At the beginning of this year, I sat down with some group of young adults having been invited by one of my mentees to speak to the group.
The most remarkable part of that meeting for me was during the Q&A session when a young man asked me, ‘what’s the difference between a goal and strategy?’.
You know as I tried to explain to this group that while a goal is a future aim and strategy is the ‘how’ to get to that future aim, I got a lot clarifications for myself. This piece of information is one of the biggest reasons why ninety eight percent of people don’t hit their goals. And it is that, these people, either don’t have a strategy to hit their goal or they just don’t have a workable strategy.
A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a particular goal
Many of us just write goals because we have to write goals, we actually don’t take time out to write down plans on how to achieve these goals and that’s really sad because, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’ – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
A friend came to me to share ideas about her goals and strategies and while she was speaking about her financial goal and savings in a month which she put at let’s say 10x, I realised that she had budgeted a sum of 2x to be saved weekly. I quickly pointed to her that if she saved 2x weekly, in a month she would have only saved 8x which was short of her desired goal. You should see her expression of gratitude, but the truth is that, it was because she already had a plan (strategy), that was why it was easy to detect the flaw. She now had 2 choices, either to make her goal for the month, 8x, or to increase her weekly savings to 2.5x. #EASY
I just don’t tell myself I’m reading ten self development books in a year, I actually have a weekly time table strategy table that helps me plan out how many minutes I should be reading in a day to get me to my goal of ten books a year.
Let me share a story of a man who through strategy achieved a goal that has made him a billionaire today, and this story is as narrated by him.
He’d gotten some facility to go into the manufacturing of juice drinks and like every newbie in a industry, he had the dream…goal…target (#Vision) of soon becoming a market leader but he realised that the only way he could achieve that goal was to consistently account for a reasonable percentage of the market share of his industry which is the juice industry and so he set out to make sure more middle class families were refreshed by his drink (#Mission).
Sending out his marketers into the city to introduce this new line of juice to dealers and retailers who would get this product to the end user -consumer- (You and I) he realised a major hiccup – none of the dealers or retailers agreed to place this new product on the front end of their shelves or warehouses as the case may be as they all couldn’t risk placing an unknown product on the front end.
For a new product, he knew positioning was important – not just to get on the front end of the shelves/warehouses but to get on the front end of the mind of the consumer and he was also aware of the influence that getting on the front end of the shelve/warehouse had on getting to the front end of the mind of the consumer. And then he devised a plan (#Strategy).
This is where the story gets really interesting.
He asked that supplies be made to all the dealers that they had contacted and as many retailers as possible and then commissioned customers to go and buy back the products. And of course he had help with funding from loan facilities.
As the retailers saw a demand for this supposedly new product by customers they never knew were commissioned, three things happened;
I. They began to reshuffle their shelves putting the new products on the front end
II. They began to order for this new ‘in-demand’ product
III. They began to persuade other customers to buy this new product.
No magic, just basic economics which demands that for a market economy to function, producers must supply the goods that’s consumers want (Law of Supply and Demand).
So in creating an artificial consumer want (commissioned customers), producers (dealers and retailers) were forced to supply the goods (his products). Like a chain reaction, the processes followed after each other, but it all started with him having a strategy.
What’s your strategy?
I was awe-struck by the story. It made so much ‘common’ sense but like Stephen Covey would always say (and like we would always quote here *smiles*), ‘common sense is not always common practice.’ #Wisdom.
The place of strategy cannot be over emphasized and it is something you should take really seriously as it helps to eliminate your distractions.
The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do – Michael Porter
Feel free to share in the comments section how you have used plans (strategy) to achieve specific goals, no matter how small they were so as to help reinforce this idea into the heart of that one person who would only listen to your voice.
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