$1 Million or Bust: A Realistic Guide to Setting and Smashing Audacious Goals

Crafting Goals That Transform the Impossible Into the Inevitable

Have you ever been told your dreams are too big, your goals too lofty? I say they’re not dreaming big enough. Welcome to a journey where ‘impossible’ is just a word for the uninitiated.

I’m trying to grow this newsletter, that’s no secret to you. I’m always seeking new insights. That’s why I subscribed to Shaan Puri’s newsletter, Small Boy.

I’ve noticed his referral program which promised an eBook called: Shaan’s 12 Big Life Lessons Mini-Book.

Since I’m a big fan of Shaan I’ve shared his newsletter with a friend, got the referral, and downloaded his book. It’s pure fire. No kidding, sign up via the link above, refer a friend (or just refer to a second email you create), and dig in. Subscribe here: https://shaan.beehiiv.com/subscribe?ref=Z3fw1zQQoU

I’ll quote the part that inspired me:

“#1 – Define Winning

I set clear, measurable goals.

“I want to achieve financial success and not stress about money!”

terrible goal. What is ‘success’? By when?”

​”I want to have $5M in liquid assets by age 35″

a good simple goal​

So how ambitious should you be with your goals?

Shoot for the moon or be realistic?

​Trick question – do both. “

Shaan Puri – Small Boy Newsletter

It’s this short part that made me realize I placed my goal completely wrong. So I changed it into 2 new goals. It created a totally new framework for me. Approaching it opened my eyes. Let me explain.

My old goal, 100.000 subscribers, < Terrible goal.

It only encourages a mindset to focus on gaining subscribers. So I’ll run ads on my Instagram pages, and the one that drives the most subscribers wins. But then what?

Although I believe in growth first, and monetization later. It would help if you kept the latter in mind from the start.

So I set 2 new goals.

One Big fat “holy shit” goal. And one that I would be very grateful to reach.

  • The holy shit goal: $1,000,000 in annual revenue within 5 years.
  • The grateful goal: $2,500 a month in the next year.

Leaving it here would only create some vague note on my phone. And the first response: 1M? Yeah right. Keep it real bruv.

So we have a big goal. Now what? Let’s do the math to make it more tangible.

Let’s break the goal down:

As for now, I only offer a premium subscription of 2,97 a month. I call it “Buy me a coffee”.

Let’s break down 1M worth of coffee:

1,000,000 annual revenue means:

  • 28,058 paying subscribers

Suddenly the big fat goal doesn’t feel so huge anymore. With almost 1,700,000 combined followers on Instagram, this feels reachable.


At the moment only 1 in 50 of you are subscribing to premium. So in order to reach 28k premium subscribers I need 1,402,900 subscribers… At the current growth rate that would take me 135 years…. And we’re back to earth.

Let me circle back to this later.

Now, let’s look at the grateful goal:

To get a monthly revenue of 2,500 I’ll need 842 of you to buy me a coffee. At the current ratio of 1:50, that would mean I’ll have to grow to 42,100 subscribers. This is a very reasonable and doable goal. This would take me 4 years to reach looking at the current growth rate.

What does the data tell us?

To reach my grateful goal I’ve got 3 angles:

  1. Find a way to have premium subscribers pay more. (I could x4 my fee)
  2. Have more people sign up for premium. So instead of 1:50, I need to speed up the process x4 meaning I need you to sign up 1:12.5
  3. Drive more weekly subscribers. Instead of 200 a week, I need to ramp up ads and get 800 new subscribers a week.

Debunking these angles:

With this data, I can further break down my approach. I have 3 areas of focus.

  1. In order to charge more money I need to provide more value. But how much more? Looking at a rate x4 I’d have to charge $12 a month. That’s basically Netflix or Disney+. Let’s keep it real, there’s no way I can provide this much value. So let’s drop this approach (for now).
  2. How can I get more people to opt-in to premium at the current rate? Add more value… So the big question I’ve got to answer is: What value do I need to add to have 1 in 12,5 people subscribe?
  3. The last is a matter of testing. I need to increase the number of ads and try different angles. I need to try more lead gens. (A lead generation is like a freebie you get when you subscribe. Like the eBooks I’ve been pitching you.)

So instead of wondering what to write next, I’ll create 1 very tangible and measurable micro goal. Then, I’ll write down the big and only important question worth thinking about:

  • 1 Goal – Drive 4 times more people to sign up.
  • 1 Question – What extra value can I include in the premium tier to get 4 times more subscribers?

My data points:

  • What ads drive the most subscribers? Create more variations of them or schedule them more frequently.
  • Which lead gens drive more paid subscribers? Make more of them.

Finally, let’s shift your mindset once and for all.

If you paid close attention, you’ve noticed I only calculated my micro goals individually.

The real magic happens when I improve in all areas.

Jay Abraham talks about the 3 ways to make more money:

  1. Get more clients
  2. Get clients to spend more
  3. Get clients to buy more frequently.

If you manage to increase one of these steps by 10% you’ll obviously increase revenue by 10%.

However, if you increase all 3 steps by 10% a year you’ll end up with 33.1% more revenue. (Not 30)

If you’re looking to double your revenue, improving only one element by 10% every year. It would take you a little over 7 years to double.

If you focus on all 3 elements, it will take you a little over 2 years…..

If you bought me a coffee you can download a detailed calculation of this phenomenon. Upgrade here to get access.

Now back to my goals:

I need 800 subscribers a week to reach my grateful goal.

Or I need 1:12,5 people to sign up for premium.

Or, I need 400 new subscribers a week and 1:25 people to sign up for premium….

Do you see where I’m going here?

Let’s imagine I managed to reach my grateful goal. From there I can do the same calculation. but for my big fat goal. With money pouring in new angles arise. I now have a budget to spend. For buying more ads, or creating more value. Now I could look at different angles:

  • Can I create something worth $9,97 a month? (8,358 subscribers needed for 1M)
  • Can I offer a service worth $97? (859 sales a month needed)
  • Can I offer a service worth $997? (84 clients needed)

These would speed up my growth even further.

Wrapping it up.

  1. Redefining Goals: Inspired by Shaan Puri’s insights on goal setting, I realized my original goal of 100,000 subscribers was too vague and not conducive to meaningful growth.
  2. New Goal Framework: I shifted to a dual-goal approach: a “holy shit” goal of $1,000,000 in annual revenue within 5 years and a “grateful” goal of $2,500 monthly revenue in the next year. This framework encourages a balanced vision of ambitious and achievable targets.
  3. Making Goals Tangible: Breaking down the “holy shit” goal revealed that achieving $1M annual revenue requires 28,058 paying subscribers. With 1.7 million followers, this goal suddenly seemed attainable—until considering the current premium subscription rate of 1 in 50, which would necessitate 1,402,900 subscribers, a daunting task.
  4. Realistic Assessment: The “grateful” goal appears more feasible, needing 842 premium subscribers from a total of 42,100, a target achievable within 4 years at the current growth rate.
  5. Strategic Angles: To reach the “grateful” goal, three strategies were evaluated: increasing the premium fee, boosting the premium subscription rate, and driving more weekly subscribers. However, competing with services like Netflix at $12 a month isn’t realistic without significantly enhancing value.
  6. Focus Areas: The primary challenge is adding enough value to convert 1 in 12.5 subscribers to premium. In addition, it’s crucial to increase ad effectiveness and diversify lead generation tactics. This will accelerate growth.
  7. Understand how compounding works: With more growth levers identified, we can now work on improving all of them.

So what’s the takeaway?

Without my big fuck yeah goal I would have never stopped to look at different angles.

If you keep going with some vague goal you won’t identify the areas you could and should improve.

Now that I have a big goal I know exactly where the bottlenecks are. So I can reframe my focus point. At this stage there’s only 1 thing on my mind:

What can I add to the $2.97 premium tier to make it a must-have for people who encounter it?

With a sole focus on this question, it’s very easy to brainstorm new ideas. I can reach out to people who I know can help me.

The plan suddenly becomes more tangible.

  1. Find what value brings my premium ratio down from 1:50 to 1:10. Then add it to the tier and promote it.
  2. Optimize ads to drive more subscribers so that I can reach my first goal within a year.
  3. Use the generated income to reinvest and create products worthy of 9,97 a month.
  4. The rest we’ll figure out along the way.

So why is setting a big goal crucial again?

The big takeaways from setting a substantial goal and breaking it down with detailed calculations are crucial for gaining new insights and sparking innovative ideas for growth. Here’s why this approach is so vital:

1. Clarity and Direction: Setting a large, audacious goal forces you to clearly define what success looks like. This clarity is essential for mapping out the path to achieve it, providing a concrete direction for your efforts and resources.

2. Tangible Targets: Doing the math transforms abstract aspirations into tangible targets. By breaking down a big goal into smaller, quantifiable objectives, you make the goal more approachable and manageable, which is crucial for planning and execution.

3. Identifying Gaps and Opportunities: The process of dissecting a goal into actionable steps allows you to identify gaps in your current strategy and uncover opportunities for improvement or innovation that you might not have considered otherwise.

4. Motivation and Accountability: Big goals, when made tangible, can significantly boost motivation. They provide a clear benchmark for progress, making it easier to measure success and hold yourself accountable, keeping the momentum going even when faced with challenges.

5. Stimulates Creative Thinking: The necessity to meet high targets encourages out-of-the-box thinking. It pushes you to explore creative solutions, new strategies, and unconventional approaches that can lead to breakthroughs in growth and efficiency.

6. Adaptability: Through the process of breaking down and analyzing your goal, you become more adept at adjusting your strategies in response to feedback, market changes, and unforeseen obstacles, making your growth journey more resilient and adaptable.

In essence, setting a significant goal and meticulously dissecting it not only clarifies what you’re aiming for but also unveils the practical steps and innovative strategies needed to get there, driving meaningful progress and growth.

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