No email list? How to still get visible and grow your business without one

Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.
Sometimes you may not be ready for an email list and all that goes with it…
That’s ok, it can be scary to get into when you aren’t fully ready.
I’m always going to advise starting to grow your list because it gives you more power and you can work out the kinks early.
But I know that it may take some time.
In the meanwhile, I don’t want you to not do anything for growing your business.
Here are some things you can do while you are gearing up for a list…even though you should get yourself an email list going.  It’s never a good idea to wait out of fear until you’re ready to pull the trigger on these things. Do things to help you get closer to the goal and keep moving forward.

Turn to your current clients.

Treat current clients like gold and give them an experience they are excited to share with everyone.

This is a great way to grow your referral network. And you never know people may not be the right fit right now but they will remember you when they are especially if their friend referred you.
They are also a great resource to talk to and find out what content you could create to help others with similar problems.

SEO Strategy

Invest in your blog content’s SEO strategy.
This one is huge for residual traffic and getting found in the first place.
It may take some time, money, and frustration at first but it will pay off in the end. I only say frustration because it takes a while sometimes for your efforts to pay off and that can be really frustrating because you’ll want to try different strategies and see what works.
But coming up with a plan for your content and taking the time to implement it, learn about it or pay someone else to take it over will really help you show up in search results.
And this even helps with things like Pinterest and Facebook because Google is now searching and returning that content.

Local Connections

Don’t underestimate the power of using local connections to grow your business.
Local connections are a great networking resource as well as being a great place to start growing your email list.
When doing local events as long as you can capture and keep confirmation from them when they sign up you can add your local network to your list and start growing your online presence that way.
There are a lot of rules when it comes to what you can and can’t do with email signups so do some research before you start collecting and making sure you are compliant with the Anti-spam laws.

Testimonials are POWERFUL

Testimonials are a powerful method for attracting new clients and getting your name out there.
Sometimes you’ll see testimonials referred to as social proof.
And that is exactly what they are proof from people to people. There is another level of confidence people gain from having this outside source backing up what you are saying through your content.
Start gathering testimonials that you can sprinkle throughout your site, use on your social media, or put up around your office to remind you how amazing you are!

Invest in an awesome website

And the last suggestion I’m going to share with you for growing your business without an email list is to invest in an awesome website.
Your website is your online space to connect with and convert visitors to clients or customers and you need to have a strong online space to accomplish that.
It is especially important to have a strong website because your visitors may not come back so you’ll want it to be clear and have a strong flow that helps first-time visitors move through your site getting to know you and connecting so that they do remember you and what you do when they need your services.
Your website is the best place to connect the “what” you do with the “who” you serve and clearly make that connection with your visitors.
So if you aren’t ready to start working on growing your list right now my best piece of advice to you is to put in the time and energy to make your website functional, professional and clear.
And I can help you with that.

Are you my next dream client? Let’s get started!

Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.
Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.
Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.
Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.

The 5 Most Common SEO Mistakes for your small business

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to show up in search engine results? Here are the 5 most common SEO mistakes that could be costing you traffic to your website and how you can start optimizing your SEO strategy on your business' website.

The big mystery of SEO.

How does it work?

How can someone guarantee the first-page result for your business?

There are so many pieces it’s hard to keep track of what you are supposed to do…not supposed to do… and what the algorithms expect to help you get the best results possible.

As of writing, this post here are the top 5 common SEO mistakes.

Now I want to talk to you hear heart to heart. Mistakes don’t mean you failed, mistakes aren’t something to make you feel bad. Mistakes are MEANT to help you learn and grow. So please take this post as a starting point for learning and adjusting your strategy and not as something to prove you can’t do this.

Because you can. You’ve got this!

5 Common SEO Mistakes

Not using header tags but increasing the font size instead

You’ve probably spent some time learning how to make your content easier to read.

You’ve heard that you need to create a hierarchy with your text. Making important bits bigger and pulling out content to highlight it.

But if you are just increasing text size inside the editor and not using the coded H1, H2, H3, etc font sizes you are hurting your SEO results.

These H-tags are bits of code behind the scenes that signal to search engines that this font is IMPORTANT and should be given more weight in search results ranking.

If you are making your font bigger without using the H-tags search engines have no idea what content in your blog is important. It just adjusts how the fonts display…I know it’s confusing because it seems like it should be the same but it is a very big difference on the back end.

In WordPress this is really simple, in the editor there is a drop-down box that says Paragraph by default but inside this dropdown, it has the different preformatted text codes for all the H-tags you will need.

Your theme will already have these hardcoded in and you won’t have to do anything else to make it visible to search engines.

Not using alt tags

I know. I know.

Having another step to getting your blog posts rolling is NOT what you want to hear right now.

You want to insert the images and get it scheduled.

But by overlooking the alt tags for your images is a huge mistake and in full transparency, I was guilty of this in the beginning as well.

I didn’t want to have to do another step. I wanted to just get it up and out there. Plus alt tags didn’t seem that important at first.

BUT the alt tags for your images are how search engines “see” the graphics you are posting. Which means if you don’t put text in search engines don’t have any idea what the graphics is about.

It’s kind of like watching a foreign film with no subtitles and you just walk in halfway through…

And this is also really important when it comes to Pinterest, because Pinterest specifically pulls the alt tag information for the description of new pins. You can’t control if someone else adjusts the description BUT you can make sure you have an optimized one in there in case they just pin and run.

Not giving a real readable name to photos file names

This one is also big for your SEO.

It’s really easy to use 234ou12o3i4.jpg BUT you are missing out on a HUGE opportunity to show up in search results.

Make sure that each photo has a readable file name with your keywords in it.

When I say readable I mean put hyphens between each word so that the search engine can recognize that each word is separate.

Using too many keywords

Also called keyword flooding.

This is when your content is keyword after keyword and each piece of content is stuffed full of them.

This strategy used to work but since Search Engines want to produce quality results for the people searching. And as such, they want to return results that are relevant and useful to the consumer.

Keyword flooding is not helpful for the consumer and doing so now will hurt your ranking.

What you can do instead is create content that is useful and beneficial directed at the questions your dream clients are searching for.

Install a plugin like Yoast SEO and use its tool to help you optimize the number of times your chosen keyword appears in the text.

Not researching keywords and assuming you know what people will search

You may not do research because you don’t know how or don’t have time but…

assuming you know what keywords your audience is going to search without research is like shooting in the dark.

You may hit the mark, you may not.

And most likely you are missing huge opportunities to reach your audience and get higher search results rankings.

You can use tools like

  • Pinterest
  • Google AdWords
  • Pinterest Keyword Tool

and others to start researching what you should optimize for your own content.

And… BONUS mistake

Doing nothing

If you aren’t doing anything for your SEO then you aren’t going to show up in search rankings…

While SEO can be a rabbit hole of optimization, adjustments, research, and testing.

Not doing anything is the only guarantee you have to affect your results.

Pick one thing and spend a little time optimizing past content that you have and make adjustments on your new content going forward.

Don’t get overwhelmed with having to go back and change things just chip away at it over time and you’ll start to see results in traffic coming from search engines.

Now it’s your turn!

What is your #1 question when it comes to SEO for your online business? Let me know in the comments!


Don’t know where to start with identifying your website’s SEO keywords? I put together a planner that walks you through the steps to explore and identify which keywords you should be highlighting for your online business.
It is available for free in my resource library. To get access to the SEO Keywords Planner and other business building goodies sign up below!
 

Free Resource Library

Sheets3

Get Access to my free library of workbooks, checklists, and resources for your creative business.

Powered by ConvertKit
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to show up in search engine results? Here are the 5 most common SEO mistakes that could be costing you traffic to your website and how you can start optimizing your SEO strategy on your business' website.
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to show up in search engine results? Here are the 5 most common SEO mistakes that could be costing you traffic to your website and how you can start optimizing your SEO strategy on your business' website.
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to show up in search engine results? Here are the 5 most common SEO mistakes that could be costing you traffic to your website and how you can start optimizing your SEO strategy on your business' website.

You’re Starting Too Soon – One Thing To Do Before Setting Goals

Before goal setting | goal setting ideas | goal setting for business | goal setting tips | goal setting motivation

We all have things we want to do, traits and qualities we want to strengthen, and hopes for the future of our businesses. So naturally, setting a SMART goal or taking action right away seems like the best thing to do. Actually, it might be better to do one other thing first.

Goal setting can be a great way to motivate yourself toward the improved life and business you want, but if not done well, it leads to frustration and discouragement.

This happens because we often forget to assess our current situation, to see if we’re ready and able to commit to a new goal.

Why does assessing the current situation matter, if it’s the situation we want to change?

If you’re not ready or willing to put in the work, or are otherwise unable to commit to doing it at this time, change won’t happen.

Entrepreneurs and business owners are really good starters. We have great ideas (and usually many of them!), big dreams, lots of enthusiasm, and plenty of energy to get it all going. This make it easy to rush into setting goals without much assessment. However, if we want to be successful, it’s better to invest a little time now to figure out if the goal is a good fit, instead of wasting more time later because we chased the wrong goal.

How can we assess the fit of a goal without actually having a goal?

It’s more about the big picture at this point. You already know you want more than what you currently have, whether it’s more clients, better time management, spending less on marketing, feeling more confident, etc. So for now, we’ll use whatever that broad goal is, and save the clarification process until you figure out whether it’s actually the right time to start on this path.

If we forget to assess, we risk choosing goals we don’t really want, or that are too big or unrealistic for us to achieve at the moment. It might not be obvious at first, but we’ve all had goals where we realize partway through that we’ve lost our enthusiasm, we experience excruciatingly slower and slower progress, and eventually we’re faced with giving up (which makes us feel guilty or discouraged) or slogging through a goal that’s lost all meaning.

It really doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some questions to figure out if you’re ready and willing to start a new goal, project, or change.

(As a note, if you find the questions difficult to answer, consider discussing with someone else to get extra insight. Many times, other people have more distance from a situation and can give valuable perspective.)

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Setting Goals

Is this a problem that can be changed, and is it in your control to change it?

Again, focus on the big picture. Is this something that you can change, or is it a problem that’s out of your sphere of influence? If it’s something that requires other people’s help, then also ask yourself whether it’s in your power to influence them to get involved.

What are your reasons for this goal, or why do you want to make this change?

For a great TED talk on this topic, check out Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” video (his “Start With Why” speech). Having a strong “Why” becomes especially critical when progress is challenging and you need to stay motivated. For some goals, “Because I want to” is good enough, but for most business goals, there’s probably a more specific reason.

If you’re having trouble thinking of a strong enough “Why,” ask yourself: “What do I think my life and business will look like when I accomplish this goal?”

When you come up with that answer, follow it with an additional repeating question: “Why is this appealing to me?” Ask this “why?” question again and again until you find your core reason.

What are some reasons not to make this change or start this project?

Just like every cloud has a silver lining, there are some pieces of silver with imperfections. Whether it’s that a change in procedure will mean more work during the transition, or that you’ll have to face a fear you’ve been avoiding, there’s probably some drawback (however temporary) to pursuing this goal.

If you’re having trouble with this question, ask yourself why you haven’t started this goal before now. It could be that staying in the predictable “known,” no matter how undesirable it is, is easier and more comfortable than changing.

Are the benefits of changing greater than the benefits of staying the same? And if not, is there an alternate change you need to consider?

When you consider the pros and cons of this goal, along with your core “Why,” do the pros outweigh the cons?

If not, don’t give up on your goal altogether. There’s obviously some tension between where you want to be and where you are now. That discontentment is still a sign that things need to change, but maybe in a different way. Think about what it is about your current situation that you don’t like, asking yourself a similar repeating “why” question as above: “Why don’t I like this situation?” and ask over and over until you get to the core negative why. Then pick a new goal focused on that core issue.

On the other hand, if the pros outweigh the cons, on a scale of 0-10, how willing are you to do the work to achieve this goal and change your situation? Once you’ve picked a number, think about why you picked it. If it’s low, what would help you feel more willing and ready to do the work? If it’s high, are there things on the horizon that might affect your commitment, and what can you do now to ensure progress?

What do you think might happen if you don’t do this goal?

Naming any fears or hesitations you have now can prevent them from coming up unexpectedly later. When you identify those fears (usually related to the “Why” answers, both of reasons you want to change and why you don’t), you can make plans to lessen those fears and get the support you’ll need.

Is this the right/wisest time to do this project or make this change? Do you have the time to dedicate to this goal?

If you’re already swamped and overwhelmed, and you’re considering adding another project, the answer may be no. Take it from a chronic over-committer: no matter how excited you are about this, there is such thing as good idea, bad timing.

On the other hand, if you think you can rearrange your schedule to free up enough time to see this through from beginning to end, the timing’s probably pretty good.

Remember, while sometimes are better than others, there’s no magic moment. You’ll never be 100% sure, but if you’ve assessed your situation and hesitations, if you’re convinced the benefits of changing outweigh the benefits of staying where you are, and if you’re actually ready to commit and start the goal in the next 30 days, then it’s time to clarify your goal and take action!

Shelly Najjar | Freelance writer & Founder of Community X

Shelly Najjar is a freelance writer and founder of Community X, an online community that helps Christian entrepreneurs integrate their faith and business, with confidence. She’s passionate about goal achievement, bucket listing, and everyday adventures.

2017-09-27T09:17:39+00:00

Shelly Najjar is a freelance writer and founder of Community X, an online community that helps Christian entrepreneurs integrate their faith and business, with confidence. She’s passionate about goal achievement, bucket listing, and everyday adventures.

Before goal setting | goal setting ideas | goal setting for business | goal setting tips | goal setting motivation
Before goal setting | goal setting ideas | goal setting for business | goal setting tips | goal setting motivation
Before goal setting | goal setting ideas | goal setting for business | goal setting tips | goal setting motivation

Let's Work Together!

Have a project you want us to discuss about? Feel free to get in touch:

No email list? How to still get visible and grow your business without one

Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.
Sometimes you may not be ready for an email list and all that goes with it…
That’s ok, it can be scary to get into when you aren’t fully ready.
I’m always going to advise starting to grow your list because it gives you more power and you can work out the kinks early.
But I know that it may take some time.
In the meanwhile, I don’t want you to not do anything for growing your business.
Here are some things you can do while you are gearing up for a list…even though you should get yourself an email list going.  It’s never a good idea to wait out of fear until you’re ready to pull the trigger on these things. Do things to help you get closer to the goal and keep moving forward.

Turn to your current clients.

Treat current clients like gold and give them an experience they are excited to share with everyone.

This is a great way to grow your referral network. And you never know people may not be the right fit right now but they will remember you when they are especially if their friend referred you.
They are also a great resource to talk to and find out what content you could create to help others with similar problems.

SEO Strategy

Invest in your blog content’s SEO strategy.
This one is huge for residual traffic and getting found in the first place.
It may take some time, money, and frustration at first but it will pay off in the end. I only say frustration because it takes a while sometimes for your efforts to pay off and that can be really frustrating because you’ll want to try different strategies and see what works.
But coming up with a plan for your content and taking the time to implement it, learn about it or pay someone else to take it over will really help you show up in search results.
And this even helps with things like Pinterest and Facebook because Google is now searching and returning that content.

Local Connections

Don’t underestimate the power of using local connections to grow your business.
Local connections are a great networking resource as well as being a great place to start growing your email list.
When doing local events as long as you can capture and keep confirmation from them when they sign up you can add your local network to your list and start growing your online presence that way.
There are a lot of rules when it comes to what you can and can’t do with email signups so do some research before you start collecting and making sure you are compliant with the Anti-spam laws.

Testimonials are POWERFUL

Testimonials are a powerful method for attracting new clients and getting your name out there.
Sometimes you’ll see testimonials referred to as social proof.
And that is exactly what they are proof from people to people. There is another level of confidence people gain from having this outside source backing up what you are saying through your content.
Start gathering testimonials that you can sprinkle throughout your site, use on your social media, or put up around your office to remind you how amazing you are!

Invest in an awesome website

And the last suggestion I’m going to share with you for growing your business without an email list is to invest in an awesome website.
Your website is your online space to connect with and convert visitors to clients or customers and you need to have a strong online space to accomplish that.
It is especially important to have a strong website because your visitors may not come back so you’ll want it to be clear and have a strong flow that helps first-time visitors move through your site getting to know you and connecting so that they do remember you and what you do when they need your services.
Your website is the best place to connect the “what” you do with the “who” you serve and clearly make that connection with your visitors.
So if you aren’t ready to start working on growing your list right now my best piece of advice to you is to put in the time and energy to make your website functional, professional and clear.
And I can help you with that.

Are you my next dream client? Let’s get started!

Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.
Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.
Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.
Are you an online service provider struggling to get noticed by your dream clients or get your services booked up? And you aren't quite ready for the commitment that comes with an email list? While it is still crazy important for long term growth here are some ideas you can use to get visible while you get your email list in order.

The 5 Most Common SEO Mistakes for your small business

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to show up in search engine results? Here are the 5 most common SEO mistakes that could be costing you traffic to your website and how you can start optimizing your SEO strategy on your business' website.

The big mystery of SEO.

How does it work?

How can someone guarantee the first-page result for your business?

There are so many pieces it’s hard to keep track of what you are supposed to do…not supposed to do… and what the algorithms expect to help you get the best results possible.

As of writing, this post here are the top 5 common SEO mistakes.

Now I want to talk to you hear heart to heart. Mistakes don’t mean you failed, mistakes aren’t something to make you feel bad. Mistakes are MEANT to help you learn and grow. So please take this post as a starting point for learning and adjusting your strategy and not as something to prove you can’t do this.

Because you can. You’ve got this!

5 Common SEO Mistakes

Not using header tags but increasing the font size instead

You’ve probably spent some time learning how to make your content easier to read.

You’ve heard that you need to create a hierarchy with your text. Making important bits bigger and pulling out content to highlight it.

But if you are just increasing text size inside the editor and not using the coded H1, H2, H3, etc font sizes you are hurting your SEO results.

These H-tags are bits of code behind the scenes that signal to search engines that this font is IMPORTANT and should be given more weight in search results ranking.

If you are making your font bigger without using the H-tags search engines have no idea what content in your blog is important. It just adjusts how the fonts display…I know it’s confusing because it seems like it should be the same but it is a very big difference on the back end.

In WordPress this is really simple, in the editor there is a drop-down box that says Paragraph by default but inside this dropdown, it has the different preformatted text codes for all the H-tags you will need.

Your theme will already have these hardcoded in and you won’t have to do anything else to make it visible to search engines.

Not using alt tags

I know. I know.

Having another step to getting your blog posts rolling is NOT what you want to hear right now.

You want to insert the images and get it scheduled.

But by overlooking the alt tags for your images is a huge mistake and in full transparency, I was guilty of this in the beginning as well.

I didn’t want to have to do another step. I wanted to just get it up and out there. Plus alt tags didn’t seem that important at first.

BUT the alt tags for your images are how search engines “see” the graphics you are posting. Which means if you don’t put text in search engines don’t have any idea what the graphics is about.

It’s kind of like watching a foreign film with no subtitles and you just walk in halfway through…

And this is also really important when it comes to Pinterest, because Pinterest specifically pulls the alt tag information for the description of new pins. You can’t control if someone else adjusts the description BUT you can make sure you have an optimized one in there in case they just pin and run.

Not giving a real readable name to photos file names

This one is also big for your SEO.

It’s really easy to use 234ou12o3i4.jpg BUT you are missing out on a HUGE opportunity to show up in search results.

Make sure that each photo has a readable file name with your keywords in it.

When I say readable I mean put hyphens between each word so that the search engine can recognize that each word is separate.

Using too many keywords

Also called keyword flooding.

This is when your content is keyword after keyword and each piece of content is stuffed full of them.

This strategy used to work but since Search Engines want to produce quality results for the people searching. And as such, they want to return results that are relevant and useful to the consumer.

Keyword flooding is not helpful for the consumer and doing so now will hurt your ranking.

What you can do instead is create content that is useful and beneficial directed at the questions your dream clients are searching for.

Install a plugin like Yoast SEO and use its tool to help you optimize the number of times your chosen keyword appears in the text.

Not researching keywords and assuming you know what people will search

You may not do research because you don’t know how or don’t have time but…

assuming you know what keywords your audience is going to search without research is like shooting in the dark.

You may hit the mark, you may not.

And most likely you are missing huge opportunities to reach your audience and get higher search results rankings.

You can use tools like

  • Pinterest
  • Google AdWords
  • Pinterest Keyword Tool

and others to start researching what you should optimize for your own content.

And… BONUS mistake

Doing nothing

If you aren’t doing anything for your SEO then you aren’t going to show up in search rankings…

While SEO can be a rabbit hole of optimization, adjustments, research, and testing.

Not doing anything is the only guarantee you have to affect your results.

Pick one thing and spend a little time optimizing past content that you have and make adjustments on your new content going forward.

Don’t get overwhelmed with having to go back and change things just chip away at it over time and you’ll start to see results in traffic coming from search engines.

Now it’s your turn!

What is your #1 question when it comes to SEO for your online business? Let me know in the comments!


Don’t know where to start with identifying your website’s SEO keywords? I put together a planner that walks you through the steps to explore and identify which keywords you should be highlighting for your online business.
It is available for free in my resource library. To get access to the SEO Keywords Planner and other business building goodies sign up below!
 

Free Resource Library

Sheets3

Get Access to my free library of workbooks, checklists, and resources for your creative business.

Powered by ConvertKit
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to show up in search engine results? Here are the 5 most common SEO mistakes that could be costing you traffic to your website and how you can start optimizing your SEO strategy on your business' website.
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to show up in search engine results? Here are the 5 most common SEO mistakes that could be costing you traffic to your website and how you can start optimizing your SEO strategy on your business' website.
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to show up in search engine results? Here are the 5 most common SEO mistakes that could be costing you traffic to your website and how you can start optimizing your SEO strategy on your business' website.

You’re Starting Too Soon – One Thing To Do Before Setting Goals

Before goal setting | goal setting ideas | goal setting for business | goal setting tips | goal setting motivation

We all have things we want to do, traits and qualities we want to strengthen, and hopes for the future of our businesses. So naturally, setting a SMART goal or taking action right away seems like the best thing to do. Actually, it might be better to do one other thing first.

Goal setting can be a great way to motivate yourself toward the improved life and business you want, but if not done well, it leads to frustration and discouragement.

This happens because we often forget to assess our current situation, to see if we’re ready and able to commit to a new goal.

Why does assessing the current situation matter, if it’s the situation we want to change?

If you’re not ready or willing to put in the work, or are otherwise unable to commit to doing it at this time, change won’t happen.

Entrepreneurs and business owners are really good starters. We have great ideas (and usually many of them!), big dreams, lots of enthusiasm, and plenty of energy to get it all going. This make it easy to rush into setting goals without much assessment. However, if we want to be successful, it’s better to invest a little time now to figure out if the goal is a good fit, instead of wasting more time later because we chased the wrong goal.

How can we assess the fit of a goal without actually having a goal?

It’s more about the big picture at this point. You already know you want more than what you currently have, whether it’s more clients, better time management, spending less on marketing, feeling more confident, etc. So for now, we’ll use whatever that broad goal is, and save the clarification process until you figure out whether it’s actually the right time to start on this path.

If we forget to assess, we risk choosing goals we don’t really want, or that are too big or unrealistic for us to achieve at the moment. It might not be obvious at first, but we’ve all had goals where we realize partway through that we’ve lost our enthusiasm, we experience excruciatingly slower and slower progress, and eventually we’re faced with giving up (which makes us feel guilty or discouraged) or slogging through a goal that’s lost all meaning.

It really doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some questions to figure out if you’re ready and willing to start a new goal, project, or change.

(As a note, if you find the questions difficult to answer, consider discussing with someone else to get extra insight. Many times, other people have more distance from a situation and can give valuable perspective.)

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Setting Goals

Is this a problem that can be changed, and is it in your control to change it?

Again, focus on the big picture. Is this something that you can change, or is it a problem that’s out of your sphere of influence? If it’s something that requires other people’s help, then also ask yourself whether it’s in your power to influence them to get involved.

What are your reasons for this goal, or why do you want to make this change?

For a great TED talk on this topic, check out Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” video (his “Start With Why” speech). Having a strong “Why” becomes especially critical when progress is challenging and you need to stay motivated. For some goals, “Because I want to” is good enough, but for most business goals, there’s probably a more specific reason.

If you’re having trouble thinking of a strong enough “Why,” ask yourself: “What do I think my life and business will look like when I accomplish this goal?”

When you come up with that answer, follow it with an additional repeating question: “Why is this appealing to me?” Ask this “why?” question again and again until you find your core reason.

What are some reasons not to make this change or start this project?

Just like every cloud has a silver lining, there are some pieces of silver with imperfections. Whether it’s that a change in procedure will mean more work during the transition, or that you’ll have to face a fear you’ve been avoiding, there’s probably some drawback (however temporary) to pursuing this goal.

If you’re having trouble with this question, ask yourself why you haven’t started this goal before now. It could be that staying in the predictable “known,” no matter how undesirable it is, is easier and more comfortable than changing.

Are the benefits of changing greater than the benefits of staying the same? And if not, is there an alternate change you need to consider?

When you consider the pros and cons of this goal, along with your core “Why,” do the pros outweigh the cons?

If not, don’t give up on your goal altogether. There’s obviously some tension between where you want to be and where you are now. That discontentment is still a sign that things need to change, but maybe in a different way. Think about what it is about your current situation that you don’t like, asking yourself a similar repeating “why” question as above: “Why don’t I like this situation?” and ask over and over until you get to the core negative why. Then pick a new goal focused on that core issue.

On the other hand, if the pros outweigh the cons, on a scale of 0-10, how willing are you to do the work to achieve this goal and change your situation? Once you’ve picked a number, think about why you picked it. If it’s low, what would help you feel more willing and ready to do the work? If it’s high, are there things on the horizon that might affect your commitment, and what can you do now to ensure progress?

What do you think might happen if you don’t do this goal?

Naming any fears or hesitations you have now can prevent them from coming up unexpectedly later. When you identify those fears (usually related to the “Why” answers, both of reasons you want to change and why you don’t), you can make plans to lessen those fears and get the support you’ll need.

Is this the right/wisest time to do this project or make this change? Do you have the time to dedicate to this goal?

If you’re already swamped and overwhelmed, and you’re considering adding another project, the answer may be no. Take it from a chronic over-committer: no matter how excited you are about this, there is such thing as good idea, bad timing.

On the other hand, if you think you can rearrange your schedule to free up enough time to see this through from beginning to end, the timing’s probably pretty good.

Remember, while sometimes are better than others, there’s no magic moment. You’ll never be 100% sure, but if you’ve assessed your situation and hesitations, if you’re convinced the benefits of changing outweigh the benefits of staying where you are, and if you’re actually ready to commit and start the goal in the next 30 days, then it’s time to clarify your goal and take action!

Shelly Najjar | Freelance writer & Founder of Community X

Shelly Najjar is a freelance writer and founder of Community X, an online community that helps Christian entrepreneurs integrate their faith and business, with confidence. She’s passionate about goal achievement, bucket listing, and everyday adventures.

2017-09-27T09:17:39+00:00

Shelly Najjar is a freelance writer and founder of Community X, an online community that helps Christian entrepreneurs integrate their faith and business, with confidence. She’s passionate about goal achievement, bucket listing, and everyday adventures.

Before goal setting | goal setting ideas | goal setting for business | goal setting tips | goal setting motivation
Before goal setting | goal setting ideas | goal setting for business | goal setting tips | goal setting motivation
Before goal setting | goal setting ideas | goal setting for business | goal setting tips | goal setting motivation

Let's Work Together!

Have a project you want us to discuss about? Feel free to get in touch:

Schedule a Call

With my Online Scheduler