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A “Holy Cow” Moment in Goal Setting

At the end of 2009, I developed a basic skeleton for my 2010 business goals. It spelled out how I planned to make $X, with weekly and monthy targets – whichever made the most sense for the particular activity. I was feeling good about the fact that they were aggressive goals that would force me to work hard, and allow me to keep doing the things I enjoy about work.

Then, my weekly networking group did something pretty helpful. In last week’s activity, we chose an accountability partner and shared those goals with that person. This could help.

A lot.

The next day, I met with another individual, and shared my goals with her. She is a tax accountant, and she shared something extremely important with me: In order to continue to live the lifestyle to which I am accustomed, I am going to have to increase my target income figure for the year by about 32%. This will allow me to earn enough to pay for the things that my BUSINESS should be paying for, rather than being subsidized by our household income (read:  my wife’s job). In addition, this strategy will decrease the likelihood of being audited by the IRS. Apparently, if my young business runs at a very small profit or a loss for several consecutive years, it could be seen by the IRS as an attempt to “classify my hobby as a business” solely for the tax benefits.

Holy cow.

I am in the process of reworking my goals. And I am thankful that I shared my goals with someone that has greater financial wisdom than myself! My revised goals will have to be much more aggressive, but it’s far too early to tell myself that they are insane. That would guarantee my own failure before Step One is even finished.

The moral of this story, so far, is this: I encourage you to share your financial goals with someone that is very well-versed in the financial aspects of running a business. They could reveal weaknesses to you that might be extremely important in the long run!

Come back tomorrow for some “nuts and bolts” info about goal-setting.

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