There Is a Major Problem With Your Goals

There Is a Major Problem With Your Goals

5 min read
Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and podcaster. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has taught millions of people how to find, finance, and manage real estate investments.

Brandon began buying rental properties and flipping houses at the age of 21. He started with a single family home, where he rented out the bedrooms, but quickly moved on to a duplex, where he lived in half and rented out the other half.

From there, Brandon began buying both single family and multifamily rental properties, as well as fix and flipping single family homes in Washington state. Later, he expanded to larger apartments and mobile home parks across the country.

Today, Brandon is the managing member at Open Door Capital, where he raises money to purchase and turn around large mobile home parks and apartment complexes. He owns nearly 300 units across four states.

In addition to real estate investing experience, Brandon is also a best-selling author, having published four full-length non-fiction books, two e-books, and two personal development daily success journals. He has sold more than 400,000 books worldwide. His top-selling title, The Book on Rental Property Investing, is consistently ranked in the top 50 of all business books in the world on, having also garnered nearly 700 five-star reviews on the Amazon platform.

In addition to books, Brandon also publishes regular audio and video content that reaches millions each year. His videos on YouTube have been watched cumulatively more than 10,000,000 times, and the podcast he hosts weekly, the BiggerPockets Podcast, is the top-ranked real estate podcast in the world, with more than 75,000,000 downloads over 350 unique episodes. The show also has over 10,000 five-star reviews in iTunes and is consistently in the top 10 of all business podcasts on iTunes.

A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie and son Wilder) spends his time surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the ocean near his home in Maui, Hawaii.

Brandon’s writing has been featured on,,, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media.

Instagram @beardybrandon
Open Door Capital

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I’ve got some bad news for you: There is a major problem with your goals.

No, it’s not that you don’t have any—I’m sure you do. The problem is, they are not big enough. You’ve relegated your ambitions to the kids’ table, and your future-self is begging you to reconsider.

Remember when you first jumped into entrepreneurship? Your goal wasn’t to see a 10 percent increase in sales during the next fiscal year. Your goal wasn’t to talk to ten more sales clients per week. Your goal wasn’t to bump up your net worth by 5 percent this quarter.

Your goal was to become a rock star and change the world. Your goal was to make millions, improve your net worth by 10,000 percent, to make a real dent in the universe. But somewhere along the way, you decided to get “SMART.”

SMART goals have a problem.

I’m sure you’ve heard about setting “SMART” goals. This acronym, used in numerous industries to help people create better goals, stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

While we all generally agree that all five parts of a “SMART” goal are wise, it’s your interpretation of the “attainable” goal that is killing your potential. “Attainable” has become synonymous with “safe.” It’s been defined as “easy to obtain” rather than “what’s possible when stretched.”

You started your journey reaching for the stars, but soon discovered that the stars are an awfully long way away, so you decided that a more “reasonable” goal would be better. After all, you don’t want to miss your goal and let down your team, your family and yourself.

You set “reasonable” goals only because you lacked the courage to tackle the big ones.


Small goals = small thinking.

The problem with small goals is that they encourage small thinking.

For example, in my real estate investing business, I spent years trying to buy two properties a year. I believed that the goal of two properties per year was reasonable and I would be able to accomplish this goal. And guess what? I usually did.

Sometimes, I bought one property, sometimes I bought two… but never much more. Besides, I couldn’t handle more than that anyway, could I? I couldn’t physically rehab more than a few houses per year because each took hundreds of hours of work. It was crazy for me to think that I could buy more than one or two homes, right?

But then I started talking with others and realized I was selling myself short and paying the price because of it. Many of the 150-plus guests we’ve interviewed on The BiggerPockets Podcast have inspired me to raise my goal, to shoot for “greater,” to be more.

So, this year, I decided to increase my goal from two to 12.

That kind of goal, of course, required a whole different set of plans. I couldn’t physically fix up a dozen different properties, so I had to use my head and get creative to solve the problem.That’s how I came to hire a full-time contractor. I couldn’t physically analyze and make offers on the number of properties I would need to buy a dozen homes, so I created an analysis tool and hired a lead manager to find and negotiate deals.

Today, I’m halfway through the year, and I’ve purchased six homes—and I’ve put in far less work than almost any previous year. I know people buying over 100 homes a year—and they work the same number of hours as I do, if not fewer.

When you increase the size of your goal, your entire mindset is forced to shift and think of the problem differently—to think bigger, smarter, and with more efficiency.

Related: Why I Set Highly Ambitious Goals for My Real Estate Business (& Why You Should, Too)

Do an exercise in big thinking.

Let’s do a quick exercise to further drive home the point.

If I told you that I needed to increase the traffic to your website by 20 percent over the next 12 months, what could you do with that? Go ahead, close your eyes and brainstorm a few ideas that you could activate to achieve that goal. You might:

  • Write one SEO-optimized blog post per week.
  • Post more content to your Facebook feed daily.
  • Attend a few more industry conferences in order to network.
  • Create a company Snapchat and start making funny faces on it daily.

Will these actions get you to a 20 percent lift over the next 12 months? Maybe, or maybe not. If you hit it, you’ll feel real good about yourself, that you achieved your “attainable” goal. Or, maybe you’ll come close and miss it by a few percentage points and tell yourself, “I did my best.” And these are the kinds of goals most companies are setting!

Related: The 3 Main Reasons Entrepreneurs Fall Short of Their Goals

But, now, let’s try something different. What if I told you that you needed to increase the traffic to your website by 500 percent over the next 12 months, and that if you didn’t, I would chain you up in a basement for the next 30 years, forcing you to watch 18 hours a day of Mork and Mindy?

Although it might take you some time, you would likely come up with some other, very different ideas, like:

  • Doing everything in your power to present your business on ABC’s SharkTank
  • Utilizing Facebook or Google Ads and split-testing until you could spend $1 million a month and break even . . . but drive a ton of traffic.
  • Spending three months and $50,000 creating an amazing viral video (like this one) that everyone would share.
  • Filing for legal eviction of the president of the United States as a publicity stunt to get every news source talking about you.

Will these plans work? I don’t know—but it took me just a few seconds to brainstorm these for this article. Imagine what you, and your team, could do with more time.

Instead, you may be too busy making funny faces on Snapchat in hopes of that 20 percent lift in traffic.


The one thing that could transform your business.

In my favorite business book The ONE Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan tell the story of how early on in their career, the leadership team of Keller Williams Realty locked themselves (Keller and his partner Joe Williams) in a room to brainstorm ideas for the “one thing” that would make their real estate brand a national player. After numerous ideas, they narrowed down the list to just one: Keller would write a book about being a successful real estate agent.

This plan worked magically for them: The Millionaire Real Estate Agentir?t=biggerpocke0a 20&l=am2&o=1&a=0071444041 propelled Keller-Williams to become the most successful real estate franchise in world history. And they didn’t get there by hoping to increase profits 5 percent during the next quarter.

They set big goals and took major action.

What are you going to do?

So, you are faced with a choice. You can go back to your comfortable, easy-to-attain goals, and you’ll likely achieve them. Or, you can reach for greatness, take massive action and revolutionize your industry forever.

As Marianne Williamson, an author and spiritual activist, has said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

[This post originally appeared on]

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How do YOU move the needle in your business and personal life? How do you ensure you’re steadily heading toward your goals?

Let me know your thoughts with a comment!