Ep. 182: How to Reverse Engineer Your Goals

How Do You Plan to Achieve Your Goals?

Setting a goal is easy, but do you know exactly what to do to get there?

We’ve all experienced it, some of us more than others. You’re exhausted at the end of the day because you’ve been running around doing a million different things, but you have no idea what you accomplished … or if you accomplished anything.

It happens.

But imagine running a business and feeling like a chicken without a head the majority of the time. That’s not only bad for business, it’s probably bad for your health, too.

Running a successful business means knowing your goals and having a clear plan for meeting them. That’s not news to bigger companies with strategy officers. But to smaller entrepreneurs who are either running a shop by themselves (solopreneurs) or with only a few employees, it may be.

If you’re one of the latter, you may think that as long as you and your staff are working hard (whatever that means), and stuff is getting done, that you’re on the right track. In fact, you could be spinning your wheels. You could be wasting time and effort and giving your attention to activities that have nothing to do with growing and making your business a success.

What do you need to reach your goals?

Do you know what you need to be doing to reach your goals? For example, if your goal is to bring home $200,000 this year, do you know exactly what you need to do to achieve that desired result?

The obvious answers are, well, obvious.

If you’re a real estate agent, then you need to complete transactions. If you’re a financial professional, then you need to increase assets under management. If you’re an insurance agent, you need to sell more policies.

But do you know the specific activities, the KPIs (key performance indicators) you need to satisfy every day to achieve that $200,000 goal? Many don’t. But they should.

If you want to know where to focus your energy, if you truly want to reach your goal, then you need to track your numbers.

You start with your goal. Once you have that, figure out what activities (a.k.a. conversion points) bring you closer to your goal. After that, knowing what you need to do every day becomes a simple math problem.

For example, if you’re an agent and you want to make $200,000 this year, then how many transactions do you need to complete? Let’s say you sell homes in the $300,000 range. At 6% commission, you need to sell 17 homes.

What do you need to do to sell 17 homes?

You need to track your numbers in order to answer that question.

  • How many referrals do you need?
  • How many FSBOs to you need to acquire?
  • How many listings do you need to win?
  • How many open houses do you need to host?

If you know it takes 12 calls to get one referral, and that every five referrals sets you up with one listing appointment, and that you win one of every three listings, and for every listing you close one deal, then you would need to start with a lot of calls.

(Don’t worry. We make the math easy with the free spreadsheet we’ve included in the resources below).

The point is, for this example and barring the use of any other lead gen source (you should always have multiple lead gen sources), you know exactly how many calls you need to every day to reach your goal.

Businesses often fail because the people who run them don’t have a plan in place that directs their actions every single day. What happens is they get to work and the first thing they do is read their email. Before they know it, they’re off to the races and spending their day reacting to others. Very little they do actually contributes to their $200,000 goal.

Listen to Luke and Josh flesh out the ideas and explain more thoroughly how to reverse engineer your goals. If you and your team have the talent, know their craft, and are committed to doing precisely what they need to do every day, you can’t help but meet your goals—whatever they may be.


Key Points

  • Businesses often fail because they don’t have a plan that dictates their actions every day.
  • You won’t know what’s working, what to do, and what not to do, if you don’t track your metrics.
  • It’s the lack of follow up, and not the lack of leads, that results in lost opportunities.

Action Item

Find out what you need to do every day to meet your goals. Use the spreadsheet provided in the Resources below to back into the numbers you need to reach your goal. Those numbers will tell you where to focus, spend your time, and use your energy.


Atomic Habits by James Clear.

The Conversion Code by Chris Smith.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller.

Free spreadsheet



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