We’d been working together about a year at that point, and she’d made tremendous progress. She’d stepped out to form her own law firm, developed a clear brand, made important decisions about revenue and how she wanted to serve her clients. She was even beginning to explore new lines of business that were fun and intriguing to her.
And she was making really good money.
But the hours were long, the demand high. And she was beginning to think more about how her business could serve her, instead of the other way around.
(I preach this all the time. If you’re a slave to your business, all you’ve done is give yourself another job. And who wants that?)
She wanted to travel more. Volunteer more. Ride her bike more. :)
So I suggested that she reverse engineer her income to determine what she needed to bring in, in order to create that life. What would she have to earn that would give her the freedom to pursue those other interests?
And – this was critical – how would she earn it?
Reverse engineering is a process by which you not only set your income goal, but determine exactly how you’ll reach that goal. It reminds me of one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, which was to “begin with the end in mind.”
Earlier this year, I sketched out a whole batch of income-producing ideas and worked through this process myself. I’m always surprised at how much it helps me get clear.
If you complete this process, you’ll end up with a road map for the year that will tell you what you’ll have to accomplish to reach the goal you’ve set. And, it will show you when you’re on track and when you’re not.
And that, in turn, will alert you to any needed changes to your marketing, offers, or even your pricing along the way.
Here’s the basic process.
Set your number.
Determine how much money you want to gross, at a minimum, to live the way you want to live, and set an income goal for the year.
Review your revenue.
If you have a business, think about each thing inside that business that is a source of revenue. For example, if you offer online courses, run groups, conduct assessments, make site visits, sell books, provide consulting; you name it. Each item is a separate source of revenue. (And if you have a part time job or other income, that counts too.)
Use the 80/20 rule to evaluate where your best options are. Which 20% of your services brought in 80% of your income?
What are you doing that you already love and want to do more of? What do you want to do less of?
Set your targets.
Choosing the products or services that you want to offer this year, how many of each would you have to sell to reach your number? ( It may help to break that out by the month or the quarter to figure it all out.)
As you go through the year, track your numbers month to month to see if you’re meeting your targets along the way. If not, then you’ll know that you need to attend to that area.
Do you need to increase your marketing for a certain program? Raise your prices for a certain service? Re-package a product in a new way to add value? Hustle a little more?
Whatever it is, just knowing where you are along the way will help you stay on track.
I’ve created a worksheet that can guide you through the whole process. Click here to download that tool. (No opt-in needed!) Set aside time to sit down with some scrap paper, a pencil and a calculator, and map out your plan.
You’ll love not only having a clear goal, but knowing exactly what it takes to get you there.
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