Category 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?

Goal Setting With Our Mastermind

Ever hear that saying “People don’t plan to fail. They fail to plan.”

As much as I agree with it, let me be the first to say that HOW you make your plan is less important than having one. So I’m going to share how our mastermind does it, and encourage you to tailor it so it suits your style and character.

We use a page called the Progress Monitor.

It’s a template we fill in every Friday and share with each other for accountability.

The first thing we do is list everything we accomplished that week. It’s an opportunity for us to recognise ourselves – our own successes – and for each of us to acknowledge the successes of the others.

Then we list what projects we’re going to work on during the next week. With each project, we list specific activities we want to complete and assign them deadlines. And even though a particular project might take weeks or months to accomplish, we try to list only 3 or 4 activities to complete each week.

You can see how what we’re doing is breaking big projects down into manageable bits. And we share what we’re doing so we have accountability. There’s something very encouraging about sharing what you want to do with people who support you in getting it done.

By the way, when you participate in a mastermind it’s incredibly important that everyone in the group is supportive. Be quick to get rid of anyone who avoids taking action or who is in any way inclined to pull down others.

We also have the Progress Monitor formatted so it prints on 3 ring, lined, binder paper. So once it’s printed, we can make notes on it easily. (We were surprised by how well it prints onto lined paper, and how well it works for adding notes and changes throughout the week.)

And that’s it. Simple, cool and effective.

We limit ourselves to 4 or 5 things we work on each week, and just 3 or 4 activities for each project. After all, we have businesses to run, too. So even though our goals and projects are related to the business, we have to keep in mind that there are day to day activities to look after, too.

How do you handle your goals and achieving them? I’ve seen folks use index cards, calendar pads, and even keeping a  journal. Personally, I can’t seem to develop the habit for keeping a journal. Maybe it’s because I write for a living, and the short form notes in the Progress Monitor are a relief from regular writing.

How about you? I’d like to know how you keep track of goals and your progress. Leave a comment, and maybe we’ll end up helping someone get better at their goal setting. Thanks.

Small Business Marketing

The Glocal Wave and the Future of The Marketing Spotlight

Can you stop marketing, take a break, and still come back to success? Yes, you can.

When Friends, Followers and Customer Evangelists: The 2010 Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media (#FFCE) was being prepared, David Hancock (Founder, Morgan James Publishing) asked me to stop marketing. That’s a radical position for a publisher, don’t you think?

In all fairness to David, he was only telling me to Continue reading

Info Marketing – Goal Setting for Your New Revenue Stream

My last post was about the 3 kinds of info product.

Now let’s have a look at setting goals for your information marketing efforts. I wrote a similar article recently for Technorati about small business goal setting in social media. The ideas are the same.

You know some of your information products will be free and others paid. Among the paid products, the price can range from a few dollars all the up to tens of thousands of dollars.

But how do you decided where you want to get to, and how fast?

Start by deciding where you want to go. Ultimately, you might want to develop information marketing into a replacement for your current income. Bob Bly has done that. He still makes more from his copywriting than from information marketing, but $1,000 a day from info marketing is pretty good.

Let’s say that’s your goal. You want info marketing to bring you Continue reading

Growing Your Blog – Day 14 of the 31 Day Challenge

We all want our businesses to grow. That’s why we read the books, blogs and other resources.

Part of growing is change, and The Marketing Spotlight is changing.

Day 14 is all about updating key pages on your blog. Well, I’m going to update my About page, and I’m adding several pages. In fact, I’m migrating the content from over to

This blog is my central business site. After all, I’m telling you to make a blog the centre of your online efforts. It’s only fitting that you see the results of me “practicing what I preach!”

But there’s more to the changes than that… Continue reading

Your Editorial Calendar – Pt 2 of 2 – Day 12 of the 31 Day Challenge

It feels good to see the changes happening. A year from now, this blog will be much better in content, the plugins being used, and the amount of traffic it draws.

Can you imagine how good it feels to write that with confidence?

I was sitting at breakfast this morning and thinking about The Marketing Spotlight. Imagine how good it’s going to feel – a year from now – when I have developed a membership site for business owners. In a year, there will be 2,000 subscribers paying a simple $9 each month.

Every member will be getting useful content, have a forum to discuss their issues, and be able to contribute to the site as a guest author. It’s incredibly uplifting to see an article from someone new who is enjoying their successes – just as it’s educational to hear from someone with experience.

Of course, the membership site will be at Continue reading

Better Blogging – Day 2 1/2


Last week, I started a challenge from Darren Rowse – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

You can tell from the title of this post that I haven’t quite kept up with getting the blog posts done. As it happens, I’m also finishing The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Having these two things happen together is what I’ve chosen to write about.

The Slight Edge is about the little things that are Continue reading

Repurposing Your Blog – Day 1 of the 31 Day Challenge

We all know repurposing content is the perfect way to get the most benefit from every effort.

Fortunately, that isn’t the only meaning for “repurpose.”

As of today, The Marketing Spotlight is being Continue reading

Project of a Lifetime


The Obama Protocols goes live (I hope) next week.

Johnny is working on the site…hooking up the e-commerce tools…connecting the pages and setting up the bonus downloads.

I’m wrapping up copy, writing promo e-mails, doing scripts for the calls…and a whole lot of other stuff.

You know what makes this the project of a lifetime? It’s a combination of the opporunity and Continue reading