Good news filtered through the work email today. We hit our sales quota last year! We’ve now managed to hit growth quotas every year since 2005, with the notable exception of 2011. It’s a big deal for me because 2012 was the first year that I wrote down business goals for my company. Up until then, I had made short-term decisions and generally flew by the seat of my pants, trusting my gut. However, with an industry downturn in 2011 I was thrown off my game and struggled to gain traction. To make matters worse, because my CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) is pretty high, my 2012 quota wouldn’t reflect the 2011 downturn and would be an even higher percentage of growth than normal.
I was nervous. For the first time in my professional career, I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I needed to do something different, that’s all I could focus on. So I began by writing down three simple goals:
- Achieve quota growth
- Focus Q1-Q3 on new product growth.
- Go the extra mile.
The last goal comes from a former VP of Sales I once knew. It was his belief that you just needed to do one thing extra every day to differentiate yourself. You could make one more cold call, send out one more email, help out one more customer, stay late one more time…in short, you just needed to go one single solitary mile every day. I gave it a shot. It worked. Even with the higher percentage we were expected to achieve, it worked.
I wish I could give specific examples, but I am bound by federal law in some aspects of my job, so to be safe, I don’t expound by much. Suffice to say, we battled some severe headwinds midway through the autumn and could have come off the rails very easily. However, my partner stuck it out, kept her foot in the door many times, and thanks to her tireless work late in the year, we were able to plough back and gain much of the ground we lost. The last sales that put us over quota came, literally, at the wire. On the 31st of December I was able to get two more Purchase Orders through, clearing the finish line with barely hours to spare.
It’s a relief. 2012 was a daunting year at the start, and we knocked her down for the count. That’s always a monkey off one’s back. But for me, it’s more than that…it’s excitement, because if three simple goals written down could help change the fortunes of my business, how much more can I do with this expansive list of goals?
I feel like the sky is the limit. I am so excited for this year.
Other Goal Updates: I’ve nearly finished my second book, Captivating. I spent time at the Gander Mountain Gun Academy today with my new handgun, going over it in detail with the Range Safety Officer and putting 100 rounds through the barrel. I will master that weapon, because a weapon as dangerous as a handgun needs to be treated with respect. I am officially signed up for karate and will receive my white belt this Thursday, marking the start of my journey. I went up north to the parents’ place with my kids this weekend, so aside from the pushup and wall sit routine, I didn’t get many workouts in. Added 2.5 miles tonight on the treadmill, and got in a good upper body workout. All in all, today was a good day.
As always: This is my journal. I hope it inspires you. Make 2013 your year.