Crafting Your Vision

Goal-Setting for Personal and Professional Growth

What Are Your Goals?

As the host of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast, I have the pleasure of delving into all manner of topics, from career development to personal growth, entrepreneurship, and everything in between. In an effort to dive deep into the art of goal-setting, I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the insightful and engaging Debra Eckerling, Founder of the D*E*B Method.

“Every week, every day, every week, every month is a perfect opportunity to rethink your life and make plans.”

One of the key takeaways from my discussion with Deb was the idea that setting goals shouldn’t just be a once-a-year affair. It’s an ongoing process that should resonate with every aspect of your life, both personally and professionally. I couldn’t agree more with Deb’s emphasis on pursuing goals that bring happiness and joy into our lives. When goals are aligned with our passions and values, the path to achieving them becomes not only clearer but also more fulfilling.

One aspect of our conversation that really resonated with me was Deb’s insight into the struggle that many individuals and businesses face when it comes to identifying and defining their true goals and purpose. By encouraging the creation of a mission statement, vision statement, and motto, Deb provides a roadmap for clarifying and pursuing personal and professional goals.

Key Takeaways:

1. The importance of aligning personal and professional goals with one’s true passions and values, ultimately finding joy and fulfillment in what we do.
2. Strategies for effective goal setting, including creating mission and vision statements, developing a clear plan with benchmarks, and regularly visualizing and reviewing goals.
3. The value of embracing unexpected opportunities, finding joy in waiting periods, and prioritizing personal growth and mindfulness, especially in times of uncertainty and change.


Content in this episode:

05:39 Understanding and defining goals can be challenging.
11:36 Research, explore, and make informed career decisions.
13:49 Clarify mission, make decisions, connect people, document.
16:45 Journaling for mental health and self-reflection.
26:46 Seeking feedback and engagement on digital marketing.
31:32 Transition from leisure to Starbucks brings happiness.
32:19 Self-started side hustles, learning languages, skill improvement workshops.
38:26 Editor gained writing skills and web development.
45:37 Coach’s plan helps achieve self-directed goals.
47:40 Choose strategic places for visualizing your goals.
50:29 Weekly panel discussion show on entrepreneurship, creativity.

Show Transcript

How to Set Goals

[00:00:00] Debra Eckerling: They think about, they’re chasing something. I want a bigger business, I want more money, I want this, I want that. Great! But do you? What is it that you love about what you do? And you and I are very fortunate because we love what we do, but a lot of people don’t. They have a certain education or background or whatever.

[00:00:24] Debra Eckerling: They’re like, I put my time in, I’m keeping this career. I don’t care if I’m miserable.

[00:00:28] Matt Bailey: Welcome to Endless Coffee Cup, a regular discussion of marketing news, culture, and media for our complex digital lifestyle. Join Matt Bailey as he engages in conversation to find insights beyond the latest headlines and deeper understanding for those involved in marketing. Grab a cup of coffee. Have a seat and thanks for joining.

[00:00:49] Matt Bailey: Well, hello and welcome dear listener to another episode of The Endless Coffee Cup. I am your host, Matt Bailey. And as always bringing you a lot of great guests and seeing as though [00:01:00] we’re, I’m recording this at the end of the year, but you’re probably going to hear it at the beginning of the year and.

[00:01:06] Matt Bailey: Of course, one of our great network associates in the marketing podcast network is Deb Eckerling or Deborah Eckerling. I’m sorry, I want to make sure I get that right, but you go by the Deb method. Deb Eckerling is all about goals, goal setting, and how to make goals work for you. She has the DEB method, which I love that you can make the method out of your initials.

[00:01:30] Matt Bailey: Deb, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you doing?

[00:01:34] Debra Eckerling: Well, I’m doing great because I get to hang out with you and I get to talk about goals. talk about win And yeah, you can call me Deb, Deborah, I answer, to anything except for Debbie because when I hear that, I look for the 12-year-olds.

[00:01:48] Matt Bailey: Yes. Well, we were just talking pre-show like this is your busy season. People are thinking about 2024. They’re thinking about what they want to accomplish in the [00:02:00] year. So let me throw first a really easy question. Why goals? Why goal setting? Why is this such a, people think about it, and they plan about it.

[00:02:09] Matt Bailey: What is it that makes this such, an effective method of planning for the future?

[00:02:17] Debra Eckerling: Well, I have to be honest. I only talk about goal setting in December and January because everybody else does. I talk about it all year round because I believe that every week, every day, every week, every month is a perfect opportunity to rethink your life and make plans.

[00:02:35] Debra Eckerling: we all deserve it. These are happy, fulfilled lives and life happens. So whether, and I always say, people can utilize me, my book, whatever a death method when life throws curveballs at you or you just want to embrace change. So whether it is by choice or by circumstance and choice and circumstance.

[00:02:55] Debra Eckerling: Don’t just happen at the beginning of the year. But I think that there’s that whole, [00:03:00] everybody’s doing it. Okay, let’s do goals. But so many people do goals wrong. They think that they’re chasing something, I want a bigger business. I want more money. I want this. I want that. Great. But do you really, what is it that you love about what you do?

[00:03:18] Debra Eckerling: And you and I are very fortunate because we love what we do, but. A lot of people don’t, they’ve had a certain education or background or whatever. Then like, I put my time in, I’m keeping this career. I don’t care if I’m miserable. And that’s like, what, that’s just not okay. So what I say is if you can’t change your professional life and a lot of people can’t, what goals can you set aside from that, whether they’re personal or side hustle or whatever to bring.

[00:03:50] Debra Eckerling: Joy into your life and let it leak over the professional life that you may or may not love. So I think I just said a whole bunch of things and I don’t know if I [00:04:00] answered your question, but does that matter? I

[00:04:04] Matt Bailey: love that approach. Okay. It matters somewhat.

[00:04:13] Matt Bailey: I love the angle you took because that is such, I love, consultants do so well at, understanding how to make the problem bigger. So that, which is what you did. you brought goals into every area of life ultimately to bring joy, which I think that’s a great starting point. great starting point to bring joy into what we do in some way.

[00:04:36] Matt Bailey: So explain that, explain bringing joy and how that affects us by setting, and we can dig into goals a little bit on that, but you’ve got an outcome here that you’re setting. Before people. And I think it’s really interesting that you’re starting with that.

[00:04:53] Debra Eckerling: And my big soapbox is you can’t get what you want unless you know what that is.

[00:04:58] Debra Eckerling: And so many people, [00:05:00] they just don’t, we’re all busy. Right. But I say, gift yourself the time and energy to think about what’s going to bring you joy. What’s going to bring you happiness? So, I’m sure we’ll talk about the dead method later, but the D and the death method determine your mission.

[00:05:19] Debra Eckerling: So to get what you want, you need to know what that is. So when you think about that life you want, what is it? And it could be some professional goal. It could be a personal goal. It could be a mixture. What is that one thing? That when you think about it, you just can’t help but smile and start there and then build Whatever it is you need to do to turn it into a reality.

[00:05:39] Matt Bailey: That’s cool I like that because that has so many avenues you can go down with that and you know being in Sort of the consulting role with businesses and working out It’s interesting. We have to work on goals personally, but we have to work on goals in the business world, and I’m amazed how many [00:06:00] people confuse what a goal is.

[00:06:03] Matt Bailey: Like you said, there’s the I wish we had. And I find businesses, they’re chasing the latest shiny object because they think it’s going to fulfill something. But yet they have a hard time identifying what exactly it’s going to fulfill. Or how, that’s what I asked them. What’s the line between adopting AI and your success?

[00:06:24] Matt Bailey: Where’s the line there? Where’s point B in that line? And they have a very hard time being able to describe that on the individual level, are people in that same gap? And like they have that, but drawing that line is difficult. Well,

[00:06:38] Debra Eckerling: I think so in just dab a little bit more. So you start with the visualization and then you write your current bio aspirational.

[00:06:47] Debra Eckerling: what is your current bio as highlighting the things that you love the most? And then think about your future bio. What do you want your bio to say about you a year from now, three years, or whatever? But to write it. In the present tense [00:07:00] in the third person, as if you’re reading an article about you or a book jacket cover or whatever.

[00:07:05] Debra Eckerling: So you take an inventory of where you are and where you’re going. And that brings us to the mission statement. So all businesses have the mission statement and the vision statement as the crux, but do they pay attention to it? And then. I say, your business has one, why wouldn’t you have one?

[00:07:26] Debra Eckerling: So whether you are the CEO or an entrepreneur or someone who works for a company, what are you all about? What do you do? What makes you unique? How do you help? And from there, you create a motto. And I am getting to a point. So in my case, it’s to use my background systems, book, workshops, et cetera, to help people figure out what they want and how to get it.

[00:07:49] Debra Eckerling: So they can live a more fulfilled life and in turn help others, et cetera, et cetera, long, clunky. Absolutely. That’s where the motto comes in. So my motto is goal setting simplified. [00:08:00] So everything I do, everything I create is with that simplified. In mind. So, therefore, whether you’re an individual or a business, whatever that tagline is, that’s all you’re about.

[00:08:14] Debra Eckerling: That is your litmus test. That’s your decision tree. okay, we want to use AI in our business. Great. What is your mission and motto? And how can you make sure that is in alignment? So it’s a win.

[00:08:28] Matt Bailey: Great. Great. So the audience that we have here at the Endless Coffee Cup is a lot of students. it’s a lot of, I would describe both younger professionals and older professionals who are looking at what education.

[00:08:44] Matt Bailey: What steps are they going to need to get to that next level, whether it’s entrepreneurship, a side business, or even within their company, how to get that promotion, how to move forward? So that’s where a lot of our audience is, right in line with your personal goals and seeing [00:09:00] that. So that visualization point I think, it’s great.

[00:09:04] Matt Bailey: Target to start with, because it’s, if I want that promotion, I know exactly where it is. It’s right over there. it’s that office, that desk right there. But then also, a lot of students, they’re, trying to figure out what the next level even looks like. So they’re, not even sure where they might be or where they might land.

[00:09:25] Matt Bailey: It might be a little difficult. How do you figure that out? If you’re trying to look beyond there, It’s a little too misty. Well,

[00:09:33] Debra Eckerling: that is where the E comes in. Explore your options. Yes, we, no, we did not plan this, but that was perfect. And. your, goals may change, but who you are, not so much. So that’s why the mission and the motto are so important because it is that North Star that compass, whatever analogy you like, explore your options is where you go from, okay, this is who I [00:10:00] am.

[00:10:00] Debra Eckerling: What does that look like for the next step for me? And I’ve got this wonderful exercise, I call it directed journaling, which I believe is like the best all-purpose tool to figure just about anything out. And this is how it works. You want to schedule three, four, five, 15-minute sessions with yourself, and you’re just going to ask yourself.

[00:10:21] Debra Eckerling: A question or a series of related questions. what do I want? Well, I want this and that. And to do that, I need to create this and that. Or let’s say you are a thought leader, an expert, whatever we want to call ourselves. I want to write a book. I want to start a blog. I want to start a podcast. What are the other options of the things that I can do to get my voice out there?

[00:10:43] Debra Eckerling: And the idea is to empty your entire head onto the page, whether you’re typing it or writing it. And to do this three, four, five times, and then go back and read it for, start by read it once all the way through, and then go back with either a highlighter or another [00:11:00] piece of paper, whatever, but find those common themes because undoubtedly something that you thought you wanted.

[00:11:07] Debra Eckerling: Maybe you only mentioned it twice, or something else, you mentioned like 15 times and you didn’t realize how attached you were to that idea. And we try and figure things out in our head all the time, so this is taking it out of your head, putting it on the page, and seeing it. Clear as day. Okay, I could do that, I’m a thought leader.

[00:11:27] Debra Eckerling: I want to either write a book or start a course or create a course or start doing speaking. Okay, those are three very viable options. Great. Let’s dive in and do some research. What is it going to take? Who do I know who does these things? Or where can I get some information or where can I Google or whatever?

[00:11:46] Debra Eckerling: Take the things that you repeated and look into it to see where you can find What’s going to be a fit up for those starting their career out? It could be, that I have a degree in this. What does that [00:12:00] mean for me? Should I get a job? Well, what kind of job would be a good fit for me? Well, I could do this or that.

[00:12:04] Debra Eckerling: I want to work for this company. Oh, who do I know works with? So just to go along with that thread. And the sky’s the limit. It’s just you and your thoughts, but you are, again, gifting yourself the time to do that exploration, see what options are there, do your research, and then you can hone in, make an informed decision about what is

[00:12:28] Matt Bailey: next for you.

[00:12:29] Matt Bailey: I love that. It’s, we’re not just going blind into setting some, I want to make a hundred sales next year. Which, okay, that’s great. But I love that next step of what it takes to get there. What are the activities you’re doing that are going, that are, helping you right now?

[00:12:48] Matt Bailey: What other activities do you want to bring in explore or develop? I don’t think enough people take that, take enough time in that step. What does it take to get there and what are [00:13:00] the other options? What are some other ways that you can rank these ideas so that you can see what might be more of a fit or less of a fit?

[00:13:07] Matt Bailey: Even

[00:13:08] Debra Eckerling: what you just said, I want to make a hundred sales next year. Brainstorm that. It’s going to be very easy. Again, goal setting is simplified just to get all those thoughts out there in. The sky’s the limit, and because we live in this digital age we’re connected to just about everybody else on the planet.

[00:13:29] Debra Eckerling: We’re connected to any information we need, and all the people that we know other people, which is why networking is such a, and I put it under personal and professional goals, because the people you meet, they’re not necessarily your client, but they could be a friend, or they know people, or you just, you don’t know.

[00:13:49] Debra Eckerling: Right. So, I also want to add a little asterisk. If you’re not sure about what your mission and motto are, you could do the same exercise. Or if you’re trying to [00:14:00] decide between you got two job offers and you don’t know which one you want. So you can use this system, this, director journal exercise for figuring.

[00:14:11] Debra Eckerling: Just about anything out, but that is the key to get it out of your head and onto the page and also See who you know who knows things if you’re tuning in and we don’t know each other Send me a LinkedIn request so you can be part of my world and vice versa Just say that this is where we met and boom was each other’s We get to be each other’s people.

[00:14:34] Debra Eckerling: So another way to look at it. If you want me to go into brainstorming your path and taking action, or are we not there yet? All

[00:14:41] Matt Bailey: right, we’re getting there. What does it do? Let me ask you a real quick question. What does it do to get that stuff out of our brains and on paper? Why is that so

[00:14:47] Debra Eckerling: important?

[00:14:48] Debra Eckerling: It’s important. Because you are making yourself a priority, which people just, don’t do. We are busy. We are, and [00:15:00] you are, I am, everybody who’s listening. I’m sure we all have, and this is whether it’s the end of the year, the beginning of the year, or any time of year, we’ve, we’re all juggling a lot of different.

[00:15:12] Debra Eckerling: And especially if you’ve got a business and, or a day job or whatever, and a side hustle and family and obligations, there’s a lot of things that are fighting for attention. And it just starts with, I choose me. I am going to, even if it’s 15 minutes a week, and I know that sounds like very little, but it’s very little.

[00:15:35] Debra Eckerling: It’s doable. It’s 15 minutes more a week. Then you were gifting yourself before and then the other thing is you want to treat this time the same way you would treat an appointment with the boss or a client or a friend. It’s you who should be your own BFF and hold that in such value. The other thing, and I’m skipping like [00:16:00] 20 different things I usually say between now and there, is to look at your schedule and see what’s feasible.

[00:16:05] Debra Eckerling: If what is feasible It’s 15 minutes, let’s say Sunday afternoon between one and one 15 after lunch. Everybody’s quiet. Make an ongoing appointment with yourself for Sunday afternoon. And this is your me time, your planning time. You put two people still put those things on the door. Don’t bug me. Don’t bug me.

[00:16:28] Debra Eckerling: I’m

[00:16:28] Matt Bailey: thinking,

[00:16:31] Debra Eckerling: but what it’s to answer your question. People just, don’t prioritize their future and, if you want to prioritize your future, you need to give yourself the time now. To get

[00:16:44] Matt Bailey: where do you want to go? That is amazing. And part of that too, when you first started, when you first started and said, take a couple of times a day, just 15 minutes, just to journal and get things out of your head, but what a mental health break that is.

[00:16:58] Matt Bailey: That was my first [00:17:00] thought because, just to take. 10 to 15 minutes out of the day. And just, I, that alone, I think is an exercise that is so worth it. And, we’ve lost that. I think I saw a web comic that went around a couple of weeks ago of someone sitting in an office and someone saying, what are you doing?

[00:17:20] Matt Bailey: And they said, I’m thinking, and they’re like, why aren’t you working? It was, it’s, just, we’ve lost that contemplation. We’ve lost that, just that time just to consider what we’re doing and even think about how to do it better. You know how one of the best things I have started doing is taking that 10 minutes first thing in the day and what are my priorities for today?

[00:17:44] Matt Bailey: what didn’t I do yesterday that is now at the top of my list and that immediately calms me? For what’s coming up, I agree with you. We don’t take enough time to reset that internal [00:18:00] brain activity and take those times to journal like that. That would be just a powerful exercise to think that through.

[00:18:08] Matt Bailey: So I like

[00:18:09] Debra Eckerling: that and don’t underestimate the power of thinking. If all you do is think it’s cheating, so don’t only think, but find things. What is meditation for you? Is it running? Is it folding laundry? I am a reformed noncook. I used to think that cooking too much took way too much time and energy.

[00:18:33] Debra Eckerling: And then I got an instant pot and I discovered you could put in ingredients and then go do something and then you’re rewarded with a meal. That was my gateway. Now, and yes, I love my Instant Pot. I love my air fryer. I love chopping vegetables. I love doing things in the kitchen because you can’t be on your phone while you’re chopping vegetables.

[00:18:55] Debra Eckerling: You can’t be on your computer. You cannot be obsessing about an email you’re [00:19:00] waiting for. Well, you can, but anyway, if you’re waiting for an email rather than stressing out about something you can do that’s going to take you away. from the devices that are going to refresh. And I love cooking because again, you’re rewarded with food, but is there something that you love to do that takes you out of your head that takes you away from the electronics?

[00:19:26] Debra Eckerling: You can, I do workshops on goal setting simplified event outcome optimization, and cooking for productivity. So those are my three topics. Mostly it’s the first two. Goal setting simplified, which is dev and event outcome optimization utilizing the principles of goal setting simplified for attending events.

[00:19:46] Debra Eckerling: But I, because I became, we’ll say obsessed with cooking, especially from someone who loved to dial for dinner just like six years ago. There’s just so much power. [00:20:00] And there are so many different things you could do throughout the cooking process that’s going to enhance your life. If I’m working on an article and I can’t figure out the lead, I’ll go bake something.

[00:20:10] Debra Eckerling: I

[00:20:10] Matt Bailey: love it. That is my outlet as well. It’s such a, it’s rewarding. Yes, you get food, but it’s one of those things that, and I don’t know what, I think I find this a lot, especially with people who spend most of their day on a computer that the work product that you create is digital. And so there’s no tangible, there’s nothing I’ve created with my hands.

[00:20:33] Matt Bailey: And so cooking has always been my, I tell people I do it to relax. Because everything else is, need it today, need to finish it. And there’s rarely anything tan. I could print it off and hold it, but that doesn’t count. Whereas a meal, something I’ve prepared, it’s taken time. It’s taken my brain. Out of work to just have fun and prepare.

[00:20:59] Matt Bailey: [00:21:00] And so, yeah, I’m with you. That cooking is a great way to stand off to the side and give that brain a rest, but also give it something else to chew on, to use the metaphor.

[00:21:13] Debra Eckerling: When I. So my book, Your Goal Guide, won an Ippie, an independent book award. This was a couple of years ago. And so I’m thinking it was 2021 and they kept delaying when they were releasing the results.

[00:21:26] Debra Eckerling: And I got this email though, like Friday, it’s going to be Friday. So Friday I was like. Refreshing, I’m like, this is ridiculous. I’ll go make waffles and I made waffles. And by the time the waffles were done, I had gotten the email about the book. So it’s, it could be for good reasons too.

[00:21:44] Debra Eckerling: If you’re just waiting for news and you just want to take a breath, it could be that or it can. Another philosophy I have is if people cancel an appointment with you, don’t fill it with work, fill it with something. Yeah. That’s going to [00:22:00] bring you joy because that’s going to, you’re going to be happy if you look at missed appointments as opportunities to work on your side project, passion project, do something fun, have a phone call with a loved one, whatever, just don’t fill the time with work.

[00:22:16] Debra Eckerling: Then you’re going to roll with the punches a lot better.

[00:22:19] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Absolutely. That is something I have practiced for a long time. And it is so rewarding because it’s almost like you get excited when someone cancels. After all, it’s like, it’s my time. I can, now I can do this. Now I can, like you said, it’s time.

[00:22:34] Matt Bailey: I can do nothing if I choose, but there, there is a, an advantage to viewing it that way, rather than feeling that sense of busyness all day long. Okay. Are we at the B yet in the DEB method? We

[00:22:47] Debra Eckerling: can be. I’m more than happy to jump. So we have determined your mission. You can’t get what you want unless you know what that is.

[00:22:53] Debra Eckerling: Explore your options. Great. This is what I want. These are my, possibilities. And then, okay, [00:23:00] this is where I see my future. So then you get to brainstorm your path and that is again, take. All of your goals are out of your head and put them on the page. So you want to make a laundry list of everything you need to do.

[00:23:13] Debra Eckerling: Not just that particular goal, but the things, personal goals as well. Long-term goals, short-term goals, easy goals, because you want to be able to check things off and then stretch goals and then divide and conquer. So you want to make your laundry list and then divide it into personal and professional goals, and then.

[00:23:33] Debra Eckerling: Long term, short term, and then put everything in fun little categories. So it’s action items lead to benchmarks. Benchmarks lead to completing short-term goals. Short-term goals lead to getting to those long-term goals. So for example, Long term goal. I want to be a New York Times bestselling author. Great.

[00:23:54] Debra Eckerling: Short-term goal. Write a book. Benchmarks or get a book [00:24:00] published. We can even say that. So yeah, get a book published. That’s probably better. So within them, the benchmark is to write a book. The second is to get an agent or decide to self-publish. Then the third is to write a book proposal. Now I’m a big since I’ve got a really heavy content background, I am a huge fan of book proposals, whether you’re going to self-publish.

[00:24:23] Debra Eckerling: Or send it out to get published traditionally, because especially for nonfiction books, which I’m guessing is your audience, it’s the blueprint. So it’s what makes your idea unique and what’s your vision of getting it out in the world. Then you put your bio, your marketing, sample chapters, and whatever that document is going to help you.

[00:24:46] Debra Eckerling: Whether you’re sending it out for possible either representation or publication, or you’re using it for yourself as a roadmap for your book release. So all of these benchmarks will help you [00:25:00] get a book published as one of your short-term goals to become that best-selling author. And so within, let’s take the writing of the book benchmark outline.

[00:25:10] Debra Eckerling: chapters, first draft, second draft, or if you’re doing nonfiction, you also need that book proposal because you sell it off of the book proposal. So we’ve got that in there, but also there’s that marketing element needed to create a website. Okay. What benchmarks are within that? So it’s, it sounds, the words are coming out of my mouth.

[00:25:31] Debra Eckerling: It feels like it sounds a little bit more convoluted. I usually. Go with something easy, like the short-term goal is to become a thought leader and one of the goals is to have a website within that website, one benchmark is figuring out all the technical specs, and another is figuring out your branding. What kind of content?

[00:25:54] Debra Eckerling: And then the third is creating the content and then when you put them all together, boom, [00:26:00] you’ve got a website slash blog. So yeah, that’s way less convoluted, but for any goal, you’re going to need a website. So that’s going to help you.

[00:26:13] Matt Bailey: Hey everyone. This is Matt and thanks for listening. Just a quick break in the middle of the podcast here to let you know, there are a couple of ways that you can connect with us. The first is. Learn. SiteLogic. com. That’s the learning site, where you can see courses on analytics, courses on digital marketing across paid search, SEO, and multiple disciplines, and then also, you can connect with us on Slack.

[00:26:39] Matt Bailey: Go to Slack, if you’re there, and look for us at EndlessCoffeeCup. Slack. com. Connect with us. I’d love to hear from you. Hear what ails you in the realm of digital marketing. Are there courses you need information on that you’d like to hear, or maybe some past guests you’d like to hear more [00:27:00] from, thanks again for being a listener of the endless coffee cup.

[00:27:04] Matt Bailey: And I look forward to hearing from you. Have you ever thought about consulting for analytics because you’ve got it? this is why I’ve been working in analytics. Almost 30 years now and what you just outlined is what I wish more companies would understand you’ve got your long-term goal so I will set this out.

[00:27:26] Matt Bailey: Okay. Is it to become more profitable? So to increase sales, because those are two vastly different things and they require different short-term goals. They require different benchmarks. So you need to decide which is it because if you go for profit, we’re going to load a whole lot more benchmarks on this, but it’s to start with that very simple.

[00:27:49] Matt Bailey: What is it? More sales or registrations more profit. Let’s start there. There’s your long-term goal, but then for the short-term goal There’s five to seven [00:28:00] Maybe a dozen short-term goals that each will support and you can fulfill one or two of those and it will affect Your long-term goal, but it’s and that’s where I help people it lets what is the direct line that if you do this Short term goal it automatically contributes to your long term goal And so just helping to build that hierarchy, which you just did.

[00:28:24] Matt Bailey: And then, okay, here’s our short-term goal. Here are our benchmarks or analytics. We’re going to call them KPIs. Here’s your key performance. And I have to explain to people that just because you meet your KPIs, that doesn’t mean that it will impact your long-term goal. There’s not a direct line. It just tells you how well you’re doing in meetings.

[00:28:45] Matt Bailey: The goal you have, but there’s very rarely a direct line on those things. So, and then after the KPIs, there’s your metrics that don’t mean much, but they’re the big numbers everyone likes seeing on reports, but they’re the bottom of the pyramid here. So it’s, so that’s what [00:29:00] I love how you walk through that because I’m just seeing analytics in my head and how many times I’ve had to explain the hierarchy of, and we would call measurements, but these are goals because you want to accomplish the same

[00:29:11] Debra Eckerling: thing.

[00:29:11] Debra Eckerling: And that’s why what I do is different. Then just like any other, I’m going to do air quotes, goal expert. You can’t get what you want unless you know what that is. You need to start with that mission, and that motto, and everything builds from there.

[00:29:27] Matt Bailey: Well, you outlined just, an incredible plan and. The more detail you put to it as you did, I think the more tangible it makes it, the more now you’ve got more things to check off your list, but seeing that relationship of how they all work together and today I’m going to work on this, you see that progress moving towards there.

[00:29:51] Matt Bailey: So you were putting together a complete marketing plan. That was, I love it.

[00:29:55] Debra Eckerling: Is project management and communications. Can you tell?

[00:29:57] Matt Bailey: There you go. There you go. I like it. [00:30:00] Now it makes sense.

[00:30:03] Debra Eckerling: And they all work together. The other thing that you just said, which I love is it’s not all or nothing. there, especially with.

[00:30:12] Debra Eckerling: Entrepreneurs who have a side hustle or thought, consultants who are thought leaders. I don’t know. Do we like that word this week? we always have the LA word is multiple projects at various stages of development. That’s fine. It’s good because if you are burned out on one thing, you can jump to something else and it’s all in service of getting to the finish line.

[00:30:40] Debra Eckerling: Or the next finish line before you start your next race. But if you’ve got multiple things that you’re working on, there’s always something you can be working on. And let’s go back to the joy factor. If you’re feeling like, Oh my goodness, what am I doing? Remind yourself why you love what you do. And if you don’t find [00:31:00] something to love within what you are doing, because when you love what you do, it shows when you don’t love what you do.

[00:31:07] Debra Eckerling: It really

[00:31:08] Matt Bailey: shows. Yeah. Oh, yes. Yes. Absolutely. It does. Yeah. It becomes a detriment not just to yourself but to those around you. So it’s absolutely, but yeah, finding, finding joy in what you do. And that’s a thing. There is always, I just saw the other day, a story of someone who was in the digital space.

[00:31:32] Matt Bailey: They enjoyed it, but Just to fill some time, they started working at Starbucks, and they realized they loved that better. They love the interaction with people. They love, and, they’re, they were trying to say, it’s not just a service job. Why should I feel guilty about it? I love dealing with people every day and having regulars.

[00:31:51] Matt Bailey: And it was just amazing to see that transition. Like, I’ve been looking at this job my whole life. But I did this and I’m actually [00:32:00] happier. So it was a really interesting lesson there about how sometimes what we think we want is not always. doesn’t always look like what we think it does. Agreed.

[00:32:10] Debra Eckerling: And a lot of people, and I was having this conversation earlier today as well, during the pandemic, a lot of people found hobbies.

[00:32:19] Debra Eckerling: Yes. They started side hustles. They learn languages. Maybe they taught themselves HTML. They brought a whole, They up their skill level. And so one of the things that I do is I will go in and I will lead my goal setting workshops for teams frequently, like right before the annual review because that gives a nice temperature.

[00:32:39] Debra Eckerling: Okay, what are our wins? Great. What do you want to do for next year? But part of it too is the boss doesn’t have time to have these conversations with the entire team. So I get to what is it that you discover that you love? And then how can we incorporate it into your job so your job doesn’t feel like a job?

[00:32:58] Debra Eckerling: So it feels like you’re [00:33:00] contributing to something bigger than yourselves because we, the boss want every, most boss, they want their people to be happy and productive, right? Or they want them to be productive. They’re going to be more productive if they’re happy. Great. Let’s identify. What things they can be doing to bring that happy energy into their work, and then everybody wins I remember years I worked in publishing years And I was doing events for Barnes Noble and then I got a job in the client services department with the full intention of getting to the production side which I did, it was a trend, I think after three people transitioned over after me, they stopped letting people apply for jobs in the creative that was brought in from the client services.

[00:33:49] Debra Eckerling: But the point is, I know I had one, I love this idea. I knew that working for a publishing company was the right fit for me, but I also knew this way. [00:34:00] was going to help me get to one of my goals, working for them. So sometimes I came with a skill set, but oh, I just remember my point. Sometimes you acquire skill sets and the department you’re in is not a fit forever.

[00:34:15] Debra Eckerling: Or maybe you thought you didn’t want management, but you learned about yourself that, hey, maybe you would be a great team leader. Some people take jobs to have it as a job, which is fine, but you never know what can come of it unless you leave yourself open to the

[00:34:32] Matt Bailey: possibilities. Absolutely. I, that is the advice I give to my kids.

[00:34:36] Matt Bailey: I give it to people all the time that yes, you can take a job to take a job. But learn something, from it. You may not, and, I look back on some of the jobs where, yeah, you know what I knew going in, this is, or I learned very quickly, this is not my career path, but take, they are paying you to work there.

[00:34:57] Matt Bailey: They’re paying you to learn. [00:35:00] And one of the things I did, you will love this. I journaled what I didn’t like about management. Anytime I had a boss that did, it was just like, I felt like that’s out of line. I would write this down. and I think. Not that I ever had in mind that I was going to start a business, but I had great management.

[00:35:24] Matt Bailey: I had poor management. I had great bosses. I had very poor bosses. I had a nice little journal of if I have a company, here’s what I here’s things that I will do for my employees. Here are things that I will not do because I’ve seen what it does to me. I’ve seen what it does to others. And so In that way, I, like to reposition it as you’re being paid to learn, not just the job, you’re being paid to learn what it is you like, something that you can take, that you can add, like as you said earlier, something you can add to your skill set, something that you can add that, [00:36:00] and there are many jobs I look back on, I was able to take something from there, I didn’t use it for five years, but It came around, but every job is an experience opportunity.

[00:36:11] Matt Bailey: It’s something you’ve taken something from it. It scares me sometimes when people tell me I got my degree, I’m going to start a business. No, or, I got certified in SEO. I’m going to start an agency. No, Go work, go get experience, go feel what it’s like. And because I tell me when you’re at an agency, you’re gonna have 20 accounts.

[00:36:31] Matt Bailey: You’re gonna learn 20 different ways to do the same thing. So I love that, that, what you brought about, cause it just reminded me of so many times I was miserable and liked it, but I learned something. And that something is something I was able to take to another position.

[00:36:46] Debra Eckerling: I started out working for Barnes and Noble and that was my first job out of college.

[00:36:53] Debra Eckerling: And I was trying to make it as a freelance writer. I loved working in the bookstore [00:37:00] so much. I went from part-time to full-time. Like two weeks later, and from there they were hiring an events person at another store. So I went over there from there to publishing, then I moved to LA. So it is, right?

[00:37:13] Debra Eckerling: Everything that you do is going to lead to something else. I love telling people I used to run events and now I do events. I had, I was an events person for Barnes and Noble, and nothing made me happier than when I did my first book signing at a Barnes and Noble in Los Angeles when my book came out.

[00:37:31] Debra Eckerling: talk about your full circle.

[00:37:33] Matt Bailey: Amazing. That’s so cool. I’ll tell you. So I’ll tell you my story I got out when I graduated college with a journalism degree. I knew I didn’t want to be in journalism. I did an internship and it was like, okay, that was good. And it was more PR, but then I got a job right out of college and it was as a sports reporter for one of our local papers.

[00:37:55] Matt Bailey: And it ran me ragged because all the sports are in the evening. [00:38:00] And I tell people this is before email and I would have to go home. write up what happened and I would have to hand deliver it because I didn’t have a fax machine. Those were expensive. I would have to drive over to the paper and drop it off by 2:30 AM.

[00:38:16] Matt Bailey: And so every, that was my weekend. That was most nights. And then when you read it the next day, I was like, it’s not even what I wrote. It’s so hacked up and they weren’t there. The editor wasn’t there, but I did that for about six months. And it taught me, how to write quickly, how to put together a story, how to do all these things.

[00:38:38] Matt Bailey: And later, I, through just different events, I started building websites. And I built websites based on the principles of what I learned in journalism. Headlines, subheadings, bullet points, and how to structure the story. And immediately started getting rankings in search engines. And that’s when I realized that how you set up the HTML.

[00:38:59] Matt Bailey: [00:39:00] That’s how search engines are evaluating your page. And so, that’s why I tell people, you learn things that you don’t know you’re going to learn, and they’re going to come in so handy.

[00:39:09] Debra Eckerling: One of the things that I find the most hilarious is, and I’ve freelanced, I’ve always been writing and through everything.

[00:39:16] Debra Eckerling: And as a noncook, I am also a food writer and food podcaster. 20-something Deb would laugh you know what off if I had told her that I would be doing this now. Because of that tab, she also had issues with cooking.

[00:39:37] Matt Bailey: Well, and that’s, I think the beautiful thing is, as you said, you build this plan, but along the way you may find something, like you said, that just, that grabs your attention, that forces you in another direction.

[00:39:51] Matt Bailey: And then you do this all again. And so it’s a great way, I think, really to find your path and, to, forge that

[00:39:59] Debra Eckerling: path. Well, [00:40:00] one thing I can say is I’ve always known that I was a writer. Ever since I learned to tell stories, I knew that I loved telling stories. And a high school me was writing all fiction.

[00:40:10] Debra Eckerling: Real-life me got her freelance writing break. That’s back when I lived in Chicago. Maybe. A week after I finished my first draft of my first screenplay from my, what I, which I took for fun and everything, then I got my freelance break and I was writing nonfiction and it was, just really good.

[00:40:30] Debra Eckerling: But growing up, I always knew that whatever I did, I wanted to have an impact on others. I wanted to help inspire and encourage because isn’t that first of all, what a storyteller does, but isn’t that what we’re put on the planet to do? So, it goes back to the core of who you do not change, but how you share yourself and what you know with the world.

[00:40:54] Debra Eckerling: And especially. We live from analog to digital. So how you share that with the world [00:41:00] absolutely

[00:41:00] Matt Bailey: changes. That is the case if we are put here to leave it a little better than what we found it. And so that is, I love that. I love that my mission statement, my motto is to build the next generation of digital marketers to be leaders.

[00:41:17] Matt Bailey: And so that is, how we approach education. That’s how we approach the development of people to not just, do well, but to succeed and exceed in what they do. So that is, I love the motto. Cause as soon as you went there, I was like, ah, yes, we got it.

[00:41:38] Debra Eckerling: Awesome. Okay. Gold stars for you and beyond goal setting simplified.

[00:41:42] Debra Eckerling: My mission is to change goal culture in and out of the workplace. A lot of people think of a goal, it’s a four-letter word. Yes, it is a four-letter word. It has so many possibilities. It’s not a bad thing to want to build and create. You can call it goals. You can call it [00:42:00] intentions. You can call it whatever you want, but if you’ve got dreams for your life, own them, and then create a plan to turn the dreams into reality because it’s within your power.

[00:42:10] Matt Bailey: Okay, so you brought up something, and we’ve got a little bit of time here. Let’s talk about goal culture in the workplace, because that opens up an entire, maybe we don’t have enough time for this, Deb, but let’s talk about, the culture. because that’s everything that determines so much of what a business is all about and it determines the happiness, of the employees.

[00:42:35] Matt Bailey: how do you shift? The culture within a company,

[00:42:38] Debra Eckerling: one person at a time, right? And this is one thing that I find challenging. I love it. And when I send a pitch to speak at a company and they write back and they say, Oh, we have a person. Great. You have a person in charge of goals for your company.

[00:42:56] Debra Eckerling: That is like the epitome. This is what we want. [00:43:00] If you have a company that cares so much about your team that you want to help them do better, be better, those are the ones that are going to flourish. If you’ve got, and we’ve all seen both ends of the spectrum. If you’ve got a tyrannical boss, do things my way, great.

[00:43:23] Debra Eckerling: You’re going to be stuck in the last century. Good luck. But this, if we learned, well, I’m sure we learned a lot from the pandemic. One thing is we’re connected everywhere. You do not need to go into an office. To be productive you have this extra if you no longer commute you have extra time So what are you going to use that for?

[00:43:46] Debra Eckerling: And if you’ve got a boss who says use that time for you to up your skills to start a side hustle to Do whatever, something that brings you joy. So you’re a happier employee. [00:44:00] Then that’s

[00:44:02] Matt Bailey: the apex. I love that. How did, so let’s say the boss isn’t there yet. How do you affect another person? How do you subtly sneakily start to change culture by working on another person?

[00:44:17] Debra Eckerling: You need an advocate. It does not need to be the boss, but you need someone to say, I love working here. I can do better. Let’s make a plan. Love

[00:44:29] Matt Bailey: it. Absolutely. Love it. Deb. I have thrown some amazing questions at you because I can tell I’m making you work here on this.

[00:44:38] Debra Eckerling: I’ve had people ask me the opposite question, which is what do you do if someone is not into their goals?

[00:44:45] Debra Eckerling: And I say, they’re not my client yet because you need to want it.

[00:44:50] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:44:52] Debra Eckerling: Things like this, creating the life you want takes time. It takes energy and doesn’t need a lot. [00:45:00] It can, but when you start small. And so we’re at the beginning of the year, just pick one thing that you want to celebrate at the end of the year and work on it a little bit each week.

[00:45:14] Debra Eckerling: You are going to be amazed because you are going to accomplish it just by dedicating a little bit of time. It

[00:45:20] Matt Bailey: all adds up. Absolutely. Absolutely. I see it almost every day. I’ve got kids in sports and so, especially in their runners. And so their life is made up of goals. It’s and they’re distance runners.

[00:45:35] Matt Bailey: So, all of this, but at the beginning of the year, it was, this is the time I want to reach and the coach builds a plan. Here’s how we’re going to reach that. And so, yeah, it’s got to be something that, that there is some self-direction to that. There has to be an initiative on your part and here’s where I want to be.

[00:45:54] Matt Bailey: And as you said, it doesn’t take much, but building that plan, taking that time. [00:46:00] So critical. And, I will fiercely advocate writing it down. It makes all the difference in the world.

[00:46:07] Debra Eckerling: Can I tell you one of my favorite stories? Absolutely. It’s not even a favorite story. It’s just a good story based on what you just said.

[00:46:14] Debra Eckerling: A friend of mine, this was several years ago, but it’s so vivid. We’re talking about goals and she said, Deb, to me, Deb, I write down all my goals on a piece of paper. I put it in the bottom drawer and at the end of the year I read it and I’m pleasantly surprised if I accomplished anything. Took me a minute to recover and I said, do me a favor.

[00:46:37] Debra Eckerling: This year, why don’t you put the list up somewhere where you look at it and see what happens? And of course, she was way more successful.

[00:46:47] Matt Bailey: Yes. Put them in the mirror. That’s, where they belong.

[00:46:52] Debra Eckerling: Yes. It doesn’t have to be a long list. I, pick three personal, and three professional goals that you want to get done this year.

[00:46:59] Debra Eckerling: [00:47:00] Easy. Make sure it’s in alignment with who you are and who you want to become. You’ll get there.

[00:47:07] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. That’s my whiteboard here in my office. The top corner is reserved for our goals and they’re there all year round. That part, that corner does not get erased. That’s exactly where it is. And that, is also what I challenge businesses when we come in and start looking at their analytics and what they want to accomplish.

[00:47:23] Matt Bailey: That part of that board never changes. That’s where you’re, everyone comes in. That’s always there. It’s always visual. And I’m sure you run into that with businesses as well. We’ve got our goals. They’re on a spreadsheet. It’s somewhere in the cloud. Yeah. But it’s got to

[00:47:39] Debra Eckerling: be, find a couple of places to be putting those goals and it could be on your, where’s my phone, it can be on your screen saver on your phone.

[00:47:49] Debra Eckerling: It could be your wallpaper on your computer. It can be on your fridge. Where do you go? That you’re going to take a look and you’re going to see, it’s really [00:48:00] funny. So you point to your left, I point to my right. This is where I have all of the things that I recommend people do. This is my board. It’s got my visual representation, my goals, and my little ticklers to keep me motivated and have that space.

[00:48:16] Debra Eckerling: And if you don’t have somewhere publicly. if you share an office or what put it in a folder, put it in your top drawer. So every time you open that drawer, you get a reminder of what you’re working towards.

[00:48:30] Matt Bailey: Love it. Deb, this has been a great conversation. I love talking with you always, and I’d love to bring you on the show more because I feel like our conversations need to be moved more into a recording, but thank you so much.

[00:48:46] Matt Bailey: This has been a great, just a reminder too, on my side and being able to put these things together. I always give people a chance to do this. Where can people find you? Deb, if they want to know more about the Deb method or to bring you in [00:49:00] about a goal-setting session, I

[00:49:01] Debra Eckerling: am the Deb Method everywhere.

[00:49:03] Debra Eckerling: You can go to the deb or email me, Gotta love the consistent branding. That is amazing. if you want to go on your goal journey, you could pick up a copy of your goal guide, a roadmap for setting, planning, and achieving your goals. The first half of the book will take you through the debt method.

[00:49:23] Debra Eckerling: And then the second half is strategies for success. And like I said, just reach out, send me an email, connect on LinkedIn, and let me know how I can help you figure out what you want and make a plan to turn it into reality, whether it’s for yourself or your business.

[00:49:40] Matt Bailey: Fantastic. And I will have all those links on the show page, dear listener.

[00:49:45] Matt Bailey: So you will be able to find Deb just a click away. Deb, thank you so much. I’ve so enjoyed this conversation.

[00:49:53] Debra Eckerling: I did as well. Thank you, Matt. This is, like I said, how could it not be fun? I [00:50:00] get to hang out with you and talk about goals.

[00:50:03] Matt Bailey: Yes. Absolutely. Thank you for having me. Oh, well, thank you. And yeah, I look forward to being on your show and in, the near future here.

[00:50:11] Matt Bailey: So dear listener, not only can you find her here, but as, a fellow. Marketing network, marketing podcast network associate. You can find her links. I’ll have a link to her podcast as well. And Deb, you do it a little differently. You’ve got panel shows. A little different than the on one. How is

[00:50:28] Debra Eckerling: that? Oh, it’s so much fun.

[00:50:31] Debra Eckerling: So every Monday at 4 I bring in three guests to dive into the topic of the week. And because I start the new year in December, I do New Year New You shows at the end of the year. And then the first month of the year, and it’s our topics range, their entrepreneurship, their creativity, their work-life balance, anything, and everything.

[00:50:50] Debra Eckerling: We’re going to have you talking about conversations coming up in January. And it’s for me, it’s fun because not only do I get to hang out with cool [00:51:00] people, I get to introduce. People. So unless it’s on purpose, none of my guests know each other before they’re brought into a panel and it makes for fun and interesting conversations.

[00:51:12] Debra Eckerling: So that’s gold chat live on Mondays, and then it gets released as the dev show podcast through the marketing podcast network.

[00:51:21] Matt Bailey: And I will say it is a lot of fun because not knowing who else is on the panel until you’re there. And I think last time I was on, it was like this serendipitous, we all have this in common.

[00:51:30] Matt Bailey: How did that happen? Well, it’s Deb.

[00:51:32] Debra Eckerling: And I was telling you the show I just did the other day, which was on winning to close out. The year, and not only did my guests not know each other, but none of, me, one of the great things about having a panel show is I get to invite people back all the time, but in this case, there were no repeats.

[00:51:53] Debra Eckerling: They were all three new to the show and they just had a great time. And [00:52:00] that is the purpose. And then as we were wrapping up in the post-show, they’re like. We can get each other’s emails, right? So I love it when I see people who’ve been guests on each other’s shows and do collaborations.

[00:52:16] Debra Eckerling: So it’s fun for them, but it’s also so much fun for me because. You can’t reach your goals on your own. You need your people. So it’s a great way to bring together

[00:52:25] Matt Bailey: awesome people. It is. And you are fulfilling your networking mission by doing that. So that is a lot of fun. I will back that up.

[00:52:33] Matt Bailey: Well, dear listener, thank you so much. It has been great to have this conversation and call. And I look forward to our next cup of coffee on the endless coffee cup podcast.

[00:52:48] Matt Bailey: You’ve been listening to the endless coffee cup. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with somebody else. And of course, please take just a moment and rate or review us at your favorite [00:53:00] podcast service if you need more information. Contact me at SiteLogicMarketing. com. Thanks again for being such a great listener.


Endless Coffee Cup podcast

Featured Guest:

Debra Eckerling

Deb Eckerling

Creator of the D*E*B MethodⓇ

Deb Eckerling is a goal-setting enthusiast who believes in the importance of rethinking your life and making plans all year round. She is the author of the “The D*E*B Method: Goal Setting Simplified” and encourages people to embrace change and create the happy, fulfilled lives they deserve, regardless of the time of year. Whether facing unexpected curve balls or seeking intentional change, Deb’s mission is to help people navigate life’s challenges and opportunities. With her practical approach to goal setting, Deb provides valuable tools and support for anyone looking to make positive changes in their lives.

Award-winning AuthorYour Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals (2021 IPPY, Silver Medalist in Self Help)

LinkedIn profile: Debra Eckerling | LinkedIn


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