With the new year comes a lot of goal setting and resolutions. To lose that extra weight, run that marathon, take those dance classes you always meant to do. But as business owners we often spend this time of year reflecting on the previous twelve months, planning for the year to come, and setting some hard-core business goals.
The Problem With Big Dreams
The problem most of us run into when it comes to business goals are similar to the ones we encounter in our personal lives.
We tend to set really BIG goals, and almost immediately feel so overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead, that our efforts stall.
It feels impossible. You start working towards it with gusto but somewhere along the way feel like you’re just not doing it right.
The trouble with goals is that the second you lose faith in your ability to achieve them, you start self-sabotaging. Not consciously, but unconsciously.
You don’t put in quite as much effort as you could, you miss crucial deadlines that make certain elements of your plan impossible, or you fail to take care of yourself, causing you to fall ill at a crucial time.
If you’re not careful you’ll reach the end of the year and have made good progress, but got nowhere near your BIG dream. And you’re not even surprised, because deep down you have stopped believing it was achievable.
How To Dream Big Without Self-Sabotaging
So many business owners either have no clear goal in mind, or a goal that is ‘fuzzy’. It’s not specific to them, it just sounds like a good thing to aim for. When you’re first starting out in business there are two really common goals:
- 6 Figure Business
- Million Dollar Business
I know entrepreneurs who turned an amazing profit in their first year of business, but because they didn’t hit six or seven figures, they felt they had failed.
Given that so many businesses don’t turn any profit at all in the first two years, that’s actually insane, but it’s true.
They had a big goal in mind, and they failed to hit it. Therefore, they failed.
So how exactly do you go about setting those huge, big, wonderful dreams without being so unrealistic they are unachievable, or scaring yourself so much that you stop believing in your ability to achieve them?
Why We Struggle To Set BIG Money Goals
Where money is concerned, picking a number is really easy. But picking the right number is really hard.
A lot of entrepreneurs struggle to commit to the number that’s right for them, so they aim low and fail to reach their potential, or aim so high that it’s never a possibility.
There are a few reasons for this but the common ones are:
- Fear they are calculating their income goal wrong, causing them to stick to common number goals: $10K/month, $50K, $200K etc.
- Overthinking the question and getting so confused by maths and calculations that they give up and pick something that sounds right, or that other people are using.
- FOMO – business owners tend to know a lot of other business owners and have strong networking groups. When everyone else is saying their goal for the year is X amount, it’s really easy to jump on the bandwagon for Fear Of Missing Out.
- Avoiding setting a solid income goal at all for fear of being tied to it.
- Fear of failing to reach their goal causing them to procrastinate and avoid setting one (that way, they can’t fail!).
- They’re waiting for a magic bullet. Some genius solution or plan that will propel you into your big goal at super speed.
Perhaps the biggest traps we fall into is overthinking our goals and avoiding getting really clear on what we want to achieve. The latter generally happens because there is a feeling of goals being set in stone.
What if you set a big goal and hit it easily? What then? You’re missing out on a load more success!
And what if you fail to hit it? That will feel like a massive failure, even if your business is doing amazingly well. That’s a whole load of negative feelings you could have avoided by simply not setting the goal.
The Key To A Big Business Dream: Just Start
We’re alarmingly good at procrastinating on this issue.
But setting a clear goal and having a fabulous, big dream for your business is really important. It helps you to do so many things:
- Assess your success on a month-to-month and annual basis.
- Decide what’s working and what isn’t, and be ruthless when it comes to eliminating tactics that aren’t succeeding.
- Make important decisions concerning the direction of your business, your marketing, hiring, firing and so much more, simply by asking one question: Will this move me closer to my dream?
- Avoid Bright Shiny Object Syndrome (running off after every new business idea that wafts through your mind, causing you to lose focus and divide your resources unnecessarily).
The first step in dreaming your big dream and getting wealthy is to actually put a number on it.
Consider the life you want to have and everything involved in it:
- The holidays – how many and where to?
- The home – are you happy where you are or do you want to uplevel your house, or buy rather than rent? Maybe you want a second home, or a holiday home?
- The work/life balance – do you need to reduce the number of hours you’re working in order to spend more time on other things?
- The car – is it time for an upgrade?
- The clothes – do you have enough disposable income to comfortably buy yourself whatever you need, in the brand you like?
- The hobbies – what do you want to be doing in your spare time, and how much do you need to accommodate that?
- The family – how much do you need to care for your children, have more children, get a dog, or visit and care for relatives?
- Your health and what it will take to get you eating the right food, doing the right exercise. Do you want a personal trainer, a dietician, or to take up a new sport or exercise.
- And the extra treats – what are you stretch goals? The things you’d love to treat yourself to if you could afford it?
The key here is to dream your best dream. In an ideal world, what would your life look like? What would you like your business to look like? What does luxury lifestyle mean to you? Think BIG!
How Much Will The Big Dream Cost?
Once you’ve figured out what your big dream is, it’s a lot easier to be specific about how much you need to earn in order to achieve it.
Think of everything you want to achieve in your business, and the various resources, people and funds you need to put in place in order to achieve that.
New marketing tactics and strategies often require additional budgets, as does expanding into new areas or releasing new products. If you have launches coming up, you need to include a good amount to cover their expenses. Beyond that you need a really clear understanding of the basics: overheads, everyday running costs, monthly expenses for software and other subscriptions.
Figure out how much you need in order to do exactly what you want. That can include many different things you might not have considered:
- How much do you need to draw from the business as salary to cover that dream lifestyle? (Don’t freak out if this is a huge number, it’s supposed to be BIG!)
- How much income do you need to cover all your business costs? (Be really specific and factor in everything!)
- What do you need to put in place to ensure you are working the hours you want, on the projects you want, and not having to deal with anything else? (i.e. new automated systems, hiring new staff, outsourcing, switching to different suppliers/models in order to streamline.)
- How much do you need to cover wages? (Including any new people you may need to hire as you grow!)
- Don’t forget about tax! Remember, as your income goes up, your tax bill will too. So once you’ve totted up everything you need, add 10% on top!
Add it all together and you will reach a really specific annual income goal that would allow you to do absolutely everything you wanted.
That’s your number.
Let’s Talk Strategy
Now you have that figure there’s one thing I bet you’re wondering…
How the hell am I going to make that happen?
It doesn’t matter how big or small an income goal is, or how successful you have been in the past, setting a BIG goal will always come with a slight feeling of, “How do I do this?”
If you don’t feel at least a little of this, then your dream probably isn’t big enough.
Truly big dreams are seldom easily done.
Even if you have the perfect plan in place, that’s already proven to work, and you know can be easily scaled to the level you need, you’ve never done it at that level before.
While it’s totally normal to resist that uncertain feeling, maybe even curtail your big dream, and lower your income goal to a level you feel more comfortable with, that’s a mistake.
You don’t need to stay small, you just need a solid (and realistic) strategy that will support your big dream.
So how exactly are you going to make all the extra money you need, to live the life of your dreams?
When it comes to earning more money there are really only four ways to do it:
- Sell more of what you already offer
- Raise your prices and sell the same amount at a higher rate
- Create something new to sell that brings in additional revenue
- Secure additional streams of income through affiliate programs involving other people’s products and services
If you offer a service, selling more of it can be tricky. Time-for-money business models have a built-in flaw in that there is always a finite amount of time. In order to offer your services to more people, you will need to hire people. That’s certainly an option, but you need to ensure that the amount of extra revenue you generate is enough to pay those new employees and leave you a healthy margin on top.
Otherwise you’re giving yourself a lot of extra work for too-little gain.
Raise Your Prices
Raising your prices is a better option all around, as it enables you to work the same number of hours, with the same number of employees, and the same number of clients, yet see a big boost in your income.
People often resist this strategy, but properly pricing your services is actually crucial to creating the proper perception of your business. Believe it or not, some people prefer to pay more for a service, because it makes them feel they’re getting a high-quality, luxury solution.
The caveat here is that the market needs to support your price hike. Is what you’re selling valuable enough to justify the new price?
If not, how can you add extra value to ensure it is, and demonstrate that value to ensure you don’t alienate your clients?
Creating a new offer is a great way of boosting your income and growing your business. Here are a few ideas that are perfectly suited to achieving those big dreams:
- Create a passive income product like a book or eCourse explaining your own personal methods and knowledge. This can net you a lot of cash for a one-off investment of time and resources.
- Add a luxury or budget service to your repertoire. If you already offer a high-rate package with all the bells and whistles, put together a smaller scale, lower price offering to tap into the opposite end of the market. If, on the other hand, you already offer affordable services, create a super high-end version that you can charge premium rates for.
- Expand your niche slightly to include something related to your existing services, that your current clients may be interested in. This has the advantage of attracting a new pool of clients while giving your existing clients the chance to buy from you again.
Affiliate Income Streams
This one is the simplest to understand but not always the easiest to implement. Find a product or service you truly believe in, that is relevant and valuable to your tribe, and has an affiliate scheme in place. Demonstrate the value of the offer and encourage your clients to invest in it. When they do, you receive a percentage of the sale.
Choose wisely with this one – you can end up expending a lot of effort and resources for a relatively small gain. You also need to be very careful in your selections to ensure they are 100% relevant to your audience and bring them genuine value, without inadvertently taking business away from you.
The Big Dream Reality Check
As much as it’s important to set yourself big dreams, reach for your ultimate goals, and stretch yourself, it’s also vital that you are realistic about it. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that if you push yourself to do too much, too soon, you are setting yourself up for failure.
And failure is never fun.
More than that, the growth you create in your business needs to be sustainable for long-term success. So, rather than focusing on creating a lot extra income as quickly as possible, we should be focusing on creating consistent income that is constantly growing.
That way, when you reach your big goal, you will stay there.
When you sit down to work out your strategy you need to look at what you can realistically sell. Remember, hours and resources are finite!
You may need to work a little flexibility into your goal. It may not be realistic to scale to your ultimate goal in a short space of time.
It’s a bit like losing weight. If you only have a few pounds to lose, it’s safe and relatively easy to do it quickly. But if you have 100lbs to shed you’re not going to do it easily, or quickly. And if you do achieve it quickly, it’s likely unsustainable, and has some nasty side effects.
So if you need to make a plan to hit your new goal in one year, instead of six months, do it. If it takes two years, instead of one, so be it. Think long-term.
Where can you realistically be a year from now? Two years, five, ten…
Automate Your Plan
Once you’ve got your big dream planned out, know exactly what you need to do, how you’re going to do it, and how long you’re giving yourself to achieve it, it’s super-important to automate it as much as possible.
This is why I love Profit First, because it enables you to set your goals and then automate a lot of the process. You still have to put the work into marketing your business (although much of that can be automated too!), but once Profit First is setup, you don’t need to think about it.
It just works away in the background, taking care of everything for you.
Automating is hugely important because it takes choice out of the equation. You don’t have to decide whether you’re going to set aside your savings goals each month or buy something unplanned instead, because the money is allocated before you have chance to spend it.
That doesn’t mean you’re restricted in any way; you have total control over what you do with the percentage allocated to you to reinvest in the business, and of course your salary. But there’s no room for you to self-sabotage by massively over-spending on unplanned expenses. And better still, it’s keeping you on-track to reach your big goals.
If you’re looking for help in how to achieve the dream life and business you are wanting to create, book a free curiosity call now. I can also help you setup and manage Profit First in your business to help you achieve those goals faster.
And if you’re still struggling to get clear on what your big dream is or how much your income goal should be, download my FREE Money Goals Workbook and answer the prompts to get a clearer vision.
Profit First can benefit the growth of your business from DAY ONE!
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