Are You Avoiding Setting Goals?

And would like to know why?

As a business coach working with many business owners, I start to see trends in why business owners avoid planning (and growing), and I thought it might be insightful to share what I see from my side.

The top two reasons in my experience…

#1. FEAR OF FAILURE. Yep, this is number one. The situation looks something like this…the client claims to be too busy to plan. And on paper they are. They are doing ALL KINDS of stuff. In many cases they aren’t even managing to do all the stuff on their lists!

They feel justified in not spending a couple hours planning.

It’s all a game, a strategy to keep them safe. They seek out more and more tasks to fill their time up. To keep them safe from planning and not kicking the goals they said they would. Root cause is fear of failure. And often this is a result of not learning to comfortably fail as a kid and realise that they can fail and they don’t ‘die’, they can fail and still be a good person, they can fail and still receive love, and realising failing is a part of growing and moving forward. It’s a fact of life.


Now there are some that say ‘but I don’t know how’, or ‘I don’t think it’s going to help anyway’, or ‘that’s crazy, of course I want to grow the business, I just can’t find the time!’

Well…I still suggest it comes down to a fear of failure. I ask them to just accept the notion for a second. I ask them to imagine, if they would like to, how they would act if they had zero fear of failure. With zero fear of failure (and an appreciation of the value of planning), how would they handle the time issue? Or the ‘don’t know how’ issue?

If this resonates with you, try it. How would you act differently with your planning with zero fear of failure?

‘Busy-ness’ instead of getting down to ‘business’ is a dead giveaway of someone that is fearing they will fail – however they perceive and define failure in their mind.



This is a killer of business success. This belief will sabotage all the best intentions and actions in the world. I know this one well from personal experience. It’s another one that can be a result of the life training we received as a kid. How we were treated, how we received or didn’t receive things, the conditions that were placed on receiving, and whether our parents demonstrated a feeling of deserving.

Some of the tell tale signs this belief is playing out in the business are…

1. The business owner pays everyone else first before themselves.

2. There are recurring incidents where deals fall through and other misfortune.

3. There has been no price increase for 2 or more years.

4. They seek out the cheapest deals or the free deals and don’t invest in the business or themselves.

The good news is that the power of the negative is not as powerful as the positive.

When I help them transform this belief pattern the positive results are immediate – often literally within minutes. And I’ve experienced this personally time and time again. For example on more than one occasion my client has had a positive business phone call driving back to work after our coaching session. With a different mindset, the same actions that previously delivered duds, suddenly attracts winners.


If you feel you may be running some of these strategies and are tired of it, you recognise what it is costing you, and you are determined to take action, then send me an email or give me a call. I’ll ask you a few questions and be able to tell whether you need to deal with reason 1 or 2 or not. If you do, it isn’t hard or costly and definitely one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Get CLEAR Cheatsheet for Business Planning


I’m hearing this a fair bit and I totally get it.

There is so much that COULD be covered in a plan, (where to start!) and there is so much happening in the lead up to Xmas and holidays.

So I’ve made it easier for you. Here’s my recommended TOP things to cover in your business planning for the new year. I even managed to come up with a handy acronym! 🙂

  CLEAR-cheatsheet pdf  

Just spend 2 hrs with your team on this and you will be a 100% better position…and it’s done and you can get back to everything else.

Checklist for the priority topics to cover as a minimum in your planning.
Checklist for the priority topics to cover as a minimum in your planning.


And of course if it would help force you to set aside some time to do this, I’m available to facilitate a session with you and your team. This way it gets done and you get my fresh perspective and experience, and I’ll ask the questions that will make sure you uncover some gold next year.

Checklist of Business Boosting Ideas Leading up to Xmas!

>>Download Your Checklist – Ideas to Boost Business Leading up to Xmas<<

Planned, designed and ordered your Xmas marketing materials or ads?

Remember it takes time to confirm the copy, layout, get it printed and delivered.

Brainstormed Xmas specials or packages you can offer? Rather than discount the first item, create offers that encourage customers to buy more – 2nd item at $X or include complimentary items as a bundled package. Don’t forget gift cards! Think outside the square. Ask your staff and customers for ideas.
Planned end of year (or new year) customer reviews to find out how well you are doing, what you can do better or what they would like you to offer?

This is gold. And don’t forget to ask how much work they have for you in the new year. This can be done via online surveys, phone calls, face to face lunch or coffee chats. If you get some negative feedback, accept it, don’t start arguing and defending yourself.

Planned staff interviews to check-in and see how they are travelling, are they moving towards their goals, what they would like to be doing next year, and what improvements they suggest for the business?
Planned cards and hampers for clients? It’s a time to just give. Don’t include any sales speak or offers in your gift…otherwise it’s not a gift!
Planned cards and hampers, bonuses etc for staff?
Put sufficient money aside to cover a slow down in Jan? This can make your Xmas hols a lot more enjoyable if you aren’t stressing about bills. Start putting money away now if you need to.
Scheduled a business review during the quiet time to reflect on the past year and goals and what to do better this new year? When it comes to goals, make sure they are aligned with your values and vision.
Scheduled a review of profit margins and material costs and if you can get better pricing from suppliers?

And it’s not just pricing…you can ask for better terms, or one of my clients asked for new carpet in one of his offices and got it. So think outside the square.

Principles for Success

Back to basics…sometimes it’s good to remember the fundamental truths…and reflect on whether we need to modify our behaviour.

5 Principles for Success
1. Know what outcome you want
2. Take action
3. Have the ability to notice what’s working and not working
4. Have the behavioural flexibility to make changes as required
5. Operate from a physiological and psychological state of excellence.

(C) The Coaching Institute