Living on “Someday I’ll…”

I still remember hearing a speech in the early 1990’s by Author Denis Waitley. He talked about how many of us spend a lot of time on “Someday I’ll.” You know the place, as we all do, only too well. As he describes it, “Someday I’ll” is a very comfortable location, where little changes from year to year. Your intentions are to make dramatic improvements in your business or your life, but there always seem to be distractions from the process.

Yes, you have wanted to boost your business’ productivity, but what if costs get too high? Your banker or accountant will be reminding you that you need to cut these costs, if they appear out of line with the rest of your industry. You know that you really should fine tune your labor efficiency somewhat but, “Hey,” you rationalize, “Joe has been with me for 20 years, even when we were barely getting by. I’ve got to keep him on my staff. Maybe ‘Someday I’ll’ be able to improve this cost area, at least by the time Joe retires…”

You know the type of employee I am referring to, don’t you? He is the guy that when you drive onto a business and see him standing around, you ask: “How long have you been working here at ABC?” to which he replies, “Ever since they threatened to fire me.” I think you get my point. It is time to start moving to higher levels.

You may recall the comedian Gilda Radner and her now famous quote: “When I was young, I always said I wanted to be someone. Now that I’m older, I just wish I’d been more specific.” While we find some humor in that quote, what was she saying? Set some new goals for your business. Prepare specific objectives for your operation and measure them regularly.

I often hear about measuring so many objectives in “real time,” and I agree that for some items that may be ideal. However, if an objective isn’t currently being checked weekly or monthly, I seriously doubt if it will get monitored minute by minute. Besides, sometimes we can become overwhelmed with too much information. In my own experience, I find establishing Goals is the first step to reaching them. After that, you should compare your actual results with what you have projected as your objective as often as you reasonably can.

You should make these SMART goals, too. This stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. In other words, they should be clearly defined. They should be something you can measure, yet be something you can, in fact, accomplish. Finally, the goals should represent something that matters to you and your business, as well as an item on which you can put a date by which you will accomplish it. I also suggest that we all need to be careful that we don’t set the horizon as our goal, because, have you noticed, it constantly keeps moving further away, and, eventually, you will get frustrated because you never can “reach it.”

What are some areas within which you can set goals and then monitor your results? How about Labor Productivity, e.g. how many units you produce per hour of labor input? What I find interesting is that if you get your entire Team involved in setting these goals, as well as monitoring them, your overall results can accelerate. Your Team will be excited about reaching them, primarily because you communicated these goals with them.

Sound ongoing communication will be the key in this process. Your employees realize that if you do better, they will benefit as well. I believe that most employees do not go to work, intending to do a bad job. They want to succeed, and, in reality, they want you to do better, too. Sharing goals with your Team will guide them to help you reach them more quickly. At least, this has been my experience. Make a point of setting some new goals for your business today, so you don’t get caught living on “Someday I’ll.”

To learn more about the points mentioned above, check out my website for financial tips at:

“There are no unreasonable goals, just unreasonable deadlines.”

Dan Sullivan, Founder of The Strategic Coach