Last week we dug in on a simple principle I use to help people understand what they are missing in their pursuit of success. If you didn’t read last weeks blog - CLICK HERE - and you can go check it out for some context.
In that post I shared the importance of prioritizing personal growth, while maintaining a high level of activity in your business and doing it all in a supportive and energizing environment.
The net outcome of all this is that you achieve as much as possible.
The issue though, is that in the world of business, there are millions and millions of stories of people who achieved everything they wanted in their business, but in the end they realized they didn’t actually succeed in getting what they truly wanted.
We've all heard the story of the woman who walked off stage crying after winning the award for being the number one realtor on her board. Sure, she was number one, but she was about to declare bankruptcy and had nothing to show for it.
Hopefully you set goals that not only inspire you, but better your life as a whole. I see people setting goals all the time that don’t really serve their true purpose in life. Today I’m sharing the top 5 pitfalls I see people being caught in when setting their goals.
#5 Reason Your Goal Is Stupid: Your goal is random or ambiguous
Why does everyone who gets into real estate want to make $100,000 their first year?
I coach literally hundreds and hundreds of realtors. It’s unanimous: they all want $100,000. (maybe not all of them, some want $250,000).
Why the round number? What’s so special about $100,000? It’s just a random, round number which is easy to spill off. Why aren’t people actually putting any effort into creating their goals?
In addition to the goal being low effort to create, it’s also something which might not get them what they need. In an average realtor's $100,000 of revenue, chances are they are going to spend $10-20K setting their business up and they are going to give an additional $20-30K in expenses. Does the $50,000 left over provide you with enough to feed your family? Or was the thinking that $100,000 was what an agent would net after paying off their expenses? Either way, there is a massive lack of understanding and clarity in many people’s goals.
Unfortunately, very few people take the time to work backwards from what they need in life to what they must create in their business before setting a goal. This leads to a lot of people setting goals they don’t understand which are too small.
Tips for setting goals:
Set goals annually at first. Once you approach $500,000 in gross revenue, switch to setting goals quarterly.
Create a budget for your lifestyle, add a second category of “achievement goals” which you strive to reach.
Assume you will spend 50-60% of your revenue on expenses and fees. Sounds like a lot? Prove me wrong!
Work backwards from your goal to figure out how many sales you need to reach your net income goal (we teach this if you are interested - reach out and we’ll register you for our next business planning session)
#4 Reason Your Goal Is Stupid: You could reach your goal and still not be successful
Often people set goals, and reach them! But in doing so they realize there was something they failed to consider which lessens, or obliterates their actual success.
Consider these scenarios:
From above: you reach your goal but don’t actually net enough to feed your family.
You reach your goal but damage relationships due to working too hard or poor time management.
You reach your sales goal, but you reduced your fees to win the business and don’t hit the expected commission your needed to support yourself.
You sold $1,450,000 in commissions, but you spent so much in doing it that you only earned $62,000 before tax (I know someone who did this).
Tips for setting goals:
Set goals which are specific, measurable and simple
Focus on the outcome, not the specifics of getting there
#3 Reason Your Goal Is Stupid: Your goal is only focused on improving one thing
Back to the example of the best salesperson in the world who lives a miserable life…
I know of far too many people in this situation. An agent who is obsessed with the persona of success in business and loves nothing more than the chase… including their family. I see these agents missing weeks at the cottage with their family, spending weekends showing homes and sending their families to Europe while staying back so they can do deals.
What's the point of all this? Isn’t the goal of a business to fund your ideal life?
I’m not saying that you should go to Europe and spend every weekend at the cottage during your first year in real estate. There is a time to grind, and if it’s game-time, you need to lace up your skates!
As your business grows you should set goals to improve your financial standing, your business health AND your personal life.
Tips for setting goals:
Review your goals as recommended above (annually at first, then quarterly) and set goals in various categories as you go:
Net revenue of the business
Business health (new systems, people, infrastructure etc)
Personal well being (don’t forget this one!)
Work/life counter balance
Fun, adventure and travel
#2 Reason Your Goal Is Stupid: Your short term goals don’t put you on the right trajectory to reach your long term goals
Counterintuitively, goal setting is a process which is best carried out backwards.
The #2 reason I see agents setting goals which hurt them in the end, is they have massive long term aspirations but their short term goals aren’t in alignment with reaching them.
Earlier I said you should set annual goals at first and then move onto setting quarterly goals in the long run. However, you should also be aware of where you want your business to grow to in the long run.
If you want your business to do $1,500,000 in gross revenue 3 years from now, setting a goal of $250,000 for this year is likely not going to be enough. Consider the trajectory you need to be on to get where you are going and build a business plan to keep you on track.
In the long run, most things grow slowly at first and quickly once established. You can plan for your business to have a hockey stick effect, but plan growth which is reasonable and make sure you use the slower moments earlier on to set solid foundations up. Otherwise when you start to move quickly it’s going to be messy and things will fall apart.
Tips for setting goals:
Set your goal for 3 years from now FIRST. Then work out what needs to happen next year and finally this year to put you on track.
Build your foundations for the business you plan to own 3 years from now. This is part of why growth starts out slow for massively successful businesses. They spend time building out the platform which is a slow and iterative process. Ensure everything you build is designed to do it’s job smoothly for 100 or 1000 people at a time.
#1 Reason Your Goal Is Stupid: You’ve got a great goal, but you aren’t willing to do what it takes
Sorry, but success is a choice. Lot's of successful people had nothing to start with and often were even dealt a poor hand getting started.
Getting what you want is something which you need to be committed to. If you aren’t willing to live up to the commitment it takes then you don’t get the rewards associated with it!
As I write this we are in a HARD market, and I have clients who are crushing it. Simultaneously I have conversations with people who set unrealistic, ambiguous goals which are randomly chosen, poorly planned, lack long term vision and, worst yet, they aren’t putting in the necessary effort!
If you want a big life, it’s a big commitment. You have to stand up to it every day if you are going to get what you want.
So take the time to put together a great plan, then hold yourself accountable to executing it and show up as the best version of yourself that you can be.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I’ll see you at the finish line.
P.S. we've created an exclusive high achievers club called the 'Endgamers Club' for agents with a relentless drive towards achieving exceptional results. If this sounds like you, send me an email to apply - firstname.lastname@example.org.