You are listening to episode eight of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where we get big and hairy and audacious.
Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.
Hello my confident coaches. Are y’all having an amazing day? I sure hope so. My friends, it is the last day of the year. It is the last day of 2019. How did we get here? The 90s are still five years ago to me. It’s the last day of the decade. What? 2020 is upon us. That was a TV show when I was a little kid. Now it’s an actual year. It’s craziness, I tell you.
I hope you guys have had an amazing week. I hope that you are safe and sound and that you have amazing plans to bring in the new year, or maybe you just have quiet plans to bring in the new year. Either way, totally good with me. And that is what we are talking about today is the New Year.
So last week, we did a full look back at 2019. What worked and what didn’t work. And this week, we’re going to put a focus on what we learned from that and how to use that information as we look ahead to 2020. So this is a goal-planning episode, my friend.
Now, before you go groaning on me, no one wants to do goal planning, am I right? No one wants to set goals and plan for goals. That sounds boring. So I hope that you are with me here when I tell you that you’re going to have your socks blown off here in this episode as we talk about defining your one big hairy audacious goal and how I’m going to help you get there in a way that you might not have ever done before.
Like, this I really want you to know right here. If you’ve ever done goal setting before, stay with me. This is going to be unlike something you’ve done before. And like last week, I hope you have your pens and your papers out for this one, or at least at a minimum, give this a listen first. Here’s what we’re talking about, and then you can go and you can do the work later if you need to.
This one actually is probably going to take a little bit longer. Not the actual episode, but the work involved is probably going to take a little bit longer than last week’s episode, so give yourself enough space and time sometime this week. This is a great New Year’s Day activity. Listen to it today, get your brain thinking, go celebrate, and then tomorrow, really spend some time or later this weekend, but make sure you’ve carved out enough time to give your brain space for coming up with ideas.
But before we dive in, let me share what Confident Coach listener Avery had to say about the podcast in her review on Apple Podcasts. This is what Avery wrote. She said, “I’ve been waiting eagerly for this podcast to launch ever since Amy announced her plans to create it, and it delivers. I’ve only listened to three episodes and can tell that Amy is all about overdelivering. I’ve implemented the first two steps of her five-step process and I’m already feeling the results. Thanks Amy.”
Well Miss Avery, you were welcome. Thank you. Keep implementing, keep growing along with the rest of us. I hope the rest of the steps you’re putting those to good use and now we are making amazing big, hairy, audacious goals for 2020 this week.
So let’s talk about this. So first of all, I really want to be honest with you. I’ve done every kind of goal setting and goal planning that you can think of. I’ve used planners, I’ve used the Full Focus planner, that’s a Michael Hyatt planner. I’ve used the Passion Planner, I’ve used the Commit 30 planner. I’ve used the Purposeful Planner by Corie Clark. Smart goals, top three goals, I’ve done everything from very vague goals to really specific goals. I think I’ve done everything in between.
So I want you to approach your goals a little bit different this year in 2020. I want you to pick a BHAG. A big, hairy, audacious goal. Now, full disclosure. At times, I’ve been known to say a big hairy ass goal. I kind of feel like both of them work. You get to choose what you want your A to mean. BHAG. It might be a big hairy audacious goal, it might be a big hairy ass goal. I will use them interchangeably, depending on how feisty I’m feeling at the time.
I don’t know the originator of the term BHAG. I’ve worked with coaches in the past who have used it. I’ve seen it online with a bunch of different thought leaders. BHAG is not an Amy original, but I might be the originator of the big hairy ass goal, so I will totally claim that one.
Okay, so how do BHAGs work? I use BHAGs with my clients, only I work with my clients in six-month stretches. So I have the set a BHAG for the six months we work together. I have the set a BHAG for 90 days. I have them set a BHAG for 30 days. This episode, we are just talking about the year as a whole. 2020 as a whole.
So what you do is this. I want you to come up with the big end result you want to see for 2020. Like, big. Okay? Like, big end result. What would blow your damn mind a year from now? And with this big goal, you’re going to pour your all in into it, even if you fail miserably. This is what makes it a BHAG.
See, I told you this was a little bit different. I’m already adding in the possibility of complete failure. We’re going to actually plan to fail. That’s actually what makes a BHAG in my book, the way I do BHAGs, is that failure is a part of it. We’re going to plan to fail and we’re going to plan to fail lots and lots of times.
But first, your BHAG for 2020. And see, since I’ve already told you that you’re planning to fail, this really knocks down your brain’s ability to argue with you. So when you say you want to crack the six-figure mark in coaching and your brain says no way, you can say, I know, right, brain, it’s totally crazy. We’re probably going to fail. In fact, let’s go ahead and plan on failing.
Because when you set this goal, our brain immediately freaks out because it’s pretty sure we’re going to fail, and you’re like, I know, that’s the plan. Your brain is going to twitch because normally, it sees the potential of failure and it opts to do nothing, and we’re going to show it the potential of failure and doing it anyway.
One thing to remember is that you have set big audacious goals before. Think about a toddler. A baby who sets its mind to walking some day and its brain is like, no way, man. Because that’s how babies and their brains talk to each other. No way, man. We can’t even stand on our own two feet. You think we’re going to make it across the room? You’re nuts, right?
But babies do it anyway, and you did it anyway and you fell down and you probably fell down a lot. You maybe even slammed your forehead into the coffee table on the way down. You get that good goose egg. All those charming signs of a toddler figuring it out and failing.
But then what happened? You got back up and you kept going and you figured it out. And I bet there are other times in your life when you’ve done that too. I guarantee that you are not a stranger to big goals, no matter how much your brain tells you this is different. And that’s what we’re doing here. You’re going to set a big hairy audacious goal and then plan to fail over and over again for the entire year in order to get there.
See, it’s not the goal that’s scary. It’s the fact that getting there will likely require failure. That’s what keeps us from setting the big hairy audacious goals and then keeping them. When we set an impossible goal, that’s what my mentor Brooke calls them, our brain immediately says, “But that’s impossible. We’re going to fail.”
And failure sets us up for humiliation, or shame, or ridicule, or all that deep negative emotion our brains try so hard to avoid. Think about the cavewoman that’s in all of our brains and they’re like, nope, not doing it. So rather than fight our brains on this, let’s just go all in. Let’s dive head first into those negative emotions and let’s plan on failing.
Don’t forget, I’ve taught you how to feel your feelings. Episode three was all about feeling feelings. Your brain wants to avoid it. I’ve already given you one of the best tools I possibly can in episode three. The detailed steps on how to feel the uncomfortable emotions.
So as your brain is totally freaking out, you can keep reminding it as those uncomfortable emotions come up, oh yeah, I’ve learned how to do this. What great practice in feeling your feelings by setting this goal and making a list. We’re going to make a bunch of lists today, and so this is going to be perfect practice to really put that step into practice.
And yeah, I am totally serious about this. I am totally serious about let’s do some uncomfortable shit and let’s teach your brain that you can handle it. Here’s the super fun news though. I’m doing this right along with you. Like, y’all know that coaches get coached, right? Setting BHAGs is how I have built a coaching business from $6000 in 2016 to $250,000 in 2019.
And I’ve got a BHAG for 2020, my friends. Y’all, don’t think that I make you do anything I don’t do. Okay, so how does this planning to fail in order to achieve our BHAG, what does this actually look like? I’ve already brought up that it’s going to feel uncomfortable. I’ve already reminded you that there’s a podcast episode for that. Let’s get to work.
So first of all, decide right now, first number on the top of your head, how much money do you want to earn as a coach in 2020? First number. It’s okay if it scares the shit out of you a little bit. In fact, it should scare the shit out of you a little bit. And if it doesn’t scare you, I want you to go ahead and double that number. Does that scare you a little bit? That’s what I thought.
Remember, the only reason it scares you is because the cavewoman that lives in your brain is sure you’re going to fail. We’ve already decided that failing is how we’re going to get there. So what is your goal? And when will you have it accomplished? Let’s put a date on it. Like, maybe your date is December 31st 2020. But whatever it is, go ahead and write down that specific date.
It will make your brain freak out just a little bit more and it’s totally okay. The more specific we get, the more uncomfortable your mind gets. Be willing to feel those uncomfortable emotions. And now write that goal down as a specific outcome, a specific statement.
So for instance, I will earn $100,000 cash as a coach by December 31st 2020. That statement is clear, it’s specific, it’s measurable. You can easily explain it to someone else. And you will know by December 31st if you hit it or not. There’s no ambiguity here. Commit to this goal. Feel it in your bones. I want you to be able to shout yes when you nail the details of it. I want it to excite you and terrify you all at the same time.
It’s totally okay if it makes you want to throw up a little bit. This is barf club, my friends. I’ve been a member of it for the past couple of years. It’s fabulous, amazing, it makes you want to throw up, and you hit amazing goals along the way.
Okay, so now make a list of all the reasons you do not currently have that goal. So here’s the first list that we’re going to create. All of the things that are why you don’t have that goal. This can be a list of facts, this can be thoughts that you have, this is going to be feelings that you’re afraid of. This is where we give our brains a chance to speak up, because I’m pretty sure our brains are freaking the fuck out at this point.
If your brain is not freaking the fuck out at this point in this podcast episode, we’re not setting big enough goals. Your brain is probably saying, “What have you done? What have you committed us to? You’re crazy. You’re nuts.” Let’s go ahead and let it have its piece. What are all of the facts that exist in your life that are preventing you from achieving this? What does your brain tell you that we can’t make this happen? Everything that makes this impossible. Get it all out there in black and white. Let your brain have its time.
Friends, I specialize in shining a light into our deep dark spaces. This is that right here. Your brain has been telling you all of this in the background and you haven’t been paying attention to it because it feels too uncomfortable, and we’re shining a flash light into there. We don’t need to be afraid of it. In fact, let’s get it all out.
Like, your brain might be telling you, “I only have 1000 people on my email list with 10% open rate. I need to manage my time better. I don’t have a working funnel. I don’t know how to get clients to say yes. I don’t know how to get people on consult calls. I don’t know how to do Facebook Lives. I’m afraid people are going to judge me. I’m afraid of failure.”
Whatever the things are, go ahead and get them out. Why are you currently not at your big hairy audacious goal? What are all the facts of the situation? I don’t even have Mailchimp set up. It could be any number of things, depending on where you are in your business. Just go ahead and list them all out. So go ahead and write, write, write, and then write some more.
Okay, you got it? So here’s the thing. First of all, it’s all out on paper now. All the reasons that currently exist in your life as to why you can’t do this. It’s all out on paper. And everything that you just wrote, all of that is really just fear. It’s all your worst-case scenarios because your brain wants to avoid hurt and pain and humiliation. All of that negative emotion in your body that it’s terrified of.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. All that emotion that your body is trying to avoid, that your brain is trying to avoid, it’s just energy in motion. Emotion is energy in motion. That is all hurt and pain and humiliation is. Energy inside of your body. It’s the frequency that we feel and we can in fact feel it, whether it buzzes, whether it feels heavy, whether it causes a swirling sensation inside our head.
All the anxiety or embarrassed, or what I have found out in my last month of master coach training, the emotion that I am terrified of the most is public humiliation, but all that is is just emotion, which is really interesting because my brain will go to the ends of the earth to try to prevent humiliation or the feeling of humiliation. It’s all just energy.
Energy in motion inside of our body. It cannot hurt you, it cannot kill you, it cannot take you down. Not if you’re willing to just feel it. If you’re willing to feel any emotion, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. Realize that when you are willing to feel any emotion, there is nothing, not even your BHAG that you cannot accomplish. That’s the secret to everything right there, my friend.
So that list of what we have so far, why this big hairy audacious goal is impossible, this list just became all of the ways that you’re going to fail. Turn that list of why it won’t work or why it won’t happen into the things that we’re going to fail at. Here’s the crazy thing. We don’t know everything that you’re going to need to do in order to get there and that’s totally okay. That list of things may or may not be the right answer, but we won’t know until we get working and we just need to show our brain that that list can become a list of things we’re going to fail at.
So for instance, your brain might be telling you I have 1000 people on my email list with a 10% open rate. And we’re going to turn that into I need 10,000 people on my email list with 20% open rate. We don’t actually know if that’s what you need, but that’s what your brain tells you. It’s so much less important as to like, oh, that’s the thing. It’s really just about where you’re at now and what your brain tells you you need to have.
I need to manage my time better might become my time is scheduled and I will follow my schedule. Maybe your thought, I don’t have a working funnel, you’re going to turn that into I’m going to create two converting funnels. I don’t know how to get clients to say yes, you might answer with let’s set a goal of having 30% close rate.
I don’t know how to get people on a consult call might turn into I’m going to have five consults every week. I don’t know how to do Facebook Lives might turn into I do a Facebook Live every week. So from that first list of all the things that your brain tells you why we can’t hit this impossible goal, you’re going to create the second list of the things that you need to have in order to hit that impossible goal.
It’s okay if that second list is correct or not. We don’t know yet. But where is your brain telling you you are now and where does your brain tell you you need to be? From there, we’re going to create another list and that’s what stands between the two things.
So what stands between I have 1000 people on my email list with a 10% open rate and I need to have 10,000 people on my email list with a 20% open rate? What stands in between those two things? Do you need to learn more about Mailchimp or active campaign? Do you need to learn how to write better subject lines in order to get a higher open rate?
What are you going to need? What’s in between those two things? So for instance, I don’t know how to do Facebook Lives to I do Facebook Lives every single week. What stands between that? Is it learning the technology? Is it your willingness to say something wrong on camera? Is it your willingness to feel really uncomfortable?
For each of those items, where you are right now and where you want to be in order to hit that BHAG, to find what stands in between the two things. And there might be multiple things standing in between the two. That’s totally okay. So for instance, maybe becoming better at your funnel means not just Facebook ads but you need to create a freebie and you need to create a landing page and you need to create the emails that will come after they’ve signed up for your email list.
There might be multiple steps that’s standing in between point A and point B. Totally fine. And maybe you don’t even know all of the things that are standing in your way. That’s okay too. We won’t know what we don’t know until we dive in. So anything that your brain is throwing at you right now, I really want to offer that it’s okay if you don’t have the exact answer.
That is just your brain throwing up more reasons. That is just your brain trying to get in the way. And you just go, it’s okay brain, we’re planning to fail and that even means planning to fail at the work we’re doing in this episode because it’s really about setting the plan even if it’s right, even if it’s wrong, it’s so much less important than doing the work and showing your brain you’re capable of doing something and not being sure if it’s correct or not and still living and still being okay.
Because here’s what happens; we’ve just created a list of where you are right now, which is why you don’t have your BHAG, what you need to have, which is what your brain is telling you you need to have to get your BHAG, those things standing in the way, what you’ve just come up with is an amazing list of fails.
They may be learning new technology, they might be learning how to feel uncomfortable emotions associated with failing, and everything in between. If you’ve done this with the end BHAG in mind, you will likely have a full page of things standing in your way, which are now just a list of things that you’re going to be trying to fail at every single week.
What if you planned to fail at least 100 times over the course of 2020? A solid 25 planned fails each quarter. You can take your BHAG and break it down even into quarter-sized goals. So one quarter at a time, we’re going to take a list of all those things standing between where you are now and the BHAG at the end of the year from now and we’re going to create specific actions that you can take, things that you will plan to fail at to get the result that you want.
Again, let your brain go all out. I mean, we’re planning to fail, right? So in this scenario, let’s take that goal of hitting six figures by the end of the year. Remember, I will have $100,000 cash as a coach by December 31st of 2020. Let’s break that down by quarter.
Alright, I’m going to have $25,000 by the end of March 31st 2020. It’s big and it’s hairy and audacious because you’ve never done it before and your brain is sure it’s impossible. So let’s just brainstorm all of the planned fails it’s going to take to get you to earn $25,000 in that first quarter.
I am going to fail at writing an email every single week. I am going to fail at testing two subject lines and seeing which one works better. I am going to fail at planning my schedule every Monday morning and sticking with it through Friday. I am going to fail at creating a new freebie for a funnel. I am going to fail at making at least one offer a day to help someone. I am going to fail at closing new clients at least once a week. I am going to fail at going live on Facebook for the first time.
Rather than just say I’m going to do all these things, we’re telling your brain I’m going to fail at doing all of these things. Your brain might be very confused right now. It’s totally okay. But it’s going, oh wait, we’re making goals and all of the goals are planning to fail, okay. It’s a little Jedi mind trick going on here.
Now, in some of those things, maybe you’re only going to have to fail at them once. There might be some things that you need to be willing to fail at week after week. So the first time you go on Facebook Live, you’re only going to be willing to fail at that one time, but the going on week in and week out is something you’re going to do multiple times over.
Here’s the fun thing; on your weekly calendar, just this first week coming up and every week of this year, you can schedule these activities that you’re going to do, even if the result of that one action is failing. And your ability to get up and keep going again and again and doing it again and again, to keep face-planting along the way, just like that toddler baby, that is how you’re going to get to your BHAG.
Now, if you’re thinking that this isn’t any different than all the times before, realize that there’s already been a mental shift here. In years past, it’s been I’m not going to fail, I’m not going to fail, crap, I failed. This next year, we’re changing that to I’m going to plan to do this and I might fail, I might win, that’s actually the point.
And these aren’t fails like oh, I said I was going to write a new webinar but I decided I was going to fail ahead of time so I just watched Netflix instead. Now, that’s a copout fail. Copout fails are not what we’re doing here. You’re going to earn your fails, my friend. You’re going to do your best to do the thing you said you were going to do, knowing that there’s a possibility of failure and if you fail, getting back up again and keep going.
Because just like last week, remember, we looked at what we did that worked and what we did that didn’t work. You’re going to evaluate after each thing. What worked? What didn’t work? Your first Facebook Live, what worked? What didn’t work? It’s your opportunity to ask yourself what you can learn next time. Maybe you didn’t realize where the buttons were the first time. Now you know for next time.
I went on Facebook Live and I forgot to say the thing that I wanted to say. Great. Do an evaluation. Now you know next time, jot down some key points. We don’t learn these things unless we earn that fail. That’s an earned fail. You tried it, it didn’t quite work, you evaluated, you learned, and you keep going. Entirely different than a copout fail, which is hey, I’m going to go live, oops, I just totally didn’t even bother.
Copout fails keep you where you are, which is stuck, never changing, not getting to the big hairy audacious goals. Copout fails are all about avoiding that fear and negative emotion that come from that list of all of those things why it’s impossible. But remember, emotion is just energy in motion, and when you realize that there’s no emotion you aren’t willing to feel, you will accomplish your big hairy audacious goals.
Revisit episode three on feeling your feelings if you haven’t already. Remember that you’re learning how to feel those uncomfortable emotions. And earned fails will help you grow and learn about you, about what works. These fails will actually move you forward. Are you seeing that difference between setting goals and just throwing your hands up in the air, and setting goals and your willingness to feel the failure?
Do this work for each quarter. Each quarter, earning $25,000 or whatever your goal is, what will you fail at to get there? You may have a lot of overlap, maybe you’re adding new stuff each quarter, like making that first freebie, then writing better emails, then offering a webinar. We’re shooting for 25 fails a quarter or 100 over the course of the year.
And I’m doing this work for myself and my BHAG for my big business goal. I’m going to be sharing all of that with my email list this week and the next couple of weeks. Okay, so let’s regroup here for a moment. At this point, you should have created a few lists.
You have written a BHAG at the top. You’ve made a list of all the things you have right now that are the reason you’re not already at the goal. You’ve made a list of all the things you will need to create that goal, and a list of all of the things standing in between the two. From here, that’s a list of the fails you’re going to attempt all year.
And to ease your brain just a bit, we’ve broken that down into four quarters. And yes, with some overlap. So you’ve set your big hairy audacious goal, you’ve let your brain tell you why you aren’t already there, you’ve turned that into a list of all the ways you plan to fail. So imagine this, you plan to fail at least twice a week every single week towards your big hairy audacious goal.
Commit today to putting those fails on your calendar. Commit to doing and trying and evaluating and learning every single week. You’re practicing feeling all the uncomfortable feelings. You’re evaluating, you’re learning. Here’s the crazy thing; you may or may not hit that specific BHAG. But no matter where you end up, it’s going to be so much farther than what happened this past year.
Because you got really specific on the things you know you need to do to get there. You turn that list into things to do, things you are willing to fail at. That ultimately is what this episode is about. Committing yourself today that you’re willing to fail your way to your BHAG. You are willing to try those things, you’re willing to feel those feelings, you’re willing to evaluate and keep going.
We are going to talk in the coming weeks more about commitment and massive action, but today I have one more activity for you. I like to set a word, a general theme of the year. So take a look back at all that you’ve written or all that you’ve thought about in this episode, and is there a word that keeps coming up for you? A positive word, a motivational word?
I have set words for the year for the past few years and I’m always amazed at how they actually turn out to be completely accurate, even if they weren’t what I thought when I went into the year. And that’s what this entire exercise on big hairy audacious goals is like.
You may or may not hit the exact goal, you may or may not get the exact result, but holy crap, what you will get along the way just trying to get there. What you will learn about yourself and the emotions that you will learn to get comfortable feeling.
So my past words, I’ve had authenticity, badass, slay, unstoppable, and they were all completely accurate as to what my year was, but never for the reasons why I thought. Go ahead and find that one word that kind of sums up the feeling or the idea that you have for this next year.
So by the end of this episode, we’ve set your big hairy audacious goal, we have brain dumped all the way it’s impossible, all the reasons why you weren’t already there. You’ve turned all those impossibilities into planned fails. And we’ve created the one big motivating or inspirational word that’s going to keep coming up for you over the course of the year. That’s the word that keys your brains into all of this work that you’re doing.
Write it on your planner, in your daily journal, tape it to your mirror. I cannot wait to hear your feedback from this episode, my friends. I cannot wait to hear some of what you came up with. In fact, I invite you to share this episode and your word of the year with all of your coach friends. Okay my friends, have an amazing New Year’s Day and until next week.
Hey friends, to celebrate the launch of this show, I am giving away some serious fabulousness. Four lucky listeners will win a $50 gift card to Amazon, while one lucky listener will win a free Apple watch. No joke. A series four 40-millimeter gold stainless steel with Milanese loop. Just like the one I wear. I love it.
And those are some seriously awesome goods to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Of course, I hope you love the show, but it does not have to be a five-star review. Because I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value.
So go visit www.amylatta.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. Thanks friends.
Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at www.amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.