Last year, by January 17th I had already collected fees and had work and bookings totaling 34% of my year’s income target.
This is what I think of as a good start. At that point, only 5% of the year’s days were used up, but 34% of my income was in or on the books.
I measure my work days using truthful numbers—measuring only total available work days after subtracting holidays, planned vacations, unavoidable zero income days (for instance a day of meetings with CPA’s, etc.) For me, that changes 365 to 250.
I also maintain a daily plus/minus count against the target total in dollars. If that needle doesn’t move day to day, week to week, I grow nervous and irritable. I may go days without shaving when working in isolation, but I never go days without counting.
That fact embodies two things of significance: First, I have income targets. Second, I daily measure where I am in relationship to them.
And you should too.
Before the year began, I pre-determined as best I could where my target income would come from.
I made a list of as much of the entire year’s income beforehand, on paper, looking to see who will be giving me money, when, for what, noting what I need to do to “collect.”
This prepped me for how much (or how little) I need to worry about it, scheme about it, or poke at clients and contacts to stimulate it.
This also helps me determine how easily I might say “no” to marginal or less than ideal opportunities.
I measure—again daily—my collected earnings, what’s under contract, to be collected earnings, whether or not I’m on pace, ahead of schedule or lagging behind.
This, by the way, is pretty much how I would manage any business I operated—be it a retail shop, restaurant, a charity, service business, info-marketing business, whatever. I’d make a list of every customer, client, patient or donor and assign the minimum dollar amount to be collected from each of them during the year. Then I’d total it up, consider the gap between my total and my year’s income target.
Then I would have two key tasks:
One, collect the pre-determined minimum sums from those I’d assigned patronage amounts to.
Two, if there’s a gap, figure out how to bridge it.
Incidentally, I have net worth targets, and a plan for where the income will be drawn from and where it will be moved to, and how it will be safeguarded, in order to hit those targets, month by month and at year’s end.
Of course, I have other goals measured in terms other than money, but they are harder to achieve because the progress is harder to measure.
I have an annually up-dated “Strive To Rid My Life Of This” list too.
Without targets, you are a blind archer. (Tweet this!) You’re handicapped, wasteful of arrows and energy and dangerous to self and those around you. But putting up targets alone doth not a marksman make!
Treating goal-setting as the end of the process will put you in the vast majority of people who set goals and do very little to manage the achievement of the goals they set.
If you want to achieve your goals this year, you must treat them instead as a hard-nosed, tough-minded, pragmatic “management” of your “objectives.”
You must be serious about monitoring them daily and realize that too much of the metaphysical community thinking of “think it and it will come” is delusional B.S. and flawed thinking.
By the end of January, 8.5% of the days will be gone. Will you be on target, ahead of the game or lagging behind in your income target for the year? If behind, what do you plan to do about it?
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