How to make a 3 to 5 year plan for success

splishsplash

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Boring title, I know. I'm only writing this as a follow-up to my other thread here https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/h...-only-thing-that-works.1448868/#post-15777082

In it I talked about how a 1 year plan is not enough, because we underestimate what we can do in 3-5 years, and over estimate what we can do in 1.

It's important to set goals you can reach. It's important to meet your weekly, monthly and quarterly goals.

I used to be a fan of the "think big" mentality..

You should still think big. But, the problem is people think big over the short term, then massively underestimate what's required. They then fall WAY short of the goal and get massively disappointed.

If you want to apply the "think big", then make a TEN year plan.

How do I know which to choose? 3 years, 5 years, 10 years?

It depends on your level of experience.

You need to pick a business that can scale to the level you want to achieve. If you want to reach 8 figures, then you need an 8 figure idea. Even Alex Becker with his massive info business said he couldn't reach 8 figures per year with it. High 7 when he did a max 10/10 effort.

If you're early in your business career you won't know what that is, so making a 10 year plan is a waste of time since you'll end up changing businesses once you max it out, or you'll struggle with growth before realizing you need to change.

If this is your first business, just do a 6 month to 1 year plan. Keep it small, with easy goals. Aim for $1k to $5k/mo max.

If you're already making a few thousand a month ($1k to $7k/mo) and have a good feel for your skills and what you could do, then go for a 3 year plan and aim for low to mid 6 figures. If you're making $7k/mo, then go for $500k-$800k/year for example. If you're making $1k/mo, then go for $100k/year in your 3 year plan.

If you're making 6 figures and feel the business has 7 figure potential, go for a 5 year plan. If you're making $400k-$500k/year, then just aim for about $2mil/year in your 5 year plan. Take it SLOW. People are always rushing. If you started from nothing and did $0 to $2k/mo in a year, then $2k/mo to $200k/mo in 3 years, and then $200k/mo to $1.2 mil/year in 5 years. That's a total of 8 years to go from 0 to $1.2mi/year. If I said to you right now, if you give me 8 years of patience, I guarantee in 8 years you'll be making $1.2mil/year, would you accept?

If you're already then doing $1mil-$2mil/year, which you're probably not, as people at that level aren't reading my posts. (They are me, and are reading the posts from the guys doing $25mil-$100mil/year), then you set a 10 year plan and aim for $25-$100 mil/year. At this level you can start to aim bigger for a couple of reasons.

1) You have multiple years of success behind you, so you are gaining tremendous momentum and leverage.
2) You can do a lot with $1mil/year. It's much easier to go from $1mil/year to $25mil/year than it is from $0 to $1mil/year.

My personal one is a 10 year plan to reach $100mil/year with my AI company.

Can you give me an example of a 3 year plan?

You start with your 3 year plan.

This should be very general and contain your "end goals".

Keep it broad. I'm not going to give an example of a specific business, but I'll give you some ideas of potential things you might write.


$500k per year revenue.

All my figures are revenue. Revenue is the "size of your operation". Obviously more profit is good, but generally you aren't going to run something silly with $500k turnover and $50k profit :) You'd expect at least $250k profit from that $500k. In the digital world it should be $300k to $400k after operating expenses.

2 full time staff members and 3-5 part time freelancers.

Spending $100k per year on YouTube advertising.

Full tracking solution setup so I can attribute my conversions.

Refined sales script that has been learned inside out for closing over the phone.

100 articles written to build authority within my niche.

100 videos created within my niche.

A free SaaS tool for lead generation built and ranking on google on my main website.

2 books written.

20,000 followers on Twitter.

50,000 subscribers on YouTube

5 brandable niche websites each selling 3-5 products.


It entirely depends on your business, but in general it's all the things you are aiming to achieve within 3 years.

It is the IMPORTANT things to focus on. The things, that if you focus exclusively on, you will reach your revenue goal. Notice that everything there are things that, for various types of businesses are going to result in higher revenue.

For example, 20k followers on Twitter if you're selling any sort of service/product to businesses. This is direct authority building and making yourself known. A refined sales script for closing your leads over the phone. This will result in more sales.

It must be things that will serve as your compass over the next 3 years.

Now, from this..

I like to just go straight to a quarterly. Even for a 10 year plan, I don't bother with a yearly. The problem with yearly is it's harder to guestimate what you can do.

What you SHOULD do is make a quarterly plan with reasonable goals. Every quarter you try to get even more done, or create more leverage. You use your QUARTERS to move you closer to your end goal, and try to get better and better each quarter, so that hopefully you reach your goals before the end of the 3, 5 or 10 year period.

What does a quarterly plan look like?

The quarterly plan will be much more practical with specific things you want to achieve this quarter. The 3, 5 and 10 year plan are just "goals", where-as the quarterly contains breakdowns of the things you'll do to achieve those plans.

You might put down "Gain my first 1000 followers on Twitter".

But that alone isn't enough..

How will you get them? You need to plan that part out in the quarterly plan.

Plan out all the things you'll need to do to get the first 1k followers. And remember Grant Cardone's saying.. People always underestimate the work required by about 10x. Bare that in mind.

So in summary the quarterly is about writing out the part of the goal you want, and then detailing out underneath all the steps to reach it this quarter.


Next, you create your weekly plan

Now it's getting simpler. Just take a few of the planned out tasks from the quarterly and set them into your week.

Aim for 6 hours a day of these tasks that will move you forward. If you can do that, 6 days a week, you'll be successful. That's all it takes.

That doesn't mean you work for 6 hours, it means you are directly doing 6 hours on the quarterly tasks. Reading emailing, reading web pages, replying to clients or customers, answering support tickets or anything along those lines is NOT moving you forward. That is operational stuff. Either do it outside your 6 hours, or get staff to take over those duties later. You will probably need to work 9 to 12 hours a day as your business grows depending on the operational needs. This is really important. The 6 hours is deterministic work to grow the business. The rest is reactionary work to operate/maintain the business. Many people end up doing 100% reactionary work and never grow.


Finally, the daily plan.

Even simpler. Just take 3-5 tasks from your weekly and do your 6 hours of focused, deterministic work to grow your business.

You can use the rest of the day to study if you like. I don't recommend doing more than 6 hours of the focused work per day. You want it to be quality, and you *will* be tired after 6 hours of focused work. That 6 hours doesn't include a break. It could be 3 hours on, 30 mins off, 3 hours on.

If you've got an active business, then try to get your operational work down to 2-3 hours. That's about 10 hours of a workday if you include breaks.

That gives you 1-2 hours for those with an operational business for study. Or 3-4 hours of study for those without. Again, don't do too much study. Don't work too hard. 3-4 hours is plenty. If you do more you won't learn as well. People who work "14 hours a day", aren't working 14 hours a day. They're just "clocking in and off" over that period. 6 solid focused hours, with 2 hours of operational and 2 hours of study is a fucking fantastic day. Or 6 hours of focused work with 3 hours of study if you have no operational, is also a fucking fantastic day.

Remember, business is an ultra marathon, not a sprint. Aim to do this 6 days a week. Take a day off to relax and do other things. Take 2 days off if you want. Hard work is way way over rated. :) How can people become billionaires with the same hours as everyone else, when there are guys working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day only making a million a year, and feeling totally exhausted?

You won't do it with a 4 hour work week, but you don't need to burn yourself to the ground to succeed.

In fact, if you apply the method above, you could do as little as 3 hours a day of focused work, 2 hours operational and 1 hour study, 5 days a week, and still have a nice 6 or 7 figure business. Maybe even an 8 if you can create enough leverage.

The biggest problem is, people do 0 hours of the focused work. They are just doing either mindless study, mindless reading or operational work. Almost no one is doing deterministic work from their plans that move the business a little step forward every single day. THIS is the fucking key, people. It's that simple.
 

nadhull

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At work right now, will read it later when get home. Post a reply so I'll get the notif.
 

krishnaverma

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splishsplash

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And since I've been making a lot of more general business type stuff, here's a good old hardcore SEO article.

 

jacksi

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2) You can do a lot with $1mil/year. It's much easier to go from $1mil/year to $25mil/year than it is from $0 to $1mil/year.

Not to nit-pick, but that is not true.

It's significantly harder to scale from 1-25 > 0-1, by an enormous magnitude.
 

Razentyler

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What suggestions would you give for someone who's stuck in a loop of managing the operations and finding it hard to get out from the loop, I have been there when it was too hard that I had almost no time during the day after managing all the operations. I don't want this situation getting repeated lol :D

And our focus level varies throughout the day, Do you suggest planning out the day according to that? How do you plan out your day based on your focus level, Like learning in the morning, Operational stuff in the afternoon etc. Would appreciate your suggestions for these things:)

Also do you think weight lifting and exercising is as important as the business is? What are your views on this?
 
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tattooedbuddha

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Great read.
 

Alexion

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I know there are hundreds of these articles all over the web. Especially if you're subscribed to medium and get the daily newsletter.
Yet, you would be surprised to see how many don't follow up with any of these.

Thank you @splishsplash for taking the time to write this.
These acts of good will usually come from successful people who really want to see others thrive after they've seen first hand how easy it is to get success if you're consistent and follow ANY plan.
 

Ross G

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Really feeling this post, feel like it's what I needed to hear. Despite the decent progress I've made this past year, I definitely sense that I'm getting in my own way by not being patient enough and constantly shifting my focus to what I think will be a faster path to my goal, but in reality just ends up being a distraction nearly all of the time. Thanks for the write up, look forward to future posts.

If you started from nothing and did $0 to $2k/mo in a year, then $2k/mo to $200k/mo in 3 years, and then $200k/mo to $1.2 mil/year in 5 years. That's a total of 8 years to go from 0 to $1.2mi/year. If I said to you right now, if you give me 8 years of patience, I guarantee in 8 years you'll be making $1.2mil/year, would you accept?
Minor point that doesn't distract from your post, but might be worth amending: $200k/mo in 3 years is $2.4 M/year which is already higher than the end target - guessing it was meant to be $200k/year rather than month? Also, the total time frame adds up to 9 years as opposed to 8. Again, all minor points but thought I'd point them out in case you wanted to edit your post.
 

splishsplash

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Really feeling this post, feel like it's what I needed to hear. Despite the decent progress I've made this past year, I definitely sense that I'm getting in my own way by not being patient enough and constantly shifting my focus to what I think will be a faster path to my goal, but in reality just ends up being a distraction nearly all of the time. Thanks for the write up, look forward to future posts.


Minor point that doesn't distract from your post, but might be worth amending: $200k/mo in 3 years is $2.4 M/year which is already higher than the end target - guessing it was meant to be $200k/year rather than month? Also, the total time frame adds up to 9 years as opposed to 8. Again, all minor points but thought I'd point them out in case you wanted to edit your post.

WHOOPS!

That's a typo. It should be $200k/year. It's because I mentioned the $2k in months.

Oh and 9 years, thanks! Haha. I wrote the post at 4am at the end of my day :)

Not to nit-pick, but that is not true.

It's significantly harder to scale from 1-25 > 0-1, by an enormous magnitude.

Statistically if you look at it, there are far more $1 mil/year businesses that will reach $25mil/year than $0/year people who will reach $1mil/year.

Very few businesses reach $1mil/year.

The average nonenployee small business in the US earns $46,978.

The average business with 1 to 5 employees averages only $387,000.

That tells you something. Something REALLY strong. If that's the average in the *US*, then imagine globally.

Who would you put your money on, the 18 year boy in the Philippines starting from zero reaching $1 mil/year from $0

Or the 28 year old man in the Philippines who is earning $1mil/year and trying to reach $25mil/year. That 28 year man, *was* an 18 year old boy starting from $0. So if it's rare for the 18 year old boy to go from 0 to $1mil, then imagine, you now have this 28 year old man, who was that 1 in 100,000 boy. That should inspire even more confidence in the person at that level.

You would expect the 28 year old to be pretty good and very capable of reaching $25mil/year if he can increase his leverage.

For someone to go from $0 to $1mil/year is an absolute mountain. Almost no one will achieve this. Even in the wealthiest country on earth, 1-5 employee businesses average under $400k/year.

But, I did use a more EXTREME example. It would probably be more accurate to say it's easier to go from $1mil to $10 mil than 0 to $1mil. $25mil *IS* a lot. But I wanted to put a strong point on how much easier things get the more momentum you build.
 
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terrycody

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Such threads are very needed, people should more care about the mentality, no always the methods, because most times, it's not that method is not working, but its people, lazy, or some stupid mental disruptions.
 

reaaski

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Many people end up doing 100% reactionary work and never grow.
This is so sad how can some people get stucked at jobs like this.

This is what I would call business hell.

Great methods to build upon. I will make sure to have some plan for my $500 per mo central Europe business now.

I know there are hundreds of these articles all over the web. Especially if you're subscribed to medium and get the daily newsletter.
Yet, you would be surprised to see how many don't follow up with any of these.
I wouldn't believe anything from someone I don't trust. Why would you trust Dan Lok? He is super popular, but is useless.

Alex Becker is much better and brings the actual value. But he's banking seriously and people still have hard time trusting him. Popularity brings a lot of controversy.

SplishSplash is someone trusted and is not faking anything. He's not flashing lambos, so it's easier to maintain sanity here. His idea of net worth and how to build it is healthy and balanced.
 

billuk3

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this is freaking gold. I would read a book from you. not kidding.
 

reaaski

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In fact, if you apply the method above, you could do as little as 3 hours a day of focused work, 2 hours operational and 1 hour study, 5 days a week, and still have a nice 6 or 7 figure business. Maybe even an 8 if you can create enough leverage.
If you are poor like me and still have no operational work, spend those 2 hours on cleaning your house and making backups. It really helps.

Ditch the 14 hour work day. It's a myth.
 

MisterF

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Not to nit-pick, but that is not true.

It's significantly harder to scale from 1-25 > 0-1, by an enormous magnitude.

Are you sure?

If you can get to $1m a year then that is difficult, but once you get there it is easier to scale.
 

reaaski

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Not to nit-pick, but that is not true.

It's significantly harder to scale from 1-25 > 0-1, by an enormous magnitude.
Have you done that? Most people will die before they get their 1st mill - exactly $1.000.000 in their bank account. Do you have that? Prove it by showing your expertise.
 
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