Episode Summary

Effective business goal setting and planning are crucial if a business is to succeed.  It is the foundation to developing a successful business strategy and then executing on that strategy to make it happen.

The goal setting and planning principles that apply to create a successful business also apply to create a successful and productive life. In this insightful and straight talking interview,  business growth expert Robert Craven shares the principles that work for him and his many successful clients.

About Robert Craven

Robert Craven is a highly successful businessman and much sought after expert on entrepreneurship and business growth.

He is one of those rare speakers and thought leaders that speaks about how he is actually applying his knowledge and expertise in today’s business environment.

The author of at least 10 highly acclaimed books (if you don’t count the foreign language versions), his business philosophies are endorsed by great’s such as Richard Branson who has said his approach “…will turn your business into a powerhouse…”

He has been running successful businesses since he was 21 and is now considered one of the leading experts on building, running and growing Digital Agencies working closely with Google to develop their agency training programme.

His most recent book Grow Your Digital Agency coupled with his Initiative of the same name, puts him at the forefront of that industry and as such he spoke to or worked with over 4000 agencies in just one quarter of a financial year.

A highly engaging, inspirational and funny speaker, his no nonsense approach to business is defined by focusing on ideas that are simple and powerful that work.

In this interview we dive deep into how he blends and balances the sometimes conflicting requirements of strategy and execution in running a successful business.

It is a masterclass on effective business goal setting and planning.

Show Notes on Business Goal Setting and Planning

00:27 – Robert Craven’s Introduction

01:57 – The three fundamental success factors in business that have stayed the same throughout his business career.

02:46 – The three biggest changes in Business Robert has seen across his business career.

03:45 – The massive value hidden in the work Robert does with digital agencies.

04:10 – Robert defines the biggest barrier facing the owners of digital agencies.

04:55 – The secret the most successful digital agency owners (and indeed any business owner) are employing to stay at the top.

06:33 – The warning signs he looks for when working with a business owner.

07:22 – Robert defines what “productivity” looks like in a successful digital agency in outcome terms.

08:13 – The definition of “productivity” in process terms.

09:00 – How the best businesses create consistent and predictable peak performance.

10:25 – Roberts favourite quote about the blend of strategy and execution.

11:11 – The powerful planning process Robert uses with his clients to give them clarity.

12:15 – The single most important question to ask every single day to stay focused and deliver on even the most ambitious plans.

13:20 – The hugely insightful visual metaphor that dramatically simplifies the process of business success.

14:15 – How to easily connect the different levels of activity required for your 3 year, 2 year and 1 year business goals so the likelihood of success is dramatically increased.

15:38 – The problem with traditional KPIs and what to do instead.

17:19 – Business goal setting and planning – The common misconception many business owners have about the relationship between their 3 year, 2 year and 1 year plans and the simple shift required to fix it.

18:00 – A brilliant travel analogy to understand how to structure effective short term, medium term and long term business plans.

20:00 – Fascinating research that identified how much is “enough” –  the answer surprised me!

20:51 – The challenge of moving the goalposts too often when executing on your plans.

21:07 – Roberts famous egg mayonnaise sandwich story.

21:30 – The illusion of the “clap of happiness”.

23:13 – How ditching KPIs and focusing on behaviours can help you exceed your original targets.

23:50 – Robert defines what productivity looks like for him.

24:50 – Robert lays out the things he does to make sure he gets the best out of each and every day.

25:17 – The one thing Robert does every year to ensure he stays on track to achieve his goals.

26:16 – How to blend and balance your goals across all areas of your business and personal life.

26:32 – The simple yet incredibly powerful thing every business (and indeed life) goal should have to increase the chances of success.

26:50 – How to use meditation and visualisation to supercharge the progress towards your goals.  [NOTE-  it wasn’t what I thought it would be!]

30:07 – How often you should review the progress towards your goals and what to do when you do.

30:25 – Self reflective questions to ask yourself every time you review your progress.

30:40 – The most powerful single question to ask yourself whenever you are reflecting on your progress towards your goals.

31:21 – Why Robert hates to do lists so much.

33:05 – Plans and activity – when to be rigid and when to be flexible.

33:32 – Robert’s article on “My 50 Business Mistakes”.

34:15 – The impotence of values and how Robert reminds himself of his top two so he lives by them every single day.

34:44 – Why times of crisis are an opportunity to reinvent yourself about the way you do your business rather than having to change your business.

36:58 – The foolishness of trying to do what you’ve always done when the business climate changes.

38:14 – The number of Robert’s 50 business mistakes that are productivity related.

38:37 – The sources of Robert’s productivity wisdom.

41:14 – The one productive habit Robert wishes he’d known about and done more of in the earlier part of his career.

42:50 – Robert shares the 2 simple things to do to give yourself back an hour a day.

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Contact Robert Craven





Rob’s Books, Products & Services

The Check-In Strategy Journal By Adam Harris & Robert Craven

Robert Craven’s Books On Amazon

Rob’s Websites


References & Links Mentioned 

Robert’s article on “My 50 Business Mistakes”

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary ResultsBy Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

The 7 Habits of Highly effective PeopleBy Stephen R Covey

Acres of Diamondsby Russell H. Conwell

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Connect With The Host

Connect with Michael Tipper, the host of the Peak Performance Productivity Podcast on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaeltipper/

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