Business Secrets Podcast Episode 7: How To Set Business Goals The Right Way

This is a transcript from the Business Secrets Podcast With Robert Kanaat. Click here to view and subscribe on iTunes

Hello and welcome to another episode of Business Secrets. My name is Robert Kanaat, founder of, the premiere online destination for all things personal development. Goal setting, strategies are one of those things. That’s what I wanted to talk to you guys about today actually.

I know that goals are pretty much the source of everything in life, and when we don’t set goals we kind of wander around and we don’t actually go anywhere. If you want to actually do something in life that’s worthwhile, you have to set goals. Some of us set goals all the time, some of us fail to set any goals. But I want to talk to you about the importance of goal setting today.

To do that, I wanted to relay a story about goal setting. This story actually goes to a study that was done by Harvard University. Was way back in 1979, and they studied the graduating class, the MBA graduating class. Just prior to the graduation. What they did was they went out there, the researchers went out there and they asked the entire class whether or not they had set goals for the future and how many of them had actually had plans for those goals.

So here are the results of the studies prior to graduation. 85% of the class had set absolutely no goals at all. 13% of that same class had written goals but had no concrete plans for them. So they had written down their goals, but they didn’t have any plans. Only 3% of the class had actually written the goals and created plans to achieve them.

So you know that setting goals, obviously, is great. We often do it on New Year’s Eve, and we get what’s called New Year’s Eve syndrome. That is the fact that we set goals on New Year’s Eve, and we don’t actually do anything to achieve them. So 10 years goes by, and the researchers go back and they check the same class that had graduated from the Harvard Business School.

Then they go back and they determined that some remarkable things had happened. But it was kind of like how they had guessed, but way, way more than they had guessed it would be. So 10 years later, the 13% of the class that had actually written down their goals but they didn’t have plans to achieve them – they were making twice as much money of the 84% of the class that had no goals at all.

But here’s the kicker, right? The 3% of the class that had both written goals and a concrete plan were making 10 times as much as the rest of the class. Now I’m talking about the rest of the class, as in – even those that had written down their goals. So this kind of tells you the power that’s behind writing goals and actually making a plan to achieve them. Not just writing goals and like hoping and wishing that it happens. All of that law of attraction stuff, it doesn’t work unless you actually take action.

Something happens when you transmute what’s in your mind down onto paper, right? So like what’s in your mind when you pull that out and you write it down – you actually go through the act of writing it down, like some incredible things happen. As opposed to you just set goals in your mind. They’re just hopes and they’re just wishes, like they never actually materialize into real goals – unless you write them down.

So not only do you have to write them down, but you have to actually set a plan to achieve them, right? Like you can’t just write down your goals and then hope that you go in the right direction. Yeah, the direction is great, writing down the goals – that’s great, that’s a great start. If you haven’t done that now – if you haven’t done that yet, I’d suggest that you pause and use the 15 minute rule, right?

So grab that timer and set the timer for 15 minutes, or just start the stopwatch, and then promise yourself, “Only 15 minutes,” and start writing your goals. Go stream of consciousness. That is actually huge, because something extraordinary happens when you start to actually write things down. Your mind begins to like stack and like organize and like think through and extrapolate kind of like what’s in there, what’s hidden in the trenches in the far reaches of your mind.

So if you haven’t done that, pause the audio now and go do it. Because that’s one of the most incredible things that you actually do that will propel your life and your business forward right now. Because if you don’t have those written goals, then like there is a big problem, right? You can’t just set them in your mind. So actually writing them down and planning them, that is the secret sauce, right?

There are a bunch of secrets to business, right? A lot of the secrets that I’ve been going over episode after episode. And these are secrets that I’ve gleaned from some of the most successful entrepreneurs, and also gleaned from my life personally and in business. Actually going through the steps and planning it, that’s really important, okay? You should use a method called “The Smart Goal Setting Method.”

Now I’ve blogged about this so many times, I think if you Google like “smarter goals,” I’m probably number one. Smart goals are somewhat similar to smarter goals. Smarter goals take it one step further. So let me explain to you what smart is – it’s an acronym S-M-A-R-T. So the goals have to be specific, right? They have to be specific. By specific, that means you have to know like quantitatively what you’re trying to achieve.

Like if you’re trying to lose weight – you want to lose 15 pounds, right? So you want to actually lose like – write down that you want to lose 15 pounds. So it has to be very, very specific. It can’t just be like, “I want to lose weight.” Like that doesn’t work. If it’s in business, it’s got to be, “I want to make $100,000 a month.” Or, “I want to gross a million dollars a year.” Or, “I want to do 10 million dollars a year.” Or, “My goal is 100 million dollars a year.”

You’ve got to get real specific. Okay, you can think about that goal on your mind, but you actually have to write it down. Get specific, okay? So by “M”, they have to be meaningful. Some people say that it’s measurable. But I say that it has to be meaningful. Because you measure it when it’s specific. If it’s specific enough, it’s measured, okay? So the “M” in smart has to be meaningful.

That means that that goal has to mean something to you beyond actually giving up on it, right? So if it doesn’t mean something to you, then you will always give up on it. How do you find meaning to a goal? You have to ask a question, “What does this mean to me,” right? You have to keep asking a question until you go deep enough, where you – where the question equals the answer.

For example, you don’t just want to make more money to have a bunch of deceased Benjamin’s in your bank account – pieces of paper with deceased President’s on it. You want to make more money for a specific reason. Like what is that money going to afford you, right? It will give you the opportunity to buy a new car, or to buy a bigger house, or to move your family somewhere.

Those are kind of superficial meanings. You have to find the deeper meaning. So you have to keep asking yourself until the question equals the answer. So for example, maybe it’s because you want the freedom or the security that more money affords? The ability to spend more time with your family. So family would be a great reason why.

But you have to put passion behind that meaning. So if there’s no real passion there, then you’re not going to do anything to achieve it. You’re going to give up, okay? Kind of like on New Year’s Eve goals. So write down like what is so meaningful about that goal to you, and actually write it down and feel that, right? Because you want to repeat this whole process to yourself every single day a couple of times a day.

One great book that I’d suggest you to go read is, “Think and Grow Rich.” It’s probably one of the most phenomenal books you could possibly ever read. A lot of the concepts and the principles about the way I think, and the way that the most successful people in the world think, are actually in that book. So I would suggest go picking up a copy of it.

Now by “A” in smart, we mean that the goal has to be attainable or achievable. It’s okay to set outlandish goals, but if you’re $100,000 in debt, don’t say that you’re going to make a billion dollars by the end of the year. Sure you could set a billion dollar goal 10 years from now, or five years from now – whatever, right? But within the year, make sure that it’s attainable.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be like totally aspirational about your goals. 10 million dollars or like – be, just think big – of course, right? But also allow yourself to have those wins, right? Because when we have those small wins, right? We build momentum. So like when you breakdown the goal, you break it down to milestones. So like, for example 12 million dollars a year would mean a million dollars a month. Now a million dollars a month’s sounds like a lot, until you break it down into weeks and then days, right? So make sure that the goal is attainable or achievable.

The “R” is – the “R” in smart. So we covered S-M-A – and now the “R” in smart. “R” that, it’s results based, right? So like you want to be able to measure those results. You want to be able to measure those results every single day. So like if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve got to get on that scale every single day. Get on the scale at the same time and see where you’re at, right? So make sure that the goal is results based, right?

Also you want to make sure that the goal is time based. So like don’t just say you want to achieve a goal a year from now. Actually write down the frigging date on the piece of paper that you’re planning. Like pick the actual date from the calendar. Like if it’s April 15th for you right now, then like pick April 15th in the next year. Or if you want to set a goal that you’ll achieve before the end of the year, or before the one year period – then write down that date. That’s really, really important. So it’s got to be time based.

So that’s really important. If you’re not setting goals, you’re honestly doing yourself a big disservice. You have to actually get out there and set goals, because the most successful people in the world actually set goals, and they create plans to achieve them. Now that doesn’t mean you have to know every single step of the way that you’re going to get from where you are today to your actual goals. But you kind of have to have a path, right? You want to have an overall direction that you’re going to follow.

It’s like when an airplane takes off. The airplane has a flight plan. That flight plan might change during the flight due to turbulence and air traffic congestion and other things. But the airplane is constantly modifying that, right? It’s re-evaluating that. So you can definitely do that while you’re in flight, while you’re going towards your goals. But you need an actual flight plan. If you don’t have that, then you’re doing yourself a disservice and you don’t know where you’re going.

So anyhow guys, like I really, really hope that this was useful to you. Please like and share and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, I’d greatly appreciate it – or wherever it is that you’re listening to this to. I sincerely appreciate you taking out the time to listen to this. Again, my name is Robert Kanaat, with Business Secrets, and I hope that you stay tuned for the next episode.