• clara fairbanks

The Joy, Comfort, and Stress-Reducing Power of Setting Goals



Learn How To:

  • Identify and connecting with your true motivation

  • Create BIG goals, and break them down into actions - How I did it, and how you can too.

  • Overcoming the fears that keep you trapped in your current position

  • Buildin resilience to make you an unstoppable force in advancing your career


The Power of Goals


Wanna know what the difference is between the entrepreneurs that fail, and the ones that succeed? In 90% of cases, it’s sheer determination. It's the unwavering belief that you are going to succeed, no matter what. If you are a freelancer, a small business owner, or a serious hobbyist looking to make some cash off of your passion, you my friend, are an entrepreneur. The only real question is, do you want to succeed?


If you want to be your own boss, set your salary and your schedule, work on the projects you want to, with the people you want to work with, you need more than desire. You need a plan based upon the belief that you will succeed no matter what. And you need unwavering commitment to it.


I’m living the life of my dreams today because I worked through the fear, left my cushy -but draining - 9 to 5, and built my career from a design that suited me.


Here’s the truth. You deserve this just as much as I do. There is no doubt in my mind that you are worthy of the life of your dreams. So what is stopping you??


Today I want to talk about the key things I did in starting my consulting firm to guarantee success both in business and in my personal life.



Identify your motivation - what is your why?


Going out on your own is scary AF. I’m serious. It’s the kind of terror that zaps every cell in your body, and makes you want to crawl under the nearest desk for shelter. That’s totally normal. It doesn't mean anything is wrong - in fact, often it means you are right where you are supposed to be. But the fear can be crippling, exhausting, paralyzing, and in order to get through it, you are going to need a reason more powerful than all of that fear to keep going.


In my experience “I want to make more money” is not a very compelling reason. “I want to make money” is vague, generic, and has little relevance to your fear based brain. Get specific. I mean real specific.


If you just want to make money, that’s fine, but why do you want it? So you can take care of your family? Make sure your kids go to college? Travel the world with the love of your life? Buy that dream house to host all of your friends every weekend for collaging night?


For me, my why was this - I had grown up in poverty. I knew what it was to struggle. I knew what budgeting was like, saving was like… what saying no to things I wanted was like. I was over it.


I wanted to live the kind of life where I could just say yes - whenever I wanted to. Like whenever I wanted to. For example:


‘Hey clara, wanna go to a Michelin Star restaurant on a tuesday night?!’ - Yes

‘Wanna test drive this ferrari??” - Yes

“Wanna go to Spain this weekend??” - Yes

‘Wanna pay your little sister’s college tuition so she doesn't have to make the choice between the best school and the sensible school?” - YES!!


This was my why. It wasn't money that I wanted, although money was necessary. It was absolute freedom to build the kind of life I wanted.



How To Use Your Why


While I was starting my company, every morning I wrote out my why. I sat with it. I imagined what it would be like if I DIDN’T succeed... If for the rest of my life, I had to keep saying - “ahhhm I’ll have to think about it” whenever I was offered something I knew I wanted, but felt like was out of my reach.


Every day, when I came across some scary new proposition - prospecting for potential clients, creating a marketing budget, hiring my first employee - I had to ask myself - should I crawl under the desk and hide, or should I do this damn thing - because I wanted the freedom more than the relief of avoiding facing my fears.

So what is your why? Is it powerful enough for you? If you’ve made it this far, take a second, sit down, and write it out. This will be the foundation that you build your entire company upon, and if it is not firm, you will sink sooner or later.



Setting Actionable Goals


After you have established unwavering motivation, it’s time to start setting some goals. I believe in looking at your goals from a bird's-eye perspective - which means looking at the big picture, and then zooming in to focus on the now.


Business goals are only as powerful as their capacity to support your personal goals. So I start with my personal goals in mind first.


In five years, what do you want your life to look like? Where do you live, what does your home life look like, what do you do with your free time, how much freetime do you want to have?


For me all of this ties into and reaffirms my why. This is a great moment to pause, consider your primary motivation, and ensure that your goals are supporting that mission.



Getting Down To Business (Goals)


When setting goals for your business, the first step is identifying where you are at, what resources you have, and what you will need to achieve your goals. Follow this process and review and refresh your goals every single quarter.


  1. Evaluate your Current Status


Where are you right now? Be honest with yourself here. How many clients do you have? What is your monthly income? What are your prospects for next month? How much time are you working each week? Write it all out, and be totally ruthless.


2. Evaluate Your Needs


Once you know where you are at, and where you want to go, it’s time to clearly measure out what you will need to get there. Make a list of all of the resources you will need to move from your current situation to your goal markers.


3. Check in with Your Why


Does each of these goals resonate with your core mission? Do your goals support you in becoming the person that you want to become? If not, something is missing. You want full alignment with your goals and your mission.


4. Get Specific


Write out your goals in clear descriptive terms. The more specific your goals are, the more actionable they will be!


5. Get Real


Set goals that are realistic. If you have a goal that feels overwhelming, and you cannot find the resources you will need to make it happen, break it down into smaller goals that feel achievable. Set target dates to each mini goal, and readjust your timeline for the big goal. Almost anything is possible with time and effort. Don’t let big goals discourage you, just find the next steps to make it happen.

6. Take Measurements


Set markers for all of your goals, so that you know if you are making progress. Check in on your goals regularly and evaluate your progress against your measurements. If you are over achieving one goal, but slacking on another, and the goals are equally important to your why - then you will know it’s a good idea to reconsider your course of action.


7. All About Action


Break down each of your goals into actions that you will take. Set time aside for these each week, and due dates for each step. I create my goals quarterly - so once I have a quarterly goal, I decide what I will do over the next 3 months, then the next one month, then the next week. This way I have a clear plan of action.



Life After Goals


When you meet your goals, be sure to celebrate - and then set new ones. Our conception of what is possible changes as we work hard and continue to grow. What I thought I would gross in the first quarter of launching my business was much different than what I thought I could gross in the last quarter. As you scale, grow, build, and learn, you will readjust course and aim higher and higher.


If you feel ready to move to the next level, set aside some time to imagine what that looks like for you, and how you are going to get there.


One warning on goal setting - this is not a thinking exercise - this is an action exercise. Set your goals, make a plan, and then get to work. There is no perfect way to do this, and no perfect roadmap for building your independent career. Commit to yourself, create a plan imperfect as it may be, and then move into massive action.


If you feel stuck or stagnated, look at your why, look at your goals, and then take the next step.


For more business and brand building strategies, follow @clarafyuxui and @rabeeawajeeha on instagram, facebook, and youtube - and be sure to tune in every week to The Startup Experience.


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