Tag Archives: goal setting

Bridging the Achievement Gap – 3 Keys to Successful Goals

Martha Stewart fell into an Achievement Gap when she was convicted and sentenced to five months in prison. Then she found a way to bridge that achievement gap and return to being chairman of the board.

Her situation is more high profile, sure. Yet we can all use the same 3 keys to successfully achieve our goals. Let me share them with you, and at the end I’ll show you how to get your own goal setting worksheet to bridge your achievement gap.

Have One Focus

Martha Stewart’s goal was to return to being chairman of the board. Dan Kennedy’s goal was to build a business that allows him to work from home, and set his own schedule. My goal is to find teens who are as I once was, and help them avoid the darker paths I've traveled.

For each of us to achieve this goal of personal development, we definitely keep our minds focused on the big, over-arching goal. Equally important is that while we work toward that big goal, we have one focus at a time.

For example, right now I have three books under contract and am becoming seriously involved with affiliate marketing. This could easily become four places to “focus” my attention. But if it’s in four places, then I’m not really focused, am I?

So, my one focus to start is the book on joint ventures and affiliate marketing. The first draft deadline is only a couple weeks away. Then I’ll focus on a second book, and then the third. Affiliate marketing is important – heck, it’s a revenue generator – but because it’s ongoing (rather than a project) it can always be a second level priority. It only becomes a focus when I’m doing a special promotion or specific project.

This is important – have one focus, and be sure to leave time for everyday work. I put four hours a day into a book, and that leaves time to work on affiliate marketing and other daily business tasks.

Plan Your Work

This is where a Goal Setting Worksheet comes in handy.

I’ve made my own, and it helps me decide what my objectives are, plan what needs to be done, and break those big To Do items into a specific task list.

I use a goal setting worksheet for ongoing items and projects. Each evening, I take tasks from the goal sheets to make my schedule for the following day. Then I add in errands, phone calls and other small tasks.

This allows me to split up the four hours I have set aside for writing the book. In psycho-cybernetics, it’s called oscillation. You alternate the kinds of work you do so you stay fresh and attentive. For me, I write for about two hours then take an hour to do other tasks. There’s another two hours or so of writing, then I’m “done” for the day.

Because tasks are listed on the goal setting worksheet, I put a checkmark next to each one that’s done. I can check off big To Do items as they’re finished, and it feels great to check off an objective achieved.

I even formatted my goal setting worksheet so it prints on 3-ring, lined binder paper. This allows me to make notes, add task items, and add pages whenever needed.

Track Your Progress

We've already talked about checking things off on the goal setting worksheet. More than anything else, I think celebrating progress bridges the achievement gap.

So I track my progress in two places. I have a spiral-bound book where I write each day’s task list. As things are done – writing this post for example – I check it off. At the end of the day, I go to my goal setting worksheets and check off tasks accomplished during the day.

I find tracking and reviewing my progress this way reinforces my successes and helps me quickly bridge the achievement gap.

What I’d like to do is share my goal planning worksheet with you. If you’re interested, I’ll make a blank template available AND a current goal setting worksheet you can use as an example. Leave a comment saying you’re interested. When we hit 100 comments, then I’ll make the whole thing available with notes for my whole system for bridging the achievement gap.

Leave a comment, and be sure to ask your friends to comment, too. We need 100 comments to be sure there's interest, right?

Focus – Your Attention Is Valuable


I have to remember - when I write a Friday post - not to say I'll be writing "tomorrow" when I mean "Monday." I apologise.

Which brings me to Focus.

Would I have made the same mistake if I were more focussed? Would you have still broken the vase, Neo, if I hadn't said anything? hmmm...

Anyway, on Friday, I was writing about focussing - or working - on just one project at a time. You get to enjoy the fruits of your labour sooner. I also mentioned I'd tell you how making that change has been going for me.

The simple answer is - slow, steadily and I'm enjoying the results.

Anyone who wants a little more detail - just keep reading.  😉

You know it's more than just a matter of waking up one day and saying "Okay, I'm only working on one project at a time from now on."

I have my own e-book tele-workshop series launching in March, clients to write and edit for, plus books to research and write. Following Rich Schefren's advice about working on one project at a time is something I have to work at deliberately.

As much as any individual project, this is something I have to plan. Let's start by looking at the kinds of work that are on my plate right now.

1. the e-book tele-workshop series. 21 teleseminars focussed on showing business owners the step by step for how to enter the information marketing arena. A one time sort of project.

2. copywriting clients - writing for them, and editing their material. This is ongoing stuff - they pay a monthy retainer.

3. books - these are a combination of the other two. Writing the book is a one time thing, but it's ongoing because of the marketing of the book, and planning to write an updated version.

So, how can I work on one project at a time when I"ll always have clients sending me things to edit - or asking for something to be written?

Good question. Here's how I'm finding the answer.

The most important project is the e-book tele-workshop series. (It also happens to be the biggest - just coincidence.) It involves a lot of joint ventures, creating support tools for affiliates, plus promotional copy, call scripts and e-mails. Remember, it's also a one-off thing.

So I"m taking five hours out of each day to work on it. Sometimes more, but I am promising myself to spend at least that much time on the project.

Then come the books. In the big picture, these have longer lasting importance than the tele-workshop series. First, I'm working on just one at a time.

The Instant Amazon Best-Seller Formula is done and in the hands of the designer. It'll probably be out this month. Now I'm working on Marketing Web Sites for Freelance Copywriters - Bob has given me his first set of edtis.

When that's done, I'll put my energy into the book on List Building.

Right now, I'm putting four hours each day into books.

Okay - we're up to a nine hour work day.

Then there's work for copywriting clients. For the most part, I can get that work done by putting in two hours each day. I don't take a lot of copywriting clients - I prefer writing books, actually.

So now we have an 11 hour day. Add to that the time I spend writing a blog post each day, writing an article, doing admin stuff, etc. etc. etc.

It's a good thing I enjoy being up at 4:30 and going to bed at 10. I need all 17 1/2 hours!

This should make it EXTREMELY clear why Rich Schefren's adivce is worth following. If I were working on just one project - that's PROJECT - at a time, I'd have a lot more time to myself each day.

Writing copy for clients is something I'll always do. It's fun, I like meeting people, and there's always something new to learn. There will always be admin work, blog posts, and articles to write.

That "part" of every day is a constant.

The problem right now is that I have the tele-workshop series (a project) and two books (two projects) to work on. That's three projects at one time.

Dividing up the day like I have works for me. It isn't the burden you might think it is because everything I'm doing is pleasing to me. That said, I don't want this kind of workload to continue indefinitely.

So, I've decided to work six days each week. The extra day gets put into the tele-workshop series.

When the current book is written, I won't accept another. The book on List Building has a planned release for the end of the year anyway, so there is lots of time to work on it.

What I'll do in the future is plan one big project every two years - a project like the tele-workshop series. When I'm working on something like that, I won't take any book projects.

I'll keep copywriting commitments down to about 4 or 5 hours each day. This will keep part of each day open for working on every current project.

There it is. My way of putting Rich Schefren's advice to work for me, and enjoying the results.

What do you think? Would you do it differently? How will you put Rich's advice to use for yourself?


Planning & Goal Setting – Where to start

Good Morning,

Starting your story in the middle is a good practice. Doing that with a project is a recipe for disaster.

But how do you know where to start when you're just a beginner?

When it comes to writing an e-book, start with Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit. Yes, I wrote it and this is shameless self-promotion. It's still a good book, and it works with my example.

The e-book lays out a step-by-step process for choosing your topic, getting the book written then marketing the book. That's great, it's really useful, but what do you do when there isn't a book written about how to do what you want to do?

That is my situation when it comes to putting together the E-Book Tele-Workshop Series.

Sure, there are lots of resources about how to do a tele-seminar, conference calls and podcasts. But what about how to approach the experts, making the schedule, putting together lists of questions, booking call times, and blah, blah, blah. What about all that other stuff?

Side note: Can you tell I'm thinking of an information product? Something to help everyone else keep from stepping into the holes and cow patties I stepped in? (And you'll all know I've really been there and done that!)

So here's part of the answer:

The beginning is deciding what you want to do.

I want to do a series of workshop calls that show everyone how to get their book written, publish it and promote it. So, the first thing I need to do in the planning is decide what material I'm going to cover.

Once I decide what material to cover, then I can look at what order to cover it in. At the same time, I can decide which expert is best for talking about which topic.

You can see how this leads to developing a call schedule. That leads to everything else.

The call schedule determines when each piece of copy is needed, when you have to get the call script to each expert, and when to schedule all the tech stuff like call recording, editing and transcription.

Now, there's one more important thing to know: The call schedule can be different from the interview schedule. Here's the difference:

The call schedule is when people get to listen to the interview with each of the experts.

The interview schedule is when you record each the interview with each expert.

Maybe your call schedule is set to run each Wednesday evening at 9:00 pm EST because that's the best time for your audience. But, when you ask an expert for the interview, they might say they don't work in the evenings.

That means you record the interview during the day and play it back for everyone during your call schedule. Know what I mean?

Having an interview schedule that's different from your call schedule also allows you to be uber efficient during the project. Using the Wednesday evening call schedule might mean the calls are spread out over 16 or 20 weeks. But you can set your interview schedule to be convenient for the experts and get some of the calls done early.

That translates into being able to get the audio edited, and the transcription done early, too. You don't release them until after the scheduled call, of course, but it's always nice to have things done early.

And that's my two cents worth on where to start when your planning and setting goals. Let me know what you think.