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Reach Your Goals

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Nowadays, technology has made it easy for us to find the best route to where we want to go; all you have to do is type in an address on your map app and you’re guided to your destination, turn by turn. But when it comes to achieving your goals, Google isn’t much help. Jim Murphy, pro service coach at Elite Worldwide, says identifying your goals and finding a way to achieve them requires going old-school and taking out his handy-dandy map.

“What happens nowadays with folks is that they are looking for instant answers,” Murphy says. “In my mind, you need to have a route—have all of the things in place to get where you want to go.”

As a business coach for 21 years, he’s helped many auto repair shop operators identify and plan out how to achieve their goals, and he’s given Ratchet+Wrench his clues on how to find your path to success.

As told to Abby Patterson

It starts with assessing your personal goals so you can apply them to your business goals. The one thing that I ask my clients to do, before they start anything else, is that they should go find a quiet place to be alone and to write down their personal dreams and wishes. I ask them to write down what they want; something that gets them out of bed in the morning, and it shouldn't be making more money. It should be about that money will get you. Maybe they have a specific goal of living in a certain neighborhood in a specific house or they want to send their children to a good university—start mapping out those things. Then, you put a business plan to achieve those goals.

I think if there are too many goals, you could be distracted. I think it’s important on a personal note to have lifetime goals; this is what people have a hard time doing.  I did this back in my 20s with the help of a mentor. He told me to write down everything I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime. With this, you start looking at that list and start hammering out what’s really important.

Create SMART goals—specific, manageable, attainable, realistic, timely. This is a guiding document to help you conduct how you run your life. Personally, I wanted something very specific so I don’t get mixed up in doing something different. For example, one of my goals is to visit every national park. My friends reach out to me and ask if I want to go on a trip to Jamaica. Yes, it sounds fun, but it doesn’t align with my goal. Your goal would have to be to travel and have fun with friends, but that’s not specific enough. Be more specific as to what you want and that will help keep you on track and act as a guiding document on how you want to create this wonderful life plan. That’s what you are doing with your goals—creating a life and business plan.

You have to look for an emotional reason to get out of bed in the morning. If a goal is to build up marketing, increase ARO, or organize files, do you think there would be enough owners out there that would be motivated by that to get up in the morning? Probably not.

Your employee’s goals will help you achieve your goals. You have to get with your team and help them figure out what their goals are, not just your own. For example, if I went to my staff and said, “I want to buy my wife a new house, so my goal is to net $500,000 this and we have to strive as a team to get there,” how do you think they’d feel about that? Not too motivated. By encouraging employees to define their goals, it will take little to no effort for an owner to complete the smaller steps to reach their bigger goals.

Look at your goals constantly. Have them on your wall or your desk as a motivation to achieve certain things in your life. One of things I do with my wife, Sherri, is we sit down and assess our goals every year, and decide if these goals are still important to us. There’s certainly times you are going to reassess how you are going to get there, but your lifetime goals aren’t going to change all that much.

There are different aspects of life that I think you should focus on. For example, my wife and I focus on family, business, spiritual, social, personal, health, leisure, wealth. We have goals that address each of those aspects of life so we stay in balance. If you focus too much on business and wealth, you could have health go away. If you pull some of those aspects out, it’s really easy to get out of balance in how you operate your life.

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