What Pregnancy Taught Me About The Art & Science Of Business Goal Setting

This article is about how pregnancy and preparing to give birth to my first child taught me about goal setting in business.

I also hope to encourage you to prepare for any other big goal you have this year like a mom prepares for labor AND giving birth to a baby during pregnancy!

9 months.

39 weeks.

273 days.

That’s approximately how long it takes to grow a human inside your body.

A pretty magnificent feed if you think about it, granted that that’s a relatively small period of time in a normal human’s life.

But magnificent, regardless :).

What is equally amazing is that it took me about the same amount of time to prepare for this big goal I have – birth.

That’s right! As a first-time mom (and I’m sure many second and third and fourth time moms too), preparing myself for this event called ‘labor and birth’, was on my upmost mind these past few weeks.

Today, while sipping away on an Iced Almond Milk Latte, I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever quite prepared the same way for any other goal I had in my life!

Especially, in business.

And I am an entrepreneur and the owner of the digital marketing agency, FunnelGal!

Let that sink in for a second.

It honestly shocked me when I started to draw comparisons in my mind and quickly, started to journal about it. That’s when this article came into existence.

Sure, there were high school and college tests and graduations in my life, the wedding to my husband Ben, countless moves, trips, business revenue goals, etc.

Though, nothing – and I repeat NOTHING – has innately made me prepare with such an explicit carefulness to detail and towards one goal, as my pregnancy.

Lemme explain and if you’re a guy reading this right now, this is for you too!! I promise it will be worth your while and after you finish reading this article, I know you’re going to have a completely different perception around goal setting as well.

For starters, the prospect of pushing out an insanely huge thing – a baby – out of one of your body’s entrances is motivation enough to learn more about it. I think we can all agree on that.

But what can we take away from that about business goal setting?

Well, to begin with, we need a why.

A big, mother-fucking…

W-H-Y.

If your ‘why‘ ain’t big enough, your innate drive to prepare the best way you can and accomplish your goal that is related to your why, is diminishing significantly.

So, how can we develop an equally big why as ‘pushing a baby out of your vulva‘?

If we think about the comparison between pregnancy/birth AND business, we can come up with a refreshing new framework of what makes a great WHY.

Now, we’ve already established that a WHY is needed because it’s the gas that helps continuously operate your engine to drive you forward.

Copyright Simon Sinek

As such, a great WHY needs to have/be:

+ Urgent. It needs to have a due date.

+ It needs to have some form of emotional connection related to it.

You need to be able to feel the creation and development of your goal into existence. For example, for a pregnant soon-to-be mom that is the thought of knowing the baby is growing & developing every day plus imagining it.

+ It needs to have a fear related to it, say if ABC ain’t happening, XYZ might occur – this in turn again, creates an innate need to figure things out.

Say, you eat tons of sweets all day, every day during the duration of your pregnancy, you might get pregnancy-related diabetes which in turn can harm you and your baby.

+ It needs to have a simply wonderful outcome that is filled with love.

The outcome for pregnant women is the thought of holding your beautiful baby in your arms one day. When you’ve achieved the goal, what is one wonderful thing you’re going to be able to experience?

+ Your WHY needs to be so big to have potential life-altering effects on you and your family.

A baby changes everything in your family.

Say, you get featured on Forbes or invited to do a TEDTalk, etc. all of these things, alter the course of your life going forward in some way as well! If your WHY does not include a life-altering change, it is not a big enough why.

Dream bigger! Think bigger!

Copyright @CorneliaPauline

If you had established this strong of a WHY, could you imagine how radically different you’d achieve any and all goals?

And I betcha your business would look very different right about now.

Let’s move into the second important piece of achieving any goal:

EXECUTION.

For those of you that have never been pregnant, I want to bring you quickly up to speed on ALL the things that are suggested you do as a pregnant woman.

All of these things essentially are there for prepping you for the big day – labor and birth.

Here’s the list:

  • Daily meditations or mindfulness training.
    • This help you start developing the right mindset to make it through hours of labor filled with probably and surely excruciating waves of pain, also known as contractions.
  • Daily breathing exercises.
    • Practicing deep breathing – so inhale until you can’t fill your lungs with oxygen anymore and then slowly let the air slip out of our body again. This is scientifically proven to lower stress levels when faced with any sort of challenges.
  • The right nutrition.
    • I know that not every one of my friends have gone crazy about their nutrition when pregnant and have splurged a bit every now and then – myself included. However, there are a clear set of suggestions you want to be following when pregnant. Your diet changes. After all, you are creating a human being – all while going about your day!
    • Nutrition for pregnant women is very similar to the kind of strict nutrition lifestyle, athletes, high fashion models, a vegan or someone that is lactose-intolerant follows.
  • Pelvic floor exercises.
    • In case you don’t know what they are, don’t fret about it. It’s something that starts becoming important when you get pregnant because exercising your pelvic floor muscles will make actual birth and postpartum healing so much better.
  • Exercise.
    • Oh my gosh, exercise has been awesome to maintain a healthy, positive mindset during pregnancy and to feel strong and beautiful throughout each passing day of being pregnant. Healthcare professionals are suggesting everything from yoga to cardio and weight training.

  • Education.
    • I’ve watched documentaries pertaining to labor and birth like ‘The Business Of Being Born‘ plus Youtube videos, read books on how I can ‘improve’ my labor and birth outcome, attended child-birthing classes like the Bradley Method Class, etc. I feel like I could give a course on pregnancy right about now haha :).
  • Labor preparations.
    • Here, I’m going to include everything from choosing the right care provider to deciding where to have the baby, etc.
  • Etc.

In short and during the timeframe of nine months, your FOCUS is on creating the BEST environment for your baby to grow, thrive and be healthy.

My question for you is:

Can you say you are preparing in the same meticulous way for any type of business goal you have at the moment?

OR,

Is this something you could approve upon? 

I am one hundred percent positive that if you are not happy with your business at the moment or, if you have failed to achieve your goals (in the past and in this moment),

There is something about your execution and action list that can be improved upon.

If you go back to the list of all the action items that women do on a pretty regular basis during pregnancy, it should inspire you to look at your own daily list of business execution items as well.

Also, are they all connected to your WHY we talked about before and moving you towards achieving one, definite GOAL.

You need a different ‘list of execution items’ for different goals!

It is easy feel overwhelmed in your business, if you have not set a CLEAR WHY, defined ONE CLEAR GOAL and worked out an execution list on how to get there.

You can find a great further read on ‘business goal setting’ on INC. Magazine here that goes into detail on the different components of a goal you want to be focusing on as a CEO for your business.

I can guarantee you that once you worked out an ‘action or execution list’ – similarly, to a woman that has just found out she was expecting a beautiful baby – your imminent achievement of your goals is a given!

Side Note: You might also enjoy this related article on how to achieve $1 million in revenue in your business: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/08/08/4-big-milestones-to-reach-1-million-in-sales-with-your-business-online/

Furthermore and regardless, how tired you might feel, if you experience emotions of doubts and worries, if you feel demotivated because you don’t feel your best on a given day,… whatever it is!

Your WHY on why you are doing what you are doing every single day because you’ve got a clear, definite goal with a set due date – WILL KEEP YOU GOING!

Just like it helps a woman during her pregnancy ;).

If you think about anything that you’ve achieved in the past that was worth-while achieving, you’ve probably invested months – even years, at times – prepping for it.

Preparing for this life-altering event of giving birth and becoming a parent takes time. And it should!

If you find yourself impatient because you haven’t quite hit your business goals yet – be patient.

  1. Reflect on why you haven’t hit your goal yet.
  2. Work on re-developing a stronger WHY for you.
  3. Create a new plan and prepare yourself better for your goal now that you’ve read this article.
  4. Have an unwavering faith in a positive outcome.
  5. Let go and do your daily dues to put yourself in the best position to succeed.

Here’s to not only birthing healthy babies but also, birthing successful businesses :)!

If you’ve enjoyed this article, be sure to go ahead and share it online. Oh and don’t forget to subscribe.

Let’s do this!

How the concept of the ‘Upper Limit’ can be dangerous to entrepreneurs’ mindsets

Have you read this book? Oh, you must read it! It is awesome,” one of my entrepreneur friends said to me.

I glanced at the image of the book she sent me over Facebook messenger. It was ‘The Big Leap’ by Gay Hendricks.

Now, I have a love-hate-kinda relationship with this book.

When I first read this book, I truly liked it. I thought it was full of ground-breaking ideas and concepts. I heard about it while listening to one of Marie Forleo’s Youtube videos. I’m a fan of Marie Forleo and so, I trusted her and read the book.

In the video, she talked about the Upper-Limit concept. I was curious to find out what it was all about because at the time, it resonated with me and the consistent bumps I was experiencing in my business development cycle.

In case you haven’t read the book or, you need a reminder regarding the main message of the book, this is it:

According to Gay Hendricks, we each have a set point for happiness, he says, like the setting on a thermostat.

Whenever we reach beyond it, we unconsciously drag ourselves back down to the level we’ve gotten used to. We do this by making a mistake, getting sick, ruining a relationship, or finding another way to sabotage ourselves so we don’t exceed our set point for happiness.

According to Hendricks, we develop this set point based on old scripts from childhood and he refers to it as the “upper limit problem.”

Pretty interesting concept, right?

I am not denying that we are not unconsciously programmed in certain ways that goes back to childhood and adolescent experiences. I am also not denying that we carry a lot of these ‘programs’ with us and they influence the way we react to the world we’ve created around us.

Though, over the past four years of full-time entrepreneurship, I’ve found this book to be dangerous in many ways.

Yep. Pretty strong statement right there and I even feel a bit uncomfortable writing this because I am no Gay Hendricks *yet* but I want to explain to you why I – as an entrepreneur and business owner – think that the main message of the book is dangerous.

To explain this further, let’s dive into some truths about human psychology and our inner make up.

Our believes shape our worldview.

Yes? I think we can all agree with that statement..

Yes? I think we can all agree with that statement..

Now, if your belief shapes your worldview, then what you think not only about yourself but the world will shape your reality.

If I buy into this idea that is outlined in the book that to get to each NEXT level in my personal development, I am faced with hitting and working through some form of crushing Upper Limit – it will hold me back.

Heck, I’ve found myself simply finding excuses and explaining certain situations away by referring to them as, “Oh well, this is just my upper limit showing up so I will just have to take this slow. Etc.

What is worse is that I was even expecting to hit a block and either i.e. get physically sick or self-sabotage myself!

At every stage of my entrepreneurial journey that is.

How dangerous is that?

And not only that, I started to believe that growth has to be correlated with pain.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, experiencing pain is essential to grow in specific areas. A great example for this would be going to the gym and reaching a certain body goal. That typically is connected with some form of muscle pain.

Though, if you expect that you are going to experience Upper Limits when you move through professional, business and life stages, you can also take this believe as an excuse NOT to act BECAUSE you know you will experience pain. And we humans, generally try to avoid pain.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Yes, there are many helpful passages in the book. It’s a well-written book, I am not going to negate that and you can certainly take some insightful concepts away from it.

But it is equally important to stress that how you are digesting the context of the book could be potentially dangerous to your self-development.

It can have a negative affect on your mindset based on how you choose to view and integrate the knowledge shared in the book into your overall believe system (as was the case for me).

Personally, I choose to believe that growth is something beautiful and even though, it always requires effort – which can be painful at times – it is also equally connected with joy AND fun.

My intention with this article is to help you understand that you can break through the regular ‘entrepreneur development cycle’ that consists of:

Take focused action.

See yourself making some progress.

Dream bigger.

Then, have yourself freak out internally about the progress you are making.

Self-sabotage.

End up where you started (or just a tiny bit further ahead).

THIS. IS. EXHAUSTING.

Let’s change this life-cycle and stop with the self-sabotaging already!

You are what you believe.

Choose to believe something else, something that will serve you better.

Believe in perfect timing <3.

In fact, believe that YOU have perfect timing. Always. And grow at a pace that feels right for you without ever ‘hitting’ any upper limits ever again.

How so?

Because whatever progress you are experiencing right now or, will experience in the future, YOU HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THIS.

As a result, this completely deflects and negates the concept of upper limits.

What’s your take on this? Would love to know in the comments down below <3.

P.S. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/14/people-succeed-life-others-dont/