I'm a slave to my goals. It's not a healthy relationship and I'm working hard…
Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing about my students and peers’ personal branding goals, dreams and ambitions, just to find out later that they’ve had some setbacks and they didn’t meet the goals they set around developing their personal brand.
I’ve been there too, especially this past year, where I feel I achieved far less than I set out to do. It can be frustrating, demotivating and downright depressing!
If you’re struggling to achieve your personal branding goals, there could be some reasons behind why it’s taking you longer to gain momentum.
Here are some potential reasons why you didn’t meet your goals when working on your personal brand.
- The goals weren’t yours to begin with – When it comes to personal branding goals, especially as someone who works within a larger organization, perhaps someone else set those goals for you. Your boss, supervisor or colleagues may have driven the goals for you, however if you don’t have buy-in from yourself on the goal, chances are the goal will be more difficult to achieve. You’d rather focus on your own goals and passions, leaving your branding goals on the corner of your desk.
- You didn’t schedule time to achieve them. Life gets in the way, I get it. A lot of goals must take the backseat to other priorities and before you know it, months and years have passed and the goal is still just a distant dream. Being intentional and scheduling time in your calendar to move the needle on your goal will pay off in dividends. You don’t have to achieve the entire thing in one sitting, but intentionally being 1% better each day will help you achieve those goals.
- Goal was too audacious, big and hairy. The Big Hairy Audacious Goal was termed by Jim Collins in his best-seller, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies“, and perhaps your goal was SO big and hairy, you weren’t sure where to start! The term “bit off more than you can chew” could be used here to describe your BHAG. These goals in and of itself are not the problem; we just need to ensure we’re breaking it down into measurable, achievable mini-goals to help keep you motivated along the way.
- Set the wrong goals! There is a bit of fallacy in the old adage “whatever you set your mind to, you will achieve.” But in all honesty, if that were the case, I’d probably still be on my quest to fulfill my childhood dream of being GM of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club (PS. I’ve never played a minute of hockey in my life, I just thought it would be fun to be the boss of idols like Al MacInnis, Joe Nieuwendyk and Lanny McDonald). Now, I’m much older (and wiser?) and have set goals that speak to my strengths, versus unrealistic pipe dreams. Matching your strengths and passions to your goals can help ensure both success and happiness in pursuit of your goals.
- Set too many goals – ah yes, all you overachievers! You’re my favourite peeps because you have so many great plans ahead of you! Problem is, there aren’t enough hours in the day to tend to your goals, your health, your sleep, your family commitments and friendships. If only each day had 50 hours in it, then you and I would be in better positions to achieve everything we want to achieve.
- Trying to do all the things…… This trap may look like #5 but hear me out… By setting goals that cover way too many components of your personal brand, means you’re spreading yourself too thin in all the areas to make any real measurable improvement. For example, trying to increase your following on ALL the social media platforms, means improving little on any one platform. Focus on only a few goals per quarter to help see measurable and impactful results.
- You spent too much time selling, and not enough time providing value – If you have set business-lead driven goals, building that bridge of trust before asking the customer to commit is the first step of the sale. By taking a step back from the sell, and stepping into building trust through valuable content and connection can help boost the business-lead driven goals
- Your content didn’t connect – Sometimes when building our brands, we’re doing all the things, but the things aren’t resonating with our ideal client. This could be for a few reasons:
- Our contributions are not solving a pain point or challenge
- Our contributions are not meeting them where they are at – they need some things prior to your content in order to cross the bridge to your content
- Our timing is off – Trying to sell products to an industry that needs some other things in place first may contribute to why you didn’t meet your goals
- No support system – sometimes the personal branding journey is a lonely one, especially if you have some BHAG to achieve along the way. This can demotivate you and create frustration really quickly when there is no one who has your back or understands your bigger picture.
How to get back on the right track and start achieving your personal branding goals:
- Set time aside and be intentional – putting time aside in your calendar to tackle your goals (and sticking to your calendar!) will help you move the needle and put you closer to your goal, guaranteed! Make you and your brand a priority, and reduce the urge to push your branding work to the corner of your desk.
- Break it down – Take that BHAG and break it down into smaller, digestible chunks. Especially now, in the age of bite-sized bits of information, our days being broken up into 5-10 minute increments for each task. Breaking your goal down into smaller chunks will help you achieve each small chunk on your way to achieving the larger goal. Consider quarterly goals in an effort to achieve a yearly goal, and weekly goals in an effort to achieve the quarterly goal.
- Set goals that meet your ideal client where they are at in their journey – Carefully consider what your ideal client needs and wants from you at this time, and provide them with that. This helps build trust and gives you permission to take the relationship one step further, and so on through to the sale.
- Focus on a few goals at a time – trying to make headway on too many goals may have you spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere on any one goal. Instead, put some goals on the back-burner until next quarter, until you have a handle on the more pressing or desirable goals for right now.
- Define your strengths, lead with your passion – take a look at the goals you want to set, and coupled with your strengths you can now set a plan in motion. Instead of leading with what you don’t know or can’t do, trust in what you do know, and can do with your strengths to learn the rest.
- Set aside time for personal development and rest – Often our goals require new skills or knowledge, but often we’re so frantic in trying to achieve the goal, we forget we need to pack our toolbox with new resources in order to do it effectively. Set aside time to learn from others making your goal more achievable, and more enjoyable.
- You’re not alone – There are plenty of branding aficionados out there developing their personal brands, and encountering trials and challenges along the way. Look for communities of people that have similar branding goals and find support from others. Consider the Personal Branding for Hospitality Professionals Facebook group, where we come together to share resources and successes.