Benjamin is headed back to Haiti with his sister Rachel as I type this to work with OFEDA. OFEDA is moving forward in their soapmaking business. They have the soapmaking down and are making fabulous soap. So our continued work with them moving forward is going to be more business oriented and includes workshops which cover topics such as Goal Setting as a Group, Basic Business Planning, Branding and Packaging, Marketing and Wholesaling and Selling. This trip is all about setting goals as a group and I wanted to share some of the things that Benjamin will be teaching as part of our goal setting curriculum!
Six Steps Towards Success
#1: Set Goals
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” -Mary Kay Ash
What is a Goal?
A goal is a desired result a person or a system envisions, plans, and commits to achieve.
Ideas vs. Goals
Which of these statements is an idea, and which is a goal?
• “I would like to create a business selling soap.”
• “I will sell 200 bars of soap by September 20th at 5:00pm.”
Goals MUST Be Specific!
The first example is actually just an idea. The second, nicely stated example is a clearly defined goal. There is a big difference between ideas and goals, even if the ideas are good. One of the best ways to clarify your goals is to write them in detail.
#2: Make Sub-Goals
“My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own. I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.” -Elaine Maxwell
What is a subgoal?
A sub-goal is a smaller goal that makes up, directs you to, or helps you reach a larger goal.
Why Sub-Goals are Important
If you are looking at your list of goals, and any one of them seems too big to tackle, sub-goals are an easy way to make it achievable. In fact, most major goals are going to need a few sub-goals to support them.
Remember to Be Specific!
#3: Create a Plan
“Successful people understand that you don’t need to make things complicated.” Anne McKevitt
What’s is a Plan?
A plan is a proposal for achieving something.
Creating a Plan to Achieve Your Goals
Now that you have decided which goals you would like to move forward with, and created the sub-goals to help you achieve them, it’s time to plan. Your plan doesn’t have to be extremely detailed or grand in order to work. It simply needs to help you limit surprises and help you deal with problems. Every business encounters issues, and those that plan to deal with them in advance fare much better than those that don’t.
#4: Take Action
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” -Ella Fitzgerald
Nothing Happens Until You Take Action
To be successful, you have to do what successful people do. Successful people take ACTION. There are many who talk about doing great things, and few who actually do them. Taking ACTION immediately puts you into the successful category!
There is never a perfect time to do anything—you just have to get started and take action. If it is uncomfortable or scary, then start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Planning is important, but it is far more important to just get started and take action.
Imagination is Everything!
Close your eyes and visualize and dream about the outcomes that you want. Remember, this is YOUR project, and it should look and feel like YOU want it to. Visualization makes the brain achieve more. You are far, far smarter than you realize. All you have to do to create more of what you want in your life, and more of you want out of soapmaking (or anything else you are making) is visualize what you want and feel really good about it.
Our brains aren’t that good at thinking in words, however it is exceptional at thinking in pictures. When you visualize and think about what you want from this project, or any other that you and the group are working on, make it specific, colorful and make sure you are feeling really good when you are imagining the outcomes that you want.
#5: Build Leadership
“Perseverance is failing nineteen times and succeeding the twentieth.” Julie Andrews
What is Leadership?
Leadership is more about WHO YOU ARE – not necessarily what you do. Leaders are action oriented. You are all leaders in this room because you are here right now. It took planning and action to get here, and you did it. Leadership is about listening, not commanding. Leadership is an activity, not a position. There four main components to leadership: Vision, Courage, Integrity and Responsibility.
#6: Be Positive
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” -Helen Keller
Keep a Good Attitude
Whatever you expect with confidence, will come to be. Focus on the positive. If you like the idea of making and selling soap, focus on the positive. Successful people (which you are) have an attitude of positive expectations all the time.
Keep your goals clearly in mind, and take several steps toward them every day, you will get there!
We’d love to hear from you! What advice would you give that we can share with our Haitian soapmakers in regards to setting goals? Post in comments below.
Thanks to everyone for your support and thanks to Benjamin and Kym for developing our goal setting curriculum. The above is just a snippet from the wonderful workshop that was created.