#49 – 15 Needles Goal Setting: Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time

By Kathy Korman Frey as part of the Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time series. (updated 2.27.14)

Traditional planning and goal setting tends to start with revenue and profit.

But on a day that I got 15 lidocaine injections in my head, let’s just say – no revenue and profit came to mind. A lot of things changed…are changing. Business jargon + real life = pretty interesting. Here’s how I dealt with it.

“Hurt me…Make me accountable! Mommy!”

The traditional planning process looks like this:

We all know the type. Some people like mean accountabili-buddies

We all know the type. Some people like mean accountabili-buddies

I used to be in the business. I get it. We want someone to boss us around. We’re sick of being the boss.

But, 2014 planning – something different took the lead for me: Inspiration.

I needed support and encouragement. And research shows this latter approach works more effectively (with people) than a critique-based approach and Bla Bla talking hand.


15 Needles in the Head…It changes one’s perspective.

Here’s the short version: I had 15 needles of lidocaine injected in my head on December 31, 2013.

When I sat down to do the 2014 goals and planning for the Hot Mommas Project, somehow, I knew it was going to be different.

Amazing how 15 needles in your head can change one’s perspective. Or – not that amazing. Kind of logical when you think about it….Anywhoo…I’ll spare you the needles, and share the perspective.

Awww...Missed this one over the holiday season.

Awww…Missed this one over the holiday season.

2014 “15 Needles” Goal Setting – What is your impactful experience?

I shaped my four goal areas for 2014 goals around the experience on the 15 needles day, pretty much violating every covenant of planning.


Here goes: So…planning always starts with revenue and profit, si? I am leading with people today. Here’s why.

Setting = feeling of knife in head, though I have never actually experienced. Yes. Ew.

It’s December 31 and my migraine is escalating. I am prepared to go to the neurologist and get my treatment and meet the family downtown. However, after the family saw me squinting at light…

Note: I am not a vampire.

…They considered this a bad sign, all piled in to the car, and drove me to the neurologist. I had wangled an appointment at 4pm.  I was at such a low and in a lot of pain. They stood by me.


I. Goal area 1 – TEAM DREAMS

This leads me to my first goal set for the year. When I ran a bootcamp planning company sales and profit is numero uno. 

I’m inspired more by the people who stood by me this year. They’re first.

#1 Goal – Share and Accomplish in 2014: What I can do to help my team achieve their dreams, and vice versa, in 2014.


    • To curate our entire library (worlds largest women’s case library)
    • Hire an editor and/or executive director
    • Plan for the scale our award-winning content and classes
    • From my team, I’d like to know: What are dreams they have? We’ll put them on a team dreams board with sticky notes.

Update #1: I am on a listening tour. One nobody knows about, and possibly doesn’t care about. But whatever.

I am getting a hankering of different dreams eavesdropping on my team. Going to “drop the bomb” end of March.

I wanted to make fun of this, but, it's true.

I wanted to make fun of this, but, it’s true.


Continuing the story, the whole fam-damily entered the neurologist’s office. I texted K – the front desk goddess . T – the physician’s assistant – did not have time for an IV.  Deep breath…I knew what this meant. Shots. Many shots. In the cabeza.

Two in my forehead in between my eyes, two in each temple, the rest in the back of my head…at one point I thought I might cry….But, then I took a deep breath and realized: What I really should cry about is that I need a margarita and can’t have one because I have migraines. 

Now, back to my little fairy tale….this is as close as it gets folks…okay?

It felt good to go back in the car, exhale. Wow.

It felt good to take my husband’s hand.

It felt good to know we were at the place now where we were on the same “headache team.” It was hard.  But we had all learned.

This was my #CNHDIWY – “Could Not Have Done It Without You” team. 

This is really a terrible hashtag. Oh well. You get the idea. Here are the goals…with pretty much the BEST UPDATE EVER!

#2 Goal – In 2014, secure: Three energy-giving #CHDIWY (Couldn’t have done it without you) partnerships.


    • An editor I want to hire
    • A source of the funding for this editor
    • A major distribution outlet for our content / classes

 Update 1.15.14 – We have an editor!

The editor and I came up with part one of a plan for #2 and #3 on this list. 

Don't try this at home. Esp since these are to blow up tires, and not real needles.

Don’t try this at home. Esp since these are to blow up tires, and not real needles.


Picking up where we left off…The family drove down to the Madison Hotel in DC. I was now a participating member.  Because we’d had this personal family goal, we were all very directed in getting me well, all coming together, and getting down there. 

I don’t do this in my personal life (being that directed). I would like to start. 

#3 Goal –  Personal for 2014: Be a dot my own radar screen 


    • Get together with friends 3x a month outside of work hours.
    • Get into a cool hobby that takes me away from romper room 2x per month (TBD).
    • Get the book done – mini write up in January, manuscript in 2014 and continue fiction writing for fun.

Update: I have gotten back into BodyPump classes with the awesome trainer-slash-social media guru Connie Deshpande. We met when my son and I rescued her dog who had escaped and was running down a busy street. Naturally. We, as always, were at Starbucks. There is more to the Connie story…but, you’ll have to STAY TUNED nerds!

Very Profound. Nevertheless....the power company is not buying this and we need to keep the lights on.

Very Profound. Nevertheless….the power company is not buying this and we need to keep the lights on.


Driving down to the Madison Hotel, I felt very blessed to be doing a stay-cation. I don’t discuss it a lot, but, we tend to be pretty financially conservative. Growing up, money was discussed for one reason, and one reason only: EDUCATION. My goal for my kids is to feel in charge of money, not the other way around. Education helps. Believing money has its place helps. 

Goal #4. For 2014 the Hot Mommas Project will triple bottom line it with our goal-settting.



    • Revenue
    • Profit
    • Impact
    • These will be set when the team is back later in January.


Update 2.27.14 – Gotta make impact a METRIC!

This really reminds me: What is our “impact metric” going to be? Since this post we’ve decided to launch a virtual campus this Spring. We know it will be great learning and a cool experience for everyone. But, what more? This is good to ponder.

Parting Thoughts

Net, net: I wound up with some of the standard goal areas, but in a different way.

Life is different for me now. Everything is different for me now.

Each of these goals will be an action plan for me and the team for 2014 with dates and steps.

But underneath the action plans and to-dos, we’ll all know, there is something meaningful.

Have you done your 2014 goals?




Update 2.27.14: Wishing, and it happens. Weird! 

  • I wished for an editor (put it on the goals list), an editor showed up (literally, in my inbox one day).
  • I thought, “We need help marketing educational products.” And – THAT person showed up.
  • I thought, “We need help fundraising, and getting sponsorships, and …well, my speaking engagements – too” – and THOSE people showed up.

Am I crazy here? Who else does this happen to out there?

7 thoughts on “#49 – 15 Needles Goal Setting: Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time

  • This is Kathy at the Hot Mommas Project and I will start with the first comment. You already know my 15 needles experiment…but, I will say that…

    When I started the insiders blog, it was called MDPT – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time. I was very much on the traditional Million Dollar track.

    My view of value has expanded.

  • Thanks to Patti Johnson, author of the upcoming “Wavemakers” for the Twitter shout out:

    @PattiBJohnson: Love this RT“@ChiefHotMomma: This pretty much violates every rule of planning – “15 Needle Goal Setting.” http://t.co/YbHOErsRVp”

  • Thanks to Whitney Johnson, winner of our most recent Schwab Financial Literacy Case Competition Award, for this Twitter mention:

    @johnsonwhitney: Good post on the thought process behind goals:  15 Needle Goal-Setting by @chiefhotmomma http://t.co/RcEMThIIg9

  • Oh my you are a brave lady! How many needles? In your …WHERE? I think I’d still be prone on the ground in a dark room, lying to myself that it would be over soon.

    I really need, I think, a framework closer to yours for setting the goals I want to reach. I sat down to plan team dreams, then I realized, for work, I don’t have a team. I have a bunch of sources for people to hire. Even my team leads own their own companies, so we’re more … associates, than team members, although they are indispensable and have grown to mean the world to me.

    Twice this year I’ve attempted to get both a personal assistant and an executive assistant. I have the instinct that I need to nail down at least one of those two people before I can even set goals.

    One blessing I continue to have, though, is just wonderful in-person support. The communities I belong to online often have deeply bonded offline as well and we are really getting good at taking care of each other.

    And as with your headache-turning-migraine, we’re able to let one another known when we push ourselves too hard.

    You’ve given me so much to think about.

    • Tinu,

      Associates…this could be the “new work” term and team. My team is part time. I’d have it no other way and to have a flex-team is part of my commitment to trying out different models. As more women-owned businesses grow, there is going to be growth in more flexible models. The majority of female entrepreneurs now are solo preneurs. Eventually, they are going to want help.

      Re brave- pot, kettle honey!

      I am glad this goals process spoke to you because when I started the traditional process…snore. And I am a business junkie! Something has changed for me. Have a feeling it’s not going back.


      • The associate model (if that’s what we’re calling it) has worked to help me expand my business beyond the reach I’d have alone in a cost-effective way.

        But that side effect of bonding over what we have in common as women entrepreneurs and micro-business owners is even more compelling than controlled growth.

        Whatever changed in you, I like it. 🙂

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