Why Financial Goals May Not Be Motivating You In Business
We are running businesses in an era where we are being told higher revenue, bigger goals and infinite growth are indicators of success. Yet there a trend that financial goals are no longer motivating business owners on a day-to-day basis.
During a strategy session or planning day with staff, business coaches or consultants, it’s easy to be excited by the prospect of a profit or revenue goal. Imagining all that can be achieved, dreaming of the financial rewards for your hard work and the positive changes that can be made with surplus revenue in your business.
When it comes to working towards your business goals day in, day out, we tend to lose our motivation over time. The pursuit of those numbers on a page suddenly becomes arduous and they no longer hold the energy they once had.
By focusing on the dollar-figure in business planning, profit becomes only a representation of ‘what’ you plan to achieve; perhaps it is a million dollars in revenue, or to sell 1,000 items. This doesn’t instigate an emotional response anymore when we’ve lost the ‘why’ of those goals. Knowing ‘why’ you want to achieve those financial goals is more important than the actual figure of those financial goals.
RE-ENGAGING WITH YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS
Take some time to focus on the original ‘why’ of your goals and ask:
Why do you want to earn that revenue?
What will you do with that amount of profit?
What do those numbers on a page represent in making a difference in your business, your clients’ lives, your own life and society in general?
THE ROLE OF MOTIVATION
Motivation to achieve our goal needs to come from an intrinsic place. Internally felt rewards or an inner-driven catalyst is required to create momentum, as opposed to extrinsic motivators. Most goal setting focuses on the latter, the extrinsic factors that are no longer meaningful when we’re sitting in our office, by ourselves, trying to do our work. When we are looking for the drive to achieve our financial goals, try to focus on the why, not what that they represent.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE MEANS MAKING MONEY
This may sound contrary to what you just read. Above, it was mentioned not to focus on the dollar-figures to be motivated to achieve your goals. And now, your attention is being brought to the fact that to make a difference in business, you need to make money.
So here is where the problem lies:
We need money in business to make a difference, but we can’t focus only on the money or we lose our motivation.
PROFIT-AWARE INSTEAD OF PROFIT-DRIVEN
As a business owner, how can you incorporate the above idea? I believe it is by being profit-aware, instead of profit-driven.
Profit-aware is about having particular boundaries, ideas or elements that are expected in your business. This could be that all products/services offered must make a particular profit margin that covers costs, taxes and wages. Another may be that profit is expected in your business’s services/products but not at the detriment of people or environment. If making a profit impacts people or environment, the product/service needs to be adjusted until it can satisfy all factors.
A potential profit-aware strategy for your business may be: all goals are set with a dollar-figure and an impact factor. An impact factor is your ‘why’ metric. They can be the way you gauge how you’ve improved your clients’ lives, health, relationships, etc.
Understanding why financial goals may not motivate you or why maintaining the motivation is hard-work may need to be centred around the idea of keeping your eye on the dollar-figures, but not making the dollar amounts your only decision-making tool.
I’d love to hear how you keep yourself motivated in achieving your business goals!
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