Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

How I Published a Bestseller, Got a 6-figure Book Contract, & Made a Million Dollars

What was the most amazing year of your life? 2015 was a big one for me. A lot can happen in a year.

How I Published a Bestseller, Got a Six-figure Contract, and Made a Million Dollars

That year, I was on the cusp of something big — and I knew it.

At the time, I’d published two traditional books and one self-published eBook. I had a growing online business and a decent-sized email list. But I felt like something we missing. I knew I was capable of more but didn’t know how to reach my potential.

Around that time, I had a conversation with a successful friend, someone who went from being an unknown artist to becoming a millionaire in just a few years. When I asked this friend how he did it, he told me a story. Here’s what he said:

You know, I went from making $50,000 a year to 300,000 because I set a goal and hit it. But then the next year I got lazy and didn’t set a goal at all. I don’t know why. I just didn’t. And at the end of that year, I did about the same amount of business as the previous year. I didn’t grow. So I realized something. When I set a goal, I hit it. And when I don’t, I just kind of drift through life.

The next year my friend set a goal to double his income. And he did. The following year he set a goal to make a million dollars. And he did that too. Since then he’s continued to set goals and hit them, whether they be financial or personal.

That spoke to me. I realized there’s power in goal setting when you do it the right way. You just need the right tools.

The year that changed everything

Now, back to 2015. I knew this could be a big year for me, but I was going to have to set some goals and stick to them. So I set a few:

  1. Publish a bestselling book and sell at least 50,000 copies in the first year.
  2. Get a six-figure advance for my next book contract by the end of the year.
  3. Make a million dollars in revenue from my business.

I had never done any of these things before. My most successful book had sold fewer than 20,000 copies. My previous book advance was for $55,000. And the previous year, my business had done something like $350,000 in sales.

In 2015, all that changed:

  • I launched The Art of Work, which hit multiple bestseller lists two weeks in a row and went on to sell over 53,800 copies in the first year.
  • The success of the book launch led to another book contract with a $150,000 advance.
  • My email list grew to over 100,000 subscribers, and the business did over a million dollars in sales, allowing me to hire some full-time team members and grow the company.

That fall, my wife and I moved into the house of our dreams and got pregnant with our second child. At the end of the year, I looked back and realized my friend was right. When you set a goal, you have a good chance of hitting it; and when you don’t, you have virtually zero of hitting it.

Crossing the finish line

Please hear my heart on this. This is not about money. It’s not about success or fame or any of that. None of those things ever made me any happier.

What has changed my happiness, however, is my ability to achieve goals. When I am accomplishing what I never thought were possible, my confidence grows. And when confidence increases, so does my happiness.

Achieving your goals really can make you happier. But you have to set — and achieve — the right kind of goals. For years, I had dreams that never came true. But once I learned how to be smarter with goal setting, all that changed. And do you know where I learned that? Michael Hyatt.

In January of 2015, a year that was a game-changer for me, I took Michael’s online course 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever and I was skeptical. How can you possibly plan an entire year in five days, and actually achieve those goals?

But Michael is a friend and a high achiever, so I trusted him. And guess what? In 2015, I had the most amazing year of my life. It was a year that allowed me to achieve was I assumed was impossible.

Since then, things have only gotten better.

This is the power of setting goals. Whether you aspire to change your relationships, your finances, your career, I know that you are better off setting goals than not.

Sure, you open yourself up to disappointment. But you also open yourself up to changing your life and getting the kind of confidence money can’t buy.

I know. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. Life with goals is better than without. Trust me.

If you’re ready to have the best year of your life, I highly recommend you sign up for Michael’s online program 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.

I go through it every year and it helps me align with my values and turn those into measurable action. I’m even taking my whole team through it.

It’s an affordable online video course that you won’t regret joining. And just to show you how much I believe in it, I’m offering two exclusive bonuses if you sign up for it.

Consider these my encouragement to you to keep going with your goals:

  1. My $200 course on how to write a book that will be released in 2017. This is the exact process I use to write books.
  2. An exclusive live online training with New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt on how to achieve your writing goals.

You will get both of these for free if you sign up for 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever before midnight tonight (December 15).

This is your year

I believe in goals. I believe in this program. And I hope it doesn’t sound too cheesy to say this, but I also believe in you. 2017 can be your best year ever.

Get started and click here to claim your bonuses (I’ll send you more on that in the next week after you sign up).

The world needs your work. Your voice. Your words. But it’s up to you to take the first step. Setting smart goals is that first step.

What goals do you have for 2017? Are you ready to make them a reality? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Expiring. Thanks for sharing your story, Jeff. It’s all about setting goals.

  • Nice post, and excellent headline! One thing that helps on those days when nothing is working is celebrating small wins. It keeps motivation up. I think Charles Duhigg talks about this.

  • Raina Becker

    Oof. Did this hit home. But it’s so true: achieving goals makes you confident, which makes you happy.

    Looks like I need to start setting some goals. Great post. Thank you for the encouraging words!

  • I loved the fact that you mentioned that it was not about making money, but about the ability to achieve those goals. That makes anyone happy, to know they set a goal and fulfilled it. I signed up for the course, and already see how this is just one of the best investment I did for myself.

  • Cydia Buzz

    awesome post

  • Muhammad Al Waeli

    I think the process of setting goals are like adding fuel of a car. It allows you to move. Adjust your direction if it is wrong is another issue. And you can do anytime. But if you don’t have a goal, you won’t move anywhere, be it the right or wrong direction. And this is bad. To often moving in the wrong direction is as valuable as the right one. It allows you to learn things.

  • Chris Michals

    Because of all this inspiration, I now have 4 ebooks in the works, the first is ready to be released later this week I hope. The next 3 should be following soon after. These are all shorter length free ones and will see if I can use them as a step up to a “real” book for sale later on. Thanks Jeff for the inspiration!!

    • Mo

      Hello. Way to go. Please share!

      • Chris Michals

        Send me an email to Chris.experimental@gmail.com and I’ll add you to the list. It’s a topic most don’t know much about but has huge personal impact.

        • Mo

          I’m curious! Thanks.