Join the Journey #1: My Goals for Make the Leap

One of the things I planned to do with this project is to not just promote the book and the ideas within it--which, by the way, could change your life!--but to offer a glimpse of what went into it and what I've learned along the way.

I'm planning to publish a series of monthly posts called "Join the Journey" where I aim to be transparent about the process of writing and publishing the book. I'll cover what tools I use, what I am doing to market it, what's working and what isn't, and what I'm learning from the journey.

I strive to apply the same training principles I write about in the book to all of my projects, and this will be a chance to show how I put them into practice in another area: writing, self-publishing, and marketing a book!

So join me! And if you have comments or feedback, please feel free to share them! 

What are my goals?

Ah, goals. Of course we're starting with goals. How else would we measure our success?

Before you dive into any project, it's critical to know what you hope to get out of it. You don't need to have concrete goals, but you do need to know your "why." Your "why" is going to drive all your future decisions, including your goals.

I thought about this a lot. Statistically, most self-published books don't sell in volume. It's just the reality of the business. Just as 90% of restaurants fail, 90% of books never become hits.

But what about first books by new authors with no significant social media following or sales channels to launch into?

Ummm...yeah.

The first thing I had to decide was how I was going to measure success (or more statistically likely, failure). Lucky for me, I'm more motivated by self-referenced goals.

Norm-referenced vs Self-referenced: Two types of success

Most of us set norm-referenced goals. Norm-referenced goals are those in which we compare to other people or to external standards. Profits, units sold, awards won, or subscribers gained are norm-referenced ways to measure success. In a running context, it's your finishing place or time. The key thing is it's comparing to something outside of us.

Another type of goal--equally valid--is a self-referenced goal. Self-referenced goals focus on improvement, learning, growth, or realizing our potential. The comparisons are internal to us. Are we better than when we started? And how did we do given the context?

Norm-referenced vs self-referenced goals

(I cover both types of goals in detail in Chapter 5 of Make the Leap.)

I accepted early on that norm-referenced goals were valid, but the odds were stacked against me. To feel satisfied, I'd need to focus on self-referenced goals. And that's largely what I've done.

I'm absolutely trying to sell as many copies as I can, but my true goals (and definition of success) are essentially all self-referenced.

Okay, let's get to the goals =)

So with that preface, here are my goals for Make the Leap. I've broken them down loosely by how difficult I perceive them to be.

I plan to come back and update this post when I achieve them and refer to it as I provide future Join the Journey updates.

Self-Referenced Goals

This is where I put 90% of my energy. And where I say "learn" I really do mean it. I don't care about the pace or performance so much as the process.

  1. Prove to myself I can write a book (DONE)
  2. Learn how to self-publish a book (DONE)
  3. Learn how to grow a social media feed to 1k followers
  4. Learn how to grow a newsletter to 1k subscribers
  5. Learn how to be a better public speaker
  6. Earn opportunities to write for other publications
  7. Leverage this work to benefit my other company, Go Be More
  8. Learn how to create an online course
  9. Have an athlete tell me the book impacted their training/life
  10. Use what I learn to write an even better 2nd book

There's another goal that I didn't include in that list, but it's very important to me. I want to connect to interesting and successful people and grow my personal network. The book has already created opportunities to connect with multiple accomplished coaches, athletes, and podcasters and I hope to keep creating more opportunities as I go forward. If you'd like to connect with me, please do!

Norm-Referenced Goals

You'll see that for the most part, I set norm-referenced goals in factors of 10. Big numbers just don't motivate me the way process does. And it takes different skills and practices to level up any process by a factor of 10. I want to keep pushing myself to learn how to do that.

  1. Break even! Earn enough to cover fixed costs (cover design, software, monthly hosting fees, etc): about $1000 profits thru end of 2021
    (**This doesn't account for my time. That would increase it by a factor of 10!)

Sales

  1. Sell 1 copy (DONE - 12/30/2020)
  2. Sell 10 copies (DONE - 12/31/2020)
  3. Sell 1 copy to someone I've never met (DONE - 1/7/2021)
  4. Sell 10 copies to people I've never met (DONE - 1/27/2021)
  5. Sell 100 copies
  6. Sell 100 copies to people I've never met
  7. Sell 1,000 copies
  8. Sell 10,000 copies
  9. Sell 100,000 copies (stretch goal!)

Help me reach my goals - buy the book today!

Team Orders

  1. Sell 1 bulk order to a team (DONE - 12/31/2020)
  2. Sell 10 bulk orders to teams
  3. Sell 100 bulk orders to teams

Contact me to discuss getting copies for your entire team.

Think Better Newsletter

  1. Gain 100 subscribers
  2. Gain 1,000 subscribers
  3. Gain 10,000 subscribers
  4. Gain 100,000 subscribers (stretch goal!)

See my previous publications and subscribe here. (You can read Chapter 1: What is a "Leap"? for FREE when you do.)

Social Media

  1. Gain 100 followers
  2. Gain 1,000 followers
  3. Gain 10,000 followers
  4. Gain 100,000 followers (stretch goal!)

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Summary

I write a lot about goals in Make the Leap because goals are important. But I believe it's the act of setting goals that matters more than the actual goals we set.

And even more than our goals, it's how we execute on a daily basis that truly determines our level of success or failure.

So these goals will hopefully push me to continue to execute better, to raise my game to the level of each challenge, and to turn this book into a meaningful success (both self-referenced and norm-referenced!).

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