Impossible, you say? Can't be done, you say?
Let's do the math, shall we?
There are approximately 7 billion people in the world. If each of those people were to give you $1 each month, you would make $7 billion each month.
Of course, not all those 7 billion people can do that. Some are children and don't even earn minimum wage. Also, some of them get paid in rubles, rupees, krones, rands, francs, pesos, riyals or even chewing gum.
So, we need to be a little more realistic.
Let's say one in seven people will give us $1 a month.
Woohoo! There's our billion dollars a month payday.
Oh, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that's still overly optimistic.
So, how about we get 100 million people to pay us $10 a month? That's only 1.42857% of the world population! How hard can that be?
Of course, the credit card companies or PayPal will want a percentage, because not all those people will be showing up at your doorstep with cash, which is a good thing because that foot traffic would destroy your lawn. I mean, even making a billion dollars a month, you don't want to have to spend money to lay new sod every other day. That's just wasteful. So, you would need slightly more than 100 million people to pay you $10 a month.
Let's cut down a bit. How about we get 10 million people to pay us $100 a month? That seems more manageable.
Better yet, how about a million people pay us $1,000 a month?
We could play with numbers all day long. There are numerous variations that would get us to one billion dollars a month. We could spend days trying to figure out the perfect combination that gets us the huge amount of money we want yet still seems manageable.
Then the next step is trying to figure out what to sell those people.
And that's where it all breaks down. You see, a lot of people start by figuring out how much money they want to make and then work backwards to try to figure out how to get there.
Read that again: they work backwards.
Of course, it's true that you want to have a goal. Maybe it's the amount of money you need to live your current lifestyle. Maybe it's the amount of money you need to live your dream lifestyle. Maybe it's the amount of money you need to save your house. Maybe it's the amount of money you need to pay off your debts. Maybe it's the amount of money you need to buy a Wii.
Anyway, you get the picture.
Goal setting is fine, but don't become a victim of math. Math can make things seem hard; math can also make things seem easy.
You know the old trick where you start with a penny and double it every day? By the end of the month, you have you have over five million dollars! Starting with just a penny!
Seems easy? Just double your money every day. How hard is that? If you can make $0.01, you can double that to make $0.02. Whatever you did to make $0.02 you can double to make $0.04. And so on.
Of course, once it hits a certain level, it's not so easy to double anymore. You can only do so much yourself, you can only outsource so much and, at some point, you only have a certain number of buyers.
It's easier to grow when your new because there's a wider pool of available customers. As that pool shrinks, it's harder to maintain growth and you level out. The only way to grow is to continue to snatch customers from competitors, which becomes harder and harder, or to expand into new niches.
So, don't be a victim of math. Just because the math may convince you it's not that hard to do, doesn't mean that it isn't, in actuality, really hard to do.
Conversely, just because the math may convince you it's too hard to do, doesn't mean that it isn't, in reality, easier than it seems.
Of course, what's missing from all these equations is that you must have something of value to offer!
Lots of people enter a market because "there's money in it!" Well, that's all well and good and may be true, but you need to have something of value to offer that market. No one needs another mediocre product offering. I mean, let's say I have a crummy can opener. I need a new one. I'm probably not alone. There's a market for can openers. People need can openers to open cans. Well, except for the cans that have the self-opening tabs, but not all cans are like that. Plus, sometimes they fail and then you need a can opener to open the can.
But, what I don't need is another mediocre can opener. Sure, some people will be happy with a mediocre can opener because they don't open many cans or because it's cheap and they can't afford a more expensive one right now, even though they'll probably spend more money buying cheap ones in sequence after they keep breaking, but I digress.
At any rate, there are tons of mediocre can openers on the market. How does the market benefit from you adding another mediocre can opener to the mix? It doesn't. Sure, you might get some sales. You might do better marketing than the other mediocre can opener companies but, at the end of the day, what you're putting out into the world is just another mediocre can opener.
You'll probably never get rich selling mediocre can openers.* You might be able to afford that Wii, but you probably won't be able to afford that mansion on the hill you've had your eye on, unless it's in foreclosure because the owner couldn't sell enough mediocre can openers to pay his mortgage.
If you want to make the big bucks, you'll need to offer something of real value. You need to offer an exceptional can opener. It could still be a cheap can opener. Maybe you've patented a new design that's cheap to make, cheap to sell, but lasts for years and years and years. Then you've really got something. Why buy a mediocre can opener for $2 and have it break after six months when someone can buy your exceptional can opener for $2 that'll last for twenty years?
Or maybe you could sell a top end can opener. Maybe it not only opens the can, but also dumps the contents into a bowl, stirs it and heats it up for me. Maybe it can read a QR tag off the label so it knows exactly what to do with the contents. You could probably fetch a high price for such a can opener. You'll maybe have fewer buyers but you'll be making more money, or the same amount of money for less effort. Or whatever.
So, in some way, your can opener needs to be exceptional. Either cheap and long-lasting or expensive and multi-functional. Your can opener needs to rock. If it can also play jazz, that's probably a bonus too.
As for setting high goals, why not? Just so long as you have something of value to offer to potentially reach that goal. You want to sell a million can openers a month? Why not? Why not have lofty goals?
I mean, let's say you're living in a tiny apartment right now. Or a crummy rental home. Or maybe your house is paid for but it's a piece of junk. Doesn't matter. You want something better. So, you set a goal of a billion dollars a month.
People laugh at you. They think you're crazy.
You have a high goal. What if you come up short? What if you end up making 1/1,000th of your goal? What if only end up making $1 million dollars a month instead of a billion? What if you only end up making $100,000 a month instead of a billion?
Golly. It must suck to fail like that.
Right now, I know someone is saying to him or herself: "Challenge accepted!"