Updated Saturday, April 19, 2014 as of 1:10 PM ET
Blogs - The New Generation's Practice
Advisors, Are Your Goals Aggressive Enough?
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
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When I launched my planning firm, my goal was to add one client a month, so that by the end of my first year in business I would have 12 clients on retainer. My wife challenged me about this goal the other day, asking if it was too aggressive. But that made me think: Have I made this goal too aggressive, or not aggressive enough?

Every year, I try to set various professional goals for myself -- to push myself to become a better and more successful financial planner. Now that I run my own practice, my initial goal is to grow and help more people. I know where Iíd like my firm to be in five years -- and that will take a total of one new client every month.

I know this wonít happen in a linear fashion: Some months will bring no clients; others will bring in three. I may even lose some along the way, and need to add more for the same net result.

How can you tell whether your own goals are appropriately aggressive? Two things helped me understand this:

My goal isnít comfortable: Adding 12 clients during my initial year feels daunting. I would love to have made a goal to add six clients. But that feels comfortable, and I know it will make me lazy and prone to procrastination. Having an uncomfortable goal means Iím always pushing forward, looking for the next place to introduce myself, and try to find some more leads.

But if I miss my goal, Iíll still be satisfied: My goal is 12 clients on retainer, but I also have hourly services available. If I add eight clients on retainer, but then work with four people on an hourly basis, that will be OK, as long as I tried my best. It could be even lower -- maybe six on retainer and two hourly.

What I really want to happen, when I look back on the year, is to know that I did everything I could to succeed.

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(2) Comments
It is good to be aggressive with goal but at the same time market forecasting is too important for running a business successfully.Also market research is required for setting any business.
Posted by KIMMY B | Friday, October 18 2013 at 5:54AM ET
You need to be aggressive while fixing your goals but you also need to be rooted in reality. If your goals are way over the top, they serve no purpose, because when you don't achieve them, your subconscious mind says" It is no big deal. The goals were way too aggressive anyway!
Posted by tasha123 s | Saturday, October 19 2013 at 1:37PM ET
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