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A business that doesn’t make a profit is called a hobby. 

This might sound harsh but, in addition to giving you a kick in the ass to focus on profit, not revenue, it’s important to understand the legal and tax implications of having a business vs. having a hobby. 

[Disclaimer: I am not a tax expert so please contact your tax accountant (Like NewWay Accounting) for your specific tax questions and specifications.)

As you might expect, the IRS needs to distinguish business activities vs. hobby activities for tax purposes. If you are legitimately in business, you can deduct expenses of that business and possibly take a loss if your business isn’t profitable right away. However, the IRS can only presume an activity to be a business (to be set up to make a profit) if it has a profit in at least three of the last five years. If it hasn’t?  The IRS can review your business situation and determine whether it’s profit or not-for-profit (for sport, recreation, or hobby). If this happens, tax law says you cannot deduct expenses to get a loss to offset other income. 

So in addition to hitting your ego a bit by someone calling your business a hobby, the IRS can deny your expense deductions if you haven’t been consistently making a profit. 

Many of my readers are in different stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Some are developing their side hustle, some are a few years in business, and others are veterans in the game. No matter where you are, as an entrepreneur, you have to understand goal setting when it comes to financial and business goals. Setting goals not only allows you to have a clear plan of attack but also narrows down your priorities so you’re not 100 places at once. 

Today, let’s go through some of the best strategies for goal setting and goal examples.


For the past year or so, I’ve been goal setting based on a 90 day schedule, not a monthly or 365 days schedule. Let me be frank:

It’s changed my life. 

I mean really, who  keeps those new year’s resolutions after March anyway?

Also called the “12 Week Year,” living your life based on the next 90 days has been a proven and effective way to achieve your biggest goals. By structuring your life around your 12-week goals, you’ll get done more in 90-days than many achieve in a year. 90-day planning is very different than full-year planning in several different ways. 

The first is the predictability. The further you plan, the less certainty there is. Annual planning tends to be very numbers based because it’s very difficult to know what you should be doing 10 or 11 months from now. Where will your company be then? Who will be your clients? Will you have added any services by then that became a huge need for clients? So instead of thinking about what you will be doing a year from now, bringing your planning window into just 12 weeks allows predictability on status, and priority to increase exponentially. 

12 Week Plans are not only numbers-based but also activity-based. With these big goals, they have to have strategies and tactics behind them to help you hit those milestones. That’s a lot easier to do when you’re only looking 3 months in the future. 

There’s also a much greater focus in a 90-day plan vs an annual plan. Having a plan or goal setting with too many, too lofty goals are usually unattainable. Remember defining goals as SMART? That applies here, too.






Be honest with yourself. Will you truly be able to hit all of those lofty goals this year? Maybe so. But usually, people start the year overwhelmed, the goals start to lose momentum, and you spread yourself too thin with little focus. That’s a recipe for mediocrity. 

Be great at a few things rather than being mediocre at many. 

Third, it gives you set times to analyze,  readjust, and replan. The 90-day schedule allows you every 12 weeks to step back and understand what worked and what didn’t work. What’s different in the marketplace? What new competitors popped up? How are my clients responding to my new tactics? You’ll able to reconnect with your vision, focus in, and plan for the next 12 weeks. 

We can’t plan the way companies did 50 or 60 years ago. Our world, our customer expectations, and our marketplace is much more complex. All have higher expectations and change much quicker than ever before. Planning can’t be an annual event anymore. 

Finally, 90-day planning gives you structure. Yes, planning out how to execute your goals helps you implement. It’s the structure that supports your implementation. Your 12-week goals are the base of that structure by bringing those long term goals front and center. 

How To Come Up With Business Goals

Once you have your timeline (that 90-day window) now we can get down to developing business goals. Like we said above, research shows that having too many goals can be detrimental to accomplishing any of them. This can be applied for all goals in life (health, personal, professional development, business development, etc). That’s why I challenge you to stick to three big goals. 

When developing those goals, we want to keep them SMART. I hate to bring this up again but in my experience, many people understand what SMART goals are, but in the application, completely ignores the importance and application. Let’s go through them now and start brainstorming. 


Vague goals are nothing but wishes. Real entrepreneurs aren’t here for wishes. We’re here to get shit done. The reason specific goals are so important is that if you don’t have a specific destination, how are you supposed to arrive there? If you’re visiting your buddy for the weekend and his only directions are that he lives just north of Philadelphia, how are you supposed to know when you get there? How north? What street? And if he never calls you back to clarify, you’ll give up and just go home. 

This is the same with business. “I want to be rich” is a great wish, but it’s not a goal. What does it mean? How much is rich? Is having $1 million rich? And if so, do you mean $1 million in equity rich or does it have to be cash in the bank? Be specific!


Is your goal something that can be measured? Sorry creatives, I’m talking numbers, here. If you can’t measure it, how can you know you hit it? For example, a goal saying, “I want to work harder” is not measurable. Does that mean increasing the number of hours worked? Eliminating the number of distractions? Or something else? 

Make your goal quantifiable. How much retainer profit do you want each month? How many rental houses do you want to own? 


This one is a little tricky. I would never want to rain on anyone’s parade so this one we’re all going to have to look deep within ourselves and be honest. I also don’t want to equate “attainable” with “easy to obtain.” Let’s think of it more as what Brandon Turner from Bigger Pockets defines the word as, “What’s possible when stretched.”

Think of something in between “easy to reach” and “impossible.” Most people take the easy way out and develop, small, easy to obtain goals. The problem with this is, easy to reach goals promote small, easy thinking. You don’t have to think about them much, there is very little mind shift, and you can kind of stay in cruise control. But sometimes with overachievers, they develop goals so big, that it would be impossible to attain in the allotted time to achieve them (we’ll get to time later). If you know a goal is unattainable but you set it anyway, it might hinder your motivation to work toward that goal and discourage you when it’s not achieved. 

Don’t make your goals laughably impossible or minuscule. Be honest with yourself upfront and develop goals that you need to reach for — something a step beyond what you think you can accomplish. That’s called healthy goal setting.  


This one is my favorite and a bit misunderstood. First, before we even think of goal setting, we have to imagine: what does a perfect day look like to you in 5 years? Let’s say it’s a random Tuesday 5 years from now. When do you wake up? Who do you talk to that day? What content are you developing? What meetings do you have? What exercise are you doing and when? Laying out your ideal Tuesday years down the line makes your future a little more tangible, allowing you to make goals that are relevant to your vision. 

Ask yourself: do your goals relate to your ultimate goal in life? Does it get you to ultimately you want to be? If not, let’s reconsider it. Also, think of the lifestyle implications your goal will have. Is your goal to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Maybe! But if your ideal day 5 years from now consists of you on the beach or picking up your kids at the bus stop, that goal may hinder you from attaining your ideal lifestyle. Be true to your vision, not the popular opinion.


Goals should have a deadline. Without a date of completion, you could push the goal off for months or even years. Deadlines force us to take action and can help us understand how close we are to the goal depending on the deadline. So because our goal is also measurable — maybe the goal is to purchase 3 new photo booth setups that you can rent out for events — and you’re ⅔ into your 90-day plan and you only have 1 new photo booth to rent out, you are going to have to work double-time to get the other two! 

Or maybe your long term vision is to pay off $100,000 in student loans. Perhaps then you make it a goal to pay $5,000 over the next 90 days. Once you’re at around day 45, you a look: have you paid off about $2,500? Having measurable and time-bound goals turn your goals from concept to reality. 

A Bonus: Find Your “Why”

Why is my new favorite word. It’s how I run my business and my most used question when I talk to clients about strategy. Finding your why behind everything you do allows you to believe in it and make sure it aligns with your end goal. Why do you want $1 million in the bank? Truly. Yes, you can buy fun things. But what’s the real reason? Will it give you security? Will it increase your confidence? Finding your why will help you understand your goals a bit deeper and stick to them. And if you don’t have a why, find a new goal.

Desire vs Commitment To Your Goals

Once you’ve developed your goals, it’s time to set yourself up for success and put the work in to achieve them. 

The secret? Be intentional about them. Have a daily, tactical plan of how you will achieve your goals. Define what you are going to do and who you are going to be and do things that will help you achieve that. No one has achieved great things by passively waiting to see how things turn out. Stop letting life happen to you. It’s time to take the reins and physically steer it the way you want it to go. 

Do you want a great relationship? Be intentional about it. 

Do you want a home in a nice neighborhood? Be intentional about it.

Do you want to become an author? Be intentional about it. 

It’s time to live proactively rather than reactively. This is America. You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You do not need handouts. Grab the bull by the horns and get it done yourself. 

And I’m talking about doing this every single day. How many minutes yesterday did you spend intentionally working toward your goals? 

Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you’ll be intentional enough to get it. “I want that” is desire. “I’m committed to that” is intention. The key difference? ACTION. 

Michael Jordan, you know the guy, once said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” Change your “want” to “make.”

At Nolia Roots International Headquarters (lol) we have a letterboard that says, “Make it Happen.” And we live by that every single day. 


Have you ever heard that if you write down your goals the probability that they’ll happen will go up 80%? Yeah, me too. Then I’d write down my goals and lose the piece of paper in my notebook. That was before I learned how to be intentional. 

Therefore, keep a journal that will be your 90 Day Goal Journal. First, write down your top three goals for the next 3 months. Next to each goal, write down when you will achieve the goal by (time-bound) and why you want to achieve the goal.

So for me, my goal might be to make an $8,000/month retainer in profit. I’ll achieve the goal exactly 90 days from today (whatever that date is), and I want to achieve this goal because it’ll allow me to hire another marketing coordinator so I can grow my business even more. 

Finally, next to each goal, write down what you need to do to accomplish this goal. 

So for me to get to that $8,000/month revenue profit, I’ll have to reach out to 10 new contacts on LinkedIn a week, upsell current clients, time block my day, stay off my phone, and read as much as I can. 

Writing all of this down in your 90-Day Plan Journal is going to help you be more intentional about what you need to do to achieve these goals. Do you ever feel like some days you’re motivated and some days you’re not? This will give you a support system so that even on the days you don’t feel motivated, the critical things get done. That turns motivation into discipline. You don’t have to be motivated, but if you have a system in place, you’ll be disciplined enough to achieve your goals anyway. 


Every week, maybe it’s a Sunday evening or first thing Monday morning, I want you to sit down with your journal and layout your goals and the whys behind them again. 

Goal #1 is:

I want this goal because:

Then, develop an objective for that week that directly relates to that goal. An objective is different from a goal because it focuses on the milestones to help hit an overarching goal rather than just the big goal itself. What can you do this week to help you achieve your goal? Is it sending out 500 direct mailers? Engaging for 30 minutes a day on Instagram? Then, understand your roadblocks, how you’ll overcome them, and schedule when you will work on that objective. 

This week, my objective is:

In pursuit of this objective, the greatest roadblock might be: 

I’ll overcome that roadblock by:

I will work on this objective on __ at __ (am/pm)

At the end of every week, go through your weekly objectives and see how well you did. Did you get closer to your goals this week? How? What lessons did you learn? How productive were you? Did you take care of your mind, body, and relationships? What did you read this week and what will you read next week? 


It’s not enough to look at your goals once a week. We have to be intentional about them every damn day. Every day I want you to go into your journal and layout your three goals and weekly objectives again. 

Goal #1 is:

My Weekly Objective is:

Then, identify the most important next step to reinforce your objectives and schedule it! Maybe the most important next step to making $8,000/month in profit is to collect old contacts’ email addresses from previous jobs. I’m not reaching out yet, I’m not sending out a mass newsletter, I’m simply collecting their information. It’s easy to do, easy to schedule in my day, and takes a big project and simmers it down to the smallest pieces. 


Time blocking is how I get everything I need to do done. I was always one for to-do lists. Problem was, my to-do list would be so long that I never achieved everything on my list. I’d underestimate how long tasks would take me to complete, forget that I had a long client meeting in the afternoon, or just overwhelm myself with tasks, I’d become paralyzed and overwhelmed. 

Time blocking is a savior. From the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep, my day is mapped out in my Google Calendar. Some things that happen daily at the same time, such as walking my dog and listening to a podcast, is set to repeat daily. But other than that, after I finish my Daily Planning in my journal, I jump right on my calendar and schedule everything from family time to client meetings and my most important next steps toward my objectives. 

I’ve learned that scheduling personal time is very important. If I didn’t, I realized that I wouldn’t have enough time to take my dog, Irving, for a walk or hang out with my husband before he goes to work. The idea of “not having time” is a cultural concept. Everyone, around the whole world, has the same amount of time during the day that you do. From Beyonce to President Trump to you, you all have 24 hours. How you intentionally prioritize those hours is what makes the difference. 

Maybe one of my goals is to lose 10 pounds in the next 90 days. That daily walk with my dog would be VERY important toward that goal. But even if the walk isn’t related to one of my main goals, I know that starting my day off with a good podcast and a brisk walk will make my whole day better anyway – so I schedule it in my calendar to make sure I don’t flake on myself (or Irving).

When you’re time blocking, it’ll force you to think how long certain tasks will take you. I’ve learned a lot about myself by time blocking. Something I think will only take me two hours sometimes takes me 4. If you’re an hourly, service-based business, this will also help you send estimated budgets to new clients in the future. 

When time blocking, make sure you schedule enough breaks during the day. If you don’t your body will force the breaks on you and you won’t be able to accomplish everything you had scheduled for that day. Schedule travel time, exercise, wake up time, reading time, family time, and, possibly most importantly, when it’s time to start getting ready for bed and lights out. That way, you’ll be able to get enough sleep so you can stick to this routine. 


You have to find what works for you! In my daily journal, I also like to include every morning one thing I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s related to my supportive family and sometimes I’m just really damn grateful that I remembered to get more creamer for my coffee. Show gratitude, daily for the big and small things in life. 

Every evening, I also write down a review of how the day went. I write about why the day was so awesome, what I struggled with, and how productive I was. This includes no judgment, just observation of how the day went and planning for the next day.


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