Realistic Goals and Reaching for More with Wealthy Affiliate
Last Update: May 24, 2018
Realistic Goals and reaching for more
This blog wasn't even on my list of things to think about and certainly not to write about. I just happened to stop by Kyle's page on "What are your "money" goals?" It got me to thinking, which of course lead me to writing.
It's great to have a high goal for yourself, BUT it must also be realistic. If you set a goal of $1,000,000 per year that might be realistic if you have a big enough budget to pay professional writers to write content for you for a year or two, OR you have years and years to achieve that goal. If however, you are like many of us, you are starting this new journey from near nothing and don't have a large bankroll to hire multiple professional writers for extended time periods try setting a more realistic goal.
Why set yourself up for a failure?
To set a realistic goal you must first know what your expenses are. Let's say that your monthly expenses for rent, utilities, food, transportation, insurance, entertainment, and student loan payments total $2,000 (2k) NET per month you would need $24,000 after taxes just to break even. Add to that some money for savings, retirement, and vacations and you might arrive at 36k per year or $3,000 per month.
While it would be great to earn 1M ($1,000,000) do you have any idea what you would do with that money? Would you just spend it however you wanted to that day? That's not realistic. If you do have a plan for that much money, do you have a plan to get to that much income? This isn't Santa Claus dropping money in your lap. This is YOU working for your money. If you set a goal of 1M for the first year I can guarantee with probably 99.9% accuracy that you WILL FAIL!
What then will that do to your psychological motivation for the next year? You'll probably just say, "Well, I didn't even come close last year, so why bother setting goals this year?" Suppose instead that you said, "I am now working at a job that covers my living expenses. I would like to earn an extra $5,000 next year to supplement my savings and add to a vacation fund." That would be a realistic goal. You could then set a plan to achieve that goal. You know that you would have to average about $416 per month in commissions to reach your goal.
Is that realistic?
If you are going to start from scratch on WA without a lot of social media followers THAT TRUST YOU to give you a boost I would say NO, that is not realistic. Is it possible? Sure, almost anything is possible, BUT is it probable? NO! As stated in my last blog it takes about 12-15 months to be able to count on ANY sort of regular income from being online AND that is if you WORK YOUR BUTT OFF! You'd be doing really well to be able to cover your WA premium dues during your first year.
You would probably earn more in the first year by delivering pizza or driving for Uber than you will on WA. The earning potential here on WA is NOT for immediate or first year income, but part of your longer range income plan.
My Own Expectations
My first year earning expectation for my blog is ZERO DOLLARS! That's right ZERO!! As a matter of fact I will most likely lose money when counting the membership fee for WA.
Would I like to be able to pay for all of my medical expenses, home repairs that I need, a ramp so that I don't fall down my front stairs anymore, and maybe a dinner out or two per month? Yes, I'd love it, but I don't expect it. So far, I haven't been disappointed. Why then would I pay every month to stay a member here at Wealthy Affiliate? It's not for the first year, I don't even expect too much in the second year. It's the years that are beyond that where I expect my investment to pay off.
I fully expect that by my third year here I will be earning 20-30k per year. Is that realistic? Yes, I think so. Is that life changing money? To some, it's not even pocket change, to me it would allow me to keep up with those pesky doctor bills and more. Is it life changing to me? You betcha! I've been told by the doctors to take it easy because of a small problem with the aorta at my heart. How relaxed do you suppose that you could be when you have way more medical bills than income? Not very, I'll assure you!
In other parts of the world $20-30k US would allow you to live a VERY good life!
You Ask; What Does This Have to do with MY Own Expectations?
Life is a really funny thing. You never know when you are going to be faced with a sudden problem that INSTANTLY changes your life in the blink of an eye. It could be medical or it could be family, maybe even another reason.
Let's bring you back to the question that Kyle asked that got me started here.
"What are your "money" goals"
What is the most that you have ever made in your life (legally)? I suspect that many of you might not have made more than 15k in a year, especially those that haven't even finished school yet.
Why would you pick some of those numbers that you threw out there in the answers to that question? Wishful thinking, a joke, sounded good, didn't know what to put there? I'd like to give you a few pointers if you'll allow me to do so.
What Can I Do to Make My Dreams Become a Reality?
You've made the first step. You joined WA! I'd like to congratulate you on your decision. Joining Wealthy Affiliate isn't something that everyone would do. Many don't see what they are looking for when they come to the WA site. They want to see those overnight millionaires, the guys or girls with the Maserati (usually rented for the photo shoot), the private yacht. You didn't see that at WA and you still joined! That shows that you are wanting a change. Let's work toward getting you there!
My first recommendation is to treat this like a business. Don't have a picture with rabbit ears and your tongue hanging out of your mouth. It's hard for others to take you as serious that way. Don't have a picture of a cat as your profile picture, same reason (unless you are a cat). You don't need your picture if you are shy or worried about an employer or someone seeing, but use soething business like. This isn't just some social site. If you want serious advice use a semi serious picture AND have a profile with a few details!
Write out a budget with your income and expenses. If you are still at home or at college ask a parent or a close friend that has those bills and experience to help you OR find it on the internet. Just remember that just because it is on the net does NOT mean it's true.
Write out your goals for your life. Since disability struck me and wiped out every penny that I had (and more) I'm very conscious of making sure that you budget money for investments that will pay you if you ever get to the point where you can't work. Passive income is what you want to aim for here. Things like real estate that you can rent out and have someone else manage and maintain if needed, writing books that will pay you (pretty much forever) once they are published, your blog here on WA (while not truly passive it's something that you can do even with most disabilities, even if you lose the use of your hands you can use voice to text to write your posts), etc.
Your goals include your income and asset levels AND the dates that you want to achieve them.
Write out your dreams. Many people don't do this and wander aimlessly through life. Sure, as you grow and age your dreams will change, but so can your plan (it's NOT chiseled in stone). If you have no plan any path will get you there....
Write out your plans. Your plans include HOW to get from where you are to where you want to be. Make them realistic, but make them a stretch. You'll achieve more by having to stretch to achieve your goals than by setting easy to reach goals. There are no participation trophies for life. You have to WIN to get a trophy! These goals should increase at a regular rate. Perhaps you want to grow your net worth by 5% per year or your real estate holdings by $100,000 per year. These two goals would automatically grow with you as their value increases yearly, but you could also say next year it will be 6% net worth growth and/or 150k worth of real estate acquisition.
Put your plan into action. This is a step that many people seem to forget. Without action your plans are dreams. Plans are what make you take the steps to reach your goals.
Let's say that you want to blog and you have chosen to blog about pets.You like animals and have a couple of them so that is your chosen path to success. You set up a free siterubix site to start so that you can develop knowledge. As you set up your site you get excited because Google has indexed you.
How Plans Change
So to celebrate being indexed you party with friends for the weekend. Great! Now, Monday comes and it's school or work, homework or overtime, hanging out, playing games, dinner, movie, date, sleep. Now it's Tuesday, more of the same. Suddenly it's Saturday and the team is playing ball. Well, of course you have to go to the game. Sunday is family time, and the week starts again.
You go through this for a couple of weeks and realize that a month has gone by and you've only written ONE blog post all month! Now, you want to scramble so that you can catch up. You've forgotten your WA lessons and need to catch those up, the tasks call for five new posts and you haven't done any research. Where do I find that research thingy again? What was it called? Oh, I'll ask on live chat. Ask the question. Oh, that's right Jaaxy! Thanks. BTW how did your team do last night, blah blah blah. Time for a beer! Oh, the fight is on tv tonight, okay, I'll order a pizza and have a few beers while I watch the fight.
At about 2 am you wake up on the couch and decide it's time for bed. The next afternoon when you wake up you post anything just so you can say that you got something done.
What You Should Probably Do
That's how plans change and life throws you that curve ball. Schedule time for WA just like you schedule time to take a shower. As you spend that little bit of time each day you find that Wealthy Affiliate is now becoming a habit. After a week of this you find that you are pretty good at writing and researching those keywords. It's getting easier with more practice. You've now written two blog posts this week with a combined total of 2,634 words. After a couple of weeks of this you see how this is helping our site to grow. You decide to go
Now, you ARE proud of yourself. You get into the rest of the training and find out how to share your posts on social media. Once again, your site grows and your traffic begins to increase. Now, you can start to think about monetizing this site that you are now a master of. You apply to and are accepted by a couple of affiliate programs.
You get the links and put them on your pages. Your readers have developed a trust and a certain dependance on you; knowing that you regularly post good content that is worth reading. Now as you start to suggest products to them they say, "Hmm, that does seem like it would help little pup pup have a better life, let me look at this." They click your link and decide to buy that product and while they are there they realize that they needed new earbuds, so they get those too.
You are on your way to becoming a truly Wealthy Affiliate. All because of a realistic goal and a workable plan. You are on your way to that financial independance that only a year ago seemed so far away.
Best of luck to you on this journey to become a better version of yourself!
I wish I had the words to say as you do Bryan. Good luck in your endeavours with WA
Thanks for the kind words. We all have the ability to write well. It's just something that you need to practice so that your ability will develop. Don't sell yourself short. In my younger days I had some demanding English teachers (thank you to all teachers that are considered tough. Keep it up!). Sometimes, I would have to rewrite a paper 8 or 9 times to get the best grade that I could.
It's up to the individual to determine how much effort that they want to put in to get the desired results. One step that many people seem to leave out is to proofread everything that you write. That's where you get to polish up your work.
Best of luck to you in your quest for success on WA!
Hi Bryan, Yes you have to apply yourself effectively, and use the available time to best effect, Best Alan
Alan, you have hit the nail on the head my friend. As the old carnival barker would have said, "Give the man a cigar!"
Always great to hear from you my friend. Wishing you much success!
This is a super post, Bryan. There's so much insight on this topic. Blessings to you today!
Sachi, thanks again for your comments. Always glad to see your name appear on something that I've written.
Many blessings to you as well my friend!
Thanks Bryan, great post. Keeping expectations and goals realistic seems like an easy task, until life smacks you right in the face.
I’ve found in my life, success OR lack of success comes down to a few things.
1. Setting a realistic goal
2. Have a realistic plan
3. Find a mentor
4. Do the work
When all these things are in alignment success follows, when not in alignment reality hits you like a punch to the nose.
That’s how it’s been for me.
Lookin forward to more good posts from you.
Jeff, in an ideal world I agree totally. Finding a mentor is sometimes tough today, but at WA the community is willing to step in. Luck while often talked about isn't something that you can see or know if you have attracted. To quote, or at least paraphrase, someone that I've read though I don't remember who, the harder I work the luckier that I get.
Originally when I wrote down my goals it was not what I had in mind, so later in the training, I had to change them. Which I believe most members here would do the same.
Offcourse I had long-term goals, but what had me going is when I started to cut them up into bits and pieces, my learning curve became more fun when I started to celebrate when I accomplished each one.
What I still find myself changing regularly, is my schedule. I know I have to work harder on that. Your suggestions will definitely help. I commend you for writing this post and sharing it with us, thanks
First I love your user name. I believe each of us is lazy in some way. I think that it is perfectly fine to change your goals as you learn more and more about your craft. There are also very valid reasons to change your schedule, such as my health issues which do not allow me to sit for long periods of time.
What I don't think is acceptable at all is to not have goals or a plan to reach them. All of us, out of necessity, will have different goals and aspirations. We will also have different time frames and methods for reaching them, but I think it is truly necessary to have them because otherwise you are basically in a rudderless ship whose destination is wherever the wind pushes it.
Best wishes in reaching the goals that you have set for your success.
Great post, Bryan. I'm pinning this post into my starred list so that I can come back and review my own progress down the road.
When I started here in WA I set a pretty "small" goal for 1,000 a month, and I committed on spending 2 hours per day. Even that goal is NOT realistic. Looking back and reviewing my journey here, my efforts were rather sporadic than consistent in the 1st 6 months here. I didn't really have a focus or put in an consistent effort until I made up my mind and shift to the local SEO niche. Now I'm stretching myself a little bit every day, and I feel much better than having a big but unrealistic dream.
Hugh, it's really tough when you are new to set realistic goals, but some of them have a better chance of reaching Mars than of reaching their goal.
Over time, big dollars can be made, but the advertising that is shown can make everyone think that being a millionaire is possible QUICKLY! lol
You appear to be young enough where you may well become a millionaire, but it will take work and time.
Best wishes to you!
LOL, I am actually much older than I appear to be. :)
On the other hand, $$ is NOT the only reason why I'm going towards the entrepreneurial path vs just keep climbing up in the corporate ladder. There is much more for me to pursue and achieve in this long journey, and money is only part of it.
Great post, and I agree with you about setting realistic goals. It's always good to dream big and try for goals that stretch what you think you're capable of. But setting a goal that's basically impossible to reach just sets you up for failure and can discourage you even if you're making good progress.
Janelle, that's exactly what I was trying to get across! A stretch is a healthy thing, but falling off the roof is quite another, right? Small victories built on each other actually allow you to reach goals sooner, I believe, than a large failure in the middle of your quest does.
I think everyone in the world would like to be a millionaire even if they have no plan on how to get there or what they would do if they did somehow miraculously reach that goal.
I've tried asking several people that I would call dreamers how they would use a million dollars and they couldn't even tell me how many zeros a million had.
I guess they just use that because it sounds like a good goal and a large number. Kind of like Congress with the debt, most of them can't even fathom the number let alone how to get out of it. Scary, but true.
Anyway, best of luck to you in your online journey to success!
Great post, definitely keeping it real, which is always appreciated.
Ted, Thanks for the feedback. It really doesn't do anyone any good by puffing things up to entice people to come for a month and leave. I hope to encourage those that don't believe those crazy you can own 10 million dollars in real estate/stocks/cash/whatever by tomorrow.
There is a real way to earn and I believe that WA teaches that. It might not be for everyone, but for those not needing extra money tomorrow, but looking at the future, this IS the place.
Have to agree Bryan, it takes time and effort, but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel if training is follow and a person keeps take one step after the other...
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The number of likes that you have in this post is very telling indeed. I think it hits a raw nerve in most people. You described pretty much what does happen in reality.
Most people are not ready to hear the truth. The more truth they hear the more they realize that they have to do something, like work for their money, then throw in the towel and say, well if I still have to work for it I might as well get paid every week for it.
That was an excellent post, my friend. A must read no doubt for all those answering the question that Kyle has for them to think about. "What are your "money" goals?
This post would complement that very well.
I now have a post to refer my followers too when they come to WA. It will be required reading.
Thanks again Bryan, you had me glued to that post.
Thanks Rick! I always try to make people think. If you can make people really think you can sometimes get them to see what direction they need to move in to succeed.
I agree wholeheartedly.