• Dennis Kelley

    David Kelley

    Dennis Kelley is a seasoned professional with over 30 years experience leading teams and coaching people to success. Dennis is in high demand as a speaker, consultant, trainer and an author... Read More

    David Kelley

  • Inspirational Quote

    “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -- Michalangelo
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  • December 2018
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5 Reasons Most People Fail at Goal Setting

co_obj_114Now is a great time to review your goals for the year and determine how well you are doing at accomplishing those things you wanted to get done this year. If you are like many people, you probably have a few goals that you haven’t made much progress toward achieving. You may even have some that you haven’t even started. Maybe you started to set some goals but never even went back and finished them. Many people avoid setting goals because they tried it once and when they didn’t achieve them, they decided goal setting just doesn’t work.

The fact is the people who are most successful in the world are avid goal setters. They are driven to accomplish what they set out to achieve and they know what they are aiming for. That is what goal setting really does for you – it gives you a clear target to aim for. You are much more likely to hit a target if you have one to aim for.

So, why don’t goals work for most people? The reason goal setting fails is because the goal setter has not followed the steps necessary to establish clear, focused goals that create a roadmap for success. Here are the five reasons most goals don’t work and how you can avoid these mistakes to create powerful goals that lead you to the wealth, success, happiness and prosperity you seek.

1. Generic goals – many people set very generic goals that do not create a vision of what they are trying to accomplish. Goals such as, “buy a new house,” “increase my profits,” “save money for vacation,” do not inspire action and do not give you a specific target to achieve. If you want to buy a new house then set a specific goal for what kind of house your want to buy, where it is located, how much it will cost, what it will look like, how big it is and what amenities it has. Create a very clear picture of what you want and write your goal accordingly. Determine what your goals are and BE SPECIFIC. That is the key to avoiding the mistake of generic goals.

Be as specific as possible. Create a clear vision of what you are aiming for. Whatever it is, be specific when setting the goal. If you are trying to increase the profits of your business – decide exactly how much more you want to produce. Pick a dollar amount or a percentage increase you are determined to make. If you are planning a vacation and want to save for the vacation, then determine an exact amount, where you will go and what you will do.

No matter what the goal is, the more specific you are the better chance you have of achieving it. Why? Because the more clearly you define what you want the more solidly it will be locked into your subconscious mind. Locking your goals into your subconscious is a critical component of achievement. Once you have created a clear vision of the goal and locked it into your subconscious then you will find that the actions you take tend to lead you toward the accomplishment of the goal.

2. Inability to measure results – if the goal you set does not allow you to measure your progress then how will you know if you are getting closer? Specific goals will make it much easier for you to measure progress. Generic goals that cannot be measured are doomed to fail. Measuring your progress allows you to make adjustments along the way so you stay on track. Make your goals measurable and they will be more powerful.

3. Setting unachievable goals – if the goals you set are so outlandish that you simply cannot reach them in a reasonable time period then you will become discouraged and give up. Establish stretch goals but not unachievable ones. It is good to establish goals that make you learn and grow and challenge you to reach them. However, don’t hurt your chances of succeeding by being unrealistic. Strong goals are those that are realistic and achievable.

4. Setting goals that are not relevant– make sure the goals you set tie into your long-term plans and mission for your career and life. Too many times people set goals that sound good in the moment or are relevant to someone else’s plans but not yours. Make sure your goals support what you are trying to accomplish or else why pursue them at all. Don’t waste your time chasing unimportant goals.

5. Not setting a timeframe for achievement – if you set goals that are not time bound then it is easy to let yourself off the hook and not take action. Setting a timeframe to meet the goal creates an accountability to take action. It also allows you to adjust your activity and make corrections along the way. If you create a goal to save enough money for a dream vacation in June two years from today then you can regularly check your progress and adjust as needed. If you didn’t set a timeframe and waited until you were ready to go then you may be surprised by not having the money and have to delay your dream. That would be a shame.

Avoid these five common mistakes and you will find that you accomplish more than you thought possible. Another important point is to make sure you put your goals in writing. Once you commit your goals to paper they move from a thought to an action and you create a commitment. Share them with someone else and the accountability increases dramatically.

To your success,


Quick…When I Say Salesmen What Comes to Mind?

salesWhen I ask most people that question the typical responses are a wrinkle of their nose and words like, pushy, intrusive, won’t take no for an answer, an interruption, and even rude. It is a reaction born from experience and stereotypes. Just think of the last time you interacted with someone trying to sell you something. Was the experience a good one? Did you find yourself becoming defensive?

Salespeople who act in ways that make us uncomfortable have confronted us all.  For example, there is the sales person that just would not leave you alone or tried to push you into buying something you didn’t need. Not all of our experiences have been bad, but they are the ones we remember…and tell others about! The good experiences tend to be ones that feel right and you did not feel pressured into the purchase. The salesperson may have been very persuasive, but their style and approach did not leave you feeling pressured.

Many times, I find my clients struggling with the concept of truly selling in their business. They are concerned others will see their business in this same negative light. “If I’m just nice to my customers and give them a good product, then they will buy,” is the common position many owners take.

But, here’s the real shocker…we are all salespeople! That’s right; we are all salespeople.  We sell every day…in our personal life, with our spouse, kids, friends and others we meet, during our normal daily activities. In your business life, you are selling to your employees, co-workers, vendors, and yes, even with your customer.

You see, selling occurs anytime you are trying to persuade someone else. In fact, the most successful sales people are those who can talk to people, listen actively, and uncover their needs to reach agreement. Selling is actually a very positive activity and extremely important in every business. No business can survive if selling is not a key priority that is practiced and coached daily.

It is also critical to understand your sales numbers. Three areas you must focus on in order to improve your results are: your conversion of prospects into paying customers, the average amount each customer spends with you each time they make a purchase and how many times they buy from you. Let’s take a quick look at each one.

Sales conversion rate – set up a simple process to measure the number of prospects your business generates and how many of them make a purchase. Your business already generates prospects so converting more of those prospects to paying customers is a low-cost way to increase revenues. This includes how many people contact your business through website visits, phone calls, personal visits, pro-active salesperson contacts, etc. Improve your conversion rate and your marketing efficiency increases making your business more profitable.

Average amount sold to each client – measure the average ticket size per sale in your business. Increasing this average through cross-selling and up-selling will increase revenues very cost effectively. Your average will increase by offering your prospects and clients additional services or adding value to their purchase. It goes without saying that this must be done ethically and be in the interest of the client. However, there are many ways to increase the average amount sold. Some of these include offering additional products or services, service agreements, or other valuable items that are in the best interest of the customer.

Number of times a customer buys from you – keeping your current customers coming back again and again is cheaper than finding new people to buy from you all the time. Build a base of loyal customers and keep them coming back to grow your business. Successful businesses know how to keep their customers coming back while also attracting new ones. Build customer loyalty programs, communicate with them on a regular basis, understand and meet their on-going needs and be sure to thank them for their business.

I define selling as “professionally helping others to buy.”  Note the term professionally as that is a critical part of the process.  It is not about being pushy, rude, aggressive, etc.  It is about finding a need and showing the prospect how to meet the need through your business and its products…professionally. 

Changing perceptions, either yours or those of your team, about what selling is and how to do it will help you grow your business revenue and even more importantly your profits. 

Now go sell, sell, sell…professionally!

To your success,

More Great Learning Tools Available

0f5a1v1dI’ve talked before about a great product that I recommend and use for my own business called iLearningGlobal.com.  The worldwide launch of the program occured at the end of March and the program is in an amazing growth pattern right now. Thousands of people around the world are seeing the value in this continuous learning program and taking advantage of it. These are the people looking to build their wealth, success and personal growth. 

The team at iLearningGlobal are introducting new products all the time. One of the new programs is called The E.D.G.E Business Training Program.  It is an incredible 52-week training and development package designed to specifically give personal, small & medium size businesses the EDGE to succeed, even in today’s economy. The unique format to this system ensures you will have up-to-the-minute, cutting-edge information and strategies along with action plans, implementation systems, accountability and support.

Some of the topics covered include; business strategy, tax strategy, asset protection, hiring, team development, sales, leadership and much more.

Vist www.ilearningglobal.biz/dkelley57 to learn more about this program and all the rest of the great content available through this great program.

To your success…

Creating Trust with Your Customers

business-people3Over the past several months there have been many instances where consumers have been left with trust issues about business. From E. Coli in spinach, to lead in toys — there have been many concerns about product safety lately. Add to that the trust concerns consumers have about price increases in energy, food and health care and trust in business would seem to be taking a hit.

It’s interesting then that a recent study called the “Edelman Trust Barometer of 2007” indicates that 58 percent of U.S. college-educated opinion leaders age 35 to 64 say they trust business, up from 44 percent in 2002. That is a significant increase over the last five years. The study indicates that overall, people trust local brands more than global ones. That could be a major factor in the message you convey to your clients and prospects.

Another interesting finding is that, “People are nearly twice as likely to believe a regular employee of a company as they are the CEO,” says Laurence Evans, president of StrategyOne, the research arm of Edelman. Typically, your customers are interacting with your team members on a day-to-day basis so empowering your team to make decisions and take action to WOW a customer will pay big dividends in your customer satisfaction levels.

Take the time to train and build credibility with your team. Create a culture of truthfulness and integrity in your business and this culture will come out when serving your clients. If they trust you and they believe you then they are much more likely to buy from you … and come back for more!

Get SMART – You’ll Be Rewarded Accordingly


Set Your Sights High

 Success does not have to be so complicated and difficult that achieving it requires great feats of super human effort. Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world, is quoted as saying, “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.” However, without written measurable goals, life is a huge squirrel cage and you spend its precious seconds, minutes, days, months and years running frantically, in circles and getting nothing more than exhausted.

 Written goals are the road you will follow to reach your annual business plan. Your business plan acts as the game plan for the coming year. Your goals will become the accomplishments or outcomes from the plan. Once you have identified the goals, the next step is to create the action steps to get you there.

 Be sure to write your goals down; don’t just think about what they are. There is power in committing your goals to paper. Once committed to paper, your thoughts are no longer imaginings; they are real.  

Studies have shown that only 3 percent of the population have written goals, and that group controls 97 percent of the wealth.

People with written goals have a clear path they are following and a way of telling if they are on track to achieve wealth and success. Amazingly, 70 percent of people have NO written OR verbal goals or plans. These people will have a tough time, especially in the current business climate!

 The SMART Formula

 There is a common format used in many training and coaching programs for writing goals. The format is called the SMART format.  It goes like this:

 S pecific
M easureable
A chievable
R elevant
T ime bound

 In order to make your goals come to life you have to make sure they meet the SMART test. If you simply write a goal in a generic way then how do you visualize achieving it? How do you know if you are on track if you can’t measure progress? 

 Let’s go over each one and cover the importance of them individually. 

 Specific refers to making sure you are extremely clear on what it is you are aiming to accomplish. You have to be as specific as possible and that means you need to visualize the outcome you want.  What is the thing you desire? What result are you aiming for?  Knowing the result you want and being as specific about it as possible in the goal setting process is the first step.

Measurable means that you will be able to measure your progress toward your objective. You can track where you are in the process and if you are moving in the right direction. Being able to measure your progress allows you to keep focused on the objective and correct your strategy as needed.

 A goal must be achievable or why even write it? Let’s say your goal is to become a multi-millionaire and you want to do it in the next month. Well, that might be possible but unless you are already well on your way to it now, that timeline is probably a little unrealistic. Don’t make your goals so impossible that you can’t possibly get there in the time you want and frustrated, you give up. That outcome will occur if you set goals that are not achievable – you will simply give up.

 A goal must be relevant to your overall plan to be effective.  Ask yourself: Is this goal going to get me closer to achieving my plan? There is no reason to set goals that will not move you closer to living the life you want. 

 The goal must also deliver a result to be effective. A goal should give you a defined outcome that you desire to achieve in order for it to be relevant. Do not write a goal as if it is the action step you need to take, but write it as the result you desire to achieve. Your action items will come from your goals and should not be mistaken for the goal itself. To be relevant to your vision, make sure you are defining clear outcomes.

 A goal that isn’t time bound doesn’t put any pressure on you to go out and take action. Set a date when this goal will be done so you can develop a plan to get there and then take action on the plan. The use of a timeline keeps you focused and on track.

Creating 90-day Objectives

Once you have established your annual goals, use them to create short-term objectives of the immediate action you will take. These objectives will define specifically what you will do during the next 90 days. 

This is a very important step because it gives you the immediate task list of what you must focus on. A 90-day time frame is manageable and allows you to become very specific with your action steps. Remember, it is the action you take that will determine the results you will get.

You may not accomplish everything identified for this 90-day period. If that occurs, then ask yourself if this is a real priority, and if so, what got in the way. Did you over commit or did something else happen? If you need to carry it over to the next 90-day period, then do so. If you determine that it is not really a priority, remove it from your objectives. 

Once you have completed those 90 days, set your plan for the next 90 days and do it again. This is a never-ending process and will lead to the ultimate success you desire. Our minds are built to think short-term and to concentrate on the task at hand.  Setting objectives is the perfect way to keep you working on those things that will accomplish your goals. 

Take your business plan and turn it into quantifiable goals that meet the SMART formula and then decide what your priorities are for the first quarter. Get started on those priorities right away. If you created a realistic plan for 2009 that matches your long-term objectives then you will begin to see real progress in building the business of your dreams.

Visit www.AchievingUnlimitedSuccess to download a SMART Goal and 90-day plan template you can use to develop your goals. It will make your planning process simpler. The Companion Workbook is also a great tool to help you work through your planning process.

To Your Success,

4 Tips You Need to Keep You on Track Each Day

cross-roadsThere is so much going on these days that it is astounding. It is so easy to get distracted and lose precious time each day. I find there are days that I have to work very hard to keep from drifting into non-critical things that will slow down my progress toward success.

Today, I took a few minutes and thought about what it really takes right now to stay focused on the important stuff. Here are four things that I decided were important to keep me on track and focused on the right things — those things that get me closer to my goals and make money. I hope sharing them with you will give you some things to think about and help you as well.

Start Your Day Reading or Learning Something Positive — Avoid the Mainstream Media!  Set your day up right by getting yourself into the right frame of mind. Read something that will lift your spirits or that will enlighten you. Get the creative juices flowing by learning something new and thinking about how you can use it in your business. Visit your favorite blog (maybe this one:) or read a chapter in a book about self-help, business, spirituality, wealth, success or something similar. Click here to see a list of books and websites I recommend. Go to a learning website such as iLearningGlobal.tv and watch a short training video on a subject you want to learn about or need some motivation on. Just don’t let yourself get dragged into all the negativity in the media these days. It has a way of getting you off to a sluggish start and destroys motivation.

Create Your 2-Do List! Decide what are the two most important things you must get down today — no matter what! These are your no-excuses, must do tasks for the day. They should be focused on the two things that will make you money, save you money, or build your business. Do not make them administrative or “paperwork” tasks that need to get done someday. These things are not urgent and not important, but many times we tend to delude ourselves into believing they are critical because it is easy to do or we like doing them. As Brian Tracy says, EAT THAT FROG! The two things on your 2-Do list should be your FROGS — those things that maybe you don’t like doing them but they will have the biggest impact on your success.

Decide What You Fear the Most – Then Do It Anyway! Do not let fear hold you back from doing what you must do to be successful. This can be very hard for most people and I admit that I struggle with this one myself sometimes. It is human nature to avoid those things that make us uncomfortable. Force yourself to take action on things you don’t like doing. You may not succeed at it the first time but, so what! You learn when you fail, and you grow when you step outside your comfort zone. Decide what needs done and then Nike (just do it!)

Reward Yourself for Your Successes!Make sure to give yourself credit for what you have accomplished each day. It is so easy to end the day and think about the things we didn’t get done. When you really stop and think about it, you probably accomplished more that you are giving yourself credit for. At the end of each day take a minute and write out in a journal what you liked about today and what you which you had done differently. If you had a good day and accomplished your goals for the day, give yourself credit. If the day was less productive than you wanted, give yourself credit  for you did accomplish and then commit to what will be different tomorrow.

Keep focused on what is important and don’t let the outside distractions keep you from building the success you seek. Now is a great time to build momentum in your business if you can stay focused on the stuff you can control and forget about what all the talking heads in the media are trying to tell you. Good-luck.

Which Comes First — Wealth or Success?

Earn to Learn
Earn to Learn

Think about this example for a minute. A small business owner creates a business that grows substantially every year and becomes very profitable. The business is generating six figure profits each year and the owner is earning a great personal income. She has invested a large sum of money for her future and created substantial value through her business. She lives in the house of her dreams, drives a luxury car, takes 6 weeks vacation a year and gets to spend plenty of time with her family doing the things she loves doing. The business runs efficiently so she is not required to be there for it to work the way it should. All her friends and associates consider her a big success and she is living the American dream. Sounds great doesn’t it.

So, the question is … which came first, wealth or success?  Some people would argue that she became successful because she achieved the wealth. The wealth came from her hard work and business savvy. By creating significant profits in her business, she was able to get the things she wanted and live the life she desires, so the wealth is what created the success.

My perspective is just the opposite. In order for her to create wealth she first had to become successful. It may seem like an insignificant thing to worry about but I assure you it isn’t. It is a mindset that is critical to creating the life of your dreams. Most people get it backward thinking they will be successful once they achieve great wealth. However, in order to achieve wealth, you must first focus on achieving success. Wealth will follow if you focus on the process of achieving your goals and creating a successful life. 

Once you create your definition of success and develop your plan about how to achieve it, then you can start working on the specifics of what you need to focus on. By increasing your knowledge, your skills and your business expertise, you will begin to see things starting to work the way you want them to. This will lead to new levels of success that will start to build wealth. 

Too many times we simply hope that what we are doing will lead to great wealth and then we can begin to live our dreams. I talk to many business owners that are doing the same things every day in their business and waiting for the money to start coming in. It rarely does and then they become frustrated and disappointed. They expect that wealth will come to them and then they can pronounce themselves successful.

What they don’t understand is they must first learn to become a success if they want the wealth to follow. This means living a life of continual learning, seeking out advice and support from others, remaining flexible and trying new things continually. You must work on improving your skills in sales, marketing, financial management, leadership, and team building. Unless you happen to be one of the very few lucky people to win the lottery, the only way to create true wealth in your life is to first become a success.

There is a lot of truth that success attracts more success. Those who understand the mindset that is required to become successful and are willing to take steps to achieve it are the ones who create wealth and live the way they want to. Once success becomes a habit for you, then you simply don’t know any other way. Success will start to compound as long as you keep a success mindset. If you want wealth … become successful first!