How to Set the RIGHT Goals for 2014
If you want to compete and succeed with social media you’ll need to commit to goals that are within your control. Here’s how.
“Daddy, I’m really competitive.”
I looked over at Maya, my 11-year-old in the front car seat next to me. In my completely unbiased opinion she’s beautiful, smart and talented. She’s also incredibly fast and athletic…besides soccer, cross-country and snowboarding, she rides the tall unicycle (a “giraffe”) in Gym Dandies, a local children’s performing circus.
But competitive? I wasn’t so sure. She just doesn’t seem like she’s the fire-in-the-belly, eye-of-the-tiger type of kid most days.
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“I hate to lose.”
Having consoled her after soccer losses or the rare, less-than-stellar test score, I knew this to be true.
“Well, how you feel after a win or a loss isn’t the same thing as being competitive,” I told her.
“What do you mean, daddy?”
OK! Teaching moment! (Try not to bore the snot out of her.)
“Being competitive means continually working to be the best you can be at a given activity. Some people like to compete with themselves, some people like to compete with others.
“In either case, it’s about practicing the skills that make you better.
“Do you think that Jamie and Olivia (not their real names) only practice when they’re at foot skills, or do you think they go out into the backyard every day after school and practice their touches, kick the ball around, and practice juggling?”
“They probably practice every day,” Maya admitted.
“Didn’t you tell me that Olivia’s juggling record is over one thousand juggles? Do you think she got that on her first day?”
She shook her head.
“Of course not, she probably practiced juggling every day, starting at just two or three touches before the ball hit the ground. But she understood that juggling would give her better control over the ball and that would in turn make her a better, more competitive player.
“Being competitive means being committed, even when no one is around to watch.”
The Art of Setting Goals
Recently I was listening to a podcast where Pat Flynn was interviewing Srinivas Rao, known to many as Srini.
Srini was talking about the goals he set for his second book. He set a goal of selling one thousand copies, which seemed like a reasonable goal based on his previous book.
As it turned out, Glenn Beck stumbled upon his book, tweeted about it, and he sold a thousand copies in a day. That led to an appearance on the controversial pundit’s show, and he ended up selling over ten thousand copies.
However, upon looking back on his goal setting, he found it faulty.
He couldn’t really set a goal of selling one thousand copies, because unless he bought all the copies himself, he had no real control over the outcome.
However, Srini had also set another goal: write one thousand words a day, every day.
What impact do you think that had on his writing? Do you think he improved? Found his voice? Was better able to educate, inform and inspire?
If he hadn’t committed to writing one thousand words every day, do you think Glenn Beck would have found his book and been moved enough to share it with his sizable audience?
Maybe, maybe not.
There’s no way to know if your commitment to getting better will have that type of payoff, but it will definitely increase your odds at success.
How can you put this to work for you?
When I talk to people about what their goals are for social media they often talk about more fans, more followers, and from the more enlightened, more leads and sales.
While you can certainly guarantee more fans or followers by buying them through a site like Fiverr, there’s little to no value in these fans. And like Srini, unless you’re going to buy your own products or services, you can’t guarantee that you’ll generate leads or sales from your social media activity.
Instead, you should set goals you can control. You can commit to write one five hundred word post each week. You can commit to posting to your Facebook page twice a day. You can commit to answering one question in your favorite LinkedIn group three times a week.
Most of us find ourselves in competitive environments in business. We’re either competing for business, or search engine rankings, or attention in Facebook’s newsfeed.
While you can’t affect the algorithmic changes that Google or Facebook throw your way, you can work on the things you control.
To be competitive, you need set goals on the activities that you can touch, and commit to work of seeing them through. That may mean one thousand words or one thousand juggles.
What goals are you going to set for yourself in 2014?