The Magic of Goal-Setting
Goal-setting is a concept that you can hear from many places, from the Bible to the most recent of many hundred books by people from every background. These sources all have a common theme.
You need to have an overall dream. From Stevie Wonder singing “Hold On To Your Dreams” to The Martins’ “Dream Big” to Seal’s “My Vision”, we know dreaming is more than what happens at night, or when staring out the window in 5th grade. It’s what you want out of your life.
1. The dream needs to be big enough that it has its own gravity that pulls you to it. Something small or relatively insignificant won’t provide enough drive for you to want to work for it when the times get hard – and they will.
2. It needs to be specific and detailed. “I want to be rich”, while being…well, something – does not provide enough detail to make you constantly think of it. What does being rich allow you do to or have? THAT’s the detail needed here. When the job gets difficult, you need to have something that you can point to. An ethereal ‘rich’ is meaningless.
3. You need to see it. Pictures are a great way to keep things in your sight. What is it you want?
a. A luxury vehicle? What color? What make/model?
b. A Beautiful home? What does the floor-plan look like? Which neighborhood? Square feet? What amenities?
c. That desired lifestyle? What does that look like?
i. Travelling the world? How? Where?
ii. Meaningful cause? What is it? Where?
OK – great. You’ve got a detailed dream. Now what? Slow down, Slick. Is it written down? Our minds are programmed to put into motion those things we write down. Why do you think every teacher and professor wants you to write your notes? It’s because he or she (hang with me here – non-binary stuff is a topic for another entry) wants you to retain the info. If you take notes, there’s a much better chance the info will become yours, not just the teacher’s info for a test. Write out your dream, in as much detail as possible. Take some time; you’re literally establishing a base for the rest of your life. Make it count.
Next, we’re going to figure out how we’re going to get it. Are you doing what you need to do to get what you want? No? Don’t stop what you’re doing. The greatest minds who have created wealth have done so by having multiple streams of income. Don’t give up your income you currently have, add to it. “But, Bill; I have a bowling league I have to work with – they’re counting on me.” This is where the dream comes in. Does the bowling league have any chance of you reaching your dream? If you’re a professional bowler, the answer might be ‘yes’. Otherwise, it’s probably ‘no’. If the bowling league is more important than your dream, the dream’s not big enough – it has no gravity that pulls you. Redo your dream until you have that ‘one thing.’ Once you know you have the vehicle(s) with the ability to reach your dream, we need to determine what you need to do to attain your dream.
1. How many houses do you need to sell?
2. How many clients do you need to have active?
3. How many books do you need to write?
4. How many ‘widgets’ do you need to sell?
Write it. Yep, we’re still writing. This would be your overall goal. Dreams are in stone, goals will probably change, as you determine their worthiness of being able to reach your dream. Way too many people give up on the dream and regret it later in life. Change the way to get to the dream, not the dream. A Goal needs a date. A goal without a date means absolutely nothing. Let’s go with six years selling 30 homes a year with an average of $165,000 price tag. This will be our goal we’re working with. Our goal is to have $1 Million after 10 years. Of course, to have $1 Million, we need to make more than that, because we have to live and pay bills during that 10-year period, as well.
Obviously, not everyone you show a home to will buy one. But, how many people do I need to show a house to in order to reach my goal. If I show 20 homes, I can sell 1. Then, yes that means I have to show 600 homes per year to sell 30. That seems like a lot? Remember, our dream is to have $1 Million – that doesn’t change. If our goal is too easy, we adjust; if it’s too hard we adjust. Move it to 12 or 15 years. The point is we adjust the goal, not the dream. If we are willing to adjust the dream, it’s not big and powerful enough. OK, we’ll adjust our goal to 20 homes sold per year, which means 400 shows per year, or roughly two per day, but now over 20 years. I think that’s possible.
400 shows per year is still a big number. I can’t control who wants to see a home and who doesn’t. I do have control over how many people I ask. I know I need to ask 10 people to see a home in order to have an actual show. That’s 4,000 prospects I need to ask! Holy Moly! Wait – that’s only talking to around 20 people per day. That's do-able. We now have our dream of $1,000,000 in hand (after living expenses) and all we need to do is ask 20 people per day (working days) for 20 years.
By focusing from the top down, I can build my dream. “Now, Bill, this all fine and dandy, but what if I work at the factory making $24.50 per hour?” Good question. Remember when I said we might need to add sources of income? This is that. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of small business opportunities that we can look into that will provide the extra umph to kick-start our dream. “Oh, I don’t do that stuff.” Make your dream bigger. “I couldn’t ask my friends and family to look into a business.” Maybe not, but your big dream can – if it’s big enough. Heck, you could even start a blog. “Well, what would I write about?” You and your dream can figure that out together.
Most of this is done in business every day. Managers and executives come up with a plan for you to succeed. However, the dream you’re working for is not set by you – it’s set by them. You’re working for someone’s dream…is it yours? We plod along doing our job, trying to do a good one. If you’re going to work for someone for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years, someone’s dream is being worked on. Whose?
I heard a speaker once say:
You’re on your death bed. Your family is all gathered around to show their love for you as you pass into eternity. Thinking back, can you see the possibility of regrets of things you haven’t done; people you didn’t make things right with; dreams you let slip? Well, if you know now that then you’re going to have regrets for not doing something now, what the hell are you waiting for?!