What would it take for you to double or even triple your production in the next 12 months? One of the most powerful strategies that you can employ is to set a BHAG — a big, hairy, audacious goal. Are you up for the challenge?

What differentiates mega-producers from the average agent? One of the most important differentiators is that they have written goals. In fact, most mega-producers look at their goals every single day and track where they are in terms of achieving those goals.

While there are plenty of approaches to goal setting, the research clearly shows that having a written business plan with written goals makes a substantial difference in the amount of money you will learn. A longitudinal research study from Harvard Business School showed that those who had a written business plan earned 10 times more money than those who lacked a written plan.

Are ‘SMART’ goals dumb?

A recent Leadership IQ study of 4,182 workers across 397 organizations showed that “SMART” goals (“SMART” is an acronym for specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-grounded) may actually hold you back rather than help you achieve success. In other words, SMART goals may actually be dumb.

Here’s what a set of “SMART” goals might look like for an agent who is working on generating more listings and sales from a geographical farm.

1. Specific

Generate an additional listing and sale each month from this farm for the next 12 months.

2. Measurable

Increase the number of traditional mail contacts from six per year to 12.

3. Actionable

Use viral marketing on my website to increase contacts by holding a drawing, providing an email newsletter, or offering an e-coupon from a local vendor to anyone who registers on the website from the mailing campaign.

4. Relevant

Items offered will change monthly and will be specifically related to events in the farm area or discount e-coupons residents can use from local vendors for their homes.

5. Time-grounded

On the first of the month, design the campaign and send it to the local printer. Send cards out on the 10th of the month.

In your opinion, does this series of “SMART” goals seem like a strategy that would result in the agent doubling his or her income? The answer is probably not.

The power of a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal)

Would you like to set a BHAG for your business right now? Here’s how to do it:

1. Write down your current income goal for the next 12 months.

2. Now double that number.

3. Now double that number again. (Your result should be quadruple your original number.)

When I set the BHAG for our business for 2013, I actually set a number that was eight times our gross revenues for 2012.

Unless I hit the lottery (and that would entail buying a ticket), we’re not going to hit our BHAG for 2013. We are, however, well on track for doubling our revenues.

A BHAG pulls you forward and is really tied to your mindset. When I have asked clients to do this exercise, most of them will respond, “I can’t make that much.” Their mindset is what is stopping them. In most cases, they are caught up in using a SMART goal approach that is linear rather than the BHAG approach that relies on attraction.

BHAGs work best with HARD goals

The Leadership IQ Study revealed that setting “HARD” goals — rather than SMART goals — produces the best results. Here are the four components of “HARD” goals:

1. Heartfelt

Your goals enrich the lives of others.

2. Animated

You can vividly picture how great it will feel when you achieve your goals.

3. Required

Your goals are absolutely necessary for you and/or your family.

4. Difficult

You will have to learn new skills and leave your comfort zone to achieve your goals for this year.

Making your BHAG a reality

Once you set your BHAG, the next step is to check it against the “HARD” goal list. In other words, it’s not just about setting a monetary goal. It’s about the emotional benefits to you and your loved ones, as well as how it serves others.

Second, post your BHAG where you will see it every day. Mine is taped to the lower left-hand corner of my monitor.

There’s one final step to reaching your BHAG: Hire a coach. Major gains in production are virtually impossible without having an objective, dependable partner in your corner. In fact, a substantial majority of mega-producers have a coach — a partner who holds them accountable, keeps them focused, and partners with them to keep their BHAG on track to becoming a reality.

While your BHAG may call for you to quadruple your income, wouldn’t it be great to at least double it?

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named “new and notable” by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com.

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