Simple Goal Planning: Creating A Path for Success

One of the biggest founder mistakes and oversights is lack of planning and setting expectations. Otis McGregor, CEO and Head Coach of LTO Enterprises in Denver, recently sat down and boiled down the essentials of goal setting and planning for startups. Even just creating a basic outline can make all the difference.

The hardest part is understanding you:

  • Who are you and how do you control yourself and your time?
  • Examine your energy: Anabolic energy is positive and constructive. Conversely, catabolic energy is negative and destructive.
  • If you're hitting a road block, try thinking about using a physical action to break out of a "bad" cycle.
  • Know your resources. Example: Energy Leadership by Bruce D. Schneider examines at how energy affects your company and ultimately the outcomes.

An understanding of the above helps to manage expectations on goal setting.

What does success look like?

  • It’s different for everyone.
  • You choose what success looks like for you.
  • Determine what “fills your cup,” what fires you up every day to get up and commit to this company and vision?

Success for one founder is different than the success of another founder. Don't hold yourself at someone else's standard of what that looks or feels like.

5 steps to develop your path to success:

  1. Define your success: What outcome do you want? Who do you want to become? What’s your vision? What is important to you? Remember, “success without fulfillment is not success at all.”
  2. Create SMART goals: Specific. Measureable. Achievable. Relative. Time-tied. Goals are the foundation for creating your plan and course(s) of action, but they have to be accessible along a timeline.
  3. Create objectives: Objectives are the subsets of your goals. They are milestones that mark achievements. Whether completed in a week or a month, it's a means of "eating the elephant" to measure your progress.
  4. Tactical steps: These are things you can do that move you in the right direction. They are smaller elements of objectives; the manageable things that encompass your overall to do list.
  5. Execute: Allocate the time to commit to doing and achieving your goals.

Manageable pieces of advice:

  • Write everything down and use terms that excite you.
  • Create a plan that pulls you in, not pushes you. This is as easy as changing the label on things in your mind for certain situations.
  • Make a plan to execute, one that's attainable.
  • If you're going to go through the trouble of doing all the above, be sure to allocate the time! Dedicate and commit to accomplishing your goals.
  • Measure your progress as frequently as you want or need.
  • Learn from your misses and calculate why you missed and where you can adjust to hit the target next time. This is a living, breathing plan.
  • Celebrate your wins; wins for the day and gratitude in the morning.


  1. You define your own success.
  2. A written plan means commitment.
  3. There is always room for continuous improvement.

Otis McGregor is CEO and Head Coach of LTO Enterprises, more information can be found here.

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