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7-figure business coach & course creator helping you build a profitable online biz & become OBSESSED with your life. I'm an Enneagram 3 & love ClickUp, color coded calendars & design. I travel around the world full time and spent most my days in Thailand, Vietnam or Bali.
Planning ahead is part of running a successful business, but few entrepreneurs have a solid game plan for their next 3 months. Today I’m going to walk you through my best goal setting tips for entrepreneurs, including how to create a 90 day action plan that gets results.
If you’ve been struggling to stay on top of your business and always feel like you’re playing catch up, this post is for you! These goal setting tips will help you get all of your ideas out of your head and onto paper, so you can feel confident in your next steps.
Ready to dive in? Let’s get to it!
Keep reading or watch the video below for a step-by-step walkthrough.
First things first: Why is it important to set goals as an entrepreneur?
To put it simply, you can’t hit the target if you don’t know what you’re aiming for! Having a clear vision of where you want your business to be 6 months, a year, even 5 years down the line, will help ensure you’re always moving toward that end goal.
Your vision will change over time, but setting business goals and checking in on them regularly will keep you moving in the right direction.
What is a 90 Day Action Plan?
Some entrepreneurs find the idea of planning multiple years in advance overwhelming, which is why I recommend breaking your plan down into 90 day sprints. Just focus on one quarter at a time and what you want to achieve over the next 3 months.
For example, if you want to hit a big income goal in your business this year, maybe your 90 Day Action Plan will be focused on adding one new program to your offer suite. Your Action Plan might look something like this:
Month 1: Market research and program creation
Month 2: Testing, promotion, building out a sales funnel
Month 3: Launch the program
Breaking down your big goals into smaller phases like this will prevent overwhelm. It will also give you a clear roadmap of how to achieve your goal and the actions you need to take each week to stay on track.
Before we dive into how to create a 90 Day Action Plan of your own, there are a few key tips I want to cover.
Goal Setting Tips for Entrepreneurs
When it comes to setting business goals, there’s always a heavy emphasis on doing “more”. How can I make more money, be more productive, add more offers, etc. And while that’s great if you’re in a time of expansion in your business, don’t feel pressured to add things just for the sake of adding them.
Your goal might be to stop doing something in your business–like comparing yourself to other entrepreneurs or spending too much time on social media.
You might also choose to take a different approach to something you’re already doing in your business. For example, it might make more sense for you to improve one of your existing programs, rather than create a new one from scratch. Or to relaunch your signature course, but change the marketing message to attract a new audience.
Don’t feel pressured to hit 6-figures or launch something new every quarter, even if it feels like that’s what everyone around you is doing. Today we’re going to focus on how to set business goals that work for YOU!
How to Set Business Goals: My 3 Stage Process
This is the exact framework I use for setting my own business goals. If you’ve been winging your planning sessions up until this point, it’s going to totally change the game for you! You can also use this 3 step process to set goals in other areas of your life, like health, fitness, or learning a new skill.
Let’s dive into the 3 stages of setting business goals!
1. Mental preparation.
A lot of people skip over this step, but for me this is a non-negotiable. Before you even think about setting business goals, you need to be crystal clear on what you want to achieve. All the planning in the world won’t help you if you don’t have a strong vision of where you want to go.
Here are a few different methods I use to get clarity on my goals:
Look ahead at the next 90 days, and start writing down what you want to achieve as if it’s already happened. Think about what you accomplished, how that made you feel, and who you became in the process. What kind of person do you need to become to achieve your goals?
You can also try journaling on the following prompts:
How am I holding myself back right now?
What limiting beliefs are preventing me from achieving my goals?
How can I push myself outside of my comfort zone?
After you’ve finished journaling, spend a few minutes with your eyes closed, visualizing yourself achieving your goals. Think about how you’ll feel and the actions you took to get there. This is called a “mental rehearsal” and it might seem a little woo-woo to you, but it’s proven to increase the likelihood of success!
Know Your Why
Before you dive into your planning session, think about why you want to achieve this particular goal. Are you doing it for yourself, because it feels aligned with your deeper sense of purpose, or just because it’s what everyone else is doing?
If the only reason you want to achieve something is to impress the people around you, you’re unlikely to stick with that goal in the long run. Make sure you have a strong internal motivation for your goal.
After you have a clear idea of where you want to be in the next 90 days, it’s time to map out your action steps!
Most people find it easy to come up with goals and think big-picture. They want to start the business, buy the house, make 6-figures etc. But for a goal to be achievable, it has to be both specific and realistic.
Let’s start with specific.
If you want to improve your visibility, how are you going to do that? On Instagram? Facebook? Through your website’s SEO? There are a lot of different approaches you could take. Here’s an example of how you might take a broad goal and turn it into a more specific one:
Improve my business’s visibility → Grow my reach on Instagram → Post regularly on stories and reels → Post once a day on stories, once a week on reels, and engage with every person who comments or reacts
Now you have the specific action steps you need to take. These steps are also realistic because they are under your control. “Get 5 new clients this month” isn’t under your control, but you can control the steps that will bring you closer to that goal (engaging in the DMs, re-vamping your funnel, inviting your list to purchase).
Here are some of my other favorite goal setting tips for entrepreneurs before we head into the next phase after goal setting:
Set yourself up for success
Make sure your environment is primed for success. If you want to stop looking at your phone first thing in the morning, don’t go to sleep with it on your nightstand! Put it across the room (or outside your bedroom entirely).
Think about how you can make it easier for your future self to stick to this goal. This is the whole “leave your running shoes out if you want to go to the gym” idea. It’s amazing how big a difference these small steps can make.
Plan ahead for obstacles
No matter how well you plan, it’s inevitable that something will get in your way. You’ll come down with a cold, your babysitter will cancel, a client will back out for seemingly no reason. These things are outside of your control.
But you can save yourself some stress by thinking ahead: what obstacles are you likely to encounter on your path to this goal? What steps can you take now to prepare for them in advance? This sort of thinking will save you so much stress because when those obstacles do come up, you’ll feel ready to handle them.
One of my favorite goal setting tips for entrepreneurs is using the “when, then” phrase to plan for obstacles. For example: “WHEN I feel overwhelmed trying to juggle my business and my 9-to-5, THEN I’ll take a break and go for a walk outside.”
Dream big, but make your timeframe realistic
I absolutely believe you can achieve anything if you’re willing to work for it. Make your goal to hit a million dollars, buy your dream house, or write a bestselling book, but don’t expect to hit those goals in the next 90 days (unless you’re already very close to achieving them).
I call this the “Superwoman Effect”–we all overestimate how much we’re truly capable of taking on. So before you set those lofty goals, ask yourself: how much time do I really have to devote to this? Put each step on the calendar to see if it’s realistic.
If it’s not, it doesn’t mean you need to make your goals smaller. It just means you need a longer timeframe. See if you can stretch out those big goals so each quarter takes you one step closer to your dream.
You’ve done the internal work, you’ve made a plan, and now it’s time to execute! This is the fun part, but it can also be the hardest. Setting business goals is one thing; now you need to show up and put in the work, day after day.
You can make the execution phase easier by…
Setting your environment up for success, like I mentioned above.
Taking intentional action. Before taking on a new task, ask yourself if it’s going to get you closer to your goals.
Identifying your habit triggers.
Using triggers to reinforce new habits
A trigger is any external cue that tells your brain to complete an action. For example, putting on your running is a trigger to work out.
We live so much of our life on autopilot, responding to the cues in our environment. Becoming aware of your triggers will help you control your behavior, rather than letting your automatic behavior control you.
You can also create triggers for any new habits you’re trying to start! Try lighting a candle before you start journaling or listening to the same playlist before sitting down to work on your goal.
My Best Goal Setting Tips for Entrepreneurs
The most challenging part of setting business goals is sticking to them. From the minute you wake up each day, you’ve got a million thoughts in your head, telling you all the things that need to get done. You start working your way through your to-do list, only to collapse into bed that night and realize you never worked on your goals.
Here are a few quick tips to help you stay on track:
I personally like sticky notes. I’ll post 5 (or 50) around our apartment, reminding me of my goals and what I’m working towards. Every time I see one, it directs my focus back to the task at hand.
Some people also recommend creating reminders on your phone, but I find having a note in front of me makes it harder to ignore. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes!
If you’re struggling to stick to your goals, try announcing them on social media or telling a close friend and asking her to check up on you. This kind of accountability adds an extra incentive because you don’t want to let those people down.
Final thoughts on setting business goals
Learning how to set business goals is an important part of your journey as an entrepreneur. Hopefully you found these tips helpful! My final piece of advice is to give yourself grace. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day of working on your goal, and remember you’re only human! You can always start again the next day.
If you’re looking for some extra accountability in your business, make sure you check outLaptop Lifestyle Bootcamp, my 4-month group coaching program for new entrepreneurs. You’ll learn how to grow your business step by step, plan for the future, and cultivate the habits of a six-figure entrepreneur. Sound like something you need? Check out the details here!
Something tells me you belong here and desire something more.
hi, i'm Amanda
Three years ago, I chose to quit my corporate 9-to-5, sold all my belongings, and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand. I had no real plan—just a burning desire to see the world and a bone-deep certainty that there was more to life than my mind-numbing day job.
Since then I have started multiple business ventures including LLCo. which has scaled to over $1 million dollars in 2 years, and has helped hundreds of women from all over the world build profitable online businesses, defy expectations, and create a freedom lifestyle on their terms—no one else’s.
Every day you get to choose again as to how you will live your life - and every defining moment will come down to just that, a choice.
Here’s the thing - your past story, knowledge, and experiences may have shaped you to be where you are now, but they don’t have to define where you go next.
Hey there, I’m Amanda Kolbye. I’m on a mission to help female entrepreneurs acquire business tools & knowledge so they can create generational wealth and a life where you never think “is this it?” In our world, women become unstoppable. In our world, limitless is the only boundary we adhere to.
7-figure international business coach, online educator, and founder of Laptop Lifestyle Co.