Starting a Consulting Company – Goal Clarity & the R-Factor Question®

By Jerry L. Mills, Andersen Alumnus and Founder & CEO of B2B CFO®

I attend quarterly classes with a company named Strategic Coach®. While the annual cost is a bit high, I enjoy taking a day each quarter to review old goals and set new ones. The Strategic Coach® has a trademarked term named The R-Factor Question®, which they encourage members of their program to use with their clients:

“If we were meeting here three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to be happy about your progress?” (How the Best Get Better 2, p. 15).

The answers our clients give to the above question are often very interesting. Some clients will not answer. The reasons for the non-answers are that they either (1) do not have any goals for the three-year future period and/or (2) they do not feel good enough about the relationship with us to answer the question.

There is nothing we can do if a client does not feel the relationship is good enough to answer the question. There might be, however, something we can do if the client does not have written future goals. Our trainers teach us the following about setting goals.

“Goal Clarity – this means having clear, specific, written goals of what you want to happen in your future. They must be goals that you deeply desire, and most important, goals you firmly believe are possible for you to achieve, and that you feel you deserve to achieve.” (Integrity Selling for the 21st Century, p. 2).

We learn from the above that attributes of our goals:

  1. Clear
  2. Specific
  3. Written
  4. We deeply desire them
  5. We firmly believe we can achieve them
  6. We feel we deserve to achieve them

One of the best ways I have learned to achieve goals is (1) to hand-write them and (2) to put them in a visible place so that I see them daily. My place to put my hand-written goals is next to my PC monitor. I look at the goals daily, spike the ones I have achieved and ask both my subconscious and my Creator to help me to achieve the remaining goals. I have developed the self-discipline to repeat this process every 90 days.

Below are a few notable quotes about setting goals:

“To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the ‘what is next,’ of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.” - Mark Twain

“I do know that when I am 60, I should be attempting to achieve different personal goals than those which had priority at age 20.” – Warren Buffett