“Excuses are tools of the incompetent and those who specialize in their use are rarely able to accomplish anything!” I had no idea how this quote would resonate with me the rest of my adult life.
In college I pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Our Big Sister over our pledge line was Sheila. Anytime anyone on our line made an excuse for being late, not completing an assignment or falling short on any required task, we ALL had to say in unison... “Excuses are tools of the incompetent and those who specialize in their use are rarely able to accomplish anything!”
I often found myself quoting this in my sleep!
As I started my career this quote stuck with me. I fought to deliver results to never have to say this quote to myself.
I’ve always been pretty goal oriented. When I was in school my Dad used to give us a dollar for every ‘A’ we made. During one of our recent relocations, I found an old report card where I had circled all my A’s and left a note reminding my Dad how much money he owed me for my A’s. I had set a goal to earn a certain amount of money based on my report card and I needed to ensure he was good for the funds.
I remember setting goals for myself based on the salaries I desired to earn by the time I hit different ages in life.
When I worked for corporate America, I would always ensure each person on my team new how their daily work tied back to the fulfillment of the greater vision. That goal setting was easy because it was aligned with the vision for the organization.
And then I started my own business…
Guess what? No one was there to set goals for me. Even greater than that...there was NO corporate strategic plan of which I could align my goals!
It was all on ME!!
I had to create the vision, determine the goals necessary to fulfill the vision and THEN ensure I mapped the logistics into my daily plans!
Believe it or not...as goal oriented as I thought I was...I was actually good at building goals off of systems and structures already in place. Now I had to start from scratch.
For some reason...that seemed like a completely different ball game.
Building structure and system around that type of ambiguity can be challenging for the best of them!
The good thing is, after years in corporate America and leading high performance teams, I had a framework in which to operate.
I knew certainty and clarity was essential.
Therefore, I needed to be really clear as to Who I Am and How I Operate.
To me that’s My Center. My Core.
I then had to build from their a Vision and Mission for my Business.
Once that was established, I had to take baby steps.
Baby steps for me would be what I call Monthly Goals.
As a NEW independent business owner, how many of us know what our goals are for the entire year and have a well mapped out Strategic Plan to follow?
Ummm...None of us.
And if you do, I ask you to remember what Darren Hardy says in his book The Compound Effect - “Motivation without action leads to self-delusion.” I know that putting a great deal of grandiose unrealistic plans in place will lead to self-delusion, discouragement and eventually disengagement in my business.
So instead of overwhelming myself, I had to think about what’s most important for me to accomplish next month or next quarter and then establish weekly goals to fulfill the monthly goals.
I am a relational person and needed to connect with someone on my goals.
I knew I needed some accountability.
How many of you can agree being a solopreneur can be very lonely sometimes?
So I called a couple of girlfriends who also own their own business and asked if we could come together and support each other, hold each other accountable and help with business development ideas.
They all agreed and LOVED the concept.
Because I love systems and structure, I had to name the group and give it focus.
Our group name is SWE (Sole Women Entrepreneurs). We meet once a month to discuss our Aha’s, Successes and Failures of the previous month and share our top 3 goals for the next month. We then have a LIVE call every Monday morning to share our accomplishments from the week before and our weekly goals for the upcoming week.
This has been one of the BEST tools (along with meditation, which is another blog in itself) I’ve incorporated to ensure the success of my overall goals.
So in a nutshell...to ensure the success of my goals, I created a monthly plan, broke it down to weekly goals and then incorporated the task of those weekly goals into my daily routine.
This will ensure I a remain more committed to my results than I am my excuses. Because in the back of my mind I can still see my Big Sister Sheila standing there and I do NOT want to have to repeat “Excuses are tools of the incompetent and those who specialize in their use are rarely able to accomplish anything!” EVER AGAIN!!!
If you are interested ending your love affair with your excuses and committing to your results, check out this quick video outlining my Purpose Driven Goal Setting Mini Sessions Special for the month of December!
Participants of these mini sessions will make their goals come alive by ensuring:
1. Your goals are aligned with greater vision and purpose.
2. You are using SMART mapping as your dashboard.
3. Your goals are built into your daily routine and the work gets done!
Learn more about Tracey Jackson, HERE.