Phyllis .
How I Turned My Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal into a Reality
Thank you Kathleen Gage for pushing us to the edge of business and personal success!
29 September, 2017 by
How I Turned My Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal into a Reality
Phyllis Smith
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Lots of people dream of writing books, but it remains a dream. In fact, many of my colleagues in the book publishing and marketing business say 85 – 90% of people who want to write a book, never do. Shocking that so many people say they want something to happen and never make it happen. 


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Writing a Book is Just the Beginning

Even if someone writes a book, The next step is publishing. Then comes sales.

According to John Kremer, world-renowned book marketing expert and author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, most authors never sell more than $100 worth of books in the life span of the book.

The primary reason for this is they do no marketing… period. They live with the illusion they will get discovered. The fact is to sell books you absolutely must market and promote. But I digress.

Making it to #1 on Amazon

As someone who has authored, co-authored and contributed to dozens of books over the past decade, writing my first book was the toughest. After that, it was a simple process of sitting down to write.

I’ve also realized nice revenues from my books. With Power Up for Profits, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketing, I made great money from direct sales and hundreds of thousands on the back end.

In addition to generating revenue, I wanted to hit #1 on Amazon with my works. Years ago, hitting #1 on Amazon was my big hairy audacious goal.

I did whatever I needed to figure this out. I studied other authors, asked colleagues of mine how they accomplished hitting #1 and spent hours on end figuring out how to drive traffic to my books on Amazon.

Once an unknown process, hitting #1, became something I got really good at.

I wrote books on business, spiritual and inspirational topics. Once I learned the process, I could teach others how to do the same. 

Writing My Memoir - Scary!

A few years ago, I found myself dreaming of writing a memoir. Other than telling a few friends and colleagues what I wanted to do, I kept this goal private. I knew myself well enough to know if I went public with my goal, I would do whatever I had to in order to make it a reality.

This brought up some fear.

So why wouldn’t I go public with wanting to write a memoir? In a word, transparency. With my previous books, I could share a bit about myself and continue to “play safe” by keeping deep dark secrets private. Not so with a memoir.

For the most part, memoirs allow an author to dig deep into a time in his or her life that may be something kept carefully tucked away.

Something about goals, especially big hairy audacious goals is this: they are very personal to who we are.

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The Goal Takes Over One's Spirit 

In reality, when a goal permeates to our very core, we will likely do all we have to in order to make the dream a reality. We realize fulfilling the goal is a part of our destiny, our purpose, our path.

Such was the case with my memoir. Having thought about writing a memoir for over a decade, everything aligned perfectly in March 2017, when I attended the eWomenNetwork Platinum mastermind meeting in San Diego. Sandra Yancey talked about how the way to succeed at anything is to get out of the place where we are most comfortable.

At this event I committed 100% to finishing the first draft of the manuscript within 60 days. “60,000 in 60 days” I wrote on my notepad. I quietly slid the notepad in front of the woman next to me.

“Wow!” she whispered. “That’s a lot of writing.”

I nodded in agreement.

“I could never do that nor would I want to,” she whispered.

Something about goals, especially big hairy audacious goals is this: they are very personal to who we are. What motivates us will not motivate others. What many would find as an excuse to stop is the very reason we keep going.

They also give us pause to find out what we are truly made of. Do we stop at the slightest obstacle? Do we make excuses and let time slip away with our dream constantly tugging at our soul? Do we waste precious time looking for the easy button that doesn’t exist? Or do we do everything in our power to take our dream from an idea to one that manifests itself? The answer resides in our actions, day in and day out. Simple as that. 

The answer resides in our actions, day in and day out. Simple as that. 

My Memoir - Revealing Myself to Me

I had no idea how different writing a memoir would be compared to a business or spiritual book. Nor did I realize how many times I would confront my demons from the past. I wasn’t aware how often the small voice inside would encourage me to stop the process. I had no way of knowing what stories would unfold.

As I watched the words pour from my fingers onto the keyboard onto the screen, in some ways I felt as if I were reading someone else’s story.

Stories of a lost soul who drank too much, ran in the wrong circles, made very poor choices, rarely followed through on what she said she would do, lived in a dark place and ended up on the streets. That same person would become a woman who has been clean and sober for 33 years, a woman who discovered the power of one’s word, one’s actions and one’s willingness to align her actions with her words.  

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Lots of Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

What revealed itself to me each day of writing was how many big hairy audacious goals I have set in the past three decades.

Yet, one of the most personal and intense goals I set was when I participated in my first full marathon at the age of 61. It was a goal that would push me beyond where I thought I could go. A goal, during many training days, I wondered why I had ever set. A goal that showed me what I am made of.

Crossing the finish line for the 2015 Eugene marathon required more than wishful thinking. It required a plan and the willingness to work the plan day in and day out. The same as what it took to write 60,000 words in a 60-day period.  

Visualize Your Outcome

To assure I would stay the course with my memoir, I applied a similar strategy to that of training for the marathon.

Every day I did something to get me closer to the finish line. Each day, I worked on my mindset, my stamina, my endurance and my vision. After all, it has been said that we must “see ourselves in possession of something long before we actually possess the thing.”

I also made a public declaration in my Power Up for Profits Facebook Group. I posted daily updates on my progress. I checked in with my accountability partner and I continued to think of how great it would feel to accomplish my goal.

Crossing the fishing line, writing a manuscript, getting in top physical shape, having a great relationship or any goal you have requires seeing yourself achieving it every single day. 

Crossing the Finish Line is a Choice

Crossing any finish line requires only one thing: you keep going until you cross the line. Period. End of story.

Yet, many people give up even when crossing the line is within sight. A few reasons are:

  • They get caught up with distractions that have nothing to do with their goal.

  • Their goals are so vague they never feel like they are progressing.

  • There is no higher purpose to their goal.

  • They let others discourage them.

  • They work on too many goals at once. 

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Your Goal Will Grow

As some point during the first draft writing, I set another audacious goal: Hit New York Times Bestseller. Why New York Times? Simple. To see what I’m made of. After all, I had hit bestseller on Amazon more than once, but never New York Times Bestseller. What a stretch this is. Another big hairy audacious goal.

Will I reach New York Times Bestseller? There’s only one way to find out. Go for the gusto. Just like with your goals. The more you stretch yourself, the more you are likely to accomplish. 

What Are You Made Of?

Truth be told, until we push ourselves, we never really know what we are capable of. Want to know what you’re made of? Set an outrageous goal. Then go for it with everything you have. Leave it all on the field.

This is how we find out what we are made of. We leave it all on the field. We risk failing. We risk looking like a fool. We risk being judged. We risk not being liked.

On the flip side, we risk winning. We risk looking flipping amazing to ourselves and those who love us. We risk people saying: “You inspire me.” We risk being respected for our courage.

We can play it safe and try not to make waves, thus leaving only waves of mediocrity. Or we can live in the space of playing full out.  

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Some goals we set are downright scary. Others, not so much. It’s the ones that frighten us that push us to see what we’re made of. Things that once we do them, there is no going back.

We can play it safe and try not to make waves, thus leaving only waves of mediocrity. Or we can live in the space of playing full out.

Do you play full out? Are you willing to push your own limits? Isn’t life way too short not to?

Today… give it your all. Today… stay the course. Today… make the commitment to live fully.

Do so in order that you have no regrets tomorrow. Do so by setting BIG HAIR AUDACIOUS GOALS. 

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Author, Kathleen Gage

As the author of hundreds of information products, books and training programs, Kathleen Gage loves all that is possible for today’s creative entrepreneurs. Although Kathleen is recognized as a top leader in her field, this wasn’t always the case. Kathleen made choices in her teens and early twenties that took her from a comfortable middle-class upbringing to a life of homelessness and being unemployable. Kathleen Gage rose above seemingly insurmountable odds to become an award-winning business owner, bestselling author, Internet sales and marketing trainer, and award-winning keynote speaker. Outside of business, Kathleen can be found training for a marathon, rescuing animals with her wife, Karen, of 28 years, walking their dogs, feeding their horses, working in her many flower gardens and playing a fierce game of cards.

How I Turned My Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal into a Reality
Phyllis Smith
29 September, 2017
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