During my last three consultations with clients, the same issue came up, so I thought I’d share it with you here.
Many of our goals are nebulous and difficult to think about because they appear far away and out of reach. To someone who has never earned more than $100,000.00 a year, “Build a million-dollar business” will seem like a monumental task. And so it’s difficult to envision a goal like that.
I have difficult-to-envision goals, too. In my case, I have “helping people” goals. For my clients within each category, I establish certain number goals. I list the number of clients I have and compare it to the number of people I’m able to help.
But that’s not what keeps me motivated. That’s not how I really “keep score.”
Instead, everything I do is 100 percent focused on my “enough is enough” number. It’s the dollar amount that completely sets me free from financial stress and worries. That number is different for everyone. But for every info-marketer, “enough is enough” is the value of income-producing assets that produces plenty of money to live in the style to which the marketer has become accustomed.
While I learned this concept from Dan Kennedy, and I encourage you to read Dan’s book No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy, I’ve put my own spin on it for my personal use.
Once you establish your enough is enough number, you record it and keep it in front of you. Then, every day, every week or, least desirable, every month, you examine the bank deposits from all your businesses. And you take out a certain percentage for yourself.
When I first started doing this in 2004, my business was barely making a profit. My percentage had to be low. But I was quickly able to grow it.
After I take out my percentage, I divide the money into three pots: giving, spending and wealth.
My giving account is for charitable donations, and I make sure I’m reinvesting money into the community. I contribute with the expectation that I’m going to receive back what I invest, plus profit. I invest in charitable giving in the same way a farmer invests by planting seed corn in a field. That farmer anticipates a harvest that far exceeds what he planted. Same with giving. For you this could be your church or any combination of charities and direct giving.
Next is spending. This is “mad money.” Cash I don’t mind spending on toys, nights out or anything I don’t need but really want. This way I feel directly rewarded for the efforts it took to make those deposits into the bank.
And finally, wealth. These are contributions toward my “enough is enough” number. Each time I make a deposit, I record it, compare it to my total enough is enough number and my monthly goal for enough is enough contributions. This focus on the bottom line helps me keep my goals in perspective.
The percentage you take out of your deposits and the way you distribute those funds among the three pots is a personal choice. I have a client who emphasizes his giving account by weighting it more and another who weights his contributions toward wealth. I’m not sure that weighting your spending money would be wise for your long-term future, but I’m not going to dictate percentage distributions to you.
It is the daily, weekly and monthly emphasis on the goals that matters. I have many info-marketing friends who generate more revenue than I do. But I’m making a lot more progress toward my enough is enough number than they are. Also keep in mind that your enough is enough isn’t just about revenue. It’s also about keeping your expenses low. I often find that a smaller size business is less complicated and allows me to be more effective and efficient.
Most important, this system marches you closer to the financial goal that really matters: financial freedom.
How do you keep score for yourself? Do you have another take on this tactic? Let me know your thoughts. Scroll down and leave your comments at the bottom of this page. I read every comment and reply when appropriate.