Performance Goals vs. Outcome Goals

UPDATED: February 7th, 2023

I talk with clients all the time about ROI – Return on Investment.

One of my main objectives when building a new website & digital marketing strategy is helping the client SEE the ROI as quickly as possible.

Naturally goals come into the conversation.

To help a client set realistic goals, I ask questions:

Where are you now?

Where do you want to be in a year from now?

What’s your website doing for your business to help you get there?

If we do ___________, how will that affect ______________?

What does success look like for your business website?

These are all important questions we review early on in the Discovery Process.

When I think about goals, the Serenity Prayer comes to mind:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I can’t always control everything.

Sometimes, no matter how much work I do on a project, the results aren’t coming as quickly as I’d like.

I have to make adjustments.

Making Goal Adjustments

I love sports.

I played a lot of sports as a kid. And I learned many valuable lessons that have helped me as a business owner today.

One of those lessons is that I can’t control my height.

Growing up I played basketball nearly every day. But no matter how much I practiced, that practice wasn’t going to change my height (something I couldn’t change).

Eventually I had to change my goals and focus on other priorities.

That experience, along with countless others in business, brings me to the point of today’s conversation: Performance Goals vs. Outcome Goals.

Performance vs Outcome Goals – What’s the Difference?

Have you ever heard of these concepts?

Performance Goals?

Outcome Goals?

Why are these types of goals even worth considering?

performance goalsWe all want outcomes, results, money in the bank.

But before that happens we have to take the necessary steps to get everything in place.

As I’ve studied about goals and goal setting, a couple terms kept coming up: performance goals & outcome goals.

The summary of the two goals is simple:

I CAN control a performance goal.

I CAN’T control an outcome goal.

In other words,

“Performance based goals can be controlled by the person who sets the goals while outcome based goals are frequently controlled by others…Performance goals focus on the person’s performance while outcome goals focus strictly on the outcome or result.”

This is really helpful when thinking about goals for a business.

What CAN I control?

What CAN’T I control?

Help me to know the difference!

The Danger of Outcome Goals

Goals based on outcomes are extremely vulnerable to failure because of things beyond my control.

For example, I might achieve a personal best time in a race, but still be disqualified due to a mistake by the judge.

If my outcome goal was to be in the top three, then I’m screwed.

However, if I set a performance goal of achieving a particular time, then despite the outcome or the decisions of others, I’ll have achieved the goal and can know I did my best.

Another example of an outcome goal is to make a certain amount of money.

In my Moller Mission Statement, I set some specific “outcome goals”.

But, in front of those outcome goals were well defined, written out action steps (or “performance goals”) that I committed to in order to give myself the best chance to achieve the final result.

If I want to make a certain amount of money, I’d better set specific goals I have control of that lead me down that path.

So here’s an important question:

What performance goals can I set that will help me achieve the outcomes I’d like to see?

The Power of Performance Goals

I have control of performance goals. They are measurable, things I can track.

In an online business, performance goals may be things like this:

  • I will write one article per week on Wednesday.
  • I will contact 2  businesses today in my target niche.
  • I will reach out to 2 podcasts today to offer to guest speak.
  • I will create 3 videos on Friday of this week & schedule them to publish.
  • I will record my performance on a spreadsheet.
  • I will report back to my mentor.

Do I have “outcomes” in mind?


But the outcomes are based more on my performance than anyone else’s.

It doesn’t say I will close 2 deals this week. But by contacting 2 businesses this week, I’m giving myself the best chance to make connections that will result in new business.

Here are some questions to consider when setting “performance goals” for your online business:

  • What do I need to do today to make a sale?
  • How many people do I plan to contact every day to build my network?
  • When I contact these people, what am I going to ask them?
  • What content am I going to consume to get ideas for help with my sales?
  • How many current clients will I talk to about their purchases and attempt to get repeat business with?
  • Do I have a “Plan of Attack” on what I’m going to do each day to increase the chances of making more sales?

How Do I Apply This Information Today?

Here’s a real example that I’m working on in order to implement the performance goal ideas:

I have a goal, maybe it’s an outcome goal, to use video more as a marketing channel in my business.

Ultimately I want to create online courses that help my clients grow their online businesses.

Video is an essential piece in that puzzle.

So I need to get going with video creation.

Where am I now?

I have two YouTube Channels.

One has 1,150 subscribers, 1,164,471 views, and was started on May 19th, 2013.

The other has 20 subscribers, 30,989 views, and was started on March 16, 2012.

The first one has all kinds of random videos: a funny dance recital video that has over 1 MILLION views, family stuff, DIY handyman stuff, a pool install, and some website tips and tricks. Not very focused or niche.

The second one has mostly just website tips, tutorials, & guidance. But obviously very little traction.

The first is currently titled VID801.

The second is currently titled Nate Moller.

My natural inclination is to continue to grow the VID801 channel. But in all my video research, there’s a lot of clean up that would have to happen.

And the majority of those subscribers are probably mostly interested in the funny dance recital – NOT digital marketing.

So, my decision is to work on the Nate Moller channel.

Here are my performance goals:

1.  I will have my designer create a channel style guide (banner background, icon, color scheme, logo implementation, etc.)

2. I will review content I currently have and create an editorial calendar, focusing on creating 3 videos every Friday.

3. I will watch 2 of the the 400+ Watch Later videos  every day and take detailed notes on what I’m learning.

4. I will IMPLEMENT those notes in my video strategy.

5. I will record my progress in a Google Spreadsheet.

So that’s my plan.

Sharing it with readers like you can be helpful.

Now that I’ve written it out, printed it, and put it on my desk, I plan to remind myself of it each day.

Let’s get your take on this.

What are “Performance Goals” you plan to set the help you get the “Outcomes” you want?

Leave a comment below! 👇

BEWARE: Wells Fargo & Zelle Fraudulent Email

Have you ever received an email that you’re not sure about?

RECOMMENDATION: Don’t click on it.

I thought I’d share some information today, since the last time something like this happened to me, I shared it and that post, Beware of Craiglist Scams, has brought a lot of traffic to our site.

Therefore, I wanted to warn you of another SCAM that I just saw today.

The Wells Fargo & Zelle Email Scam

I opened my email and saw this:

I was really close to clicking on the “APPROVE PAYMENT” but then looked a little closer:

If the email isn’t from Wells Fargo (or whoever the email says it’s from within the content) DON’T CLICK ON IT!

This email was from “”

If you’ve seen fraudulent emails like this, share them below in the comments so we can all be made aware.

I did a bit more research and found these good suggestions on what to do with fraudulent emails and phishing scams:

How Do I Recognize a Fraudulent Email?

Scammers & phishers have lots of different tactics, but there are some pretty easy signs which will help you recognize a phishing email or text message.

Hazard #1: The scam email or text message looks like it’s from a company you know and trust.

Like the example above, the email had the Wells Fargo logo and look fairly normal.

A bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store: these are some of the common businesses scammers will use.

Hazard #2: The fraudulent email or text message will tell a story to bate you to click on something or “sign in.”

Notice the details of this email:

Approve Payment.

It also shows this:

And then this:

And finally this:

All of these are subtle calls to action to get me to click through and either get a code on my computer or “log in” with my banking information.

Hazard #3: The scam email isn’t even addressed to me directly.

While, at a glance, this email might look real, it’s not.

The scammers who send these emails obviously don’t have anything to do with the companies they pretend to be.

Phishing emails can have real consequences for people who give scammers their information.

They can also hurt the reputation of the companies they’re spoofing.

Beware of them!


If you’ve received an email like this one, report it. The information you give can help fight the scammers.

Here are the steps.

Step 1. If you got a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726).

Step 2. Report the phishing attack to the FTC at

Hope this helps.

Let us know about scams you’ve seen in the comments below.

Why You Have to Know How to Sell to Succeed in Business


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Everyone should have at least one sales job in their lifetime.

The sad thing, though, is we’ve all probably heard this about sales people too:

  • “Sales guys are scam artists.”
  • “Salesman are unethical.”
  • “I hate sales people.”
  • “I’m definitely not good at sales.”

Have you been guilty of saying something like this?

The truth is, you’re probably right; some sales guys are scam artists, some sales tactics are unethical. And even I, who love everything about sales, hate strongly dislike some sales people (like those vacuum cleaner sales peeps I met at a recent expo who kept trying to commit my wife and I to “buy, buy, buy today or the deal will be gone…”)

When I meet sales people like that, I feel just like you – “AHHHHH! Leave me alone!”

Not All Sales Are Bad

But, then I’m reminded that there are good sales people too. Like the car dealer I dealt with recently who went out of his way to give me lots of info, to follow up, and, even after the sale, to see how things were going. Even though he was over an hour a way from where I live, the next time I’m in the car market, I’ll look him up for sure.

The simple phrase, “How can I help?” is a perfect sales intro, especially if it’s sincere. The relationship I have with some of my best clients started with that simple question – “How can I help you?”

We all sell ideas, opinions, or products every day. If you say you suck at sales, you are basically “selling” the reason why you hate salesmen or sales.

Think about it, if you’re a parent to “sell” dinner (and why your kids should try new things) every night.

You sell your kids on why they need to shut out the lights and go to bed.

You sell them on why doing their homework before they play outside is the best option (and only option) they have.

In addition to the parent/sales role, have you ever interviewed for a job? Wasn’t that one big self-proclaiming sales pitch to your potential employer?

And what I’ve learned about hiring is that it isn’t really what your resume says that’s most important, it’s about how well you sell yourself to the interviewer. Do they like you? Could they see themselves working with you? If you aren’t good at selling your likeability and skill set, good luck getting the job you really want.

The Sales Experience

Honestly, many sales guys get such a bad rap, possibly because of the “used car salesman” approach or the “door-to-door vacuum sales person”. However, to understand sales, you have to realize that every sales job is different:

Right after graduation from college I took a job with a copier & printer company doing “cold calling” and door-to-door sales. I was given no leads, no referrals, nothing – just thrown out there cold turkey. As I look back at that experience I can easily say that I learned so much; it’s not exactly what I’d want to do for a life-long career, but it was a huge step in the right direction.

I also learned how important creating business relationships can be in generating new business. Just before I left that job for a better, more life-long option, I made a sale to a client for over $50,000. Why? It wasn’t because I knew all there was to know about the product; it wasn’t because I lied to them about what they were getting; it definitely wasn’t because we had the “best price in town.” It was primarily because of the friendship we had developed.

It’s amazing what a round of golf can do for a business relationship – it’s almost like taking surprise flowers to your wife! Clients like to be “wined & dined” and be taken care of. Everyone likes to have friends. And everyone likes to feel like you have their best interest in mind.


So, my point is this: If you really want to succeed as an entrepreneur, learn how to sell.

If you really want to understand what motivation is, what commitment is, what hard work is, what creating win/win situations is – get a sales job.

If you want to learn about the power of confidence and belief, the importance of setting and reviewing goals frequently, the influence being nice to people has on your success, and the psychology of why people do (or don’t do) what they do – get a sales job!

What has been your experience in the world of sales?

PODCAST: Protecting Your Online Reputation with Background Screening

Online reputation management is a big part of search engine optimization and social media marketing: if people are mad, happy, discouraged, or just plain lying, your company needs to know about it, confront it, and take care of it.

One part of brand management and awareness is dependent on hiring the right people. In today’s Moller Marketing Podcast, Nate Moller interviews Brent Ramey from

victig-logoGet answers about the following topics:

  • What’s the history of
  • Why background screening for a small business owner?
  • How do they take care of their customers?
  • How can I get in touch with the Victig staff?

Listen to the podcast and contact Victig today if you feel your online reputation is at risk by not hiring the right people.

Why is Background Screening an Important Part of Online Reputation Management?

[podcast url=""]

INFOGRAPHIC: Should Your Consulting Company Do Work for Free?

I’m approaching two full years of self-employment.

It’s been real.

It’s been fun.

And many days it’s been real fun.

However, some days it can be a bit stressful, especially if you have “friends” or “contacts” that have a great offer for you, an opportunity to get in at the ground level, or however else they may pitch it.

At times it’s hard to tell them no.

At times I’ve been on the brink of saying “Sure, why not…” But luckily I’ve only had two experiences where I feel I’ve dropped the ball and gave clients a good product priced WAY below market value, only to have them expect way more than they paid for and ultimately be upset.

(I wish I would have found the infographic I shared the other day about website design warnings… 🙂 )

In an effort to know how to best tell a potential business partnership that my company doesn’t do work for free, I ran across an article that was titled, “Should I work for free?” It was actually a big flow chart that made me chuckle on a couple different levels.

I cut it up a bit, focusing primarily on the business to business “work for free” proposition, since that’s the one I’ve dealt with most in my two years of business bliss. The infographic sums it up pretty clearly.

Do you agree?

Should I Do Business to Business Consulting for Free?

What are your thoughts? See the entire infographic here.

How do you respond to the AWESOME OPPORTUNITY to get a lot of business exposure?

Share this!

VIDEO: How to Monetize Your Website

I talk to a lot of clients about starting an online business.

Many of them have some decent ideas. Some of them have some AMAZING ideas.

However, especially when it comes to a “service based” website business, some of them have completely overlooked an important question:

How are you going to make money with that concept?

I know. You’d think this would be the FIRST question a new business owner would want to answer. But some get so caught up in the functionality, the “wow” factor of their idea, that they fail to answer that simple yet ESSENTIAL question.

After they’ve run the idea by me and ask what I think, my first question is always that one.

I love it when I hear…”Oh, I’m going to sell advertising.”

People, selling ad space on a new website can be done, but it’s NOT as easy as you think, especially now days where people understand the internet, they know what Google Analytics is, and they’ve probably been bombarded by a bunch of other “newbie” website owners trying to do the same thing (or they’re already advertising on legit sites that get TONS of targeted quality traffic).

One of my favorite speakers, Gary Vaynerchuk, talks about monetizing a website via advertisers in this video. Take a look:

Some of the keys points:

  • How do I monetize my blog?
  • Monetizing is where it’s at.
  • Think about it in a very simple and concise way.
  • They way you’re going to make money is by GRABBING IT!
  • Go to Google. Type in a keyword phrase. Look for the paid advertisers in the Google Adwords sections.
  • See what the site has and if it coincides with what you’re talking about or what you do on your site.
  • Find the phone number of the website. Call the website owner.
  • Ask them about advertising on your site. “Who would I speak to about advertising on my [whatever] blog?”
  • “If I was able to bring up my traffic to 2,000 or so visitors daily, would you be willing to advertisers with us?”
  • “If I have 500 – 2,000 people watching a beer show every single day, that will be very targeted traffic…”
  • “Maybe we could do some sort of affiliate deal where any lead I help you generate you pay me on…”
  • You have to CONVINCE the people that you can help them!
  • There are a ton of different options.
  • Look for the little groups, not necessarily the big players.
  • Spend 5 to 10 times the time looking for sponsors and you’ll get some traffic.
  • You have to go out there an HUSTLE!

What did you get from this video?

How are you going to implement this on your website?

At the end of the day it’s all about this question:

How bad do you want it?

PODCAST: How to Succeed in Social Media Marketing

In May 2008 I did an interview about social media marketing with Muhammad Saleem. That’s right, four years ago! As I reviewed the content, I found it interesting how applicable the same social media strategy is today.

The thought came to mind:

Some things will change; but others will remain the same.

Then I found this picture:

As you can see, he’s made some “changes” (to the tune of about 70 total pounds lost)! Congrats to Muhammad.

The core strategies of social media marketing, on the other hand, haven’t changed too much at all.

Using Social Media effectively will DEFINITELY help your organic search engine rankings and recognition in the online communities.

However, if you “expect value without creating value” you’re going to FAIL and fail hard.

Interview with Muhammad Saleem about Social Media Marketing

[podcast url=”″]

5 Basic Social Media Steps anyone can use:

  1. Building Relationships
  2. Being a part of a community
  3. Understanding the dynamics of different communities
  4. Sharing the right kind of content
  5. Voting and commenting on other peoples content

Social Media Manual: 10 Steps to take to become the Next Social Media Maven

Why Do you love Social Media?

The community aspects: you become a part of the whole process of submitting, voting, commenting, engaging and being a part of the process of opinion on things you’re interested in or passionate about.

3 Tips for Beginning to Intermediate Social Media Marketers

  1. Understand the community before you start participating: what the age demographic is, what stories are popular, avoid mistakes
  2. Build relationships with other visitors: talk to people, IM, comment on their stories, bookmark their stuff
  3. Make sure your main goal is to not just promote yourself: create value for the community by submitting other peoples stuff, vote and comment on other peoples stuff, be part of the community, share content from other people to create value that doesn’t come directly back to you – it’s more than just scratching one another’s back – it’s bigger than that

How does effective SMO influence a website’s presence?

  • Traffic, Traffic, Traffic: 10’s of Thousands of unique visitors, thousands of page views on a post
  • Building links: hundreds to thousands of links – the more links you have, the higher you get ranked in search, which makes long-term organic traffic from search engines.

Thanks again for your information Muhammad. Stay tuned for more podcasting at

6 Brutal Fails of Networking

This is a guest post from Laura Jorgensen of Cedar Fort Books. Follow Cedar Fort on Twitter and Like them on Facebook!

Why should people network?

The answer might be obvious to many who have benefited from the effects of networking.

“Many people make introductions, get promoted, or jumpstart career transitions because of networking – having the courage to meet new people and having the discipline to maintain familiar contacts,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine of SixFigureStart.

For myself, about half of the jobs that I’ve had were because I knew someone who already worked there. From an internet point of view, networking is a way to get your message heard by as many people as possible. The more friends you have the more people willing to listen and repeat your message.

You’re probably saying to yourself about now, “Wait! I thought you were going to tell us how to not network.” So I am, but first I wanted to set the stage of what networking can do.

Recently I went to two different conventions, one for fun and personal interests and the other for work. Conventions are great places to network because it is a bunch of like-minded people getting together to talk about something that they’re passionate about. You don’t have to seek them out, they’ve gathered together for you.

Unfortunately I mostly failed at the whole networking thing, especially at the second convention (granted the second day I was sick, but still). I only gave out my business card to one (count them, 1) person total, and that was because I told myself I couldn’t leave until I did (I left right after). I was able to say hi to some of the panelists, but it wasn’t anything that would make them remember me out of the hundreds of other people that were there trying to network too.

On the whole, the one good experience was definitely a foil for my many other failures. And from those, here is what I’ve learned about how to NOT network:

6 Ways to Network Unsuccessfully

  1. Blend in: If they can’t see you they won’t know that you’re there.
  2. Don’t talk: Not even to your neighbor, not even about the weather, cause that might lead to something else.
  3. Be obnoxious: No I wasn’t (at least I don’t think I was), but I noticed some people that, even though they had good resumes, I wasn’t sure that I’d want to be in contact with later.
  4. Be sick: Well I guess that’s not really a requirement, but being grumpy and miserable is indeed a turn off. If you really want people to stay away you could hack into a handkerchief every once in a while.
  5. Be self-centered: One-sided conversations, are great ways to not get to know other people.
  6. Don’t have a purpose: At the first convention I knew more the type of person that I was interested in networking with. At the second I didn’t. So I ended up just swiping swag off their tables and not really talking to them.

Moral of the story: Don’t do what I did at the conventions.

Go talk to people. Be memorable. Be interested in other people and they will most likely be interested in you. Be a likable person so that people will WANT to be your friend. And don’t be afraid to talk to strangers–they may be just the person you’re looking for. Also stay in contact with old and new friends. You never know when you might hit a gold mine.

Do You Need an Email Newsletter?

Email Marketing is, or should be, an important part of every business owners efforts to connect with their clients, remind them about products or services, and keep them in the loop of upcoming events.

There are quite a few different email autoreponders in the market. When I first started internet marketing Constant Contact was the email autoresponder I decided to use. It wasn’t a bad product at all, but I didn’t really understand the true value of email marketing and probably didn’t use it as well as I could have. I was also new to a lot of the “code” stuff like HTML and didn’t really understand how to make my email campaign look similar to my website.

Since that first trial, I’ve been testing other email newsletter options. One is Get Response and another is AWeber.

I’ve done quite a bit of research and here’s a bit of info on what I found out about these two email autoresponders:

The Pros and Cons of Aweber and Get Response:



  • Customer Support: Aweber is great at customer support: they’re thorough and helpful
  • Feedback: Aweber allows unsubscribers of your email list to fill out feedback form
  • Testing: Aweber encourages you to create an A/B test campaign
  • Analytics: Aweber offers Google Analytics integration to keep track of stats


  • No picture hosting! This means that if you want to have pictures in your email campaign, you’ll have to host them at a place like – which can be a pain if you’re new to HTML.

Get Response


  • User Friendliness: Get Response has flexible and easy-to-use templates and an email editor for simple email creation
  • Customer Support: Get Response has thorough and helpful customer support
  • Reports: Get Response provides comprehensive reports analyzing subscriber actions
  • Picture Hosting: Get Response allows 1 GB of picture hosting – that’s a ton!
  • Testing: Get Response lets you to create A/B test campaigns
  • Analytics: Get Response integrates with Google Analytics
  • Flexibility: Get Response email templates are incredibly flexible


  • I really couldn’t find any cons yet, although I’ll continue looking and keep you posted.

Here’s a cool video about creating a newsletter with Get Response:

Try Get Response!

I’ll continue to test but up to this point, I recommend Get Response.

Which email autoresponder do you prefer?

Guest Post: Finding the Golden Client Over and Over Again

I’ve talked to clients a lot in the past about one key question:

What have you done TODAY to make a sale?

I’m going to take it a step further today and ask another simple question:

What have you done TODAY to find a new client?

Some might ask at this point, “Isn’t making a sale and finding a new client the same thing?”

In the past, my answer was yeah, sure. However, as I’ve thought about it more, I realize that I can make one sale today but then never, ever see that customer again. On the other hand, if my goal is to find CLIENTS, I’m really not only looking for a “sale”, but I’m also looking for a long-term business relationship that I can develop, leading to sale after sale after sale to the same client.

I was reading an article today titled “5 Smart Ways to Find Clients“. They mentioned that finding clients is something almost every small business owner struggles with from time to time. There are quite a few ways to do it, but finding new clients really boils down to putting yourself where your clients are, being approachable, and fulfilling a need or solving a problem. It doesn’t have to be much more complicated than that.

Who’s Your Ideal “Golden” Client?