How to Be A Goal Digger

Goal digger is not to be confused with a “gold digger.”

We all define success differently. Merriam-Webster defines it as, “The fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect or fame,” or, “a desired outcome.” Many people work for most of their lives to be successful in whatever they are doing. Though, in the last few years, success-driven millennials have coined the term “goal digger,” someone who knows what they want and is willing to put the time and work into achieving it.

What is a goal digger

According to the internet, goal diggers are working towards their goals for themselves and not for anyone else. This mindset is the driving force for creating goals, working towards them and achieving them. Set and respect the goals that you have for yourself. Some of the most talented athletes, successful business minds, and scholars all set goals.

Goals don’t necessarily have to be large in scale. In fact, if your goal is too large, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Many people spend their entire life floating from one job to the next or rushing through the day trying to get more done but accomplishing very little.

Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. You cannot set a goal without a plan to achieve it. You must plan out a step-by-step strategy. The best way to do this is through a tried and trusted theory of S.M.A.R.T. goals, derived from George Doran’s paper, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives.”

How to set S.M.A.R.T. goals

Setting SMART goals means you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in life and business.

S = Specific. Your goal should be clear and specific. When drafting your goal, try to answer the five “W” questions:

– What do I want to accomplish?
– Why is this goal important?
– Who is involved?
– Where is it located?
– Which resources or limits are involved?

M = Measure. It’s important to have measurable goal so that you can track and assess your progress, keep grinding, meet deadlines, and feel the joy of inching closer to achieving your goal.

A measurable goal should answer questions such as:

– How much?
– How many?
– How will I know when it is accomplished?

A = Achievable. Your goal needs to be realistic but also stretch your abilities and bring you out of your comfort zone. That’s where true growth begins. Goals that are large in scope are easy to procrastinate on and put off.

An achievable goal will answer these questions:

– How can I accomplish this goal?
– How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?

R = Relevant. This step ensures your idea makes sense with the big picture. For example, if the goal is to launch a new fragrance, it should be aligned with the overall business plan. You may be able to launch a new perfume, but if your company is strictly a business-to-business (B2B) with no plans to expand into the business-to-consumer (B2C) market, then the goal wouldn’t be relevant.

A relevant goal can answer “yes” to these questions:

– Does this seem worthwhile?
– Is this the right time?
– Does this match our other initiatives?
– Am I the right person to reach this goal?
– Is it applicable in the current economic environment?

T = Time. Set a realistic time-frame like the 30-60-90 day rule. Begin with 30 days because on average it takes 21 days to form a habit. The extra days gives you time to adjust your sail. Write your goal down to make it feel tangible. Then plan the steps you must take in 30-60-90 day increments to help realize your goals and to avoid feeling overwhelmed. You are always 90 days away from the business that you truly want. The things you do today will pay off in 90 days. Remember, purpose and planning equal profit.

Here’s an example of a SMART goal. Notice how the sub-goal is outlined with specific actions that need to happen in order to accomplish the overall goal.

Big Goal: I want to start a business.

Specific: I will sell handmade hair bows on Etsy.

Measurable: I will be ready to take my first Etsy order within four weeks. I will try to sell a minimum of five hair bows per week.

Achievable: I will create an Etsy account. Then, I will build an inventory of 20 handmade hair bows to post for sales. I will promote my new Etsy shop and build customer relationships through word of mouth, referrals and local networking.

Relevant: Selling handmade hair bows will allow me to turn my favorite hobby into a profitable business.

Time: My Etsy store will be up and running within four weeks, and I will have an inventory of 20 hair bows to sell within six weeks.

SMART Goal: Within one month, I will establish an Etsy account to sell handmade hair bows, which will allow me to generate income from my favorite hobby. Within six weeks, I will have an inventory of 20 handmade hair bows to sell with a sales goal of a minimum of five bows per week, by building customer relationships through word of mouth, referrals and local networking.

Let’s talk vision boards

Another goal setting tool is a vision board. This tool works. Here’s why. What we focus on expands. It’s hard to get what you want if you haven’t identified the want. Your vision board should act as a constant reminder of your end goal. It’s your future picture that will help you inspire yourself from the inside out. When you have full clarity in what you want, you create focus. When you are focused, it’s much easier to prioritize your day-to-day tasks. When you prioritize, it’s easier to stay motivated.

We all tend to walk around with a visual in our mind of the future of our business. Start bringing that future to life by creating a simple collage of inspiring images and quotes that paint the perfect picture of your desired future.

Don’t over-engineer it. Your ideas are supposed to be flexible. Keep it simple and make it easy to update. Remember it’s your future life. Don’t limit your beliefs or potential. Dream big and make it a collage of the people, quotes, habits, goals, and ideas that inspire you.

Keep going

Entrepreneurship can be just as dull and boring as working a corporate job. Only you know how to stay motivated. When you’re in the dating phase of starting a business, staying motivated was easy. The dream of working for yourself, calling the shots, having unlimited income and making your own schedule was enough to keep you going.

Now reality is knocking on your front door, and it is time to get moving. Start dreaming. Start working. Start achieving. Do it for you. Become a better you than you were yesterday. Start goal digging.
Remember that motivation follows action. The best way to take action is just to start. Don’t worry if it’s the right or wrong way.

Four years ago, I made the transition from employee to employer. I could not have done this without setting strict goals.

Over the past ten years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked for great companies and organizations and a couple of bad ones that will remain unnamed. I made a lot of cash at a very young age. Stock options, security, travel, paid leave, education and health benefits. You name it; I had it. The big house, my dream car (CLS-500). I was about that life. I quickly mastered my job and was often praised as a high performer. I was content and comfortable and enjoyed living my young and fabulous life. Why did I leave?

I was bored. Working felt like a never ending chore. I couldn’t take another pointless meeting to discuss the next meeting. The thought of having to format another monthly Excel report made me ill. And to use the words “vision,” “purpose,” and “mission” in yet another PowerPoint presentation made my skin crawl. Bottom line my heart wasn’t in it. My heart was never in it.

Seven years ago I started experimenting with different business ideas. Some were successful; others were not. We experienced success pretty quickly, but once we received orders to Japan, I knew I needed to get serious about my business plans if I intended to do this full-time.

I started She Swank Too with no real clue about what I was doing. Since then our brand has traveled to customers in all 50 states and three countries, and I opened my first pop-up shop in Okinawa, Japan. A lot has gone right over the past year, but a lot has gone wrong.

I had never hired or fired someone. I had never collaborated with a national retailer, composed a profit-and-loss statement or analyzed a balance sheet. I had never built a website or negotiated in a foreign currency. I had never manufactured products. And the most terrifying, I had never been responsible for anyone’s paycheck. Yet my biggest struggle was still time and balance.

Finding that balance as an employee was always easy for me. I lived by “if I don’t do it today, it’ll be here tomorrow” motto. Now as an entrepreneur, not so much. There’s no administrative assistant to handle the day-to-day tasks. There’s no IT specialist to call when your computer stalls. There’s no payroll department to ensure you get paid on time. And there’s no one to hold you accountable to your deadlines and commitments. You don’t just wear many hats; you have to wear them all. Several of which you may have zero qualifications for or experience in handling.

The truth is I’ve never been so busy, so overwhelmed, but yet so driven by my progress and even my failures. Most of my days are long, and my off days seem even longer. I’m constantly thinking about what’s next, how to make payroll and when my next big break will come. I’m always working.

Most entrepreneurs say starting a business is like having a baby. I used to laugh when I heard this comparison because it often came from older white-collar men who have obviously had never experienced the joy and pain of childbirth. But theoretically, there are a few similarities. Once you give birth to an idea, you have to name it, care for it, nurture it and in most cases finance it. It’s one of the most stressful things you can do in life but yet one of the most rewarding. But when I truthfully ask myself what I miss about my corporate life, nothing comes to mind.

I am doing what I love, and I have no regrets.