️Episode 017 – The Critical Business Question to Ask for the 2nd Half of the Year

Today I will share with you the critical business question that you should ask to set yourself up for success in the second half of the year, so you finish the end of the year strong.

In the episode, I help you ask ONE CRUCIAL question to categorize your business results for the 1st half of the year. Then, I help you understand what action plan to put in place based on your answer. 

I finish the episode with the two goal traps to avoid and 3 success strategies to make sure you hit (and even exceed) your business goals for this year.

In this episode,
[02:16] The critical business question that you should ask 
[03:50] The action plan that you can put into place 
[11:34] Two goal traps to avoid 
[13:56] Three goal success strategies


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**note: This is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*


Welcome to the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. I’m Melisa Liberman, a fellow IC and business coach. On this podcast, I teach you to become a consistently booked independent consultant without becoming a pushy salesperson or working 24/7. If I can do it, you can to listen on To find out how. Welcome back to the podcast today, we’re on episode 17. And we’re going to be talking about the critical business question to ask yourself to set yourself up for success in the second half of the year. Can you believe it’s already July? I’m recording this on July 3, it’s crazy, I can’t believe how fast this first half of the year went. So wherever you’re at with your business right now, you’re halfway through the year, and they’re still halfway to go. So no matter if you’re achieving your goals and want to continue on that path, or whether you are not quite there or falling behind. I’ve got a plan for you today that can help you make sure that you finish this end of this year strong. So as we dive in today, I’m going to focus really on four things. Number one, we’re going to talk about this critical question to ask yourself, how to assess your annual goal, then based on your answer, we’ll put an action plan in place that’s tailored to you. And don’t worry, this isn’t some long-involved action plan that requires you to sit down with a journal for the next hour, we’re really creating a quick-hitting powerful plan that’s tailored to you so that you can move forward to reach those goals this year. Number three, we’re going to talk about two gold traps to avoid. And then number four, we’re going to talk about three goals and success strategies. So once you’ve got your action plan in place, then I’m going to give you some wrapper that goes around it to help you make sure that you are achieving what it is that your goals are. And whatever it is that you want to accomplish in the second half of this year. So let’s talk about this critical business question to ask yourself for the second half of this year. It’s incredibly simple. Which category of the four that I’m going to give you? Does your goal attainment fit in so far this year? Okay, I’m going to give you four categories, and you’re going to pick one, or you might pick more than one. A lot of people are kind of in a little bit of in-between, let’s call it. So based on that, listen to these four categories and choose one, and then we’re going to put a plan in place based on what your answer is. So number one, is the category that you fall into in terms of goal attainment, is it on track, or number two, are you behind?


Or number three, this is common, I don’t know, I set a goal in January actually don’t know where I am against it. Or number four, you didn’t set a goal in January. All right. So no shame, no shame in where you’re at which of those four or maybe more than one of those four, get that in your head. And then we’re going to move on to what to do about it, how to create a quick action plan for you to get back on track if you’re not on track, and if you are on track what to do so that you can move forward and accomplish everything that you want to be accomplishing this year. Okay, so again, it’s on track behind. I don’t know, or I didn’t set a goal, Melisa, I’ll tell you now. Okay. So now that you know which one you are, let’s move into the action plan that you can put in place based on which of those categories you fall into. Okay, so number one, if you are on track. Now, ask yourself a couple of really important questions. Did you set your goal high enough? I know for me when I used to set goals when I was in corporate especially, I would set goals or goals would be given to me. And a lot of them were slay either slam dunks, I felt good when I achieve them. I could say I achieve the goal but it wasn’t really about just, you know, setting a goal not to fail. Or it was so outlandish that it was like well, no one including myself expects us to meet this so we’re just gonna keep doing what we’re doing right. That’s what a lot of people kind of fall into. So for you, have you done that with your business? Did you set your goals high enough? Setting your goal in a way that prevents you from failing is the biggest indicator that you didn’t set it high enough. So let me see in a different way, setting your goal, let’s call it a revenue goal, if that’s what you know, that’s the most common here for your business, your revenue goal for this year, in a quote-unquote realistic way, is going to always cause you to underperform. If the way you set your goal is to definitely meet it at the end of the year, then you’ve set it too low, because you’re trying to prevent failure. And as a business owner, it’s actually the opposite. Failing is one of the keys to success. So with that in mind, ask yourself, did you set your goal high enough? Is it high enough that at the end of the year, you’re at 90%, attainment 90% attainment of a million-dollar goal? So that’d be 900,000. For I think, I’m not gonna math, but give me 900,090% attainment of a million-dollar goal is so much better than 100% attainment of a $500,000 goal that was quote-unquote, realistic, right? That’s the simplest way to describe it. So ask yourself, did you set your goals high enough to stretch yourself? And then assuming the answer is no? Or even if the answer is yes, ask yourself what can you adjust in your goal that helps propel you further toward growth, whether that’s personal or professional, and for you, it might be increasing your revenue goal. Or it could be something more intangible like I’m going to hit this revenue goal that I set, but I’m going to hit it in only 30 hours a week, instead of working 60 hours a week. So this doesn’t need to mean that you have to work more if you’re going to increase your goal. Alright, and then decide how you’re going to revise that goal based on what you just learned from those first two questions. So that’s your action plan if you’re on track, and I’ll put these in the show notes, so that you have them also to go back to Okay, so category number two, perhaps you’re behind on your goal is your goal, off track, essentially. So now the first thing is just to look at yourself, and recognize that nothing is going wrong, you still have six more months, and this year, you just don’t have the results that you want yet. And the worst thing you can do is criticize yourself or quit, or change the goal, cut it in half. None of those are good responses to the fact that you’re perhaps not tracking against your goal. Instead, what I encourage you to do is treat this as a scientific experiment, ask yourself and evaluate four simple questions, so that you can build your second-half plan, why am I not hitting the goal that I set yet? What is going well, that I want to maintain? So it’s not all terrible, right? A lot of us go to the dark side. It’s all terrible. It’s not all terrible. I know there’s something going well tell me what it is. Tell yourself what it is. Thirdly, what isn’t going well. And then fourthly, what do you want to change? Add more of maybe of whatever’s going well, perhaps there’s adding more of that. What do you want to remove? What do you want to adjust? Look at this, again, from more of a scientific perspective, than from a judgmental perspective. Right? The third category is I don’t know, a lot of us don’t know. And quite honestly, I did not know, up until this year, when I hired a bookkeeper who’s in a way of fractional CFO. I definitely know because I meet with her every month, I know exactly what my goal is, and I know exactly where I’m at against it. I know exactly what the forecast is, like all of those things I’m looking at. But up until now, you know, there was a lot of me just burying my head in the sand, to be honest with you. So first, ask yourself, why don’t you know? Why aren’t you looking at your data or the results that are attached to your goal? For most of us, for me, for example, burying my head in the sand, I didn’t want to feel disappointed or inadequate, those feel bad, so just don’t look right. But of course, you need to look, you’re a business owner. And you get to choose Are you going to keep ignoring your results to date and fail ahead of time, essentially. Because either one, you don’t know where you’re tracking against your goal. And then you get to the end of the year, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Or number two, you actually do meet your goal. But you could have accomplished more because you fell into category one, and you adjusted yourself. So you can either keep ignoring the results to date and fail ahead of time, or you can recommit to your goal. So your three steps if you fall into this category are to figure out what is against your goals. Answer the questions from that no category from that category that we just talked about if you’re behind, or if you’re on track, and then recommit, right. So again, those questions are in the show notes. So figure out where you’re at if you don’t know and then answer the questions. Either you’re on track and answer those questions, or you’re not on track, you’re behind in some way and answer those questions. Okay. That’s it, just figure out, figure out why you don’t want to know, and address that. It’s math really at the end of the day. All right. And then the last category is what goal? You didn’t set one, or you did, but you forgot it. I’ve done those two. That’s why I know what’s a category. So ask yourself, why didn’t you set a goal. And I’m here to challenge you, my friend, not just you, but challenge you, you’re a business owner, this isn’t you telling yourself you’re going to lose 10 pounds. This is you as a business owner, setting a goal. Successful business owners have goals. So if you haven’t been setting goals, you know, in your personal life, that’s one thing and a whole nother area to explore. But in a business, you need to be setting goals. And if you’re not, why not?


It could be as simple as you not even seeing yourself as a business owner. I know I fell into that trap for a long time and didn’t even realize I owned a business, or just did project work and got paid. So figure out why you haven’t set a goal. Get no judgment, you still have six months in the year. So if you fall into this category, you’ve either set a goal and completely forgotten what it was since some notebook from January, or you never set one, no problem, set one now and commit to it. That’s it. Okay, let’s talk about the two gold traps that we want to make sure that you can avoid. And I touched on this one a minute ago. And I’ll just tell you, two go traps from my own perspective that I’ve fallen into number one, not setting goals. Because I thought my consulting business was out of my control. So after I realized I was a business owner, then I was like, Well, how can I set a goal, I’m not the one who’s paying me, I have clients that are paying me. So it feels really futile to set goals because I don’t have control over whether I book a client project or not. That was my thought process. And I know, for a lot of consultants, you have the same thought process. And so I would just take what was given to me the projects that were given to me. And I also felt a little bit rebellious toward goals, to be honest with you, because I had been given them for so long incorporate and they were a lot of times outlandish. So it was kind of a slight combination of well, it’s out of my control. And I’m not doing it anyway, I’m in control here, right. But at the end of the day, not having any map of where you want to get to gives up all the control. So really rethink that you do have control over your consulting business, you might not have control over which client signs, but you do have the control that you can meet your revenue numbers by a client signing, right, you might not just know which one it is. So don’t let yourself fall into that trap Oh, I don’t have control over that. So I better not do it. And then the second trap is setting a goal but then never revisiting it again. There’s a lot of data out there that if you revisit your goal every single day, and I’m talking literally a 32nd revisit here, not a big long journaling process. If you revisit your goal every day, like for me, I just write it at the top of my paper every day, then you remember it. I didn’t do this in the past because I said I was too busy, right? But in reality, I just didn’t want to feel like a loser. If I wasn’t meeting the goals. I just wanted to bury my head in the sand. So if this is you, if you’re telling yourself, you’re too busy, this is 30 seconds, you’re not too busy. You can write your goal at the top of whatever paper it is that you have, or really dig under that and say why don’t I want to see where I’m at? Why don’t I want to see that goal written down again, you’re repelling the goal if you can’t even look at it, right? Okay, and then let’s wrap up with those three-goal success strategies. And this really piggybacks on what I just said, revisit your goals frequently. With these three things, reread them, or rewrite them, preferably every day, think and act as if you’ve already achieved them. And that’s probably for a whole nother podcast, be thinking and acting as if you’re the person, as if you’re the business owner as if you’re the consultant who has already achieved those goals. And then thirdly, keep going through this process I gave you today, evaluate your progress, and readjust do this on a monthly basis the structure I just gave you. Okay, so all of this will be in the show notes. And you can put this into action and accelerate your goal achievement or redirect or regain your goal achievement for this year. I know you can do it. To put this in action. Talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining me this week on the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. If you like today’s episode, I have three quick next steps for you. First click Subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to make sure you don’t miss future episodes. Next, leave me a review in your podcast app so other independent consultants can find it beneficial too. And finally, to put the ideas from today’s episode into action, head over to Melisaliberman.com for the show notes and more resources to help you grow your consulting practice from your first few projects into a full-fledged business. See you next week.

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