Evan Hackel

No matter what kind of franchise you lead, chances are that you have a dream you would like to achieve. And that is positive, because goals motivate us and give us benchmarks to measure.

However, it is important to think about how you define success, because not all goals are motivational in the right way.

For example, I was watching a television show the other day and there was a young, 26-year-old female contestant on a show who said, “I just know once I get married and have a child, I will be happy.”

Well, she might be right about that. She has a goal, but what if she gets married and has a baby and finds that she still feels unhappy and maybe even unsuccessful? What if other issues intrude, like a husband who isn’t pulling his weight, a health problem, or career frustrations? You see, you can’t define happiness or success too narrowly.

As a franchising company, for example, you might think that you will be successful on the day that you open your 100th location. On that day, you think, you will be successful. But what if that day comes and you discover that you are still facing a lot of problems? Maybe you will be in a period when sales are falling, when your sector is in decline, or when other problems are affecting you. As a franchise professional, you know that progress is made by solving problems. So although you hit your stated goal, you are still facing steep problems and success seems to be eluding you.

So, how can you evaluate your franchise’s success according to better, more motivational goals? Here are some tips that I talk about in my keynote address, “Seeking Excellence.” I would like to offer the idea that you have already achieved success if the following things are taking place in your franchise:

  • You are enjoying the journey. Distant goals are important, but it could be even more important to celebrate the small victories that you and your team achieve every day. You’re in the fight, but you are winning.
  • You appreciate and understand where you have been. Rather than rushing from one pressing project to the next, you’re taking time to stop, evaluate and learn from what you have done in the past.
  • You and your team are committed to innovation, learning, growth and change. And you have built a positive organization.
  • You have cultivated a great team. They love what they are doing and support your company’s vision and goals.
  • You are fulfilling an important need in your customers’ lives. That is what business is about, after all. If you are doing that even in small ways, you have achieved success.

In summary . . .

Some goals are all about tomorrow. But some important ones are about what is happening today. I am not writing about resting on your laurels, I am talking about moving forward with renewed energy and enthusiasm. And that can make all the difference.

This article is based on a recorded interview with Evan Hackel that was aired on Smashing the Plateau with David Shriner-Cahn.

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