As most well respected Warriors here have stated, we all need a plan. Plan of attack, business plan...call it what you will, but without something written down to guide you, you success will be either shortlived or non-existant in this industry.
As an added push, I usually sit down quarterly and review where I am in accordance to my plan. Old habit from running and owning compaines in the past. I am fairly young, but have been involded if small business since I was in high school, so some habits are hard to break, which is a good thing sometimes.:rolleyes:
I usually set my "goals" in a quarterly timeline as well, so that I have some guide as to how I am doing, and how fast or slow I am going in my business.
To me, I consider "goals" to be a seperate entity than a plan, and use them to push me along at a steady clip. For example, after resigning from a VP position locally this year, my "goal" for this quarter was to be self-reliant income wise, meaning that my income must be related to IM.
My "plan" had me progressing into this goal, and I have reached it. 100% of my income comes in form or another from IM. Granted, 70% of that $$ comes from working with small businesses, but it still a direct result of IM. 30% comes from my membership site, and selling products.
My "goal" for the next quarter(end of year) is to increase that $$ by 15%. I am not where I would like to be with the amount of money I am bringing in, and want to steadily increase it.
A 2009 goal is to continue to increase the monthly $$ I bring in, while doing less work, automating, outsourcing, etc. Which means my online sales need to increase.
IMO, the importance of having "goals" is not only to guide and guage your progress, but it also is something you keep in the back of your head. When you come across day-to-day decisions, you can make them with your end goal in mind.
I figured I would post this in hopes that what I do might help others, as it served me well.
I am also interested in what goals others have set for themselves going into the future? Anyone care to share?