both short-term and long-range) to help them achieve their vision. By setting goals, you take control of your life. It’s like having a map to show you where you want to go. Think of it this way: Two drivers, each sitting at the wheel of her car. One has a destination in mind (her goal) which is laid out for her on a map. She can drive straight there without any wasted time or wrong turns. The other driver has no goal, destination or map. She starts off at the same time from the same place as the first driver, but drives aimlessly around, never getting anywhere, just using up gas and oil. Which driver do you want to be?

Winners in life set goals and follow through in pursuit of them. Winners decide what they want in life and get it by developing detailed plans. Unsuccessful people just let life happen by accident. Goals aren’t difficult to set, and they aren’t difficult to reach. It’s up to you to find out what your values, vision and goals really are. You are the one who must decide what to pursue and in what direction to aim you life.

The Six P’s of Goal Setting

Research tells us that when we write down a goal we are more likely to achieve it. Written goals can be reviewed regularly, hence they have more long-range power. Like a contract with yourself, they are harder to neglect or forget. Also, by writing goals in the following fashion, you can stimulate your subconscious to be continuously alert to situations that will further those goals. Goals should be:

  1. Positive. State goals in positive rather than negative terms. ("I am a neat and organized person," rather than "I am no longer disorganized.")
  2. Present Tense. State goals as though they are being realized right now, or have already been attained. The subconscious mind only operates in the present. If you create goals in the future tense, your subconscious will never get there.
  3. Personal. Goals must be about you, and under your control, not about someone else.
  4. Precise. Write goals in a manner that clearly describes what you intend to accomplish.
  5. Possible. Goals should be realistic. Achieving them must be within the realm of possibility.
  6. Powerful. Use words that convey action and emotion.

Place written goals where you will see them at least twice a day. If possible, read them aloud and visualize each one.

What You See Is What You Get

Visualize success. Picturing a positive outcome can greatly affect your progress in achieving goals. If you can see yourself attaining a goal, you very likely will. If, on the other hand, you can muster no image of success, or create an image of failure, you very likely will fail.

Visualizing is something we all do, every day. When you daydream—thinking about someone you know or remembering a place you visited—you are visualizing. You can make the technique of visualization work for you. You can use it to help achieve your goals by seeing yourself achieving them. And by enjoying the feeling of success.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let Go of Control to Get What You Want

Releasing is an important practice for successful goal achievement. It has to do with letting go of attachment to something or someone. How do you know when you’re attached to a goal? If you find yourself obsessing and worrying about the goal as opposed to being enthused and enjoying thinking about it, you’re attached. You’re attached when you believe that in order to be happy, you must reach this goal. If these signs appear, then it’s very important for you to practice releasing.

The technique is simple but not easy. You just decide to let go of your attachment to getting the goal. In other words, you decide that if for some reason you do not reach this goal, life will go on and you will still be happy. Believe it or not, this is a very important part of the process of reaching your dream.

If you’re too attached, worried, obsessed or tense other people feel it and pull away from you instead of helping. When you’re enthusiastic, inspired and radiating confidence, other people will be magnetically attracted to you and will help and support you.

1. Release attachment to control: There are some things in your life that you can control. All of them have to do with actions you can take or internal changes you can make inside yourself. You cannot control other people, events or circumstances. You can make the best of what you are given as in “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” and you can release attachment to making things fit your model of the world. When you practice this kind of release on a regular basis, you will find peace and abundance creeping into your life.

2. Forgiveness, another kind of release. Forgiveness actually is a releasing process that involves letting go of negative feelings and resentments you’re holding towards other people. When you forgive others, you are actually helping yourself more than them. If you are able to let go of holding on to the negative thoughts and feelings you have about others, you become much lighter and freer with a lot more energy. Many well-known success teachers such as Oprah, Tony Robbins and Wayne Dyer mention forgiveness as an important step in creating abundance and peace in your life.

3. How to handle bad days and good days: Sometimes as you’re working hard to get to your goals you’ll find that you have really bad days when you feel like you’re getting nothing done. This is a time to release your attachment to being extremely productive every day and just accept what’s happening. You will also find that some days are just great, it’s also important on these days to release attachment to all days being like this. We all go through energy cycles, ups and downs and highs and lows.

4. Release things you don’t need anymore: Go through all of your excess “stuff” and start getting rid of (releasing) what you aren’t using or don’t need. This is a technique that will really open up space in your world for new things. It will also increase your energy and help you to feel more deserving. Go through every room in your home including the kitchen and either sell or give away those things that may be secretly draining your energy every day!

5. Open your mind to alternative strategies for reaching your goals: By learning to accept feedback and constructive criticism, you will be able to expand your thinking and become much more creative. Often what holds people back are “control patterns or ego attachments” where a person thinks, “Their way is the only way”. There may be many ways to get to the same goal and some of them might be faster or more efficient than others.

Sometimes a particular strategy may have worked well in the past but with changing conditions, this may no longer be true. If you can only open your mind to one way of doing something, you limit your progress. Make a point of accepting help and ideas from others in rethinking goals strategies. Don’t be attached to being right.

6. Great stress release technique: Here’s a great technique to help you instantly release stress and resistance. Imagine yourself breathing in harmony and relaxation, and then when you breathe out let go of stress and negativity. Do this for about 5 or 10 minutes. This simple process can be surprisingly useful for putting you into a relaxed and clear state in just a few minutes so that you’ll be more effective in working on your goals.

7. Love your goal but release attachment to the form: It’s really great to love your goal and be committed to it, but be willing to be flexible in the way it shows up. For example, you may want to earn an additional $5,000 through an investment and instead your uncle leaves you $5,000 in his will. We never have control over how the exact outcome of our goals will show up. The releasing part of reaching a goal is just as important as feeling passion and energy for it.

8. Some fun ways to release fear: Draw your fear with colored pens or crayons or make a play dough model of it. Or scribble with colored pens or crayons until you feel a sense of release. This technique may sound simplistic or silly but it is a really good way to release fear. Both authors have used it and found it to be tremendously effective. If you find yourself resisting using these techniques or you find that your fear leads to panic or is chronic, you probably need professional help.

9. Gratitude for what you have: This may be one of the most important tips in this entire report. Being grateful for what you have allows you to focus on the positive elements in your life, value the gifts you’ve already been given and appreciate the fruits of your goal setting efforts. When you’re having a rough period where you’re starting to judge yourself negatively, gratitude can break that pattern by shifting your focus to the positive things in your life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bonus Techniques to Goal Setting

1. How can you tell when you’re truly committed to a goal? Have you ever noticed when you really really want something that you automatically think about it all the time? When you think about it you get so motivated and enthusiastic that it’s easy to take action!

2. What speeds up goal achievement? Some of the things that will get you to your goal faster are: Commitment, enthusiasm/passion, thinking about the goal a lot, using imagery or visualization, regularly working with and getting help from your Goals Success support group, opening your mind to possibilities, moving out of your comfort zone, letting go of old ways of doing things and taking lots of actions. Correct as you go. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else.

3. Surround yourself with successful supportive people: It’s very important to associate with people who have already reached the goals you want. It’s also good to spend time with people who are striving for goals similar to yours. Unsupportive friends and family may try to sabotage your efforts, be prepared for this if it happens. The best way to handle such behavior is to ignore it or to make a point of spending more time with those who support and empower you.

4. Right and left-brain integration: As you probably know there has been a lot of research recently on the importance of bringing both sides of the brain together in your life. This helps us to keep balance in our lives. The left brain is mainly occupied with linear, word and number oriented tasks. The right brain is connected to creativity and intuition. When you bring them together, you’ll find that you have more energy and enthusiasm and things become almost effortless.

How do you do this? Most people are left brain focused. If this is true for you then you need to check out the ideas under creative tools in this report. Try them out and see what a difference it makes in your goal setting experience. We use these tools all the time and find they help to make setting and reaching goals a lot more fun!

5. Don't let other people’s reactions to your success discourage you: As you reach goals and find yourself changing you may lose many of the friends you’ve made who aren’t on the same path. They may feel uncomfortable and jealous about your success. They also may try to discourage you so that you won’t change. Be prepared for this and try to find new friends as you go along who will support and grow with you to enhance and expand your horizons.

6. Read success stories about others: One of the great ways for you to develop more inspiration, passion and commitment for achieving your goals is to read stories about people who have achieved outstanding success. Stories that are especially inspiring are about people who have faced great obstacles in reaching their goals. Their ingenuity, commitment and perseverance can be very motivating for you. You can also watch inspiring movies and listen to audiotapes, etc.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Resistance and procrastination: Ways to identify and overcome these goal stealers

Everyone finds at certain times that they just can’t move forward, they are stuck...has this ever happened to you? It may mean that you need to reformulate your goals. It might be helpful to go back to brainstorming or other goal setting basics. This can also be a sign that it’s time to get creative and find other more enjoyable ways to get where you want to go. Getting help from others can be particularly useful at these times.

Internal roadblocks that keep you from advancing towards your goal can stem from temporary lack of focus or fear. Outside distractions like too much partying, TV or computer games can also stop your forward momentum. Some people distract themselves with extra long “to do” lists of unimportant tasks that take up time that might be better spent focusing on high priority items.

However, resistance and procrastination may be a sign of distress stemming from deeply held programming or blockages from childhood. Another possibility is that you may have a deep-seated fear of success and the responsibilities that come with it, or you may fear failure so much that you don’t even try anything. When you encounter obstacles such as these, it is useful to get support from a therapist or other professional. A professional can help you explore your internal motivation so that you can release what gets in the way of your creating a life you love to live.

1. List obstacles in your journal: Writing down both inner and outer obstacles to reaching your goals can help you to become more aware of what is getting in your way. And it can help you overcome them. Often just being conscious of the difficulties helps you to find creative solutions.

For example, your goal may be to develop a successful business that nets you one million dollars in 3 years. Examples of external obstacles you might face in reaching this goal could be; recent challenges in getting a bank loan; a lot of competition in your type of business; or family members who are unsupportive or negative about your idea. Inner obstacles might be: your own belief system, that says; “you will never succeed with your own business”; a belief that you don’t really deserve what you want; or fear of failure.

Writing such obstacles down takes them out of your head and puts them on paper where you can get a helpful degree of objectivity.

2. What are the payoffs for not reaching your goal? One payoff for not reaching your goal may reflect a part of you that says; “I don’t want to change. Attaining this goal will force me to become a new person and I’ll have to move out of my comfort zone”. Or, “reaching this goal might put me in a position of power and I don’t like giving orders, directions or commands”. It might also be that, “reaching this goal will require me to have to work much harder than I do now, I may have to take risks or do things I’ve always been afraid of.”

You might become so successful that you could lose friends. So another payoff for not reaching your goal is to keep your present friends. Yet another payoff for not reaching your goals or having “problems” is that you get to play victim and have people feel sorry for you. You may get extra attention for having a problem. It’s human nature to want to keep the status quo of comfort and security.

3. Ways to release negative feelings: In your Goals Journal, write down anything negative that comes into your mind. Keep writing until you have a sense of completion. If you find that the negative feelings you face repeat over and over like an obsession, consider getting professional help.

4. Explore inner and outer conflicts: When you start losing energy or passion for your goals, explore any conflicts you uncover. Ask questions in your journal with your dominant hand and answer with the non-dominant hand. See if this helps bring clarity into the issue you’re facing. You can also use your Goals Support Group to help you understand your motivations. Sometimes you may have a conflict with another person that is somehow impeding your progress, at other times you actually have a conflict inside yourself. You may find that the answer is simple and only requires tools that you will find here or…you may find that you need professional help.

5. Take action on things you’ve been putting off: Make a list of all the important things you’ve been putting off and start doing them. These things may not necessarily be directly related to your goal. Put them on your “to do” list. Denis Waitley, a well-known success trainer, says that he writes down the five most important tasks that he has put off for the last month and then makes sure to take steps towards finishing them. You break out of being stuck by doing and taking action. Willingness to take action creates the energy to do something. This is an extremely powerful technique that will really help remove resistances and catapult you ahead!

6. Find your “problem areas” that may be holding you back: The concept of “problem areas” is that you may have a weakness in a certain area or a lack of skill which holds you back in other parts of your life. For instance, a salesperson tells the story of being reasonably successful but hating cold calling and prospecting. Once he made the commitment to focus and overcome the resistance and fear he had about taking action, his sales career really took off. Not doing this was holding him back even though he was quite successful in his other work activities. Figure out what your “problem areas” are that may be holding you back in your desire to reach your goals. Start taking action on them today!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Creative Goal Setting Tips

Creative tools: Wild, wacky, fun and outrageous

Here’s a way to add to your fun. Using creative tools for goal setting can expand your energy, help you to have fun and make goal setting more joyful rather than a chore. Creating colorful playful visual images will get you to your goals quicker and add to your pleasure in the process.

1. Create a goals list poster: Using a piece of poster paper, write out your goals list in colors. You can use “Mind-Mapping” and put the goals anywhere on the page rather than in linear order. Don’t forget to add your sub-goals with lines linking them to the major goals. Decorate the poster with colorful pictures on stickers you can buy at the stationery store. Draw things on the poster or paste on pictures you cut out of magazines, whatever appeals to you. It should be exciting and make you feel great when you look at it. Imagine you are a kid and having fun.

2. Create a collage to support your vision: To make a goals collage, cut out pictures and words that you like from magazines and glue them onto a piece of paper the size of a place mat. Be sure to put your picture on the page as well. Laminate the paper at copy shop like Kinko’s. Use it on your dining table to remind you of what you want to create. For example, you see a picture of a beautiful home in the magazine Architectural Digest so you cut it out and put it on your paper. Then you glue a picture of yourself right under it or in it with words that you cut out of ads that say; “I own it and I love it!” You can also make larger collages to put on your wall.

3. Use your computer to support you in reaching goals: There are many ways you can put your goals on your computer. Scan your collage or a poster/picture that inspires you into your computer, convert it to a bitmap and use it as wallpaper. You can create a screensaver with your scanned images or just put up a digital “post it” with your goals list. Try sending yourself an encouraging email. You can also create your own custom posters, personal stickers and printouts using a graphics program. Have fun and let yourself get creative with your digital friend (your computer).

4. Make a Money tree: Take a piece of paper and draw a tree on it, then stick play money (you can get play money at toy stores) all over it or you can use real money (with removable glue). This will help you overcome any negative thoughts you have about creating lots of money. Be sure to put this picture somewhere where you will see it regularly. Put a picture of yourself on the poster holding lots of money.

5. Use images that inspire you: Find an inspiring picture and write a few motivating words on it. Try writing the words with brightly colored markers. Hang this picture on your wall at home or at work to inspire you and build energy for your goals. You can use pictures of animals, nature, mythical figures (from fairy tales, Knights of the Round Table, kings, gods, characters from Star Wars), etc. Buy a Poster with a word, poem or saying already printed on it that motivates and inspires you.

6. Write some outrageous goals: Start with some silly and outrageous goals to mix in with your regular goals when starting your goal setting session. This loosens you up and helps the left and right brain to be more integrated. A silly goal might be to play charades with friends at least 3 times in the next 3 months, dye your hair green, or to dress in a funny costume and trick or treat on Halloween. An outrageous goal might be to learn to fly a helicopter, learn to skydive or fire walk in the next six months.

7. Try writing goals with your non-dominant hand: One interesting technique that can help you break through from left-brain thinking to more creative right-brain is to write your goals and detailed plans with the opposite hand from the one you normally use. It can be a bit challenging physically at first and it might not look very elegant but this technique can reveal hidden aspects of your plans and dreams and new goals, too. According to a recent article in the magazine, Utne Reader, this process is an excellent technique for contacting creativity and intuition.

8. Use creative techniques to open up your mind: Try drawing, painting or playing with play dough before working on goals to loosen up your creativity. If you are using a computer for some of your goal setting, planning, and development use a paint program to put your goals in colorful letters or use pictures, etc.

9. Take a “mini” mental break: When you’re feeling stuck while doing disciplined mental work including working on your goals; give your mind a rest by playing solitaire or minesweeper on your computer. You can also play solitaire with regular cards. This gives your left-brain a vacation. After ten minutes or so, you can go back to the task you were working on with renewed energy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Basic Goal Setting Tips

These basic tips are organized in a sequence that will support you from thinking about your goals to actually achieving them. Don’t forget, these are only suggestions, take what you like and try it out for a while to see what works best for you. Have fun and play; Don’t make your goals “shoulds” but “wants”.

1. Use a journal to keep track of your goals journey where you may keep daily or weekly records of your progress including affirmations, successes, appreciations for your hard work, rewards, resistances, obstacles, etc. Use your goals journal to write goals initially and to rewrite them over time. Use it to break your goals into steps. Review your progress regularly and jot a few notes.

2. Get yourself into a positive state before writing your goals: It’s really important to get yourself into an inspired, positive and relaxed state before writing goals. Some ideas for getting yourself into a positive state include: Meditation, listening to inspiring music, reading something fun or funny, watching a funny movie, taking a walk in a naturally beautiful place, brisk exercise, reading or listening to an inspirational story, listening to motivational tapes, brisk exercise or prayer.

3. Start brainstorming: After getting into a good mental and emotional state, start your brainstorming. Write all possible goals quickly without any editing or criticism. You can review and prioritize later; right now you want to be as creative and grand in your vision as you can be.

4. Areas of your life to consider for goal setting: Here are a number of possible areas of your life to think about when you are developing your goals list: Career, financial, relationship, family, home, friends, personal development, health, appearance, possessions, fun and recreation, travel, spiritual, self esteem and service/community. Some types of goals include: personal development such as emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.

5. Goals time frames: Goals fall into varying time periods such as: Immediate goals, 30 day goals, 6 month goals, 1 year goals, 5 years, 10 years or longer. Make sure you can accomplish what you want in the time frame you set.

6. Here are four tips for writing effective goal statements:
* Say it like it’s already happened: When writing your goal, say it like it has already happened. Put your goals in words that assume that you already have achieved them. For example, “I now have a new silver BMW 4 door 2002 sedan.”

* Use motivating language: To get you passionate, committed and motivated, add emotional language to your written goals. Here’s an example “I absolutely love and am excited about my beautiful new home in the hills” which is much more passionate than “I like my new home in the hills”.

* Write specifically and in detail: Because your subconscious manifests things literally, you want to write specific detailed goals. Use language that is clear in describing exactly what it is you want

* Write in positive terms rather than negative ones: Examples of positive statements might be: “I am now free of the habit of smoking”, or “I am now a smoke free person”. Negative examples might be: “I don’t smoke anymore” or “I’m not a smoker”.

7. Be sure they’re really your goals: Check in with yourself to make sure that you’re thinking about what you really want. Often we try to please others at our own expense. You won’t be successful trying to reach the goals your parents, spouse or other friends or relatives want for you.

8. Be congruent in creating goals: Consider your most important values and beliefs when formulating your goals (e.g. honesty, security, integrity, freedom, responsibility, respect for others, love, leadership, etc.). For instance if you value freedom, your goal might be to be self-employed. If security is what you value, you might want to work for the government where layoffs rarely occur.

9. Choose rational goals: Choose goals that you can actually reach in a reasonable amount of time. An example of a rational goal might be: “I’m 55 years old and I want to sing opera with a local light opera performance group, a choir, or monthly recitals with my voice teacher’s students” (given of course that you have a good voice). An irrational goal might be: “I’m 55, I’ve never taken singing lessons, and I want to be a world class opera singer performing key roles with the New York Metropolitan Opera”. It’s unlikely that anyone starting at the age of 55 could do this, even with an excellent voice and rigorous training.

10. Prioritize your goals: After you’ve brainstormed, one way to prioritize is to put the highest priority goals at 10 out of a possible 10 points and the least important at 1 out of 10. Pick 3-7 of the goals with high numbers and focus your efforts only on them for the next few months. Try not to pick too many goals to focus on as this will dilute your energy and make it harder to get the results you want.

11. Create a step-by-step plan: Break each goal down into manageable blocks creating a step-by-step plan to achieve it. For example, if you want a new car, first decide exactly what color, model, year, and brand you want. Write this down in your goals journal. Then write the specific steps you need to get to your goal such as: Apply for a car loan, look at and test drive different models, write affirmations, visualize yourself driving the car, etc.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Goal Setting: The Key to Success

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” -Fitzhugh Dodson

Did you know that less than 3 percent of Americans have written goals, and of those who do less than 1 percent review and rewrite their goals on a regular basis?

This means that as soon as you start setting goals and reviewing them regularly you’ll be ahead of 99% of the population in terms of the potential to become successful.

If you want to accomplish something in life, financial independence for example, and you don’t establish clear and specific goals it’s more like day dreaming than goal setting.

Keeping Apart Goals and Day Dreaming

Ask yourself the following four questions to discern if your goals qualify as goals or if they can be considered as day dreaming. In the examples below I use becoming rich as a goal, but these questions can be applied no matter what kind of goal you want to achieve.

  1. Is this goal specific? Becoming rich is a dream, and to turn this dream into a goal you need to put numbers on it. Instead of having the goal to become rich, which really isn’t a goal, your goal can be specified as building a net worth of $1 million.
  2. Is this goal actionable? Hoping to become rich by winning the lottery is a dream. A goal needs to be something that you can take action on, preferably right now. Becoming wealthy through starting a business is actionable.
  3. Does this goal have a time limit? ”I am going to be worth $1 million one day”, or ”Some day I will go to France”, or ”Some day I will change career”, all of those are goals, but they can be improved. When you set a deadline, that’s when the magic really begins to happen. ”I am going to be worth $1 million in seven years”, or ”I will go to France within three years”, now those are better examples of correct goal setting.
  4. Is this goal realistic? Building a $1 million net worth in seven years is totally reasonable, but setting the goal of building $1 million net worth in three months is just not realistic. It is possible, but not realistic. While it’s important to not set the bar too high, it’s just as important not to set the bar too low. If you feel scared by your goal but still feel that you can accomplish it, that’s when you know you have set the bar at an appropriate level..

Breaking Down Goals

When setting goals people often start with the big goals, goals that may be spanning several years into the future. To translate your big goal into a manageable plan you need to break the goal down though. Let’s say your goal is to be worth $1 million within 7 years. Then what?

You Break The Goal Down

Breaking down your goal into smaller sub goals or objectives makes goal setting more manageable, and this is an important strategy in how to set goals the right way. For example, if you want to write a book within a year the goal to ”write a book in one year” can feel massive. It’s easier to break that goal down into monthly and weekly goals, so your monthly goal might be to finish chapter one, while your daily goal might be to write one page per day. All of a sudden it feels a lot more manageable.

Keeping a Daily Task List

A secret to successful goal setting is to have a clear picture of what needs to be done each and every day to move one step closer towards achieving your goal. A recurring habit among very successful people is that they know exactly what needs to be done when they get up in the morning, i.e. they plan their days ahead of time so they can get to work on the most important tasks immediately in the morning.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

SMART Goal Setting: A Surefire Way to Achieve Your Goals

I encourage you to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and jot down the goals you want to reach. Look at each goal and evaluate it. Make any changes necessary to ensure it meets the criteria for a SMART goals:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Attainable
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Timely


Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do.

Specific is the What, Why, and How of the SMART model.

  • WHAT are you going to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build etc.
  • WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
  • HOW are you going to do it? (By…)

Ensure the goals you set is very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to lose weight or be healthier, set a specific goal to lose 2cm off your waistline or to walk 5 miles at an aerobically challenging pace.


If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. In the broadest sense, the whole goal statement is a measure for the project; if the goal is accomplished, the is a success. However, there are usually several short-term or small measurements that can be built into the goal.

Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. How will you see when you reach your goal? Be specific! “I want to read 3 chapter books of 100 pages on my own before my birthday” shows the specific target to be measure. “I want to be a good reader” is not as measurable.

Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goals.


When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop that attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. Your begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it’s too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goal Setting Tips

The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective, achievable goals:

  • State each goal as a positive statement - Express your goals positively – "Execute this technique well" is a much better goal than "Don't make this stupid mistake."
  • Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you'll know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
  • Set priorities - When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
  • Write goals down - This crystallizes them and gives them more force.
  • Keep operational goals small - Keep the low-level goals that you're working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals - You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control!
  • In business, these reasons could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, they could include poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck.
  • If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals, and draw satisfaction from them.
  • Set realistic goals - It's important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, employers, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.
  • It's also possible to set goals that are too difficult because you might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Three Fundamentals of Effective Leadership

Through more than 40 years of service in the military, in higher education and with nonprofits, I've been privileged to work with and learn from superb leaders, from the young instructors who taught me how to fly airplanes for the U.S. Navy to the very smart group of corporate chief executive officers I met during a recent business trip to Asia.

These talented people have differed widely in their personality traits and life stories. Some have been charismatic, some very modest. Some came from poor backgrounds, others grew up amid great wealth. Some of them came by their leadership abilities naturally, and many others worked hard at developing them.

But all of these men and women have shared three critically important skills: They have been driven by an inspiring vision of success. They have excelled at communication. And they have exercised superior judgment.

To lead our organizations effectively through today's economic turmoil, we all will benefit if we master those very same skills.

Leadership success always starts with vision. Henry Ford dreamed of a car families could afford. Steve Jobs dreamed of an easy-to-use computer that would unleash creativity. Nelson Mandela dreamed of an integrated, prosperous South Africa.

These were heady ideas, and they attracted more than a few sneers. But they weren't the daydreams of lazy people with too much time on their hands. They were deep-seated passions, magnetic enough to capture the minds of just a few devoted followers at first but ultimately the imaginations of millions of women and men.

A compelling vision has that power. It inspires, clarifies and focuses the work of individuals--and preferably entire organizations--for a lengthy span of time. Before you embark on any leadership enterprise, stop and take a hard look at your vision of success. What is it? Do you even have one? Often, in the rush to get things done, to launch a new project or product, we ask people to get behind our efforts without ever really giving them a good reason why.

Your vision need not be as grandiose as Mandela's. It probably shouldn't be, unless you have Mandela's phenomenal array of talents and experience. If you do, I'd like to hear from you right away. It's fine to start with something smaller, like launching a new product line in your business, or publishing a book or instituting new technology to improve your customer service. Just pick something that matters, something that excites both you and your colleagues.

But even an incredibly compelling vision won't do much good if it remains only in your head. That brings us to the second key skill: communication. For busy leaders, there's always the temptation to keep your thoughts to yourself, often because there's so much other pressing work to do. Stopping to talk and listen can seem a waste of time. It's easy to cut off debate too early, especially in this economically trying moment.

Still, mustering the discipline and time to share strategies with your staff or talk directly with your clients is only half the fight. You still need to communicate effectively--and that means being your organization's chief listening officer. When key information needs to be shared, some leaders will simply send out a memo or give a speech (without leaving time for questions) and check "communication" off their list. Later on, they'll wonder why their customers don't like a product or why their men and women don't understand their new strategy.

We can all learn a few things from A. G. Lafley, the CEO of Procter & Gamble ( PG - news - people ). There's nothing flashy about him as a leader, but he's led a remarkable turnaround at P&G during his nearly 10 years at the top. He's done it by relentlessly communicating his core message: "The consumer is boss."

Lafley holds meeting regularly with buyers of P&G products. That's one of his top priorities. He'll visit them in their homes and join them for shopping trips to get their feedback, and he does so all over the world. He lavishes the same attention on his employees, meeting them in their offices, listening to their ideas and thanking them for their service. We're wise to imitate him.

A third key element of successful leadership involves judgment. In the end, your judgment calls, which are rooted in your character, become your legacy. Without the right values, judgment can easily be trumped by perverse incentives that encourage poor ethical choices.

Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis covered this topic well in their excellent book Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls. Not every single judgment call you make needs to be correct. But you need to make the right calls consistently on the big choices involving strategy and talent.

Good strategy judgment frequently means a leader must find a new path when his organization is heading in the wrong direction. How well you can do this depends on your ability to scan the horizon and ask the right questions. But unless you have the right people on board, you can't execute your strategy. You need to get the right talent, and you need to ensure that it's positioned appropriately throughout your organization--and this is a constantly evolving process. The skill sets you need and the places in your organization where your men and women best fit will change as your environment and competition shift and new opportunities arise.

Ann Mulcahy became CEO of Xerox ( XRX - news - people ) when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. She led a phenomenal recovery by exercising great judgment. As Bill George recounts in True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, Mulcahy's first move was to meet with the top 100 executives at Xerox and ask them to stay and fight for the company's future. All but two of them did.

She also got out into the field to meet her employees and scout talent. She surrounded herself with good people and made sure they knew she needed them. She looked into the future and saw brighter days ahead for Xerox, even when key advisers were urging her to consider bankruptcy.

In her view, that future depended on re-engaging with customers through a strong sales team, launching innovative products by investing in research and development and reinventing the company's approach to its operating expenses. That strategy, developed in cooperation with her colleagues, rallied the entire organization. It provides a fine model for us as well.

John Ryan is president of the Center for Creative Leadership, a global provider of leadership education and research.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Foothill Unity Center, Helping People Changing Lives

Foothill Unity Center acts as a lifeline for very low income individuals and families who are struggling to survive. 38% of them are children. Our service area covers eleven cities in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County: Monrovia, Arcadia, Duarte, Bradbury, Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Azusa, Baldwin Park and Irwindale. Clients are often unemployed, employed at wages too low to provide for their families, on welfare, or facing a temporary crisis. We also serve seniors, homeless, disabled, emancipated foster youth, victims of domestic violence, students on limited incomes and individuals just released from prison. In 2010, with support from the community and a large group of dedicated volunteers, we served 12,644 unduplicated persons (4,606 families).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kidney Quest Foundation - Greater Awareness, Greatest Hope

Arnold and Carolyn Urquidez are the founders of Kidneys Quest Foundation. When Arnold was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney disease, he thought his life was over. They were determined to learn whatever was necessary to help prolong Arnold’s life and enable him to live life to the fullest. This has brought many changes including a healthier way of living, a more nutritious renal diet, having a positive attitude, and focusing on how to gain good physical conditioning. After much research, Arnold and Carolyn have found a successful journey for living with a kidney condition.

Kidneys Quest Foundation, Inc. is an outreach organization dedicated to families and individuals with kidney disorders and those in need of kidney transplants. The foundation is designed to help people focus on building inner strength and learning how to take action to manage their health condition.

KQF is committed to educating and providing people with knowledge about the choices that are available. The goal of KQF is to support and direct kidney patients when they feel they don’t know how to get to that next step and to alleviate some of the fears and stress of living with a kidney disease.

Kidneys Quest Foundation works in several areas:
• Support and direct kidney patients on next steps to take after being diagnosed with a kidney disorder.
• Dialysis support
• Training potential candidates to do dialysis at home so they can have time available for employment.
• Preparing renal patients to become and stay active on a Kidney Transplant List as a recipient.
• Dieting with enjoyment, including menus located in our cookbook.
• Exercising or staying active, and being involved in hobbies.
• Staying in control of your life with a kidney condition.
• Mentally and emotionally surviving this time in your life.
• After kidney transplant support services.
• Outreach events to let people know we are here for them.
• Bringing information to the community on how to become a Live Kidney Donor (how to give the gift of life).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hillsides - Creating a Safe Place for Children

Hillsides has always created safe places for children; strengthened families, provided special education; and advocated for children’s rights.

From its inception in 1913 as an Episcopal Orphanage, The Church Home for Children, until its present-day status as a private, nonprofit foster care and treatment center, Hillsides has never wavered from its commitment to creating a safe place for children. Although it began as an orphanage, Hillsides now works to end the cycle of child abuse that destroys children and tears families apart. Loving care, therapeutic healing, special education, family crisis intervention and children's rights advocacy are at the heart of the agency's mission. These priorities were created by the vision of Deaconess Evelyn Wile. At Hillsides, children suffering from abuse and mental illness can still find a "safe place" to call home. Today, the children’s charity located in Pasadena is considered an official institution of the Los Angeles Diocese of the Episcopal Church.

Children in residence, who are in foster care or suffer from mental health needs, are referred to Hillsides by the Dependency Division of the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Department of Mental Health. Although they come from all over Southern California and encompass every ethnic and socioeconomic group, they share a common experience - the emotional scars that result from child abuse. With counseling and mental health treatment, children at Hillsides learn that they are not alone, that they are safe and cared for through. Six programs constitute the framework for Hillsides treatment services-Residential Treatment, the Education Center, the Family Center, and Advocacy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PVW: Your Business to Business Solution

PVW invests in people and that investment pays off in a multitude of ways. People with developmental disabilities are offered the tools and support needed to be more productive members of society. They learn work skills and earn a paycheck which boosts their self esteem and self worth. They pay taxes which boosts our economy. And many reduce the level of benefits received by State and Federal governments as they become more self-sufficient as part of the local economy’s work force. It’s a win-win situation for the individual and for the business community!

Since 1966, Pomona Valley Workshop has been partnering with businesses by providing contract packaging and employment solutions. There are many qualified, trained and work-ready men and women with disabilities seeking employment opportunities yet they are often overlooked. However, it has been proven time and time again that providing employment opportunities for these individuals is good for business. Save time and money, improve entry-level turnover and absenteeism and build goodwill with your customer base through a positive public image.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

David & Margaret Fundraiser

by Suzanne Sproul, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

LA VERNE -- The David & Margaret Youth and Family Services is having its fourth annual Notes of Love dinner and silent auction, helping to raise money for necessary programs to children in need.

Former La Verne Mayor Jon Blickenstaff will be the emcee. Arun Tolia of Arun Home Realty will present the La Verne Chamber of Commerce Champion Award to Brian McNerney also for his dedication to children and to David & Margaret in particular.

The theme for the Oct. 14, event is "A Night on the Red Carpet." It will be in The Avalon, at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. Social hour begins at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. There will be dinner, entertainment and a silent auction. Tickets are $100 per person or $150 per couple.

"We hope to increase awareness of David & Margaret and the services we provide to our community. And we hope to raise much-needed funds for our art therapy program, while also helping provide for our residents' leisure activities for the year," said Julie Griffith, publicity coordinator.

The David & Margaret Home was established in 1910 by The Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church as an orphanage. The Henry Kuns family donated 17.5 acres of land in La Verne which housed an old hotel. The facility was named after Kuns' parents and his son.

In 1967 it became a treatment center of adolescent girls. The Joan Macy School was started on campus to educate the girls who lived there in cottages as well as some community students. The Foster Family Agency was added in 1986 to help place boys and girls in homes. And The Learning Enhancement Center opened in 1990 offering neurodevelopmental therapy.

During the years, the mission has changed but has always remained faithful to helping young people in need.

"There are many ways the community can invest in the important work of David & Margaret such as becoming a volunteer or a benefactor of programs like the residential library, the art program, health services, transportation services and drug rehabilitation services," Griffith said.

"Naming opportunities include the vocational education program, Healthy Choices program, the Learning Enhancement Center and the Transitional Living Program."

The motto of The David & Margaret Youth and Family Services is "Sharing Hope Since 1910." For more information about the organization and its upcoming fundraiser, call 909-596-5921.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Good Neighbor Tool Kit: Improving Your Community

By giving of your time, you can help make your community a better, safer, cleaner, and more pleasant place to live. And often, very small gestures can make a difference.

23 Simple Ways to Give Back to Your Community
Not every volunteer effort has to change the world. Let your efforts make your corner a little brighter. Here are some simple ways you can improve your community:

1. Help an elderly neighbor rake leaves, shovel snow, or do home repairs.

2. Plant flowers in the town center.

3. Give away free flowers or seeds in the spring.

4. Put out flags for the 4th of July in neighborhood front yards or the town center.

5. Sponsor a Little League team where there wasn't one already.

6. Become active in the chamber of commerce.

7. Organize a garden walk.

8. Speak at career day at the elementary school.

9. Repaint a playground.

10. Take your pet to the local senior center.

11. Organize a summer cleaning or painting of the local school.

12. Ask past clients to take part in a house tour.

13. Give a free first-time homebuyers seminar.

14. Collect customer donations in your office lobby.

15. Encourage sellers to donate clothing and furniture rather than throw it out.

16. Sit as a member of your city capital improvements task force.

17. Use your real estate contacts and skills to identify property that might be donated or purchased for charity use: building low-income homes, local schools, hospitals, or group homes.

18. Bring a carload of newspapers, towels, and blankets to an animal shelter.

19. Ask a local teacher what supplies his or her class needs most, then donate them.

20. Hold a canned food drive, then deliver the goods to a soup kitchen.

21. Organize a town clean-up day.

22. Take a lonely child with you when your family goes to the movies.

23. Join the PTA.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Doing the Remarkable

By Jim Rohn

When it comes to meeting and conquering the negativity in your life, here is a key question: What can you do, starting today, that will make a difference? What can you do during economic chaos? What can you do when everything has gone wrong? What can you do when you've run out of money, when you don't feel well and it's all gone sour? What can you do?

Let me give you the broad answer first. You can do the most remarkable things, no matter what happens. People can do incredible things, unbelievable things, despite the most impossible or disastrous circumstances.

Here is why humans can do remarkable things: because they are remarkable. Humans are different than any other creation. When a dog starts with weeds, he winds up with weeds. And the reason is because he's a dog. But that's not true with human beings. Humans can turn weeds into gardens. Humans can turn nothing into something, pennies into fortune, and disaster into success. And the reason they can do such remarkable things is because they are remarkable.

Try reaching down inside of yourself; you'll come up with some more of those remarkable human gifts. They're there, waiting to be discovered and employed. With those gifts, you can change anything for yourself that you wish to change. And I challenge you to do that because you can change. If you don't like how something is going for you, change it. If something isn't enough, change it. If something doesn't suit you; change it. If something doesn't please you, change it. You don't ever have to be the same after today. If you don't like your present address change it--you're not a tree! If there is one thing to get excited about, it's your ability to make yourself do the necessary things, to get a desired result, to turn the negative into success. That's true excitement.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giving Back

By Kelli Holmes

Not sure how to fit "giving back" into your everyday life? That's okay. You can define service and giving in any way that works for you. Possible next steps could be:

  • Volunteer one day per month to assist a non-profit in your community
  • Mentor a new employee at work
  • Become a Big Brother or Big Sister
  • Donate blood through the American Red Cross
  • Help an elderly neighbor with some of their shopping needs
  • Cook a meal for a family in need
  • Join Habitat for Humanity and help build a home for a family in need
  • Teach someone how to read
  • Take the extra step "above and beyond" to provide services to a customer or find a solution to a problem outside your job description
  • Make a phone call to someone who needs cheering up
  • Sign up for a committee at your child's school or in your community
  • Mentor a teenage girl who needs help
  • Commit yourself to reaching out today. When we give to others, we are the greatest recipients. As physician and writer John Andrew Holmes said, "There is no experience better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

7 Good Reasons to Give Back

Improve Your Health and the World
Around You
By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer

According to the Giving USA Foundation, charitable giving in the United States reached an
estimated $295 billion in 2006—a new record. The record-setting donations included $1.9 billion from Warren Buffett, paid as the first installment of his 20-year pledge of more than $30 billion to four different foundations. But you don’t have to be rich to make a difference. Millions of
ordinary Americans—people who you pass on the street every day--also gave to charity,
for the sake of making the world a better place, one dollar at a time.

Whether you donate money or time, giving back is beneficial--and not just for the recipients. Research has shown that the old adage, “it’s better to give than to receive” is true after all.

A Gallup survey on volunteering in the U.S.A. found that 52% of volunteers do it because they like doing something useful and helping others. Another 38% said they enjoy doing volunteer work and feeling good about themselves.

Besides feeling good about yourself for doing something for others, giving back is also good for your physical health. In a Canadian study, 85% of Ontario volunteers rated their health as "good," compared to 79% of non-volunteers. Only 2% of volunteers reported "poor" health, one-third the amount of non-volunteers who reported the same health status

Still other studies have shown a relationship between volunteering and increased self-esteem,
with volunteers reporting both greater personal empowerment and better health. Doing for others may stimulate the release of endorphins, which has been linked to improved nervous and immune system functions, too.

Many people report a “high” from volunteering, similar to the good feelings that come from exercise. Others have found that volunteering can help fight depression. Helping others can help take your mind off your own problems and enable you to see the bigger picture. Once you see the difference you can make in another person's life, your own problems can seem smaller and more manageable.

As more research is showing that people with fewer social contacts have shorter life spans than people with wide social circles, regardless of race, income level or other lifestyle factors. If you are lonely or live in an area far away from friends and family, volunteering is one way to build a social life and improve your emotional and physical health at the same time.

Here are 7 More Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Develop new skills. Gaining skills, knowledge and expertise are common side effects of volunteering. Giving others your time brings you interesting and challenging opportunities that might not come along otherwise. This experience can be added to your resume and could result in a better paying job in the future.

2. Make social connections. Loneliness and boredom are common among retirees, students, and transplants to a new city. Volunteering can relieve this sense of social isolation and help you fill empty hours in the day.

3. Give back to your community. Doing something for the community you live in and returning the favor to those who have helped you are strong motivators. Everyone, rich or poor, takes from society, and volunteering is one way to show a sense of appreciation.

4. Develop and grow as a person. Volunteering is an excellent way to explore your likes and dislikes. If you’re interested in a new career, volunteer in the field first to see if you will actually like it. You may find a totally unrelated field is a much better fit for you, one you’d never consider if you hadn’t volunteered there first.

5. Gain a new perspective. Life can be hard and when you’re feeling down, your problems can seem insurmountable. Volunteering can offer a new perspective—seeing people who are worse off than you are, yet still hanging in there, can help you see your life in a whole new light.

6. Know that you're needed. Feeling needed and appreciated are important, and you may not get that appreciation from your paid work or home life where the things you do are expected or taken for granted. When you volunteer, you realize just how much you are truly needed. Meeting people who need your help is a strong incentive to continue— people are depending on you. If you don’t do it, who will?

7. Boost your self-esteem. Many volunteers experience a sense of increased self-esteem and greater self-worth. Helping others makes you feel good about yourself, because you’re doing something for someone that they couldn’t do for themselves.

Research has shown that the good feelings you experience when helping others may be just as important to your health as exercise and a healthy diet. But it’s the smile from a child or thankful person that shows you’re really making a difference in someone's life. And that’s the greatest feeling in the world.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 5

by Al Hanzal

Call to Action

Here’s one suggestion on how you can incorporate the missing ingredient the ability to teach your network partners who you want to serve with your business and how you want those networking partners to connect you with their referrals into your networking efforts.

If you believe that network marketing can produce the growth you want for your business, make it your goal for the remainder of the year to master the skill of teaching your referral sources who you serve in your business and how you want your network partners to connect you with their referrals. Complete the following tasks:

1. Create a profile of the perfect customers you want for your business.

2. Identify the symptoms, the words, the expressions potential customers use to talk about problems that you solve with your business.

3. Decide how you want your network partners to connect you to their referrals.

4. Create a written description on how you will handle referrals from your network partners and how this process will make them look good.

Will this be work? Yes. These means setting aside time, resources and energy and creating a plan to make this skill the key ingredient in your networking efforts. Create an action plan on how you are going to master this skill.

You can create a series of efforts to increase this teaching skill over the next year. Mastery is always a process. It happens over a period of time. As you begin seeing wonderful results, you will be even more inspired to mastering this skill.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 4

by Al Hanzal

How You Serve As a Resource For Your Referrals

The main motivation any of us have to give a referral is to look good. We want to be helpful to others. To be a hero! We don’t do it for money or rewards. We do it because we want to look good.

When you referred someone to a restaurant you liked, you talked about the good food and the wonderful service. And when the person comes back and thanks you because they experienced the same good food and service, how did you feel? You feel good.

At some point your referring source must know what you do and how you will operate when you get a referral. They must have full confidence in giving the referral to you. Are you going to call the referral source? Are you going to send them materials? What are you going to say when you talk or meet with the referral? Are you planning on meeting with them? Are you going to use the hard sell on them?

You must teach your network partners exactly what you will do when they give you a referral. They must know and trust how you are going to be a resource for helping the other person. A confused network partner does not make referrals. You want to do everything you can to make your referrer look good.

Elaborating on the Referral

Once you receive a referral on a potential customer and network partner has done what you asked, you have one additional ingredient in the teaching process. You will want to talk further with your network partner to learn more about the conversation they had with the referral.

What was the conversation about? Why does the network partner think this would be a good referral for your business? Can they provide a friendly introduction for you? Would they like to be part of a three way process when you meet the referral?

If you skip this elaboration step with the network partner, the referral will become a cold call and your efforts will probably produce the same amount of success as cold calls!

Let me share with you an example from one of my networking partner. He left a name and phone number for a referral on my voice mail. He thought the referral would be a useful contact for me. I called him back got more information about the referral and more information about their business. I also got a website for the referral’s business.

At the website, I learned even more about the person and their business. Now I was able to intelligently plan my phone call to the referral and use some engaging questions about his business to get his attention. When I mentioned I have visited his website, he was very impressed. This helped me to get an appointment. Had I just acted on the name and phone number given by the networking partner, it would have become a simple cold call because at that point I had no information.

This elaboration ingredient is often overlooked in the referral process. It’s an extra step but an important step if you want to make your networking more powerful.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 3

by Al Hanzal

Who Does Your Business Serve?

The primary teaching task is to clarify who you want network partners to refer to your business. This is the “who” of your teaching task.

It is not the job of your networking partners to make your sales presentation. It is their role to refer based on who you want to serve in your business. If you are vague about your customer descriptions how can they be helpful to you?

If the real estate broker asks “Help me find anyone who is looking for a new home.” Should you refer to them the homeless person you see standing on the street corner with the sign, “Homeless”? This would be

silly. But if they don’t give you a better description than, “Anyone who needs a home”, how will you know what customers to refer to them?

If you tell your networking partners you serve small business owners, some may think of businesses with ten employees. Others may think of businesses with no employees. The government’s description of small business is any business with less than 277 employees. Saying you serve small business does little to clarify who you serve with your business.

Your networking partners need a profile of your perfect customers. This will involve basic demographics of gender, age, location and economic status of your perfect customers. You can easily create a client picture using these qualities.

More importantly are the psychographic characteristics of your perfect customer. What events in their lives trigger the use of your business solutions? What are their buying habits? What motivates them to make a purchase? What worries them the most in their lives? What problems do they want solved? What aspirations do they have? Where do you find these perfect customers?

When you combine the demographics and the psychographics of your perfect customer, you have a picture of the person who is your best customer. When you consistently place this picture before yourself and your network partners, you attract these perfect customers to your business.

What Problems Does Your Business Solve?

Your referring partners need to know what customer problems you solve with your business. Even more importantly they need to know the symptoms of those problems.

There are always a few people who know exactly what they want to solve their problems. They just need more information to get the problem solved. Do you know the name of a heart surgeon? Yes I do!

The majority of the people who are potential referrals can talk about the symptoms of the problem but they are not sure where to go or what products or services can solve the problem.

We have all been there when we visited a doctor’s office. We tell the doctor our symptoms. We have a running nose, a high fever, lost of appetite, sore throat, glassy eyes, etc. From those symptoms, the doctor identifies the problem and potential solutions.

If you want your networking partners to make effective referrals to your business, you must teach them the symptoms of the problems your products solve. They must be able to know and recognize the symptoms. When they encounter them, they can now recommend you as a potential solution. Without knowledge of the symptoms, they will overlook potentially good referrals to your business.

How Do You Want Network Partners to Connect You With Their Referrals?

With this third ingredient of your teaching, you must spell out to your network partners how you want them to connect with their referrals. Their job is to make a connection for you, not to deliver your sales presentation.

You say, “That’s easy.” I tell my network partners, “Give me good referrals!” What is a “good” referral for you? Here are just a few of the ways network partners can make the connection for you:

I want a friendly introduction to a prospect who…

I want the name of a specific person who…

I want you to share one of my success stories with …

I want you to plant a seed about my business…

I want an appointment with

I want to tell the other person about the options my business provides

I want to you to speak about my credibility with…

I want you to tell others how I can be a resource to them

I want you to give them a copy of the free report I offer

The list could go on. How do you want your network partners to connect for you? If you are not clear, how can they be clear with their friends and relatives?