Time To Set Goals
In today’s post, I would like to discuss goals setting. Before I discuss SMART, I would like you to consider Earl Nightingale’s thoughts on Goal Setting in the famous audio, The Strangest Secret.
Have you ever wondered why so many people work so hard and honestly without ever achieving anything in particular, and why others don’t seem to work hard, yet seem to get everything? They seem to have the “magic touch.” You’ve heard people say, “Everything he touches turns to gold.” Have you ever noticed that a person who becomes successful tends to continue to become more successful? And, on the other hand, have you noticed how someone who’s a failure tends to continue to fail?
The difference is goals. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. It’s that simple. Failures, on the other hand, believe that their lives are shaped by circumstances … by things that happen to them … by exterior forces.
Think of a ship with the complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take and it has a definite goal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there.
Now let’s take another ship and just like the first and only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach and a derelict. It can’t go anyplace because it has no destination and no guidance.
It’s the same with a human being. However, the human race is fixed, not to prevent the strong from winning, but to prevent the weak from losing. Society today can be likened to a convoy in time of war. The entire society is slowed down to protect its weakest link, just as the naval convoy has to go at the speed that will permit its slowest vessel to remain in formation.
I absolutely love the example of a ship needing a destination and course mapped out to reach a final destination. To often when I am talking with Amazon or eBay students, they talk about wanting more money. I ask, “How much?”and I rarely get a specific reply. Another popular goal that people set is that they want to quit their job. My follow up question is always, “How much do you have to earn to be able to quit your job?” People may reply with, “I make XXX per year.” I then ask about insurance, retirement, college savings plans, etc. If you do not know specifically what you are looking to accomplish, you have set a wish and not a goal.
For me to leave teaching, I had to replace my salary. We would not need to cover day care costs due to me being home with the girls, but we would need the income generated by my job teaching for household expenses. My wife loves her job helping new mothers and could not imagine leaving her called profession. Thus, we had insurance coverage through her employment. We did have some money toward retirement but we were able to simply redirect the day care payments to retirement payments. Thus, I literally just had to replace my salary.
Once you have a goal, you need to make it into a Mathematics problem. Taking it backwards from my annual earnings, I had to replace a salary of about $52,000 per year. There are 52 weeks per year. I had to make about $1,000 per week. If you keep breaking that down, I had to make about $142 per day. That was my daily focus was. When I set this goal, I had two eBay stores. In my main store, I was making about $80 per day in profit. I had a second store that I made sales here and there.
Goal #1 for me was to get my main store to $100 per day in profits. Goal #2 was to get my 2nd store up to $30 per day in profits. Goal #3 was to get my Amazon business started and have it earn at least $30 per day in profits. Looking back, I am floored at how low and almost silly my goals were. Regardless, I had a plan in place. When you break down your goal into numbers, it becomes very easy to focus in on your goal and see specifically where you need to focus. Without this process, replacing a salary of $52,000 per year via eBay sounds like a unbelievably daunting task.
What is a SMART Goal? Here is how Greg Mercer, founder of Jungle Scout, explains it:
- Specific: What do I want to accomplish? When do I want to accomplish it by? Why do I want to accomplish these goals?
- Measurable: How much will I need to sell? How many products need to be listed? How many sold every week/month?
- Attainable: Have I achieved these goals, or similar before? Can I network with people who are where I want to be? Do I know someone who could mentor me?
- Realistic: Am I willing to put in the time, energy, resources, in order to make these goals possible? Why or why not?
- Timely: What will my time frame be for achieving these goals? Don’t leave this to a nebulous “sometime in 2017”, but what date specifically on the calendar?
This is exactly what I did when I planned out my strategy to replace my teaching. I set specific mini-goals to reach my main goal. I had a specific end date and I worked furiously to attain my goals. Did I always meet them? No. Did I quit because I did not reach a goal on my first try? No. Did I have to adapt along the way? Yes. There is a reason Why do I want to accomplish these goals? is in bold above. If you know WHY you are doing something, even the largest obstacle will not stop you. One of my first ever blog posts was on why I hate the word try. You can read it here. Don’t try to accomplish goals, set a goal and do it!
The Strangest Secret Audio
In case you would like to hear the entire audio of Earl Nightingale’s Strangest Secret, here it is:
Did this help you? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you commented below or shared this on your favorite social media site! Remember to subscribe to my blog to get all of my eBay, Amazon and general business tips!