Focus on Systems Instead of Goals


Systems can make or break your coaching business.

You might understand the power of setting a goal, but that’s just the beginning.

A goal is where you want to end up, but it doesn’t tell you how to get there.

Creating systems that move you toward your goals is the real path to success.

For example, a successful coaching business should have a system for generating new clients and sales. There are revenue goals, but the system is what moves you towards that goal.

You already have a lot of systems in your life.

You have a system for making sure you and your family are fed. You have a system for making sure you have clean clothes on Monday morning.

But do you have systems for your coaching business?

When you set a new goal, it’s important to create new systems.

A system is another word for a PLAN.

Follow this process to create effective systems for your coaching business:

1. Know your goal but focus on how to get there. Let’s imagine that your goal is to write a book of 50 000 words in nine months and then publish it. How exciting! But, let’s focus on how you might get there. Let’s also imagine that you aren’t exactly a stellar writer, and you have no idea how to publish and market your book but you’d like to learn this to increase your odds of your book becoming a best seller.

  • With research, you discover that you need to ultimately write at least 5185 words per month to have a good chance of finishing the book in 9 months. You also know that you need to figure out what is involved in self-publishing. Armed with this knowledge, you can create a plan.
  • You know that you need to create a solid marketing plan, so that you sell the book once it’s published.
  • You also believe that you need to learn more about writing and structuring a book.

2. Formulate a support goal. You know that you need to ultimately write at least 5185 words per month to have a good chance of finishing the book in 9 months. You also need to learn more about writing, publishing and marketing. These are support goals.

  • Your systems are the way you choose to accomplish these support goals.
  • One way to develop your systems is to work backwards.

3. Work backwards. Obviously, you can’t just sit down and write 50 000 word book if you haven’t really ever written anything that long before. You’re also not going to suddenly know all there is to know about self-publishing or marketing. Trying to learn and do it all in one week will lead to a loss of motivation and you’ll probably give up on your goal.

  • If you need to 5185 words per month, then you need to write at least 1296 words per week, and you need to write 185 words per day. Keep working back until have a number you can do and then build a schedule. Maybe you can’t write every day but the one day a week you can easily pump out 1300 words. Make a schedule that is realistic AND moves you forward in tiny increments.
  • Over the next 9 months, you need to figure out how you plan to publish the book. Again, build a schedule.
  • Perhaps on one day a week, you focus just on learning the ins and outs of self-publishing.
  • You might also decide to read for an hour each week about the mechanics of writing a good book.
  • Now, your goal each week is to follow your plan. Monitor how well you’re sticking to your plan. The end goal is just the destination.

The key is to focus on your systems to get you to your goals.

Each goal requires different systems. For example, if you’re a business coach and want to find 10 new clients this year, your systems might be to:

  • Send at least 1 email to your email list each week (email system).
  • Post valuable content on your social media accounts daily looking for new clients (social media system).
  • Go to three networking events each month (relationship building system).
  • Ask everyone you know if they could refer you to a friend (referral system).

Effective systems are doable and will guarantee your success.

Create systems that make it impossible to fail. Poor systems or poor compliance lead to poor results.

Set your goals and then focus on developing effective systems.

If you create good systems and follow them, you’ll achieve the success you desire.

About the Author

Heather WIlsonHeather E. Wilson is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Coach, a directory and membership platform designed to unite, support and promote Canadian coaches. She's a successful business coach, speaker, author (Your Life According to You!), warrior, change-maker, risk-taker, and adventurer all rolled into one dynamic package.