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online-busniess-difference-mission-goal-1During a year-end planning session, I asked a group of online entrepreneurs what their goal was for the coming year. Some of the comments were:

“I want to reach women and help them gain self-confidence”

“I want to help people eat better so they can lose weight without dieting.”

These are not goals; they’re missions.

A goal is more specific.

A basketball team’s mission is to win the championship. They have smaller missions to win individual games. But they do that by getting balls in the basket — that’s the goal, literally.

In most cases, our goals aren’t as literal but we do need to know what they are.

Start with your mission

Your mission states what your business does–how, for whom, and why.

online-business-missions-goals-2Let’s take the first one: “I want to reach women and help them gain self-confidence.” This includes what and for whom. We could expand that to:

“I want to reach women and help them gain self-confidence by offering group coaching programs so they can fulfill their purpose and live a life of joy and abundance.”

Now we’ve added how and why. It sounds a little like an elevator speech, doesn’t it? That’s OK! In fact, imagine yourself talking to someone you’ve just met who asks what your business does.

Part of your “why” can be the story of your experiences when you didn’t have self-confidence and how you developed self-confidence and the difference that made in your life.

Let’s expand the second one, “I want to help people eat better so they can lose weight without dieting.” We could expand it to:

“I want to help people eat better so they can lose weight without dieting with training programs that show them how to eat well.”

You might be more specific about who the “people” are.

Follow up by creating your goals

Your goals are long-term objectives that help you achieve your mission. You’ve probably heard about SMART goals:

  • Specific: You should know exactly what you need to do to achieve a goal
  • Measurable: You should be able to measure whether you achieved the goal or not
  • Achievable: The goal should be achievable. If you’re ambitious, you can change this to “Ambitious”
  • Relevant: The goal should be relevant to your mission
  • Time-limited: There should be a deadline

As you can see, a goal is very different from a mission. Note that you might have multiple goals at any one time.

Here’s an example of a goal:

“I will create a 4-module online course for women who want to become more self-confident. I’ll do this by June 30 and start promoting it by August 30.”

In order to reach a goal, you divide it up into tasks — monthly, weekly, and daily.

But remember that you don’t achieve your mission unless you achieve your goals.

First you plan, then you execute


When you plan, you start with your mission, the big picture. Then you create goals. Next, you create tasks. You should have a written business and marketing plan for each year. Some people create multi-year plans. Others like to work 3 months at a time.

Your mission is too big to guide you day by day. That’s why you break it down into goals and tasks. Then you know exactly what to do each day.

When it’s time to execute, it’s the other way around.

You start with the tasks that you’ve written down and complete them to meet your goals. When you meet your goals, you attain your mission.


I know that events and obstacles intervene. But you really need to organize your business this way. Otherwise, you just don’t know if the actions you’re taking will lead you in the direction you want to go.

A marketing plan can help you with your goals and tasks — once you know your mission. Have you created your marketing plan this year?

Pick up my free Marketing Planner to get started

Have questions or suggestions? Leave a comment! And please share this post with your friends and colleagues so they can start fulfilling their mission, too.

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