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Avoid these 3 goal pitfalls, or else

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“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

In other words, good intentions, no matter how lofty and worthwhile, mean nothing without follow-through. According to psychologist Judith Beck, most resolutions fail because of one or more of the following 3 reasons:

The goal is too demanding. Many years ago, I led a study group attended by a young agent. When asked about his goals for the coming year, he responded, “Sell 150 lives.” He had sold only 40 the previous year. It was clear to me that his goal was too lofty. He left the business the following year.

The goal is too vague. Many people want to increase their incomes. They may shoot for $200,000, $300,000 or even $1,000,000. Assuming that goal is even remotely possible, the question of how to accomplish it needs to be answered. A desire for more is insufficient. You must have a detailed plan. Vagueness is the enemy of achievement.

The goal is too unrealistic. Some advisors believe seminars are the key to increased income. Often it’s busy advisors who have this idea, and when they see how much time and money is required to mount a seminar, most decide it’s not worth it. I have found that client referrals are a much better source of new clients than seminars. For most advisors, seminars are an unrealistic approach to lead generation.

There’s no question that it’s helpful to have a goal to work toward. To avoid frustration and disappointment, your goal should be demanding—but not too demanding. So choose specific goals which are appropriate for your skill set and business operation.

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Nick Ray is a business coach who specializes in working with financial services professionals. He is the author of There’s More to Selling than Making the Sale as well as a workbook on target marketing. He can be reached at [email protected].