Panning for Goals

Amit Baria
5 min readApr 28, 2018

Goal setting seemed much easier during our younger years, mainly because we weren’t responsible for creating them. Growing up, a school curriculum was in place set by superintendents for teachers and their students to adhere to. As students, the goal was to consume knowledge then measured by achieving one’s highest grade possible. The process to get there was provided by our teachers.

As a football player, the goal was to win a championship. To get there you had to win the most games in your division. Daily practice was the process enforced by coaches whereas players we executed. Enter the real world, the company board sets the mission, objectives trickled down to division managers who set related goals for team members to execute.

So, what happens when one decides to become an entrepreneur?

We are now tasked with setting the mission- setting goals accordingly and executing. Often an overwhelming task to effectively coordinate and track. Whether lack of discipline or perhaps unfocused, goals tend to find a way of disappearing.

The Goal Setting Process

Although not perfect, having a process has proven beneficial and of great importance. I’ve adopted one that follows these guidelines:

  1. List out goals short term & long term in the context of professional and personal interests
  2. Cut the list down to 20% (dispose of or back-burner the others)
  3. Pick the top 3 (1 Professional, 1 Personal, 1 People Giving back and back-burner the others)
  4. Break these down into achievable milestones for the year

Furthermore, taking into account Zig Ziegler’s 7 steps to goal setting, further structure has led to:

Goal 1- Professional : Generate $10MM in new business for 2018

Target 6 prospects with minimum $5MM contract value intending to close 2

Benefits to me:

  • Economic (Income & equity value)
  • Foundation for a sustainable client base & recurring revenue stream
  • Potential for ancillary revenue streams, enables ability to touch various parts of the value chain
  • Strong global network & referral base

Obstacles in the way:

  • High barrier to entry into Family Office & Private Equity base; connecting with decision makers
  • Adopting a direct sales approach versus a familiar joint venture approach

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Financial structuring
  • Appealing to targeted client base — ‘speaking their language”

People & groups that can help:

  • Senior associates @ the firm
  • Leveraging currently affiliated and new niche industry networking groups

Action plan:

  1. 80/20 Output
  • Create succinct, digestible marketing material
  • Building trust through referrals, existing clients and associates

2. Daily action

  • Prospect & email daily

3. Recalibration

  • Weekly — how much did I accomplish? What worked and did not?

4. Short & Long-term deadlines

  • Marketing material completed by 6/30
  • 2 clients by end of Q3 2018
  • 1 client by end of Q4 2018

Goal 2 - Personal : Pen a Novel

Draft 50,000 words of a novel by end of 2018

Benefits to me:

  • Completion of a lifelong dream
  • Revival and justification of a suppressed talent
  • Potential for an additional career path
  • Utilizing creative ability

Obstacles in the way:

  • Starting strong then losing steam
  • Overfilling my plate
  • Pushing it aside, not a work/professional priority
  • Research becomes overwhelming & time consuming

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Novel planning; outline
  • Content development; plot & character development
  • Storytelling ability

People & groups that can help:

  • Loved ones & friends for honest feedback & support

Action plan:

  1. 80/20 Output
  • Write daily
  • Separate research time from writing time

2. Daily action

  • Write 250–300 words
  • Spend 5 minutes planning next day’s writing idea (outline) the day before

3. Recalibration

  • Weekly — how much did I accomplish? What worked and did not?

4. Short & Long-term deadlines

  • Outline complete by 5/30
  • Scene list complete by 6/30
  • 10,000 words by 07/31/18
  • 20,000 words by 08/31/18
  • 30,000 words by 09/31/18
  • 40,000 words by 10/31/18
  • 50,000 words by 12/31/18

Goal 3-People : Start a charitable organization

Build the foundations for a charity that helps underprivileged girls in impoverished nations that have defied medical odds get a higher education in 2018

Benefits to me:

  • Humanity, aiding those without the means who don’t have a chance
  • Legacy for a family member

Obstacles in the way:

  • Lack of knowledge about starting such an organization
  • Time commitment taken from business building
  • Sourcing candidates and donations

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Financial & legal structuring
  • Tapping family networks

People & groups that can help:

  • Family & friends

Action plan:

  1. 80/20 Output
  • Finding the right point person to commit to sourcing candidates
  • Funding the first education myself

2. Daily action

3. Recalibration

  • Monthly — how much did we accomplish? What worked and did not?

4. Short & Long-term deadlines

  • Establish mission statement by 5/30
  • Gauge interest / viability from inner circle and select professionals involved in charity by 7/30
  • Build the equivalent of a ‘MVP’ (minimum viable product) by 10/30
  • Build team
  • Website

Do Less to Do More.

And now the difficult part. Get hyper-focused and cut down to 1 goal.

We all have a level playing field of 24 hours in a day with competing internal interests battling for slivers of time. Setting multiple goals simultaneously, while seemingly ambitious and with good intent, can instead be of greater detriment to achieving even a single one of them by being spread too thin.

How?

Fully understand the motivation behind the goal. Pick the strongest ‘why’.

Goal 2 — Personal : Pen a Novel

Do this now. The motivation is high, the desire to execute a long time coming and I have the means, a fresh and developing storyline along with a well thought out, systematic process to get there without sacrificing work or family life.

Back-burner and rethink the others. Figuring out the ‘how’ are mini sub goals to work out before fully getting at it. Work out and fine tune the process further. Extend the timeline.

For Goal 1- Professional : Generate $10MM in new business for 2018, it’s a lofty goal, one that requires quite a bit of setup and has many moving parts. Build momentum slower.

For Goal 3-People : Start a charitable organization, to prevent doing the cause a disservice, I need to build the right leadership team.

Finally, accountability turns goals into action.

Setting a milestone is important, but execution is everything. What loss hurts just enough to provide extra motivation to complete the task on time?

Turn up the risk. Increase the pressure. Don’t get lost in the goal, navigate through it.

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