Why Your Goals Are Causing You to Fail

When I was working at a major online real estate network, my manager asked me what my sales goal was for the month. I told him my goal was $25,000, since that was my quota that month, and he shook his head. “No,” he said, “that’s way too low- I know you can do better than that.”

I was confused. I would be thrilled if I hit quota! It was challenging enough hitting my quota of $20,000 the month before, and that was my best month to date. I thought he was just putting pressure on me so our team might lead the sales floor in volume, and maybe that was what he was trying to do- but what he actually did was teach me an invaluable lesson in goal setting.

I responded that my goal would be $30,000 rather than $25,000, and he responded by challenging me and suggesting $40,000. Being competitive, I jokingly told him I would double my quota for the month and hit $50,000. He smiled, nodded, and told me to get back to work.

Goals On Dartboard Shows AspirationsThat month I doubled my previous (best) month in sales, and hit $39,000. Although I didn’t sell my arbitrary “quota” of $50,000, I breezed through my $25,000 quota and made a heck of a commission check.

So what does all this mean?

We place goals on ourselves that we view as a bit of a challenge, but still easy to achieve. We set goals that are comfortable because we don’t like to miss our targets and “fail”. In setting “comfortable” goals, we limit ourselves and condition mediocrity and a habit of settling. If I had stuck to my original “goal” of $25,000, I probably would have hit it, I certainly would not have pushed harder to get to $39,000. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, and I would have been pleased enough to have skimmed by to quota.

However, when we push the boundaries of what we expect of ourselves, even if the goals seem out of reach, or even impossible, we can accomplish much more than we originally thought. Now, I must point out that the goals should be somewhat realistic and feasible (If I had set a goal of $200,000, I would have lost motivation and felt discouraged right from the start). But selecting a goal that seems just a bit out of reach can really create amazing results. Sometimes we don’t hit our goals right away, but with each attempt we inch closer and closer to success. More importantly, we train our minds not to sell ourselves short, and we switch our mindset from “here’s why this won’t work” to “here’s how this can work”. Now, as a small business consultant, I always tell my clients to be aggressive with their goals. It’s not failure if you are pushing hard and challenging yourself to achieve goals you think are just a bit out of reach. Perhaps they are (for now), but without trying to hit those goals, you risk the potential of never achieving them.

To quote Michelangelo, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.

Spotlight- Grace Torgoley and Torgoley Distribution

This month, in honor of summertime and BBQ season, we have a spotlight on distribution entrepreneur / “domestic goddess”, Grace Torgoley, and her business, Torgoley Distribution. With endless energy and an easy going, loving attitude, Grace brings a family feel from her company to your  dinner table. 

Grace Photo1. What inspired you to get started with your venture? What drives you the most?

In my early 20s I was living in Chicago working for a recruiting firm.  This job gave me the confidence and knowledge I knew I’d need in the future.  Learning from some of the best recruiters in the business I got a pretty good foothold on talking to people about their backgrounds, hobbies, where they’re headed and how they plan to get there.  I’m a people person and my personality definitely fits my career path! Now, after 10 years staying home and raising my kids I’m ready to get back out there and create a name for myself in the world of BBQ!

2. What are your goals for your venture? Where do you see your company in 10 years?

In 1997, I met Eddie “Hoboken” McCarthy of Hoboken Eddie’s Sauces.  I instantly fell head over heels for his BBQ sauce, love at first taste! Not only did I  love his sauces, I had many other connections to him.  Eddie has known my family for probably 30 years, since before he started his business. 

Over the years Hoboken Eddie’s Sauces have won multiple prestigious awards yearly, just this past January, his Apple Brandy BBQ took home 1st place for “Fruit BBQ” at the Firey Foods Challenge in TX.  

Currently Hoboken Eddie’s sells 125,000 bottles of sauce a year on the East coast.  My goal is to double that in the next 5-10 years.  I know with a lot of determination and leg work it’s definitely possible.

3. What were your biggest challenges (either getting started, once you got started, or both)?

Trying to decide what path I’d like to go down, I know that Hoboken Eddie’s line of sauces would knock the socks off of most who try them!  I’ve always wanted my own business and I know that distributing this line of sauces would be a great way to make that happen and what better to line to bring out to the West coast than these sauces that I’m so passionate about.  I wanted to start this business with a friend of mine, but I soon found out that our goals were very different and I felt that it was best to just do it on my own and with the support and guidance from my husband. 

It was great how it all came together.  After figuring out my business name, filing all my papers, becoming legal with the State of California, finding a catering company to store my first skid, 20 cases of 17 different types of sauces. I was finally ready to walk out the door and introducing them the public.  I am a vendor at the Orange County Great Park Farmer’s Market in Irvine on Sundays and the Surf City Nights Farmer’s Market in Huntington Beach on Tuesday Nights.  Its been a lot of fun and I’ve met a ton of great people.  The rest of my time is spent finding retailers around OC, Los Angeles County, San Diego County and everywhere else I can get within an hour drive time. I know its a great time to be in the BBQ business with the summer right around the corner and knowing that 1 out of every 4 people in the US BBQ on the 4th of July.

Torgoley Logo4. What keeps you going when you are faced with challenges?

I’ve been in plenty of positions where I wasn’t passionate about the product.  Hoboken Eddie’s sauces are my favorite sauces, and I know that people will be returning for them.  I’ve already had return customers and it feels great to be giving them a high quality product I really love. Passion is the key, and people that talk to me know I love these products and my excitement and the flavors of the sauces ultimately sell them.

5. What is one company that you admire and strive to emulate, and why?

CPS, Inc. in Westbrook, IL will always be my home away from home. Doug Christensen started his company when he was 33 years old with a small group of men and women.  Now, 40 years later his company has 8 divisions with 70+ employees, placing thousands of applicants all over the nation. Doug has always been fair and ethical, demonstrating all the necessary personal and professional qualities to lead a great company.  I hope to have something like him! 

6. What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur who wants to start his/her own business?

Everyone is always being told to find something they love and have a passion for, something that makes them happy to provide to their clients.  If you do that, you’ll have it made! Plan your day wisely, make and change goals often, and keep your nose to the grind stone especially when you feel like giving up, because just beyond that obstacle is a small victory waiting for you!

 For more information about Grace Torgoley or Torgoley Distribution, visit www.torgoley.com

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.