Do you know what this is? It’s the dashboard on my Infusionsoft account, taken the day I completed a huge goal.
It tells me three numbers:
- How many people are in Think Digital Academy trial memberships
- How many people are in Think Digital Academy paid memberships
- How many people are in both (and yes, there is a reason why it doesn’t add up properly. The reasons are boring and dull and won’t interest you.)
What I want you to look at is TDA Paid. See the number? It’s 101. 101 paid members as of 12/31/13.
Why is this number important? Back in July, I sat down with business coach and friend Casey Graham and we hashed out a plan. A plan that included launching a coaching program and signing up 100 people by the end of the year.
In September, the course launched and I set out to add enough value to the world that 100 people would jump on board with the Academy.
101 members later, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what it takes to succeed in building a business. That’s what I’d like to share with you today:
5. It’s not nearly as glamorous as I thought it would be.
You get ideas in your head about building a business and it being an easy road to success, fame, stardom, et. al.
It’s not. At least, not for me.
I’ve never worked this hard in my life. I’ve spent more money in the last 6 months than the last 6 years combined. I worry about things likes taxes, overhead expenses, and, as a former people-pleaser, whether or not the amazing team I get to work with hates me or not.
It literally took up until the very last day of 2013 to reach my goal. I stayed up way too late, let too many opportunities fall through the cracks, and ate too much junk food. As I type this, there’s a melted crayon on my desk (my kids are my co-workers), my inbox is overflowing, and I forgot to eat breakfast.
There’s unlimited potential to building a business, but there’s also stark realities I wouldn’t have understood had I not started.
4. Meeting goals are great, but they’re only mile-markers.
Once we hit 100, I was kind of like, “Oh, wow. Um… What’s next?” Bills still had to get paid, clients needed to be called back, and I still had to mow my lawn.
Hitting 100 was a mile-marker on the road to what every entrepreneur dreams of—freedom. It signals that you’re moving in the right direction, but you haven’t arrived yet. Not by a long shot.
When you hit goals, you can look back and say, “we succeeded, but why did we succeed?” Conversely, if you fail, you can review and ask the same questions.
3. You need more people to succeed than you realize.
I know I would not even be close to my goal if it weren’t for:
- My wife
- My kids
- My sister
- My parents
- Casey Graham
- Emily House
- Ashleigh Pinkerton
- Josh Burns
- Michael Hyatt
- Jeff Goins
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Amanda Barbara
- All of YOU
This list could literally be pages long, but the point is: no man (or woman) is an island. When you set out to build something worthwhile, make sure you’re surrounded by people who know and love you and want you to succeed.
2. Constraints are the key to meeting goals.
Going from idea to conception to goal completion (essentially $8,000 in monthly recurring revenue) in less than five months sounds unrealistic. At least, it did for me. But knowing what my target was, and knowing how long I had to complete it, eliminated distractions.
If something didn’t work (and there were plenty of things that did not work), we didn’t have time to pout and dwell and get down. We had to move on, and this was a good thing. It was amazing what I became personally capable of when I knew the end of the rope was approaching fast.
1. Success breeds success.
When the tide turns and you start winning more than losing, you start to get a knack for what works. Why? It’s like the Thomas Edison quote, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” There’s no magic formula, just a sense of what will work and what won’t. The more you practice, the more you become familiar with what success looks like—big and small.
Question: What’s ONE goal you’ve accomplished recently? What did it feel like when you checked it off the list? Give us a feeling or picture of what it looked like!