We are taught that goals are necessary for any endeavor, but we often forget about objectives. In simplest terms, goals are where you want to go and objectives are the steps you take to get there. Think of a lighthouse: the goal would be the spotlight, while the objectives would be each step of its staircase. We cannot overemphasize that goals and objectives are not the same thing: the former regards aspirations and dreams, whereas the latter entails the concrete steps you take to measure your progress to your goal.

Determine where you are and then decide where you want to be.
A goal might be, “I want my company to become the next high-end pet food juggernaut!” An objective would then be, “I will learn basics of pet food production and pet nutrition.” The goal, “Schnauzer Schnacks will be the best selling kibble in history,” should likewise be followed by something like, “I will raise startup capital by distributing samples to pet boutiques.” Have goals, but focus on objectives.

Remember to prioritize.

Yes, buying that old poultry processing plant outside of town might seem like a good investment, but will it really help you achieve you goal sooner? Making smaller batches of Schnauzer Schnacks in your garage might seem a bit tedious, but cutting costs now will help you save for the marketing push.

Know when to cut your losses.
Life is about adaptation. You either win or you learn. By focusing on your objectives, you’ll know where in the process you misstepped whether it be a product quality issue or a marketing problem. You can keep your goal but reevaluate your strategy.

Be sure to keep in mind your objectives as you plan your business strategy and aim for your goals. You won’t get to the final destination without both.

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