Blog post by Whitney Harmel
Whitney Harmel is the director of strategic partnerships at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. Through her career history and past role as chair of the Emerging Leaders United Council, she has over a decade of sales, leadership, and relationship-building experience.
The beginning of a new year provides the perfect opportunity to take a step back, reflect and plan ahead. It is also time to make your resolutions for the upcoming year—for you and your business.
When it comes to your business versus personal resolutions, there are distinct differences between the two. We all know that if you eat a French fry— it’s not the end of the world—but flaking on your business or professional resolution? That will come with a heavier consequence.
Goals are vital to any successful business. What’s important to keep in mind, however, is that goals are not just your end game—it’s also about how you’re going to get there. The key is to set goals that are attainable and then figure out the steps you will take to make them a reality.
To accomplish this, I first choose my goal, then I weave ways to accomplish it in small doses within my day-to-day tasks. I create strategic mile-marker check-in points for myself along the way—ultimately leading me to accomplishing the big picture. Believe me, I know it’s not always easy, so here are few tips that have helped me get to some of my end goals:
Time is money
We’ve all heard the old adage: “Time is money.” One of my professional goals has been to use my time to the fullest. A huge portion of my role involves being out of the office. For me to be successful, I need to be efficient and organize my days both in and out of the office. Scheduling calls close together and designating time for follow-ups and prospecting is key for me. When out in the field, I try to schedule appointments that are physically close to one another so I’m not spending more time driving than I am with prospects and investors.
Shout it out loud
Share your goals. Share them with your family, friends, mentor, whoever you want, but consider sharing them with your co-workers. Not only will it will encourage a better team dynamic in your workplace, it will also help keep you on track and hold you accountable. As a bonus, more often than not, you will find that your teammates will jump on board and begin to help you reach those goals. Sharing your goals can break down departmental silos, as you’ll find reaching them may cause you to make some unexpected connections.
Share the setbacks
While sharing your goals, be sure to also share the hiccups that are inevitably going to come your way. Divulging and owning setbacks keeps you accountable, while also garnering some great feedback from your peers. We learn from our mistakes. You’ll be surprised how many of your peers have most likely encountered the same obstacles and how talking about it will open up a wealth of advice and best practices.
Don’t be afraid to say good-bye
As you set and continue to build upon your goals, realize that it’s okay to bid adieu to something that is not working. Remember my first tip, your time is valuable. Whether it’s a sales approach, a new software, or a perhaps a tired standard operating procedure—it’s okay to recognize that it is creating an obstacle and to adjust accordingly. If it’s hampering productivity, turn away and focus on what’s really going to get you to your next level—and ultimately to that end goal.
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