Momentum Podcast: 104

Your Goals
To Win

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

There is a reason why most people who set goals don't achieve them. They have been sold a bill of goods that setting unachievable unrealistic goals is some how it way to motivate ourselves.

When I go to an event and the overenthusiastic “goalsetting” speaker gets up I always have to go out in the hallway. The person who tells everyone in the room to write down the biggest income goal they have ever imagined, then cross it out and double it.

I cringe every time I hear this. Anyone who tells you to set goals like this, isn't going to stick around to make sure that you actually achieve them. Most people who teach people how to set goals, don't have a lot in the way of tactics of how to get there.

Let me help you hack your goal setting this year so you can teach you team to win.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure. We pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, and rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.

Welcome to Hack Your Goals To Win. There's a clear reason why most people who set goals don't achieve them. They've been sold this bill of goods, or they've bought into this feeling that when we set unachievable, huge goals, that that is a way to somehow motivate ourselves. I know where a large part of this comes from. Whenever the, quote unquote, goal setting person gets up when I'm at a seminar or I'm speaking, I have to leave the room. Let me make sure that you understand who I'm talking about. There's tons of them. There's so many different names for this person, because it's the person who gets up in front of the room and is really enthusiastic.

They're the, quote unquote, motivational speaker who's going to do goal setting. They get people all hyped up, and then have them write down the biggest number they could ever imagine making, and then cross it out, and double it, and get them all into this frenzy, and then tell them to set a one year goal with this number they just put in front of themselves. Now, there's some of them who say, "Okay. Now, see, this is thinking bigger. Now, let's find the next milestone." At least those guys think about something, but anyone who tells you to set goals this way, where they tell you to put the biggest number you can think of down, double it, that's your one year goal, here's the challenge. The challenge is you're setting goals that are so far from where you are right now that even if you succeed, you lose.

Let me share just a story from just recently, just coaching one of my clients, this brilliant CEO. I'm so impressed by her. She and her team just are going into their one year goal setting, and so we had a quick review meeting. The business today is doing $2 million a year, and they had set the one year goal that the business would do $10 million a year. There's a lot of adjustments they're making. They're changing some things within the organization. They're bringing some thing that were outsourced now inside, and so there's a lot going on right now.

I asked them both, when I saw the $10 million number, I said, "Have both of you heard the story of me learning how to shoot?" I just gave them the quick recap, that I learned to shoot with someone who taught people marksmanship and knew how to create confidence. The first time I ever went to a shooting range I shot at a target that was so close I could have touched it, but I shot and did not miss. Then he moved it back a foot. Then I shot, and he did not miss. So, I learned how to shoot in a way that I never missed. I still have a high level of confidence around shooting.

So, I reminded them of that, and then I said, "I want you to think about two different endings to this year. I just want you to feel the difference between the two different endings to this year. You're at $2 million, and we set this $10 million outcome, and your team goes out and kills it. They bring the stuff that was previously outsourced in house. They improve all the processes. They move way more product than they ever have. They expand what you're doing. You get tons of new business. You grow by 400%. You hit $8 million. Everyone on the team is disappointed. Or the other option is we set a much more realistic target, and the team feels really confident going after it, and in June we have to reset the annual objective, because your teams actually hit it, and so you get to celebrate with your team that you hit it, and they've exceeded the income expectation, and then we reset another target, and we have a shot at having them be confident and move forward with an entirely different number."

Because here's the other side of the coin on that first story. What I just gave you was absolute best case scenario. What often happens is the first month that a team anniversary is like, "You're going at 2 million right now, but you got a goal for next year at 10 million." Let me tell you what your team feels, because entrepreneurs are eternal optimists. We will set goals like this all the time. When that speaker gets up, a lot of us, we get goosebumps from that person, because they let us think bigger, and write down bigger, and do all this stuff, but I'm telling you, every time the guy says, "Cross it out and double it," I cringe, because here's the problem with those guys.

They will teach you how to set the goals, but they're not gonna stick around to help you achieve them. In my career, I've always been in a position where I'm working with people long term, so I'm helping through the process of setting the outcomes, and then I'm also helping them actually get there, so there's some responsibility here in helping them set up a game that they can win. As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to set up a game that we can win over and over again, because here's what happens in reality. The team in January sees $833,000, and because you're at a $2 million run rate, and there really isn't plans to multiple everything by four immediately, they're going to lose in January. You are setting your team up to lose in January. Then in February, they have an even bigger number. If there's not a clear plan to multiple things by four, then they're gonna lose again in February.

What's going to start happening almost immediately is you're going to teach your team to lose gracefully, because you're not gonna come in and yell at them. If you do, now you've just got a dictatorship. You're gonna start losing really good people, or your good people will stop giving you their creativity. So, you're gonna come in and say, "Hey. We've got it next time." Then it's lose gracefully again and lose gracefully again. Teams are just like sports teams. There is a reason why the same teams lose over, and over, and over again, because there's a dynasty of losing. When you look at teams that win, they're accustom to winning, and they'll win over and over again. There is a clear culture to losing gracefully, and I don't want your company to learn it.

Today, when I gave my client the two choices and I said, "You know, which one?", she said, "Oh, gosh. You're so right. It just feels like a relief to think about setting something that's closer, having the team hit it, being able to celebrate with everybody, and then really understanding where we can go next." Because here's the math behind that decision. I was so glad she said that, because here's the math behind the decision. Only 3% of companies get to a million dollars in their entire existence, and only 4 out of 1,000 companies get to $10 million in their entire existence. You're making this huge jump in where you can possibly go in a business. To get from 1 million to 10 million ca take years. Now, I've helped companies that have been able to do it in six months and eight months, getting from a million dollar run rate or 2 million dollar run rate into a eight figure run rate, but it's rare, really rare. When those things happen, it's like a lightening strike.

For the rest of us, when we're growing businesses ... You know, Cadey and I have grown a lot of businesses that it's taken us a few years to get from 1 million to 5, and then another year or two to get to 10, and then another few years to get to 15. You have to expect that as an entrepreneur. The reason why this is one of the most important hacks that is going to help you hack your goals to win is this. When you teach your team to win, here's what happens. They're more positive about coming to work, because they're in momentum, and they're excited. When you teach your team to win, and yet you set goals that you know you can achieve, that you're going to be happy with, that you're going to be excited about, but you know you can do faster than a year ... because this is where most of us really hurt ourselves is at the year mark.

This time of year, it's like, "Okay. This year I did 1.6 million. Next year I want to do 10." I've helped a lot of people through that transition, and it is one of the most exciting, and exhilarating, and adrenaline filled journeys to be on the rollercoaster of growing a company at that pace. I've been there more than once, and it's incredible to now work with companies that are growing a business at that pace, because there's an intensity to everything that you're doing, but it is one of the hardest things that you will ever do, because every time your company grows bigger, the level of vulnerability you deal with as the entrepreneur in charge increases, because the actual amount of human capacity that you control expands, and the potential for it going in the wrong direction increases, and the percentage chances increase, because there's only one of you an so many of them. So, over time you want to build a team that understands how to win together.

You want to build a system where you're communicating with them clearly. You want to build a system where when you set goals, you achieve them, and everybody's accustom to achieving them, and you never teach your team to win gracefully. Otherwise, goal setting sessions are more of an attempt to impress you than to actually predict a result in the company and achieve it. While there's a great adrenaline rush to saying, "Hey. Here's where we're going, and it's someplace you've never been," there's also something amazing about saying, "Here's where we're going," being able to give your team a clear path of how you can get there, help them feel confident along the way, coach them along the way. Start to exceed your targets right out of the gate, start to show everyone that you're winning, create the momentum of having that win, and then see where it takes you and your team.

There's two ways to lead a company. You can be transactional or transformational. If you want to be transformational, it requires you coach your team along the way, because transactional is telling people what to do, checking that it got done, and telling them what to do again. If you're gonna try and grow like that, doing it that way, you'll never do it. Transformational is when you give people clear outcomes, you coach success along the way, and you get leveraged results. That way you can grow like crazy, but in 100% of cases, you will hamper your opportunity to grow, you will make it difficult for your team to succeed if you set goals that from where you're standing you can't see a clear path to get to the outcome. That doesn't mean all the details are there. That means that you can describe to the team the things you're going to do, the changes you're gonna make to grow from say 1 million to 10 million, which is a goal that I hear often.

I ask people, "What's going to bridge that gap?", and I get all kinds of answers these days, like, "Traffic," or, "We're going to build two new funnels," or, "We're going to change the number of events we go to." The fact is that in every company that grows from 1 to 10, there's also a personnel burden, and a communications burden, and putting new systems in place, and bringing in the right type of executive team, and getting the right people around you, so that the $10 million business isn't precariously hanging on edge, and it can grow to ... If you can get to 10, you might as well go to 100. If you start creating that team around you that has your back, that understands what's happening, that is taking care of the major functions of the business, you're well on your way, but if you teach your team to lose, you're going to show up every day with a team who learns how to lose gracefully, and that is a habit you never want to teach a human being.

This year, when you and your team are setting your outcomes for next year, take a look at them and think to yourself, "Is this something that I can actually see happening?" You know, a great way for entrepreneurs to look at the year lens is to say, "Is this something I can see the team, if we really pulled it off, doing it by June?" Because sometimes that year is just so far afield that we can't see how really unrealistic it is and how everything would have to go right in order for us to get it. If you're setting goals for your team where absolutely everything has to go right in order for them to achieve the goal, you are going to create a culture where it just doesn't matter. The opposite is give your team a chance to win. Coach success along the way, and you will create a performance culture where the team sets massive outcomes and achieves them.

Just in case you're wondering what that looks like, Tesla has a performance culture. Apple has a performance culture. They're organizations however that when people are given outcomes, they're also given enough of a path to get there and the resources they need that they feel confident in executing and moving forward. Although some of the things those organizations do seem unbelievable, if you understood the level of support the people there get and the amount of thought that goes into where things are going and setting outcomes that actually can be achieved, that's what those companies do in order to stay in business. For some reason, in entrepreneurial companies, it's the opposite. Entrepreneurs get used to setting goals on an annual basis that they fall short of, and they teach their teams that it's okay.

You have an opportunity this year to make next year the year that you actually crush your annual objective, like go out and just murder it, because if you do, your team is going to have a massive celebration, learn to win, and then you get to do it again. Once you're in the habit of winning, it's a lot more fun to set your outcomes and to figure out where you're going, because your confidence level goes up. You'll be able to get consensus from your team, and then you guys can go do it again. When teams are in the habit of winning, it's amazing how quickly they pull together, have each other's backs, and make things happen. So, don't follow the motivational speaker's mantra this year when you set your goals.

Take a look at them and ask yourself, "Can I hit this by June? Can I crush this? Is this something that I can see a clear path towards? Do I understand a lot of what I'm going to do to get there? Do I have clear understanding of what it's going to take?" If you can say those things, and you can say confidently that that's a goal you should have, that's how you should do it as an entrepreneur, because you become a small subset of our population who's actually hacked how you create massive momentum. You figure out outcomes that you can actually make happen, that you can commit to, that you can knock down. Then you teach an entire organization ho to do the exact same thing, because if your company's daily direction comes from a number that has no grounding and rational thought, they're going to be measuring something that they always know is going to be something they're going to lose, until something magical happens. So, you're literally teaching your team to wait for something magical in order for things to get better.

I don't want you to do that next year. There's a reason why the companies that I work with will often double, triple, quadruple, grow many times that in size in the first few years that we work together. It's because we start creating outcomes that a team can actually understand, that are within their field of vision, which seem clear to them, and they start succeeding at an extraordinarily high success rate. If you and your team are ready to start succeeding at a high success rate, get in touch with us.

I work with a small group of entrepreneurs who have businesses that are at least a million dollars in annual revenue or annual run rate, about 83,000 a month, and are the entrepreneurs who have the opportunity. They're building the team. They know they can do more. They know if they had more help, more infrastructure, you could be selling more, delivering more, having a bigger impact. Then you're right in the transition that I help entrepreneurs through, and we'd love to talk to you. We have a private mastermind with entrepreneurs from around the world exactly where you are, and it is life changing, so thanks for being a listener. I look forward to talking to you tomorrow.

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