Bringing your passions and skills together into a profitable business can be a daunting process. There are so many moving pieces it can feel virtually impossible to know the right place to start in order to move forward efficiently and successfully.
When I started my business I had big dreams but I didn’t really know how to start taking action that was strategic. And since “I” literally was my business I felt like each success or failure was about me not just my business. I didn’t know how to separate the two. I was taking random actions and wrapping my entire identity around my results, whether good or bad.
It was a recipe for an emotional rollercoaster and didn’t actually get me any closer to where I wanted to be.
In truth, where I wanted to be wasn’t crystal clear either. I hadn’t clearly assessed my personal finances or my businesses financials. I had an idea of what they were, of course, but I didn’t track my current numbers or have a specific vision of what my version of success looked like as numbers down on paper.
My income and sales goals were pulled out of thin air and yet I let them totally define my success. Plus, my lack of clarity and strategy made making an achievable plan of action in my business feel impossible.
Perhaps this sounds all too familiar to you as well?
There are several common mistakes entrepreneurs make when setting income and sales goals for their new business.
Below are seven mistakes I have made or I’ve seen my clients make.
Not only do I talk about the mistakes and how you can work on avoiding them but also what to do instead to make smart income and sales goals that leave you feeling more free productive and focused so you can reach your goals AND have fun too!
MISTAKE #1 -Ignoring the $$ and numbers-
As a purpose driven entrepreneur your primary business focus is probably on serving others and not about making tons of money. I totally get it.
However, the reality is that money is the blood pumping through that big old heart in your business and without it the business will die and that is good for no one.
Unfortunately, your good intentions to focus entirely on what you do and on helping others can sometimes sabotage your efforts in business.
It’s critical to have an intimate knowledge of your business numbers. This includes things like pricing, sales projections and tracking expenses and income.
Even if it feels uncomfortable at first, the success of your business requires pushing through any resistance and declaring that these things are indeed important to you.
If you can relate with ignoring the monetary side of your business or if you don’t have a detailed record AND forecast of your expenses, income and sales (even if you are brand new) I challenge you to make a decision today to push through this resistance and start to become fascinated by your numbers.
MISTAKE #2- Not having a holistic financial system -
Winging it with your income and sales goals might get you by for awhile but eventually the consequences will start to creep up on you (like realizing all that hard work you’ve put in over months and months isn’t even going to cover the bills).
Having a system in place will not only “keep the lights on” but it will simplify your life. It’s frustrating to have to go back and dig up what happened over the last few months, formulate everything again to see what’s happening now or think oh ya, “what was my goal again? Where did I write that down?”
Having a system in place can transform hours of work into minutes, which you know are precious when you’re an entrepreneur.
That is why I put together a simple system in my new Your Abundant Brand’s Money workshop.
It’s important your system look at your business as a whole. Make sure you don’t create goals thinking that you can work 40 hours a week on deliverables or client projects alone. When you are in business for yourself only about 20-25% of your time will be focused on delivery and that needs to be factored into your goals.
Making goals that reflect all of your business efforts will factor in things like your pricing, the industry you are in, how long you’ve been around, how many people you’ve worked with, how many leads you are getting and other sales projections.
MISTAKE #3- Not knowing your personal vs. business income needs-
This one simply comes down to you being in the dark about exactly how much you need to live on. When you are starting a business the lines between personal and business can easily become blurred. It’s important to be totally clear and specific about both so as you grow you can separate the two and pay yourself the salary you need and desire.
So, what’s the specific number you need to live on right now?
What about the specific number for your desired lifestyle?
In my Your Abundant Brand’s Money workshop you’ll get a system to track your exact current expenses and create a profit figure that is based on your goals and dreams; when you see it on paper it feels a lot more real and possible
MISTAKE #4- Making goals based only on how they sound
Can you choose an income goal just because it sounds good? Sure you can, and I’m sure some do with success. However, creating strategic goals will allow you to make a clear, actionable, realistic plan to reach them so you can see both where you are and where you are headed with your business income.
When you make strategic and specific income goals based on your unique situation and your desires you create a real, emotional motivational connection to your income goals.
Numbers alone don’t have motivational value. Numbers are just an energetic representation of a deeper meaning. When you know that deeper meaning (a.k.a. why your goals are what they are) you will be more intrinsically motivated to reach them.
Why are your goals what they currently are? If you don’t have specific income goals why might it be important to you to make them and reach them?
MISTAKE #5 - Ignoring or neglecting your relationship with money-
When I started to treat my money and income like a real relationship, spending time with my financials became something I actually cherished.
What do you think would happen if you avoided, diminished, loathed, belittled, neglected or ignored your most important relationships right now? They would not flourish and grow, right? So are you doing any of those things with your money relationship?
It’s vital to spend time with your money and (like any relationship) give your income goals the love and attention they need to thrive.
Facing your relationship with money may require you to work through some limiting beliefs or subconscious programming you have around your worth and what it means to make money. (especially if this section sounds difficult or ridiculous to you)
Practice gratitude for time spent tracking your expenses, making money goals or working on your money mindset. And get excited because those things will bring results!
MISTAKE #6- Equating Self Worth with Income- This is a big one for the purpose driven solopreneur who is the heart of their business or anyone working hard to bring their dreams to life.
The reality is “failure” is a part of the entrepreneurial journey. When you don’t reach a goal or things do not go as expected, it's easy to hold on to guilt about not being where you want to be.
If your business is not meeting expectations, it can feel like “you” are the one falling short. This can make a temporary scenario feel like a permanent identity.
When you have a strategy and a system in place you become objective and can see your business as something outside of yourself.
Remember, business is simply a numbers game and those numbers are not a reflection of you or your worth!
MISTAKE #7 -Not Setting Specific Intentions-
It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of wanting more. But what does more actually mean to you? If you had more income, do you know what exactly you would do with it? What’s the magic number, for you, that would pay your expenses, keep your business growing and allow you to live the lifestyle you desire?
That magic number is what I call your “abundant life revenue”. When you think about living in abundance what specifically would you spend your money on to support that life? Set clear, specific and detailed intentions about your desired income and base your sales goals on these intentions.
I hope these 7 income goal setting mistakes to avoid helped to shed light on how you can start creating better goals and actually enjoy the process.
If you could relate with any of these mistakes or are ready to master your income goals with a simple system check out my Your Abundant Brand’s Money workshop today. The price goes up soon. Inside you’ll get everything you need including a mini business financials crash-course and templated spreadsheets that will allow you to make and achieve your sales and income goals in less time and with ease and clarity! Hope to see you there!