Eating Your Own Elephant

First…relax this isn’t just another article about the importance of setting goals in your life. There are plenty really good articles, books, blog posts, podcasts, videos and movies about that topic. This is not a rehash of that area.

What I want to talk about today is what to do next…you have a goal, you have a clear cut path of some things you want in your life in 6 months, 1, 3, 5 or 10 years. The question that I want to discuss is what to do next, what to do after you have determined what you want and that what you want is “S.M.A.R.T.”

So how do we get from point A (where we are at right now) to point B (where we want to be)? How do we make all of our dreams a reality?

Here’s another question that if you think about it can give you the answer you need: how do you eat an elephant?

Can you eat an elephant in one bite?

Can you eat an elephant in two bites? Or 4 or 8 or 64?

Nope…the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

It’s not that simple is it? YES It is!

To achieve just about any goal you want in this life that is S.M.A.R.T. all you have to do is figure out how to take that big elephant of a goal and break it down into individual bite size pieces that anybody can handle.

What does that mean? How do you take an elephant and eat it? How do you take a monumental life changing goal and make it eatable?

It is oh so simple!

Notice I said it’s simple…not easy. It will take work, planning, effort and constant vigilance but achieving big time life changing goals isn’t easy and does take time and all the rest.

So enough already…how do we do it?

The process of achieving your goals can actually be reduced to a series of steps that once completed will get you to your goal. Start with the amount of time you have between now and when you want to complete your goal. Break your goal down into equal parts and set an intermediate goal for each of those chunks. Now take that intermediate chunk and break that down into smaller pieces and set smaller, short term goals for each of those pieces. Repeat this process until you have very tiny, very easy to complete tasks that you can do on a daily basis.

Let’s use an example to make this perfectly clear:

Let’s say that you are a super widget salesman and that your goal is to make $100,000 in profit for selling those widgets in the next 12 months. You know that you make $40 in profit from each super widget you sell and that it takes you 25 calls to make 1 sale.

Doing the math you know that $8,400 in profit each month will get you to your goal. Break it down again and $2,100 per week in profit will get you to $8,400. Break it down again and you will know that $420 in profit per day will get you to $2,100. So now we know we need to sell 11 super widgets per day (11 X $40) to hit your daily profit goal of $420. As stated above it takes 25 calls to make one sale so…25 times 11 = 275. So you need to make 275 calls a day to achieve your goal.

So to get yourself from point A (here and now) to point B ($100,000 in profit 12 months from now) you need to make 275 calls a day each day of the 5 day workweek for the next year.

Remember what I said: Simple…not Easy.

Now remember what I mentioned earlier about goals having to be qualified before you begin this process? Sometimes a goal might seem to fit into that category until you start to break it down in this detail. So what can you do?

You have a couple of choices:

  1. Change the goal
  2. Change the percentages it takes to make a sale

If you can change your calls to sales ratio from 25:1 to something more like 15:1 or maybe 20:1 this goal might be realistic. Or maybe it is already realistic…maybe you have somebody or somebody’s making hundreds of calls per day for you…then 275 is probably not a big deal.

So let’s recap…you set a goal, it’s a good goal that is achievable and you want to actually implement it. So you take that goal, break it down into smaller pieces. You then take those pieces and break it down into smaller pieces. Finally you take those smaller pieces and break those down until you have small, easy to digest day sized goals. Add them up as you complete them and as long as you keep your eye on the prize and perform each and every step in it’s proper order you will have arrived at your goal.

The best part is that this whole process is self-regulating. What do I mean?

Well let’s use our example again, let’s say it’s the end of the second month and we look back at our results and see that in month one we hit our $8,400 goal…wow that’s awesome! Now we are looking at the second month and see that for whatever reason we only sold $7,980…ooooh we missed it this month!

So what do we do?

We adjust. We now have 10 months left to achieve our goal but that goal has shrunk hasn’t it? Since we profited $8,400 in month one and $7,980 in month two all we have left is $83,620 to get to our 12 month goal of $100,000 in profit. So we adjust our monthly goal for month 3 to $8,820 to make up for the shortfall in month 2. So breaking that down we need $2,205 in profit each week and therefore $441 profit each day.

That is the best part…if something happens and you miss a goal just reset it! It’s not do or die, it’s keep doing until you get it done and get it done right.

Until Next time.

Eric

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