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Big Dreams, Big Plan

If your annual income suddenly became your monthly income, how would you be living? Interesting question, isn’t it? Take a minute to really think of your response. Stop reading.. so that you can write down your answer and then ponder the response.

Do that now.

I think we would all agree that if our annual income suddenly became our monthly income our life would be significantly improved. But how would it change; what specifically would change? For instance, would you be driving the car you presently drive? Where would you be living; what kind of home? What holidays would you be taking and how many? Where would your children attend school? What would your bank account look like? Your life would be so different!

I have seen Bob pose that exact question in many of his seminars and almost without exception, no one can give him a specific answer. Why is that? Well, most likely because they have never sat down and seriously contemplated turning their annual income into a monthly income.

For many years, Bob and I would spend the period of time between Christmas and New Years in Barbados. It was always a welcome relief from the cold Canadian winter… even though winter had only just gotten under way. But it was also a time that we used to focus on what we had accomplished that year and to set our sights on the coming year. I always enjoyed spending that time with Bob because he truly thinks big. I learned during those sessions how inspirational it is to just entertain the idea of doing something really large… how powerful brainstorming a really large idea can be for your psyche and others. Frequently the ideas we tossed around did not become a part of our goals… but the very fact we even discussed it, put us on a different and improved path in our thinking.

Bob would frequently start the ball rolling by suggesting we do 100 or maybe 1,000 times the revenue or volume we had done previously. He would sit there on the balcony of our suite with his calculator in hand playing with how that volume could be broken down and accomplished. He would ask me to play with the idea without any pressure of making a decision to do it. We would envision what our businesses would look like, how our lifestyles would change and of course how we would feel about this. My mind started to expand very favorably by employing this process of visualizing ourselves in possession of this very large objective. Even if the goal we ultimately set was lower than the initial idea and it always was, it was always much larger than something we would have arrived at by starting from the other direction. I don’t know where he learned to set goals like that, but it was definitely an inspiring and productive process for me.

If you are going to earn more and work less, you must be very specific with your objective. How do you want to be living? How much do you want to earn? If you’re a novice at this process, you might consider setting a goal of turning your annual income into a monthly income. Seriously consider how your life would be transformed when that happens. Don’t just think about it, daydream to the point that you can experience this idea on an emotional level… put your family and friends in this picture. See them happy for your success and new lifestyle.

A word of caution… while you are enjoying this daydream, do not allow yourself to think about how you are going to accomplish it. This daydreaming process should be a creative one… one that involves your emotions and fosters excitement within you. It is not yet the time to look at how this is going to come about.

Now how much time do you want to devote to earning that income? Remember, just as you must be precise with what you want, you must also be precise in the time you will devote to earning that income… you must have a definite objective. As you seriously entertain the idea of earning a significantly greater income think about his in relation to having the time freedom that truly allows you to fully experience and enjoy what you are creating.

If we are going to work less and earn more, we must provide more service in a shorter period of time. When I met Bob in that seminar many years ago, I was struggling in sales. Like many people in that industry, I had moved into that position to improve my income and lifestyle. But it was far more difficult than I ever imagined. In fact, at the point I met Bob and attended his seminar, I was frustrated and contemplating whether I should stay in that industry. I had been in the industry three years, was certainly putting in plenty of time but clearly not reaping the rewards I wanted or even needed.

Bob asked me if I would commit to doing two things every day. I told him I would. At the time, I was in the insurance industry. He asked me to commit to being in front of a prospect every morning at 9 AM and to ask everyone to purchase a minimum of $100,000 of insurance.

Prior to working with my company, Bob had done his homework on the industry. He knew that most agents did not start their day early enough to see sufficient people and that most of our clients were not properly insured. Many agents, like me, were doing the best we knew how to do, but the ultimate results were truly not satisfactory for ourselves or our clients.

At first it was difficult to incorporate those two actions into my daily activities and thinking. It was not a part of my habitual way of doing things. I struggled with them but I did them and they ultimately became habitual. A year later, looking back, I realized that I had earned, not $25,000, not $100,000 but $495,000. That is a very significant jump. Bob had assisted me in following Fred Herman’s success formula… that is to make good calls, on good prospects with a good presentation. By focusing on those two activities and working at improving my ability to do those tasks, my income improved dramatically, the service to my clients improved and I did this without taking on the workload I initially assumed would be necessary. In other words, Bob had focused me on providing more service to more people in a shorter period of time.

I mention that story because it is natural when you consider earning more income, to look at how you are presently earning that income and multiply it out to come up with your new plan. If I had done that I would have had to cold call 800 people a week to earn even $100,000 a year. Obviously that wouldn’t have worked for me and most likely that will not work for you either. Conventional thinking seems to point in the direction that if you want great results in your life, you must work harder for it. That certainly was not true for me then or since that time.

To achieve significantly larger results than you have previously experience with respect to both your time and money requires that you start by “thinking outside the box” about providing more service to more people in a short period of time. The thinking process you have used to this point has created your present results. A new level of thinking is required to achieve your new results.

Michael Gerber wrote a book, The E Myth. In that book, he points out that if your business requires your presence you don’t have a business, you have a job. In that book, he defines an entrepreneur as someone who works on their business and not in their business. That is leveraging. I believe leveraging is one key to working smarter and not harder. I have not only had to learn to leverage myself in my quest to work smarter, I have had to learn delegation.

Later in my career I started my own financial services company. I put a lot of money into the business, had a respectable overhead and was overworked. I remember Bob asking me one day if I like the way I was working. I had to admit I didn’t. I told him I didn’t know any other way to accomplish what needed to be done. He offered his help which I gladly accepted. He arranged to meet me first thing on a Saturday morning at my office. The top of my desk was covered in many different stacks of files and papers. There were many drawers in that desk and they too were all full. Bob had me put everything in one stack on the top of the desk. The stack was overwhelming. I figured Bob would take one look at the size of that stack and leave…but he didn’t. He took the top file/paper and asked me what it was and what had to be done. He asked me if I had to do it. Naturally I said yes, since it was on my desk. He asked me why someone else couldn’t do it. As I contemplated each file or piece of paper I realized that very few of the papers or files on my desk had to be performed by me. It was quite a shock for my staff when they came in on Monday morning and saw the workload on my desk, divided up on theirs. That taught me a valuable lesson in working smarter not harder. I learned a valuable lesson that day about delegation that continues to pay huge rewards for me.

Today Bob and I have a full time housekeeper. Actually Amanda is so much more than that. Amanda looks after our house and us, as I used to do. We have a gardener and a gentleman who looks after our pool. Additionally I have a part time assistant who keeps me organized. By delegating these responsibilities we have freed ourselves. When I am working….I work only on results producing activities. When I want to play, I have the time to do it without sacrificing home responsibilities. To have the balance of time you want and deserve, there will be things you must learn to delegate.

When I first started setting larger goals I feared that I would not be able to figure out how to accomplish them. How many times have you backed away from setting a large goal because you didn’t think you could do it? Or would know how to accomplish it? The crazy thing for me is that when I started setting larger goals, I realized the most difficult part was to decide on what I wanted. When I had that objective set and had clarity of vision, the path seemed to naturally unfold.

When looking at ways to implement a very large goal, you might consider the following:

  1. Forming a mastermind team with like-minded individuals who can help you brainstorm new ways of improving your effectiveness, your service and your results.
  2. Finding a mentor who has achieved the results you are seeking and following their advice.
  3. Do as Bob has done. Get a calculator, pen and paper. Break the objective down into monthly, then weekly and perhaps daily objectives. Looking at it this way will frequently make it less formidable. Seek ways of working smarter not harder. Bob would frequently entertain ways of generating larger profits from the same activity or leveraging his time in some way.
  4. If your present ways of earning income are not sufficient to accomplish your goals, consider what additional income streams can be added…and remember, they must be time effective to accomplish the goal in its entirety.

Let’s recap what we have learned so far:

  1. Set a really big, inspiring goal. Be very specific. Daydream and give no consideration as to how it will come about as you engage in this expansive thinking.
  2. When it comes time to thinking about how it will be accomplished, realize that you must provide more service, to more people in a shorter period of time to truly earn that income.
  3. Don’t let the fact that you do not know how to accomplish your new goal stop you from setting it!

If you’re keen to move forward – send me an email right now – use the contact form to ensure it comes direct to me –  do it right now! Let’s work together… enjoying time and money freedom!

~ Linda Proctor