What’s your income goal this year? That’s a question I often ask people when I speak to groups or consult individuals. Then I write down their answer on the board like this:

Income goal

What results is an exercise in thinking beyond what they ever imagined. Thinking differently. Thinking abundance, not scarcity. Thinking what is possible, not what they’ve always known.

What if you add a 1 to it?

I want to stretch you a little bit. What if you add a 1 to your income goal?

Just a little 1. That’s all. What do you have now?

Most people would say $40,001. Big deal. By the time you pay taxes, you’re left with a stick of gum and a single copy from the UPS Store.


Here is what ends up on the board next.

New Math

The Old Math of Limitations vs. The New Math of Possibilities

40000 + 1 = 400001.

I call the first line “The Old Math of Limitations” and the second line “The New Math of Possibilities.”

“But I can’t even imagine making that kind of money, Matt.”

Yes, you can. You can imagine it. And that is where it starts.

What would your life look like if you lived that imagination? I’m not talking material possessions, though that could be part of it. I’m talking about what you could do for others.

How many single moms could you help so they don’t have to work three jobs and can spend more time with their kids?

How many homeless vets could you thank for their service by providing them with training, college tuition, or clothes for job interviews?

One that really hits home locally with audiences in Fort Wayne is “How many murders could be prevented if the good people on the South Side of Fort Wayne had the resources to help more people?” In the past year, Fort Wayne was one of the most violent cities in the U.S. While most cities saw record low murder rates in 2013, we saw record highs. But I truly wonder what would happen if only a few of the activists there had more resources. If they had the vision to think big with their own income.

How many jobs could you provide if your business added a 1 to its revenues?

Imagine the impact you could have if you applied The New Math of Possibilities.

Why you?

Why you? Because you are reading this and someone else isn’t. Because you have the opportunity. That is why it must be you who thinks bigger, thinks abundance, and thinks what is possible.

It must be you.

Imagine what you can do.

How can you stretch yourself to earn more, influence more, and live in the possible?

Income goals - possibilities
The old math of limitations says $40000+1=$40,001. Wrong. The new math of possibilities says $400,001 (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

0 thoughts on “The New Math of Possibilities – What’s Your Income Goal This Year?

  1. I am loving my new income level

  2. Bill Benoist /Leadership Heart says:

    Several years ago, I hired a young lady for an entry level position and a couple of weeks later we were having lunch together when the topic came up about money. I forgot how it began, but she may a statement, “well, I know I’ll never make $80,000.” (she was making somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 at the time)

    Matt, I stopped her dead in her tracks and told her to never let me hear you place those limitations on yourself. Over the years, I usually around review time, I would bring up that comment in a humorous remark to make sure she remembered it.

    Well, during the time she worked for me she found she had a talent for writing technical job aids. She went back to school at night and got a certificate in technical writing and also graphic design. About two years back, she walks into my office and said, “remember when I said I would never make $80,000?”

    Yep, she got a job offer in a new field making $82,000.

    Sorry – didn’t mean to make my own blog here, but you wrote a spot on post about never setting limitations for yourself.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Don’t be sorry. I’m glad you shared this. Very powerful. When someone goes from $30k to $80k, THAT is life-changing. It’s family tree changing.

  3. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    I can learn more and influence more by not beating myself before I start–meaning mental roadblocks. Give myself permission to imagine, to dream, to plan.
    Also by choosing to be around successful, forward thinking people.

  4. Nancy Heidger Benavides says:

    Things happen for those who dare to dream. When we dare to dream we naturally start to look and to move in the direction of the dream… I’m moving toward mine!

  5. Joe Lalonde says:

    I love this post Matt. It’s stretching me to see what I can do and earn in 2014.

  6. Jon Stolpe says:

    Anything STRETCH related works for me!

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