Reaching Your Goals: Can This Road Get You There?

Thu, Mar 21, 2024

I can’t remember ever feeling as stupid as the day I learned how impossible my current goals were. 

The worst part about it: All it would have taken me to figure it out was some very simple napkin math. Instead, I had to have it spoon-fed to me. 

Either way, I’m grateful for the lesson. 

I used to sell websites. In fact, there was a time when that was my core offer. 

I had a few very small SEO clients and would take what I called “digital handyman” work as it came in, but my bread and butter for a long time was selling custom websites to small businesses. 

The average price was $3K to $5K. I farmed everything out to a small slate of vendors I had slowly compiled over the years. 

After paying the various vendors involved, I would usually make a little less than $1,000 net. I cringe thinking about how hard that $1K was to earn each time.

Here’s where things get stupid: 

My goal at the time was a million dollars, since that’s where all young entrepreneurs set their sights. 

I had it written on a 3×5 card that I taped to my office wall. I did the affirmations, visualizations, and everything else the Napoleon Hill crowd preaches.

Not that I don’t believe in that stuff, I do. 

But there was a simple logic I was missing that, thank goodness, decided to find me instead. 

A friend visited my office and noticed the 3×5 card on the wall. We were close enough for him to ask the blunt question: How far away are you from $1M?

I was six figures in debt. His next question, “How much do you make on a website?” Still too stupid to see where this was going, I told him. Then came the hammer: “So you need to sell 1,000 websites?” 

That was the very obvious math that I had never even considered.

I was doing all of the project management, vendor management, and client management myself (and I sucked at everything). In a good month, I could handle 5 websites at absolute best. 

If I needed to sell 1,000 websites, it was going to take me 16 years and change to hit my goal. 

At that moment, I realized that I never really expected to get there. 

I read some books that said to aim high and visualize what you want, etc. But I had no real expectation of success. If I had, the very first thing I would have done was the simple exercise my friend led me to that day.

It was such a valuable experience and taught me an important lesson: Back into your goals. 

If you want a million dollars, great! Do something that can actually earn you a million bucks. 

That’s the question: Can the road you’re on get you there? 

If the answer is no, it’s time for a change.

It seems obvious but I can’t begin to tell you how many people I see making the exact same mistake as I had made that day. 

They say they want something but everything that they’re doing is out of alignment with what would actually get them there.

What are your really big goals? Can the road you’re currently on get you there?