Hitchhiking to the Stars: Effective Goal Setting with Todd Sotkiewicz & Gary Purece

It is 1995 and my dear friend Mike is in my little Tenderloin studio, preparing to leave town. He’s got the cash he needs, the packed backpack, a full water bottle and—“Can I cut up this box?” he asks me, holding up an old boot box. “I need to make my ticket.”

“Sure, but what are you talking about? You’re making a ticket? You don’t need to buy a ticket?”

I’m thinking of buses, airplanes, and trains. Mike’s thinking about hitchhiking.

He grabs my scissors and a Sharpie pen and cuts the bottom panel out of the box. He pops the cap off the pen and writes MEXICO in bold letters. He holds it up at me and says, “My ticket.”

He explains to me that motorists will be more likely to trust him if he has a destination. It is, after all, 1995, not 1965, and hitchhiking conjures images of psychokillers and missing teens in the American imagination. By stating his goal, Mike’s earning the trust of those who might help him along his way to Mexico.

Before I attended Effective Goal Setting with Todd Sotkiewicz  of 7×7 Magazine and Gary Purece of Lee Hecht Harrison, goal setting served my business in one concrete-if-metaphorical way: Reach for the stars, and I might just land on the moon.

So this idea they presented impressed me: a clear goal facilitates support and trust along the way. Gary and Todd know their stuff and have obviously collaborated on goal setting successfully, actively, and prolifically. They are also both accomplished, charming, and delightful presenters. And it’s a good thing. I’m guilty of having a pretty bad attitude about goal setting. I’ve shot at a lot of stars over the years, only rarely landing on the moon.

But I have collected amazing mentors and colleagues. I have enjoyed the support and trust of my clients and friends. And maybe that’s because I’ve diligently set goals. After all, who’s going to give me a ride on the highway to success if I don’t have a ticket?

Last week, entrepreneurs nationwide celebrated Small Business Week, and San Francisco marked the occasion with several fantastic events including the Small Business Conference, more than 30 workshops to help small business owners succeed. This week, I offer my notes and inspiration from the four  fabulous workshops I attended:

I’m integrating what I’ve learned into my coaching practice, especially for small business owners. Do you know a small business owner who needs help keeping up with the writing demands of Internet marketing? I can help, and my first session is free.

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