Motivation and digging deeper for successful firms
Goals, especially SMART goals, fail to motivate rising stars. That’s because goals, over time, lose their appeal, and once your motivation falters, day-to-day operations turn into a grind. You may go through the motions, but the desire to achieve your goal dampens.
Back in the 1980s, corporate employees were under-performing. SMART goals were meant to cure that problem. Originally, business managers used this goal setting strategy to increase employee production.
SMART goals lack inspiration
If SMART goals work for you, then continue using them. Something Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time specific does serve a purpose. Goals, however, are not that inspiring. In fact, 92 percent of New Year’s Resolutions fail.
Why SMART Goals lack motivation
Yes, specific outcomes give you something to aim for. Defining the five Ws of who, what, when, where and why works well for short-term goals. But, Firm of the Future bookkeepers and accountants desire something more as they transform their practice.
Measuring your success according to set numbers offers valuable feedback. As change makers, you’re driven by something more than the numbers. Anyone who focuses solely on the numbers runs the risk of judging themselves at the end of each month; either they’re succeeding or failing. Instead, develop a variety of ways to measure your progress; some of your indicators may be intangible.
It’s easy to argue about the importance of attainable goals. History proves, however, that progress occurs when a visionary challenges the status quo. Did Steve Jobs really know if the technology for the iPhone could be invented? Absolutely not. His vision propelled him to take a risk.
That leads us to relevance. There’s nothing realistic about the internal drive to challenge your comfort zone. Expect challenging moments where you feel like you’re kayaking through a Class 5 rapid. A recent example is Firm of the Future’s 2018 Grand Prize winner Cloud Bookkeeping Services in Canada. Because of technology, they’ve stepped up as advisors. Automation has freed up their time to focus on higher-level services. As a way of giving back to the community, they educate and mentor.
SMART goals include timeframes. You projects dates to hit key milestones. This, however, fails to explain why some bookkeepers and accountants quickly rise to the top, although their business is relatively new.
Tactics aren’t enough
Things rarely go as planned. Unforeseen obstacles will throw your agenda off course. and solely focusing on SMART goals misses the most important factor. Goals overlook the inner drive that propels firm owners to pursue a vision. What’s your BIG WHY?
Determine your core reason to excel. Don’t be shy – make it deeply personal. Something personally meaningful will drive you forward through the ups and downs.
Accountants and bookkeepers who position themselves as trusted advisors are driven by an internal desire. It’s similar to the gravitational pull between the earth and the sun. There’s a magnetic force propelling them on a specific course to rise up. It’s as if the only choice is to pursue their vision.
A compelling vision inspires you to pursue Firm of the Future recognition. It’s more than a goal and it isn’t based on logic. Unlike static goals, a vision is emotionally charged. As a business coach, my aim is to motivate you to create a Firm of the Future. An inspiring vision motivates you to DO more and BE more.
Success is more than the numbers
Here’s why a vision works where goals fail:
- A vision has a built in challenge. Growth-minded bookkeepers savor the challenge.
- It’s something you’re driven to do. That means sticking with it even when it’s uncomfortable
- Your vision engages your senses. You create an emotionally rich, vibrant story of what’s possible. It’s your rocket fuel.
- You clearly see yourself successfully achieving your vision, although you may not know all the necessary steps. The plunge into unchartered territory requires a leap of faith.
- Remember to celebrate the smaller successes which are tucked into your larger vision. They keep you going through the tough, challenging moments.
Hurdles and obstacles will arise as you create your Firm of the Future. Your clear vision keeps you focused on the finish line. Now does this work for everyone? Absolutely not. Even highly motivated accountants and bookkeepers benefit from a business coach or mentor to quickly navigate through obstacles.
Don’t quit too soon
Externally driven professionals eventually throw in the towel. The money, recognition, or certifications are external forces. Each one is a milestone … an achievement. However, it’s not enough. Internal motivation, your BIG WHY, contributes to the success of any long term venture.
What drives you to embrace technology and innovation? It’s proven that a deeper purpose within motivates you to keep going, even when it’s tough. Revealing the underlying meaning – your BIG Why – is the fuel that keeps your fire burning within. Describe your purpose, something personally meaningful, which lights you up.