How many of us spend time out of our day or week writing a list of goals that we want to accomplish? Okay, now how many of us get a little discouraged when we look at that same list and did not accomplish all that we set forth to do? I definitely raised my hand to both of those questions.

Goal setting is a great way for us to take control of the direction that we want our lives to go, it helps us gain perspective and gives us a sense of accomplishment.  But, at the same time it can get frustrating when we are setting goals and not achieving them.

So, here are a few tips on ways that we can set purpose filled goals that are not only reachable but will live us filling motivated to keep going.

1. Write them down-I’m a huge proponent of writing my goals down, it allows me to see what I have set forth for myself and I can cross it out when I have accomplished it.  I don’t know about you but there is something about crossing off a goal that makes me feel good.

2. Set realistic goals- I know that we want to be the most successful we can be but that takes time. Let’s be realistic in setting goals.  If you want to be the CEO of a company or open up your own bookstore start setting small realistic goals that will get you there.  Don’t start off with a goal to purchase company plane or buy a five story building when you haven’t written a concise business plan.  Goal set your way to your dream by being realistic on the steps you need to take to get there.

3. Remember quality over quantity- Anyone who knows me, knows that I say this all the time.  Set goals that focus on quality over quantity. If you are able to achieve a goal that gets you closer to your dream goal or that build your skills in an area that you are focusing on it will get you much further than having a long list goals that you are not touching.  A way to set quality-purpose filled goals is to examine the “why” behind the goal you are setting, examine your motivation and see if it aligns with the direction you want your life to go, if it doesn’t let the goal go.

4. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals-Setting smart goals is a common practice and basically it means to set goals that are

·         Specific-Be detailed and clear in setting a goal.

·         Measurable-Set goals that are measurable, use dates or numbers that help you to know that you achieved what you set forth

·         Attainable-As mentioned previously, set goals that are realistic and attainable.  You want to boost your confidence not deflate it  

·         Relevant-Make sure that your goals are relevant to what you are trying to accomplish, let’s stay on track.  If you find yourself setting goals that are leading you in a different direction, examine your motivation.  

·         Timely- Setting goals that are timely and have a deadline.  The point of goal setting is to get you to accomplish what you set forth, if you don’t set a deadline you may never strike it out.  

Using S.M.A.R.T. method will help you gain perspective in the how, what and when of accomplishing your goals.  If you ever get frustrated just remember to think S.M.A.R.T!

5. Tell people-Lastly, in setting goals it’s always great to tell people.  Whether you have accountability partner or you write in a blog.  Telling people keeps you responsible for achieving that goal, it also gives you cheerleaders and encouragers along the way.

Always remember setting goals are meant to inspire you and build you up, even when you feel discouraged it’s all part of the process to walking in your destiny, you will get to where you want to in life just keep pressing on.

So, care to share any goals that have set for yourself? 

Your Fired: What Getting Fired Taught Me About Success

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was my sophomore year in undergrad and I just landed my first internship with a very reputable PR/Advertising firm in the city.  It was an awesome opportunity to get my foot in the door and gain practical knowledge that I can use throughout my life, little did I know that the lessons that I was going to take away had more to do with life, responsibility and accepting fault than it had to do with public relations.

It was a month into my internship and things finally starting to get moving, I must admit I knew little about public relations prior to accepting the internship so the learning curve was heavy.  We were in the middle of planning an event and spring break/vacation was starting in a couple days.  Fast-forward to spring break, we had off for school and because my internship was tied to school I assumed that when we are off school we are off for interning. NOPE, that was not the case and next thing I knew I was getting fired for a no-call no show.  No more internship, no more learning PR and I officially started my path on learning some lessons on the path for success which are: 

  1. No excuses- There are no excuses in the real world. If you don’t do what you committed to do, especially in regards to professional commitments excuses will not get you far.  
  2. If you don’t know, ask- The first thing that I should’ve done was ask and get clarification on my schedule. I didn’t and made an assumption that ended in a negative result. It never hurts to ask questions and get clarity. Communication is always recommended.
  3. Don’t take things for granted- No matter what the position is that you are currently functioning in (internship, entry-level...etc.) never take the experiences that you are gaining for granted. There are lessons in everything, we just have to take the time to learn them. 
  4. Setbacks happen- As we continue to grow in our careers and in life, we will experience setbacks and that’s okay because with setbacks there’s always a comeback around the corner. Which leads me to my last point
  5. You will survive -I know whenever you are going through a season of “failure” or an experience that seems like you have ended your whole future you don’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, guess what? The light is there and it is shining bright! You just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep it moving.

The thing is the path to success is not straight and narrow. It is has up's and downs, potholes and curves and sometimes we get lost but don’t give up, believe me it is all worth it!

The Recipe for Building an Effective Nonprofit Board of Directors

When starting, working with or being part of a nonprofit, there are many “recipes” for how you determine success.  You may look at effective programming, strategic planning, fundraising and development but you can’t achieve any of that without one main ingredient and that is making sure that you have an effective nonprofit board of directors.

Board performance is a crucial ingredient to ensuring success within your nonprofit.  How can you build a board that is more effective? Let’s first take a look at the role of a nonprofit board of directors.  In the simplest sense, a nonprofit board is established to help push the organizations strategic goals, mission and vision forward.  Now, how this is done depends on the organization and the goals that you would like to achieve.   This is why one of the steps to building an effective board of directors is to,

  1. Have a succinct organizational mission and vision– Having your mission and vision in place,helps to ensure that those who are on your board support your mission, vision and they are  willing to do what is needed to push that forward.  You want to make sure that those who are charged with helping to lead your organization support the cause you are working hard to fight for.
  2. Build based on the needs of the organization- I know that many of us that are “goal-givers” or passionate social entrepreneurs often want to help others in every way that we can, but please make sure that when building an effective board of directors you look for individuals that can help the needs of the organization.  Meaning, as much as you may love your Aunt/Uncle/BFF, please do not recruit them to join your nonprofit board because they want to help. If someone does not have the qualifications to meet the needs of the organization in a board capacity, let them volunteer or help in other ways.  When building your board, understand that on the onset you may not have the funding for a lawyer or an accountant so start to find individuals that can fill those gaps.  Individuals that can help you in the areas that   your organization needs the most help in. Look for those who have expertise in the areas of              development, finance, community relations, marketing…etc.  Believe me, this will be extremely helpful as you start to grow as an organization.
  3. Recruit from within the board- I serve on numerous boards in which within our succession planning we have to recruit board members that will replace us when our term is over or to join the board in general.  We already covered the fact that your board should consist of people that support your mission and vision, so if that is the case-the same people will want to bring the right individuals on board to make sure that the mission continues.  Don’t be afraid to discuss this with your Board Chair, the best form of advertising is word of mouth and this also can pertain to recruiting and building an effective board of directors.
  4. Research! Research! Research! – When you are doing your “vetting” process make sure to research the individuals you’re looking to recruit.  Find out what other boards they may serve on or have served on, research what company they work form, find them on LinkedIn.  You want to make sure that the individuals chosen align with the brand of the organization.  You also want to  make sure that there is no conflict of interest, why go through all the trouble just to find out   that the individual is not able to serve. Which leads me to number five.
  5. Connect with board prospects beforehand-  This comes down to basic professionalism. After you have done your research, try to connect with that individual on a more personal level.  Invite them out to coffee or lunch.  This helps you in numerous ways-
    1. You get to see the   person outside of the “computer” learn their personality and see if this is someone that you feel  can be a great board member and
    2. It shows the individual that you care about what they have to offer and see them as a person.  I have received invitations to join boards strictly from a static template email but I had no idea about the organization, its mission or who the person was that reaching out.  Having that personal touch can go a long way.
  6. Understand that everyone will not fit- Everyone may not the right person to join the organization, regardless of background, passion, and community contributions. As you are  selecting board members, don’t be afraid to say no to individuals that are not a “fit” for your  organization. This does not mean that they are not a good person, this just means that they are  not right for the direction that the organization and board is moving.  You want to make sure that individuals will work well with current board members that they are able to follow thru on  the board responsibilities, that they are committed to the strategic plan and goals of the organization.  And, if someone does not meet that criteria it’s okay to move on to someone else.

Building an effective board will take a lot of work and effort but once it is done the payoff (not just monetary) will be great and your recipe for organizational success will exude flavor because of it.

How about anyone else, do you have any advice for building an effective board

The Importance of Having a Personal Mission Statement

“To use my gifts to inspire others to walk in their purpose so that they align their passions with their destiny” – Lachelle Binion

Often times when we think of mission statements we think of a written summary describes the values, beliefs and goals of what an organization seeks to accomplish. Organizations dedicate a lot of effort, time, and sometimes money to craft the “perfect” mission statement. But, how many of us understand the importance of having a personal mission statement?  In my view, having a personal mission statement is equally as important as crafting one for your organization.

Here’s why,

  • It forces you to align your life with your purpose-Your mission statement is a daily reminder of what you want to accomplish in life.
  • It gives you a path to clearly keep your vision before you-When you can visualize, you can conceptualize the road you want to embark on.
  • It defines who you are and how you want to live-Your statement is personal, it’s who you are and how you wan to live.
  • It inspires us to accomplish our goals-It keeps us focused on if we are achieving what we set forth.

Developing a personal mission statement isn’t as hard as some may think. Here are some tips and basic steps on how you can craft your personal mission statement:

  • Keep it simple- 3 to 5 sentences max. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with a list of goals.  Your statement should be succinct and to the point.
  • Be positive– Focus on the inspiration you seek to gain or give in life. This is your It’s your daily purpose mantra-leave the negativity out.
  • Make it personal-Your personal statement should be about who you are internally
  • Make it actionable-Use action words, make it about what you want to accomplish in life and how or why you want to do it.

A few ways to get started it to create a list of words that you feel best describe you (you can even ask others to give you positive words that they would use to describe who you are). From that list narrow it down to three or four words and start to craft the statement.  A great formula is to start with is:

“To (enter what you want to become or do in life) + (why or how you want to do it)

Example: “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism (what she wants to do) to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world (why she want to do it)” – Amanda Steinberg-Founder of the

Example: “To be a teacher (What she want to do). And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be. (Why she wants to do it)”- Oprah Winfrey, OWN

Example: “To have fun in my journey through life (what he wants to do) and learn from my mistakes (how he want to do it)” – Sir Richard Branson, Founder of The Virgin Group.

Finally, don’t get caught up in the details. Let this be something fun and inspiring and guiding principle for you.

How do you feel about personal mission statements? Does anyone else have a personal mission statement that they would like to share?