The Problem With Goal Setting

Written by Matt Wolfe
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I’m creating this blog post for a couple reasons.

First is to tell you about a new direction I’m going with this blog and some changes I’m making and second is to announce another project that I am pursuing.

The Problem With Goal Setting…

Each month, in my monthly income report, I break down every penny that I made, my expenses, where my traffic comes from, how I spend my time, and much much more.

Another element to these posts has been my goals.

I post how I did on my goals for the previous month, and I set new goals for the current month.

I’ve been struggling with the goal aspect of these reports, and here’s why…

Every month I write down several goals for the month and by mid-month my goals have changed completely.

It’s like I’m aiming at a static target but, in reality, the target is always moving.

For example, at the beginning of this month, I set a goal to add 50 new members to Marketing Insiders. However, a few weeks into the month I made the conscious decision that I need to put my marketing efforts into adding more members to the Content Business Machine.

I also was inspired in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago to start on a new project that I was excited about. This project didn’t fit into the goals that I had set for myself, but I felt that it was something that was important to pursue.

Another issue that I’ve been having with publicly declaring my income goals is that it causes me to take actions that may not be in the best interest of my readers.

For example, if I set my income for $20,000 for the month of October, my mind becomes fixated on “how do I create $20k this month?” instead of “how do I create something that a lot of people are going to find valuable?”

The reality of the matter is that some months I will create $40,000 and some months I might only create $8,000… It doesn’t mean I suck at what I do… It means that I endure the lower income months because I am focused on creating value so that the higher income months happen.

If I’m focused on creating a product that I believe people will find really valuable, it might take me two months to create… During the months that I’m focused on creation, I may have lower income because I’m not actively launching something.

Then, when I finally do launch the program I’ve been working on, I make up for the lower months…

So, while setting income goals for the month makes a lot of sense, in theory… In practice, it often forces me to make decisions motivated by money instead of motivated by creating value.

Monthly Income goals force me to make decisions motivated by money instead of motivated by creating value. Click To Tweet

Blogging And Brand Management

I’m often told by others that I need to focus on my brand… I’m told that, by posting my income reports, I’m showing people that I might not always do as well as the perception that may be out there.

If I create a product, and it doesn’t sell well, I’ll be exposed… People will realize “he’s not as good of a marketer as he claims to be”…

If I share struggles that I have in my business, people won’t want to hire me as a consultant because, “if he struggles with his business, how can he help other people’s businesses?”

If I post my income, and it’s lower than the previous month, people might think my business is failing and stop wanting to follow me…

These are all the types of things I think about every single time I post an income report.

These are things that trusted friends and fellow online marketers have pointed out to me and put these thoughts in my head.

Well here’s the deal…

I want to have an online brand. I want to be seen as successful, just like everyone else. I want to people to look to me as someone that they can learn from…

But, I believe that I can create a brand around transparency. I believe I can create a brand that stands for being vulnerable and not having to have it all figured out all the time. I believe that I can be a brand that shows huge accomplishments as well as struggles and screw ups.

Yesterday, I did a radio interview down in San Diego for a mid-day business radio show… On the drive, I listened to a podcast episode that completely changed my thinking on vulnerability and just sharing.

It was the self-made man podcast episode with Garrett White. I highly recommend it. It was powerful for me. There’s a lot of strong language though. So be advised.

The big take away from the podcast was just to open up. Stop lying to yourself and others and just always be honest and transparent.

He’s built his brand around complete transparency and opening up about everything and I enjoyed and found his story powerful.

With that being said, you’re going to continue to get transparency, honesty, success stories, failures, and everything in between from me.

You won’t get monthly goals anymore…

I’m not going to beat myself up over good income months vs. low-income months because, in most cases, the bad months are what create the good months.

The New Project

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I began putting focus on a new project.

The new project is called “Multiply Authority” and it’s a blog about creating authority online.

I’m extremely excited and passionate about this project, and it plays a big role in where I feel I’m headed with my business.

The concept of this blog is that I’m going to build an authority blog and create a brand, right in front of everyone’s eyes.

This site will be an authority site on the topic of creating authority, with tutorials, case studies, product reviews, interviews, and much much more.

I’m shifting much of my content creation focus to this site.

My personal blog here will still house my income reports and my personal thoughts, rants, and insights but Multiply Authority will be where you will find free training.

My business model is shifting a bit… I’m putting more focus on putting content out there for free.

I want to train for free, give interviews for free, show case studies and product reviews for free and monetize through affiliate promotions, consulting, and, eventually a software product.

Multiply Authority only has one blog post on it as of this writing but, that one blog post already has over 100 social shares and growing.

I’ve hired writers to create the most epic training they can so that I can share it for free.

I’m in the middle of creating some of the most in-depth tutorials I could create so that I can share them for free.

I’m digging into my vault of killer content from the past and will be releasing it there for free.

All to build that site as a massive authority, building trust with my readers, and, hopefully, generating some affiliate commissions from my content.

So there you have it…

I won’t be posting monthly goals in my income reports anymore.

Transparency and honesty with my readers are what I aim to create.

This blog will continue to have income reports and personal thoughts.

Multiply Authority is where you’ll find future training, case studies, interviews, and more.

Onward to what’s next…

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About the author

Matt Wolfe

Matt Wolfe is a father, a husband, an author, a speaker, a teacher and a bit of a hacker. He was one of the original founders of LearnToBlog.com and co-founded Beyond The Hype. Matt is an expert on paid traffic generation, email marketing and affiliate marketing. He's constantly developing new training courses and is currently in development of a new software platform, set to be released at the end of 2015.

  • Ian Chandler

    So true. I love the idea of building a brand around transparency and providing value first. People congregate around value, so it’s no wonder MA is doing so well already. I look forward to seeing it unfold.

    P.S. Sent you an email, Matt 🙂

    • I appreciate that Ian. I think MA will turn into a massive resource for people. 🙂 I’ve got some of the best of the best writers working on it!

      I don’t believe I received an email. Did you use my contact form?

      • Ian Chandler

        I’ll be sure to spread the word! And I sent my email to your Multiply Authority editor address.

        • Got it! I received over 100 emails to that account! I’ll be working my way through them. Shoot me a message through the contact form on this page if you’d like as well. 🙂

          • Ian Chandler

            Wow, MA is off to an amazing start. Will do Matt, thanks a bunch! 🙂

  • So glad to have found your site, Matt. But I am actually finding it difficult to subscribe to your blog here. Where is the subscribe button!? :/ Your content really deserves all the attention it can get… great going man!

  • Yeah just like me Matt.next At first I’m like okay! This is what i wish to accomplish right now and the next? I’m totally gone.. Like out of the line.. Sometimes i MIGHT Need to slap myself into order.

    I should feature this post on my blog in a few days time, It corresponds with what I’m working on. Want a quick heads up?

    Thanks for sharing, Babs.