Feb. 4, 2020

How to Turn $5.25/hr Into a 7-figure Empire with Alon David

How to Turn $5.25/hr Into a 7-figure Empire with Alon David

On this episode of The Systems Made Simple™ Podcast, business coach and stress expert Courtney Elmer sits down with Alon David, creator of the 90x goal planner.

When it comes to setting goals for growth and revenue in your business, what’s your strategy?

(You do have an effective strategy for smart goal setting, right?)

If not, every day you don’t have a specific method in place for setting goals that are clear and measurable (or if the smart goal setting methods you’ve tried haven’t worked), your business loses precious revenue and you lose precious time.

When you implement the simple, 90x goal planner system you’ll discover inside of today’s episode, you’ll have the secret sauce for setting goals you can measure, track, and achieve faster so you can get an edge on your competition and propel your business forward.


  • The surprising reason why traditional methods for setting goals don’t work

  • Smart goal setting practices that will supercharge your focus & productivity

  • Advice on how to set goals and break them down to make them attainable

  • How to achieve any goal you want -- yes any goal! -- in as little as 90 days

Today’s special guest is the creator of the 90x planner, a unique smart goal setting tool unlike any other method out there for setting goals.

He’ll help you stay focused and make real progress toward your biggest goals and dreams by showing you how to implement the only smart goal setting method you need to for setting goals big and small.

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.





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Courtney Elmer 0:00 

Welcome to the Systems Made Simple™ Podcast, Episode 3! Today I’m sitting down with the creator of the 90x Planner, Alon David, to talk about smart goal setting: how to set goals in your life and business and achieve them with ease. Every day you don’t have a specific method in place for setting goals (or if the ones you’ve tried haven’t worked), your business loses precious revenue and you lose precious time. When you implement the simple, 90x planner system you’ll discover inside of today’s episode, you’ll have the secret sauce for setting goals you can actually achieve so you can get an edge on your competition and propel your business forward. Stay tuned!

Courtney Elmer 1:45  

Today I’m excited to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Alon David: self-made entrepreneur and the creator of the 90x planner. When it comes to setting goals, Alon is known as the go-to guy for helping entrepreneurs like you learn how to set goals in a way that makes them easy to achieve.

The coolest part about his story about setting goals is how he got into the business of teaching others how to set goals, too. When Alon arrived in America, he had zero business leads or connections, and no solid business idea. But he did have ambition and the dream to go out and make something of his life, and setting goals was something that he practiced diligently. So while going to school full time, Alon started working in construction for $5.25/hr. Instead of waking up each day complaining of his situation, he decided he needed to set a goal to keep him focused on his dreams. The problem was, he couldn’t find any quality systems for setting goals. A lot of the systems he’d tried for smart goal setting didn’t work (can you relate?!) So, like any smart entrepreneur would do, he decided to create a smart goal setting system of his own. Hence, 90x planner was born.

He tested out the 90x planner by launching a side photography business forms scratch and scaling it to 6 figures within a year. That's when Alon knew his 90x goal planner system was something unique and unlike anything else out there for smart goal setting. And he knew it could help others when it came to setting goals and scaling their business, too.

I’ll let him tell you the full story on how he overcame the major obstacles standing in his way to create what's now known as the 90x planner, and why it's the only system you need for smart goal setting. If he can take a dream and $5.25 an hour and turn it into what’s now a 7-figure empire, so can you. 


This episode is sponsored by the 90x planner, which is the only smart goal setting system you need to stay ridiculously focused and know exactly how to set goals you can easily achieve. If you've ever shopped around for a smart goal setting system, then you know that there are a billion options out there. If you're a planner junkie like me, you've probably tried just about all of them. But not every smart goal setting system is created equal, and when you begin using the 90x planner, you'll understand why. To check out the 90x planner and see what the hype is all about, or try one for yourself, just head to courtneyelmer.com/90xplanner and enter your info to get 15% off your first order, thanks to the generosity of our friends over at 90x.


Courtney Elmer 3:10

Alon, welcome to the Systems Made Simple™ Podcast! I'm so excited to bring you on to share your wisdom with us about smart goal setting, which believe it or not is something many entrepreneurs struggle with. Plus I'm a huge fan of the 90x planner you created.


Alon David 3:15  

Thank you so much for having me.


Courtney Elmer 3:18

Let's dive into your story - I want to hear more about how you created this 90x planner system. You're the go-to guy for setting goals and you have an incredible story. Tell us, what inspired you to start your business and create the 90x planner? 


Alon David 3:30

Sure. My name is Alon, and I'm the creator of the 90x planner. I help entrepreneurs and everyday people who are struggling when it comes to setting goals. 


Courtney Elmer 4:00  

What led you to creating the 90x planner and teaching people about setting goals, and how to set goals for their business? What’s the backstory there? 


Alon David 4:07  

In 2014, I was looking for something that could help me be more productive in my business and learn some smart goal setting methods. I didn't find any good systems for setting goals out there. But I procrastinated taking action on the idea for 3 years, trying product after product, hoping one would be the silver bullet to help me learn how to set goals that were attainable in my business. Finally in 2017 I decided to pull the trigger and create the 90x planner, a smart goal setting system of my own. I went all in and it took me just shy of 90 days to create the 90x planner. I shut down my photography business and shifted my focus to growing and scaling the 90x planner fully. 


Courtney Elmer 

Wow. It sounds like you were able to move fast when you buckled down and committed to creating this smart goal setting system -- just shy of 90 days! And so cool that you turned that into a smart goal setting system inside the 90x planner. I'm curious, is procrastination what keeps us dragging our feet when it comes to setting goals?


Alon David

Yeah, definitely. We tell ourselves “Who am I to do this?” and keep procrastinating on our dream. We think, “somebody else is already doing it,” or “I don’t have the time” or “I’m not an expert, I don’t know how to do that.” Let’s face it, there are a million great ideas out there. But they’re just ideas. If you don’t take action on them, they will stay ideas. If you don’t do it… somebody else will. 

So when it came to starting the 90x planner, first I hired a coach, somebody that could help and guide me and teach me what I didn’t know. I knew how to set goals, but I wanted someone to hold me accountable, to keep me seeing it through until the end. Next I thought about the worst case scenario: “What if this thing doesn’t work?” I realized that it would only take me about $5,000 to launch this system for setting goals. About 3 months of my time. So worst case scenario, if this didn’t work, the ‘failure’ wasn’t that big a deal. 


Courtney Elmer 6:56 

That’s fascinating. You went into it with the mindset of, “Here’s the worst that can happen, and the worst isn’t that bad.” I feel like our minds have this tendency to jump to the worst case scenario. Maybe those listening can relate. But, most don’t ever take the time to write it out on paper. If you don’t take the time to figure out what those numbers are, and you're just out there setting goals and trying to achieve them willy nilly, you can talk yourself out of doing great things because you let ourselves get sucked into the fear of failure. But that didn’t stop you. 


Alon David 8:00  

Yes. The only thing that stops us from being successful and moving forward is our mind and our beliefs. When you eliminate that, “Okay, so worst case, I lose some money. Worst case, I lose some time.” then that’s out of the way and you can get going. That’s a smart goal setting method right there -- looking at the bigger picture, identifying any potential obstacles, and noticing they’re not as bad as we make them out to be. The worst thing that could have happened for me was to lose $5k on one thousand 90x planners and I’d be the only person to use them for the rest of my life. I'd be setting goals for myself for life anyway, so it wasn't that big a deal. When you work from there, there's no fear. That's my strategy for setting goals. That is just a smart way to work too, it’s really a smart goal setting strategy.


Courtney Elmer 9:00 

You mentioned these “old beliefs,” these limiting beliefs and fears that can really hold us back when it comes to knowing how to set goals. I’d love to know: what were one or two of the major limiting beliefs you discovered in the process that you had to give up in order to succeed with bringing the 90x planner to life?


Alon David 9:13  

One of the major ones, and the reason that I procrastinated for three years, was “somebody else already did it.” That was the thing that held me back from setting goals for myself with creating this 90x planner. That's a limiting belief. Aso thinking “I’m not an expert in setting goals.” I feel that to establish authority and own what you do, you need to believe first that you can do it.


Courtney Elmer 10:00 

Yes, because if you don’t believe it, how do you expect your followers and students and clients to believe it? Those are huge beliefs you overcame. Especially the one about being an expert -- that comes up in every industry. I think all of us have felt that to some extent, this ‘imposter syndrome,’ asking ourselves “Who am I to be doing this?” Some people let it stop them from pursuing their dreams and setting goals they want to achieve. My dad always said to me growing up, “Do you know what the million dollar idea is? It’s the one you take action on.” Like you said, you could have a million ideas, they could all be good ideas. Yet until you take action and draw your line in the sand, setting goals and making the commitment to keep going no matter what, then how are you going to bring that to the world? We've got to examine those beliefs that are holding us back. Most of the time we’re not aware of them, and I’m glad that you learned how to recognize them and overcome them because hey, now we have the 90x planner which I have to say, if you listening haven’t heard of this before, go get yourself one. It’s a game-changer. Can you share a little bit about the 90x planner, how it works? 


Alon David 11:50

Yeah sure. The 90x planner is a pretty simple system for setting goals. The reason I created a simple system was because I've noticed there's a lot of great planners out there for setting goals, but they lacked simplicity. They're very complicated, and take too much time to use. I was looking for something to create that's very minimalistic because I don't want to spend the whole day journaling. I want to spend the day taking action and being productive.

 So by creating the 90x planner system, I decided to use the smart goal setting system that I've personally used for years. It’s the same five pillars that I coach clients with, too.

Step 1 for smart goal setting is you have to identify, “what is my vision?” What do you want? That's the first thing that we focus on when it comes to setting goals: creating the perfect vision in our mind. If our mind can see it, then we can bring it to reality regardless of what “it” is. Maybe it’s creating a course, a product, losing weight, buying a house, whatever it may be, it starts with your vision.

Step 2 for smart goal setting is the goal itself, and being very precise on what it is that you want. That's the next thing you need to focus on when setting goals -- asking, what IS the goal? How will I know I’ve achieved it? It’s essential to be very clear and not vague. A lot of people will say, “I want to buy a house.” That’s a good start. But how can you make it more specific? I want to buy a two story house, with 5 bedrooms, next to the ocean, 4000 square feet, in a great school district with a big backyard. Be as precise as possible on your goals and give it as much detail as you can. The 90x planner makes these steps easy, but you can use any journal. The 90x planner itself isn't the secret -- the method is.

Step 3 for smart goal setting is to identify why. Why is this goal important to you? This is the third pillar for setting goals because if you're not connected to your goals, you're going to lose momentum fast. If your goal doesn't mean anything to you, you're not going to stay interested in achieving it. The “why” is the most important thing because it gives you a reason to keep going every day for the next 90 days. 

Step 4 for smart goal setting is the action steps themselves. What actions are you willing to take? This is a critical part of setting goals. Most people don't know how to identify the action steps. The action steps will become clear once you have that vision in place. Going back to the house example, maybe it’s driving by houses you’d like to buy, even if you don’t have the money right now. Maybe it’s speaking to an agent. Taking small actions that will create the momentum and the clarity as well. 

Step 5 for smart goal setting is not in the 90x planner, but it’s something we teach our members and it’s your story. What’s the story you’re telling yourself right now about why it’s not possible. What belief(s) are holding you back from achieving this goal. It’s about working on the mindset piece of it and overcoming those mental hurdles standing in your way. 

Step 6 for smart goal setting is a bonus -- a lot of people don’t define success. They want to be successful, but don’t define success. Now, when you can define your success, and identify how you’ll know when you’ve achieved it, it becomes so much easier to achieve. Does that make sense? 


Courtney Elmer: 

Alon, you and I see eye-to-eye on so many things. You're definitely the expert when it comes to smart goal setting. This is so good. 


Alon David: 

So these are the fundamentals of smart goal setting that the 90x planner is built upon. Now, the reason we created it inside of a 90 day framework, or container, is because most people have 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals. But let’s be realistic. If I can’t achieve a 30 day goal, how the heck will I achieve a 5 year goal? That's not smart goal setting! Smart goal setting is creating a container for yourself to work within that's achievable. So we created the 90s planner as a system you can lather, rinse, and repeat every 90 days to keep your momentum going. So you can stay excited and in touch with the goal setting you’re doing. It’s simple.


Courtney Elmer 16:36 

That's what I love most about the 90x planner, it’s simplicity. It’s clear, it’s straightforward. In our world today we’re bombarded with so much information and get so many conflicting messages. Clarity is everything. When you have that clear vision, break it out into steps, and connect with why it’s important to you, that’s the most effective approach for smart goal setting and the fastest way to supercharge your goals. I’m a big picture, Visionary thinker, and breaking it out into action steps can be tough because there are lots of details. But when you condense it into a 90-day time frame, it’s amazing how much you can accomplish because you’re giving yourself quality focus and intentional planning.


Alon David 17:49  

Yeah, definitely. That’s the hardest thing for people, to sit down, hammer out the action steps, and take the action. But think about smart goal setting. When you know what you’re working toward, and you’re crystal clear on it, it makes achieving the goal a lot easier. Everything I just went through: your vision, your goal, your why, the action steps, and stories that keep you stuck, is all you need to know when it comes to setting goals.


Courtney Elmer 18:43  

Yes, absolutely. So tell me as you were bringing this 90x planner to life, what were the biggest challenges you faced? 


Alon David 19:04 

The first obstacle was creating a product -- I’d always had service-based businesses and had never created a product in my life. So I've learned a lot of things, especially that whatever happens, is for a reason. When you can look at that problem and start to see opportunity, it helps. It’s not “why is this happening to me” but “why is this happening for me”. Smart goal setting is not about having it all figured out, but about looking for the opportunity in every situation. 


Courtney Elmer 20:01

Yes. Wow. Learning as you go, remembering that everything happens for a reason. When you recognized some of these big challenges that came up when creating the 90x planner, what did you learn from them?


Alon David 20:12

There were so many sticking points along the way, and little practices we picked up, like notifying customers if there was going to be a delay. Don’t get fined with customs, importing products. Going back 15 times with the designer to get the 90x planner formatted properly. So even though little things happen and you get frustrated, sometimes you just have to let go and sometimes you have to understand that it's okay not to be perfect. That's part of smart goal setting too -- not striving for perfection, but to simply keep making progress and learning from every obstacle. That was a huge thing for me, because a lot of people don’t do anything until it’s perfect. But for me, it was let me get this thing out to the world, I’m not going to wait until it’s perfect. Launch it messy and work from there. 


Courtney Elmer 21:03

Yeah, letting go of perfection. That’s been huge in my business as well. I think it’s common for entrepreneurs to hold on to the things we create and want to get them perfect before we put them out there, but consider this: when you launch something messy, it’s an opportunity for great feedback that you can continue to implement and tweak as you go. It saves you a lot of time in the long run. Would you consider that a part of smart goal setting? Learning to let go?


Alon David 22:00 

Yes. Incorporating feedback was how we started adding new colors to the 90x planner line up. We use the feedback from our audience and users to make things better as we go. It’s still not perfect. It can never be perfect, because there’s always room for improvement. Things will change, you’ll get new ideas. We’ve just developed the 2.0 version of the 90s planner and have continued to make it better and better. My encouragement to you is to begin. Take action so you get clarity. Don’t wait til it’s perfect. If it’s good, if it can work, let it work. Put it out there, see what the response is. You’ll grow a lot quicker that way and save yourself a lot of time, overthinking, and headache. 


Courtney Elmer 25:22  

Yes, there's a freedom in that too, where you can just trade that old belief of “it's got to be perfect” for '”when we put it out there now, I can learn faster and make improvements as we go.” What's one tip or suggestion that you have for those entrepreneurs who want to get good at smart goal setting but right now they’re feeling stuck. They feel like that vision they see is far away. What's one word of advice that you would give them? 


Alon David: 26:03

Well, there's not one word, but about the vision being far away: don’t create a vision that’s far away that you can’t hit yet. Create something that’s a stretch but that you can see. Think about basketball courts. The basket is not so far away that you’re never going to hit it. From the other side of the court it might be a stretch, a long shot, but it’s in your line of vision. So put your vision far but not too far that you cannot see it. That's part of smart goal setting, too. Staying close to your vision.


Courtney Elmer 27:32  

So good, because those 5 year, or 10 year visions can really seem impossible, like you can’t really get close to it. But like you said when you move the goal a little bit closer, and zoom in on one aspect of that, and take action toward it, the faster you’ll be putting the pieces of that bigger vision into place. Hope everyone is taking notes with this because that is gold right there. So my last question for you, Alon, is one that I ask every guest who comes on the show, and it’s this: what’s your definition of success? 


Alon David 29:01

Perfect. It’s one of the pillars we talked about -- the bonus one. It’s different for everyone, but to have success, you have to define it for yourself. This is the key pillar for smart goal setting. Defining what success looks like for you. For me it’s spending more time with my family, doing what I want to do when I want to do it, and that’s my definition of success. 


Courtney Elmer 30:00

Beautiful. Alon, thank you for being here today. Tell our listeners, where can they find you and where can they learn more about the 90x planner, and about all that you teach on smart goal setting? 


Alon David 30:10

Perfect. So our website is 90x goal planner.com. I hang around on Instagram too, @90xgoalplanner. I’d also love to give your listeners 15% off when they decide to purchase a 90x planner to try out for themselves. See if you fall in love with this clear, easy-to-use smart goal setting system. However, I didn't come on the show to sell my planner because my planner sells well. I'm happy with the results. I'm more here to make sure you guys are taking action. So at the end of the day, if you got one thing out of this episode, take it and take action on it. If you have an idea, write it down, create a vision, create the clear goal, create the why, and then start taking action on that goal. When you do that, I guarantee that your idea will come to life. 


Courtney Elmer 30:50 

Awesome, Alon. Thank you so much for sharing all that you know about smart goal setting and for teaching us how to set goals we can actually go out there and achieve. And for creating the 90x planner, because it's a business game-changer.


Alon David 30:53

You got it. Thank you so much for having me.