Leave A Margin For Magic In Life And Business

Kate Northrup (Business Heroine Magazine)

We stood at the front of the conference room, a little shaky, yet enthusiastic. We were presenting our projects and financials from the previous year and our business goals for the coming year. Everyone else in the room had 7-figure+ businesses, and we felt like the country bumpkins flying in from Maine with the smallest business in the room.

We shared our revenue goal for the year and the projections for what each project would bring in. But the totals didn’t add up exactly to the goal for the year. We had come in slightly under.

One of the guys in the mastermind drilled us, asking where the rest of the revenue was going to come from. How did we think we were going to get to our somewhat lofty goal?

I shared that we didn’t know exactly but that it always works out. I said that we don’t obsess over where every single dollar for our annual revenue goal is going to come from.

Our experience has been that beautiful things emerge in business and otherwise when we have a solid plan but don’t obsess about exactly how every single piece of it is going to come to pass.

Instead, we leave a margin for magic.

Hanging on too tightly to the how squelches possibility. 

When you’re so deeply attached to how your goal will manifest, you often miss out on opportunities for it to come about that were even easier, faster, or more fun than what you’d originally imagined.

Here’s how this works in real life:

We had a goal to bring in $150K with a certain project in a certain period of time. At the very end of the last day of this project we were at $141K. We felt really good about those results. Though we came in just under our goal, we felt like it was a solid promotion and were proud of what we’d created.

Then, just as Mike was about to shut down his computer for the night, he noticed an unexpected deposit that had come in for $10K. It wasn’t from the same project. It was a whole other thing that we had no idea was coming that day, and it popped us just over our revenue goal.

I get why the guy at the mastermind wanted us to create a plan for how every single dollar would be earned during the year to meet our goal. But I simply don’t like to operate that way.

I like to leave some breathing room around my goals. I’m merely human, and I get that I’m not keyed in to every single possibility that’s out there for me at any given time, let alone an entire year ahead.

If I’m overly attached to the how, the magic gets snuffed right out.

We like to leave a margin for magic in our business. Do we have plans and goals and timelines? You bet your bippy. But we give them space. Because magic needs space.

Next time you’re mapping out your income goals, or any other goals for that matter, leave some wiggle room for the delightfully unexpected.

When you expect to be pleasingly surprised by the how, chances are good you will be.

Get clear on what you want. Plan away. And then don’t forget to leave a margin for magic.


Kate Northrup (Business Heroine Magazine)

Business Heroine Magazine


We’d love to hear from YOU…

How do you do goal setting and planning? Have you ever had a time where you were pleasantly surprised by how something manifested that you desired? Leave your answer in the comments below!







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