Success: The #1 Ingredient

You know those people who just ooze success?

Don’t you hate those people?  Wonder what the secret is?  Wonder why success clings to them but not you?  Want to know how you can get what they have?

I’ll let you in on the secret: they set goals.  Specifically, they set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-limited.

Why is goal-setting crucial to success?

How far do you think you’ll go if you say “I’m going to run?”  Chances are, if you’re like me, you’ll run a block or two.  If you’re a runner, you’ll probably make it quite a bit further.  Now, how far do you think you’ll go if you say “I’m going to run as far as I can?”  I bet you’ll get further than a couple of blocks.  Goals give you something to shoot for.  Goals are how we measure our success.

As we work through SMART goals, we’ll use the metaphor of financial success because that matters to most people.

Success is SPECIFIC

“I’m going to make as much money as I can,” is much more specific than “I’m going to make money.”  The more specific you can be with your goals, the more likely you are to be successful.  If you’re just going to make money, you’ll stop when you get bored.  If you’re going to make as much money as you can, you won’t stop until you’re burned out.


Is saying “I’m going to make as much money as I can,” measurable?  Sort of.  There’s always another dollar. It’s much better to set a specific amount.  “I’m going to be a trillionaire.”  Now, whether you hit the mark or not, you KNOW where the mark is.  It’s not arbitrary like “as much as I can.”


Attainable doesn’t mean easy, it means realistically possible.  Attainable goals are challenging, but not ridiculous. You can’t hit an impossible goal.  Keeping with our metaphor, “I’m going to be a trillionaire” is more SPECIFIC than “I’m going to make as much money as I can,” but it isn’t ATTAINABLE.  The richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, will have to gain more than 8.25 as much money as he has now to be a trillionaire.  If you’re starting your own business, attainable might look like “I’m going to make enough money to pay my bills every month.”  As a business owner, I’ll tell you: paying the bills is a huge challenge when you’re first starting out.

Success is RELEVANT

Being a millionaire is relevant to financial success, right?  Maybe.  Relevant here means relevant to who you are and what you bring to the table.  If you want to be a millionaire attorney, your career path looks much different than that of a millionaire fashion icon.  Consider your unique skills and abilities.  For our example, we’ll use Jeff Bezos.  His goal may look like “I am going to sell enough books to pay my bills every month.”  This goal was relevant to Mr. Bezos’ experience, challenging but realistic, concrete enough to measure, and specific enough.


“I’m going to sell enough books to pay my bills every month,” seems like a great goal but how long is it going to take to do that?  When will you know if you need to stop trying and find a job flipping burgers?  If you don’t know how long you can afford to go without income, it’s hard to say if you’re really successful.  A SMART goal for Mr. Bezos endeavor looks like:  “I’m going to sell enough books to pay my monthly bills within 12 months of start-up.”  Theoretical Jeff has given himself a year to hit his revenue goal of break-even.

To Summarize:

Specific–he knows what he’s shooting for.
Measurable–he knows if he’s making enough.
Attainable–he’s not shooting for world domination right off the bat.
Relevant–it makes sense for his skills and experience.
Time-limited–he knows when to give it up if it’s not working.

Jeff Bezos probably went through this exact process for every goal he set for Amazon.  Every time you hit a SMART goal, it’s time to reassess and look at the next step.

The second ingredient to success is to work with a coach like me.

I’ll hold you accountable to yourself and your goals.  This goal-setting strategy is just a small part of how I’ll help you achieve your dreams.  Sign up for a free coaching consultation today.

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