Issue 04: Breaking Down Your Goals
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to spend a week with Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson, and Daymond John?
Have you ever wanted to ring the NYSE bell?
Or see your store’s logo up on the New York Stock Exchange?
Cathryn & Allen had an experience of a lifetime at the Shopify 2016 Build-A-Business contest. It was a week spent at the Gatsby Mansion where they learned from mentors like Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson, and Daymond John. They met the other winners who had each built incredible businesses themselves and they absorbed everything they could from that experience.
Now, Cathryn has compiled everything they learned from that experience.
From how they competed and won, to the insights that came through mentorship. So you too, can get a glimpse of the Shopify 2016 Build-A-Business contest.
Read Cathryn & Allen's Shopify 2016 Build-A-Business Experience.
As you all know, BestSelf Alliance is where our community of SELF Journal users gather. It’s designed for all of you to share the goals you’re working on and interact with like minded people.
But a common question asked inside BestSelf Alliance by new SELF Journal users was,
“How do I choose which goals to focus on and how can I break them down into achievable targets?”
We thought long and hard about how we could make this first step easier and simpler.
That’s when we came up with the BestSelf Inner Circle.
Because at the end of the day, the SELF Journal is just a tool. But it takes your genius to make that tool as useful as it can be. The BestSelf Inner Circle is designed to help you find and build the genius in you to use the SELF Journal and achieve your goals.
The BestSelf Inner Circle is a community - kind of like a small mentorship group. It’s centered around learning, sharing experiences, and meaningful discussion. Cathryn & Allen will be there regularly to help you tackle the challenges you’re facing, whether it’s productivity, performance, or positivity.
We’d love for you to join our Inner Circle.
This week, we’re getting a behind-the-scenes look at how Allen uses his SELF Journal! With a sneak peak into his SELF Journal, we have a goldmine of tips, strategies, and insights into helping you break down your goals.
Allen is currently using his SELF Journal to hit revenue goals for the quarter for BestSelf Co.
Many of you may be setting revenue-based goals yourself. The strategies that Allen uses to break down his 3 month revenue goal into monthly progress goals will help you break down your own goals into actionable, measurable steps.
For simplicity, we’ll make Allen’s 3 month goal: Make $900,000 in sales.
It’s a clear goal, but it’s also a big one that’s difficult to reach if we can’t simplify it down to monthly and weekly metrics.
Remember, the goal of progress goals is to ensure that each week and each month, we can check that we’re on track. If we are, great! If we’re not, we can adjust accordingly.
This is how Allen broke down his goal:
1. Break up your revenue goal over the 3 month span.
In order to hit $900,000 in sales over 3 months, we’ll have to make $300,000 in sales each month. This gives us our monthly progress goal. Next, we ask ourselves the question “What do we need to do to hit $300,000 each month?"
2. Look at your metrics
If you’re an existing business, you should have metrics on your marketing funnel meaning you know how much it costs to acquire a customer and how much revenue each customer brings in. If it costs $10 to acquire a new customer, and they spend $50 each time, then “How much do we need to spend in order to produce our monthly revenue target?”. Well, to earn $300,000 with each customer spending $50, we’ll need 6000 customers. This will cost $60,000.
Now, we have a clear goal every month: Spend $60,000 and acquire 6000 customers which will generate $300,000 of revenue each month.
The strategy to break down revenue goals is just to backtrack your metrics. Work your way through the funnel backwards. Figure out what needs to be done at each step and keep it simple. And...this strategy can work for other types of goals too!
For example, your goal may be to run a full marathon (around 26 miles) by the end of 3 months. Ask yourself, “How much progress do I need to make each month to hit my goal?”. 26 miles over 3 months is approximately 9 miles. By backtracking our metrics, we can break it down into progress goals of running 9 miles the first month, 18 miles the second month, and 27 miles the third month. And, this process can be continued to create weekly, and even daily, goals.
At this point, you might be asking yourself “Okay, that’s great, but what if I don’t have metrics?”. No worries, you can still apply a similar strategy.
A second part of Allen’s goal is revenue-based as well, but for a special product we’ve never launched before. Since it’s different from all our existing products, we don’t have existing metrics for us to backtrack the way we did earlier.
Allen’s goal is to hit $1 million in revenue for this new product by the end of 3 months. Here’s how he did it:
1. Turn your revenue-based goal into a customer-based goal
Start off by asking “What does $1 million in sales mean customer wise?” meaning “How many customers and at what price point do I need to hit my goal?”. We need to find a good balance between the number of customers and our price. If we set a price of $1 million, then we would only need 1 customer to hit our goal…but that wouldn’t be very realistic. Similarly, if we set a price of $1, we would need to acquire 1 million customers. So how can we find a balance? We set our price point at around $400 so we’d need approximately 2500 customers. This target suits our product much better.
2. Make assumptions.
Since we don’t have the metrics for this product, we need to make general assumptions about our marketing funnel. Google average [insert marketing funnel metric] and you can find a base number to make your assumptions on. An average conversion rate is around 2-2.5% so, making this assumption, we can now backtrack similar to what we did earlier.
3. Work your way through the funnel
If we need to acquire 2500 customers with a conversion rate of around 2%, this means we need around 125,000 leads. So now we ask “How can we get our leads up to our target goal?”. We can turn to affiliates in order to maximize this lead number. On a daily basis, we need to reach out to affiliates and get them excited about our product! As we use our assumptions and work our way through the funnel, we can set realistic targets that will help us hit our 3 month goal.
You may be asking “So what if my assumptions aren’t right? Do I go back and re-evaluate my 13-week roadmap?”
"I wouldn’t say to go back to your 13-week roadmap but to tweak as you go. Nothing’s fixed & set in stone. Everything’s fluid. For example, your affiliates may back out. Then you need to adjust and find other ways to hit your goal. Either you can find other affiliates, or you can make it easier to turn a lead into a customer. For a higher-end product, you can use a payment plan instead of a lump-sum payment for example. This will reduce the barriers to entry. The trick is to make it a S.M.A.R.T goal so that it’s broad enough to cover the mishaps but specific enough to keep you on track."
So how does Allen use his SELF Journal on a regular basis?
“I didn’t know what I used them for until I opened it up! I realized…I make lists! There’s a list of family members I was inviting to a barbecue and I made a list to figure out how much food I needed to get."
Your freedom pages are pages to jot down anything that’s on your mind. It doesn’t have to be related to your goals, it’s just whatever you need to dump down. And, if you ever need even more space or just something to carry around easily, we've created the Sidekick just for you.
“Most of my memorable wins are calls with certain people I wouldn’t normally interact with (like Nathan Latka recently). But I also have other stuff in there like a boat ride and goal-related wins (like setting up a product page). My wins are just anything that excited me throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be tied to my goal. It’s just anything that happened that brought me some joy!"
“No matter how miserable and shitty life may seem at some points, there’s always something to be grateful for."
Favorite Part of the SELF Journal
“The time-blocking section on the left-hand side of each day where your day is broken into half hour segments. The SELF Journal lets you take control of the only non-renewable resource that you have which is time. When you’re intentional with your time, that’s when you realize, ‘I’ve been messing up!’. Like it’s a cold shower…’What have I been doing with my time?!’. I keep my journal right next to me so if I see myself getting on a tangent, I’m like “wait, hold on, let me check, no I need to be doing this right now. I like to be as flexible as possible but sometimes I’m not which is a good thing. I used to be too flexible. I think I found a happy medium. It’s give and take."
“If you don’t like where you are, change it. You’re not a tree.” -Jim Rohn
Using the SELF Journal
“I normally bring it with me. I work from home so in the morning I’ll fill in the stuff I need to. Like last night, I put in my daily structure & today’s targets and I left my goals and morning gratitudes for the morning. So I already had my day structured in the morning. It depends on how busy the next day is though. I normally like to do it at night. Ideally, for anyone, do it at night and put it in the next day’s targets and structure your day. It’ll propel you 10x further in the morning because you don’t have to worry about it.”