When you attend formal freight broker training, one of the subjects included in the curriculum is goal setting. It’s a fundamental, critical activity for freight brokers for the simple reason that you can easily get lost in the tactics and lose sight of the bigger picture in such a fast-moving environment. Knowing where you’re headed to in such a competitive industry will help you manage your time effectively and cut away the unimportant incidentals that could derail your success train.
At the end of the day, your success as a freight broker will be defined by how well you accomplished objectives that you set out to do. Here are 10 goal setting hacks designed to kick-start your freight brokering success:
1. Define goals that are relevant and important to your career as a freight broker.
The goals that you set out for yourself must be motivating and inspiring. Nothing spells failure as much as having a goal that does not excite you or catch your imagination. If the end game you’re working towards doesn’t present any value to you, then you’ll be hard put to work for it.
There must also be a sense of urgency—an “I have to do this” mindset—attached to it to minimize procrastination. To make a goal an urgent matter, connect it to your important priorities. For example, your priority for the next year is a two-week wedding anniversary trip to the Caribbean for you and your wife. Tied to that is the goal of earning x amount of profit dollars so you can afford the vacation. Certainly, you’d want to achieve the latter so you can frolic on the sands of a tropical beach, free from the pressures of tracking cargoes, finding shippers and completing reams of paperwork.
2. Make your goals as specific as possible.
Your goal must be clearly defined—no motherhood statements and abstract generalizations. Not “I will be a successful freight broker someday.” but “I will be a 7-figure-income freight broker by December 20xx.” Create a vivid picture of your goal. Add explicit details. Don’t allow vagueness into your vision. This way, you’ll have an image of the end of the road so that when you get there, you’ll know in no uncertain terms that you’ve done what you’ve set out to do.
3. Your goals must be measurable.
A goal like “I will be a successful freight broker someday” doesn’t lend itself to tangible, quantifiable results. Just what does “successful” look like? How will you know you’ve been successful if you can’t measure it? Your criteria for success must not contain any abstract definitions but dates, amounts, and other measurement standards.
4. Set goals that are attainable.
What’s the use of setting goals when you don’t have any hope of achieving them? Spell out objectives that are doable. If you don’t have what it takes at the moment to accomplish what you’ve set out to do, then you must have a plan on how to acquire that knowing so you can go about reaching your targets. Guard against setting goals that are too easy though. Aim for something that will challenge you, not bore you.
5. The goals you set must be relevant to the direction that you’re aiming for.
It’s elementary to set goals to achieve your big picture but there are some who can’t differentiate between what’s pertinent and what’s irrelevant. There are freight brokers who get embroiled in goals that are not aligned with the brokering business. Ask yourself: Will this goal focus me on my end game or will it distract me and fritter away my energy from doing what’s necessary?
6. Set a deadline for achieving each goal.
When you have a deadline attached to a goal, you create a sense of urgency. You’ll be aware of the passing time and how much of your tasks you’ve completed. You can also adjust timelines or action plans accordingly. And you’ll definitely know when you’ve become successful because you have the finished benchmarks to show for it.
7. Write down your goals.
By putting hand to pen and pen to paper, you’re physically committing yourself to a goal. Brian Tracy says that a goal that’s not written down is no goal at all. A connection is forged between the hand and the brain when you write down and experts say you’re twice more likely to remember something you’ve written down than something in your mind. Just the physical act of jotting down a goal makes it real and tangible, enabling you to fix this picture of success in your mind much more easily.
8. Create an action plan detailing your path to success.
Some people look at their goals then freeze up. They’re overwhelmed at the enormity of the undertaking. Overcome this hurdle by breaking down your big goals into bite-sized pieces. Create an action plan with accompanying dates and milestones so you can move steadily towards your goal. The exercise will help you identify priorities and define what’s necessary, important and urgent, so you can manage your time and your energies must more efficiently.
9. Reward yourself for realized goals.
The best incentive to doing something is a reward because it speaks well to our emotional pleasure-pain hot buttons. When there’s something in it for us, we’re reinforcing good behavior—good behavior being working towards achieving what we set out to do. Your reward could be something as trivial as an hour in front of the TV watching a baseball game or something as extravagant as a ticket to the NBA championships.
10. Revisit your goals regularly.
Read the goals that you’ve written down daily, weekly or monthly. This way, you’re constantly aware of where you are and how close you are at achieving your aims. Review and refine, adapt and adjust where necessary to keep your goals or your action plans relevant and updated.
Setting goals is an important skill to acquire during freight broker training so that when you finally enter the sector, you can make a beeline to success. The path to freight broker success, they say, is paved with good intentions but unless you sit down, set goals in writing and specify your milestones, you’ll never know if you’re at the end of the road or not.