The year my niece Amy turned 15, I decided to take her to Europe when she graduated from high school. It was, for me, a very audacious goal.
My coaching practice was bringing in between $2,500 and $4,000 a month. Gross.
I don’t mean that the amount was gross, as in “it grossed me out,” but that it was my total revenue before expenses. Net income is what is left over after expenses. Then you need to set aside money to maintain and replace equipment as well as to meet unforeseen circumstances.
Your take-home income is what you pay yourself out of what is left after that.
Bottom line? There was a gap, a very substantial gap, between what I was taking home and what I needed to take home if I was going to pay for a trip to Europe.
And setting the bold financial goals that generated that gap was the best thing that could have happened to my business.
The irresistible urge to close a gap
When you are very, very clear about where you are now and what you intend to create, there’s an almost irresistible urge to close the gap. It’s as if a rubber band stretches between current reality and your desired outcome.
The natural response to the tension in that rubber band is to figure out how to close the gap.
In my case, I knew what I wanted. I knew the size of the gap. I knew I had about three years to reach my financial goals.
So I got to work.
How to close the gap between where you are now and your bold financial goals
Here’s what I did to close the gap between what I was earning and my financial goals.
- I made a commitment to paying myself a real salary every month. No more taking home a bit here and there out of what happened to be left over.
- I stopped doing things that are good for your ego but bad for your pocketbook. Such as giving work away to make people like you. Or never selling outright so you won’t offend anyone.
- I started charging more for my work, and if I needed to buff up my offers to match the new prices, I did that.
- I became more systematic about marketing. No more flavor of the month strategies.
- I approached people and asked them to enroll in programs and hire me as their coach instead of waiting for them to approach me.
Creating and closing the gap isn’t just about making more money
An interesting and important thing about taking on bold financial goals is that it juices your purpose-oriented work, not just your bottom line. That’s why I say you should set bold financial goals for your purpose-oriented business.
When you set a bold financial goal and focus on closing the gap, you get very creative, focused, and persistent about earning more money. When you decide to meet that goal while serving a larger purpose, you get very created, focused, and persistent about designing and delivering extraordinary work.
Significantly more revenue and even more extraordinary work: they go hand in hand.
It’s really pretty simple
I don’t claim that it is easy (it’s not), but achieving bold financial goals is really pretty simple.
- Create a gap by setting a bold, meaningful goal and accurately defining your starting point.
- Do whatever inner work you have to do to be okay with where you are now. You can’t move forward until you are at peace with the present.
- Do the same inner work to clear away any gunk about having and reaching bold financial goals.
- Put your work out there. You can’t sell a painting that’s hiding in your closet. You won’t get coaching clients by watching Oprah.
- Try bold things. Not in a scattershot, half-arsed way, but in a deliberate way. Go for it and let go of results. Then go for it again.
You can do this
My income doubled and doubled again in three years thanks to the gap created when I set out to fund Amy and Molly’s Excellent Adventure. It has continued to grow whenever I follow the principles above.
And as I am fond of saying, if I can build a marvelous life and livelihood doing work I love, so can you.
What bold financial goals will you set to fund your Excellent Adventure?