Building a successful business does not happen overnight. It can take years to reach the point where you achieve what you want. I know, I speak from over 30 years of business experience that took me from being very naïve in running a business to now being one of the top in my industry.

When I began my dental practice over three decades ago, there was so much I didn’t know on how to run a business. Although I did well my first year in business, it was nothing compared to what was to come. A major turning point in how I viewed business and how I ran my business was when I met the man who would change my life.

A quiet and gentle man, Charlie Schaivo, entered my life. Charlie was an accountant by trade and a very specialized consultant with an expertise in dental practice acquisitions. It was during my first acquisition that I met Charlie.

Charlie was a very refined man who rarely dressed in other than a business suit, well-pressed shirt, polished shoes and hat. He continues this practice even now in his late 80’s. He once jokingly told me, “Joe, I even cut my lawn in a suit.” Charlie’s quiet confidence, love of learning and joy for life was contagious. I liked being around him. I could listen to him for hours as he instilled his wisdom in me.

It was during this time Charlie became the main mentor in my life. Little did I realize how influential and instrumental to my success this man would be. Initially, we didn’t talk about the fact he was my mentor; that aspect of our relationship simply evolved. We met once a month from 1979 to 1998. Each time we met we spoke about the month, a little bit about what we were doing in the office, and a lot about personal success, personal growth, how to sell, and how to help people.

Charlie believed wholeheartedly in goal setting. It was the foundation of much of what created his success. It was one of the greatest insights to achievement Charlie passed on to me.

The goal setting process Charlie shared with me goes beyond a haphazard resolution or one that is simply for amusement; it lays the foundation for success so many people crave.

Today, the process is a part of my success strategy. I wouldn’t dream of not using it. A major aspect of what Charlie shared is that of a yearly review. The process of the yearly review is one that I have grown to anticipate with great excitement. It allows me the opportunity to reflect on what I have accomplished over the previous year and what is possible in the coming year.

The yearly review cornerstone of what I teach anyone I mentor regarding achievement, success and goal setting.

My first serious attempt at setting goals and writing them down was New Year’s of 1989 or 1989. The process included some vague goals, but they were goals nonetheless.

As with most processes, the more I studied goal setting, the more I realized the need to be extremely specific. Each year since that time, without fail, I review my previous goals, evaluate where I am in comparison to where I want to be, refine my current goals and set new ones. I am now much more specific about what I want. For example, in the beginning I might write down, “Read personal growth books.” Now I will write, “Read personal development books for 30 to 60 minutes a day.” The difference it the results from vague goals to specific goals is astounding.

One of the main reasons people don’t achieve what they want is they are not specific enough. Another is that they make a half-hearted attempt at setting goals. They may think about what they want and call that goal setting. The fact is thinking about what you want is only part of the process. There is so much more.

My goal setting process begins within the first week of the New Year. I use a goal journal for the process. A goal journal can be as simple as a blank notebook or as elaborate as a bound, leather journal.

As I end one year and begin another I review my goals from the previous year. I determine whether I have met my goal, if I need to lessen or heighten the requirement of the goal or eliminate it all together. If I met the goal, do I need to change it?

The journal allows you to see your progression in specific areas each year. Take goals on physical fitness, for example. When your goals are clearly written, you can’t deny whether or not you achieved your outcome. If you didn’t, you could enhance the goal. In my case, when I reviewed my physical fitness, did I need to increase my running ability, number of days for working out? When you write your goals down, you hold yourself accountable for your goals.

Take time to set goals in every area of your life, both personally and professionally. Be very clear about what you want. From there, you must write this information down. Once you write it down, you must be willing to review your goals every single day. You must also be willing to make choices around what you wrote down. As Charlie has told me many times, “You can have anything you want if you are willing to pay the price.”

A simple price to pay to achieve what you want is to notice the choices you make each and every day and adjust your choices accordingly.

Author's Bio: 

About the author
Dr. Joe Capista is a bestselling author and the owner of Williamsburg Dental, a multi-million dollar dental practice located in Broomall, Pennsylvania. Dr. Capista is a sought after keynote speaker who shares insights into what it takes to achieve Total Success. Access his free eBook, Build a Multi-Million Dollar Business by visiting