Do ACTIVITIES or OUTCOMES drive your goals?

The outcome is what really drives you.

A few days ago I excitedly shared with one of my accountability partners that, as part of the process of creating a series of e-books, I’m going through all the content I’ve created over the years to see what could profitably be adapted to this new project.

There was a whole lot of silence on the other end of the line. The kind of silence that clearly conveys the message, “Why the hell are you spending time doing that?”

It got me thinking: I’ll bet every entrepreneur has, at some point, put a lot of effort into some task, only to fumble for an answer when asked, “Why are you doing that?”.


It’s fairly common for entrepreneurs to think in terms of activities rather than outcomes when identifying goals. There are several reasons for this:

Why does this distinction matter for your business? Because a focus on activities/tasks rather than outcomes:

So what are some of the key differences between outcomes and activities?

How do you ensure that, no matter how you spend your time, you can be confident you’re being smart in using that limited resource?


Clarity + intent + action = success.


You ask yourself, “Why?”.

This simple question can be surprisingly painful – and profitable – to answer. Why? ☺ Because:

When my accountability partner silently asked why I was spending my time on an admittedly tedious sorting task, my first mental response was, “Well…because.” Realizing that was fairly inadequate, and feeling a desire to demonstrate that I was not succumbing to busy work at the expense of productivity, I elaborated. I told her I was strategically organizing my work because:

Once I shared the rationale for my actions with her, she let out what sounded like a relieved sigh (on my behalf) and said, “Fantastic! That’s a great start.”

While “Why?” is a question you can use to inappropriately beat yourself up, when used in the context of “Why are you spending time on this particular activity?”, it will be a powerful way to keep you focused on the action steps that will most directly and profitably lead you to that big, beautiful outcome you’ve committed to create.


How ‘bout you? Are you clear why you spend your time the way you do?

If the answer is, “Maybe. Sorta. Sometimes….”, I can help.

My specialty is working with UFOS: entrepreneurs who are unfocused, frenziedly busy, overwhelmed, or just plain stuck. I show them how to identify what’s really important to them, toss aside what’s not moving them toward that outcome, and create action plans that will get them there.

If that sounds like something worth exploring, grab a spot in my calendar for a no-charge, no-risk get-acquainted call. It will give both of us a chance to see if we’d make a good butt-kicking team. If not, we’ll wish each other well and say “Adieu”. If so…Butts Beware!

(By the way, thanks to Paxson Woelber for posting the summit image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

This entry was posted in effectiveness and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

— Web design by wizzy wig design Minneapolis MN —