With the end of the year fast approaching, now is a great time to take stock of 2004. It is likely that your company set specific goals at the beginning of the year. As you review the past year, the question that must be asked is, "Have I achieved my goals? Has my company achieved the outcomes we set?" If your answer is yes, congratulations! If not, what stopped you?
There are always unplanned occurrences that prevent us from accomplishing all the goals we set. However, our roadblocks are often as simple as getting caught up in the day to day activities of running our business.
Without constant reminders of our vision and goals, they probably wonít materialize. Itís as simple as that.
The difference between those who achieve a desired outcome and those who donít is evident. The most common causes of failure in achieving a desired outcome are a lack of goals and focus, lack of direction, lack of appropriate action and lack of being willing to risk Ė and risk big. On the other hand, those who seem to get the desired result have specific goals, clearly visualize what they want, have clear direction, take massive action and are willing to take incredible risks. One of my goals for 2004 included writing and publishing another book by yearís end. In creating my newly released book, 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door, this goal was accomplished.
As my co-authors and I were in the initial planning stages of the project we all expressed our desired outcomes or goals. First, the book had to convey quality to the art of selling. Second, we wanted it to be unique, like nothing else currently on the market. Lastly, we wanted to have little, if any, out-of-pocket expenses on what is normally an extremely expensive proposition.
With these goals clearly stated, we set out to create something from the seed of an idea. We were all confident we could achieve the first two goals based on our over 100 years of combined sales knowledge.
It was the goal of achieving as close to a debt free product that would add even more excitement to an already high energy project. The fact is, once we made a public announcement of our book release we had to figure out how to make it work. We did what many high achievers do - we gave ourselves no option but to succeed. We would have to figure out a way to make it work.
Although there are people who would buy simply because they know us, that was not our objective. Our objective was to reach multiple markets where we werenít necessarily known.
In a moment of high creativity, we decided to sell the book before it was published. We knew if people were willing to buy the book sight unseen we either had to deliver on our promise or lose all credibility in the marketplace and with clients who trust us.
We had to develop an incentive for buying the book before it was printed. As an information products specialist, I know that people value great information. My co-authors also know this to be true. Based on this information we decided to host a complimentary bonus training session for anyone who bought the book before it was published.
The response we received was more than we anticipated. Right from the start the bonus session created quite a few sales. This helped us to pay for a portion of our production costs up front. It also forced us to stay within our stated timeframe for delivery. After all, we couldnít very well promise hundreds of buyers they would have something on a specified date and not deliver it. Our reputation and credibility was at stake.
With these clear goals, focus, creativity and action, 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door was released on December 2nd. Iím proud to say we achieved all our goals.
As you review the past year, what accomplishments are you extremely proud of? What would you have done differently? What roadblocks got in your way?
The New Year is right around the corner, and with that the opportunity to focus on your personal and business goals. What are the outcomes you truly desire for 2005? Are you willing to give yourself no option but to succeed?