Episode 062

Meeting Your Goals in 2023: The Cheetah, The Scientist, and The Bear

Setting and meeting your income goal for 2023 is an important part of having a successful business, but it can be difficult to get to that goal if you’ve never done it before. That’s why this week on the podcast, I’m sharing my favorite metaphor for the different personas you need to use in order to meet your goal this year (or any year!).

What are these three personas? There’s The Cheetah, The Scientist, and The Bear, and each one will help you stay focused, be well rested, evaluate everything that is going on in your business, and stay on track to achieve your income goal this year.

Join me on the podcast this week for a look at each of the three personas, how they can support you in meeting your goals, and why spending time with each of them is so important. I am sure they will help you meet your income goal this year!

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What it means to embody each persona and when they show up.
  • Why staying focused is so exhilarating.
  • How evaluation helps you make decisions.
  • Why rest is an important part of goal achievement.
  • What happens when you’re not in Cheetah, Scientist, or Bear mode.


  • If there is something specific that you want to hear or learn about money, business, marketing, or selling, send me an email!
  • Connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram!
  • If you love this podcast and have enjoyed it for the last week or the last year, please go over to iTunes and leave me a review!

Read the full transcript now

You’re listening to the Mastering Money in Midlife podcast with Debbie Sassen, Episode 62.

Welcome to Mastering Money in Midlife, a podcast for midlife women in business to overcome financial anxiety and make more money, without burning out or sacrificing their families. Join Certified Life and Money Coach Debbie Sassen, as she shares practical business strategies and mindset shifts that help you dissolve the money blocks that keep you stuck in a cycle of underearning and undersaving, sabotage the growth of your business, and prevent you from building the wealth that you desire.

Hello, my friends, and welcome back to the podcast. We are now in mid-January, if you are listening to this podcast when it drops. And we have been talking this month, all about setting goals. Specifically, setting your income goal for 2023 and meeting your goal.

Today, I want to give you a metaphor for the different personas that you need to use in order to meet your goal this year. I call this metaphor, “The Cheetah, The Scientist, and The Bear”. And bear with me; ha-ha, pun intended. You will understand, by the end of this podcast, how to use and step into each one of these personas at the appropriate time, in order to stay focused, be well rested, evaluate everything that is going on in your business, and stay on track to achieve your income goal this year.

So, I’ve given you a little bit of a hint with what I just said. But now, let us get specific. We’re going to start by speaking about the Cheetah. The cheetah is the fastest land animal that we have in the animal kingdom. When you are in cheetah mode, this is a mode that you show up in, in your business. You are sprinting toward your goals.

We’re going to talk about the Scientist, and how the scientist shows up. You know, in terms of planning and having a hypothesis, and then implementing something to meet the goals, and evaluating the results. But if you have already set your income goal for 2023, then you’re going to be, during a quarter of the year, during a month of the year, during a week or in a day, you are going to be acting similar to a cheetah.

The way a cheetah runs after an antelope or a gazelle, is that the cheetah moves fast. The cheetah is focused, and powerful, and keeps the goal in mind. It’s a very direct focus; not looking at anything to the right or the left, but just going after the prey. And, you can think about this as client acquisition.

You might think it’s a little bit gross or sleazy or icky to think about signing and enrolling clients as going after the prey, like a cheetah would be going after a gazelle. But I just want you to keep this metaphor of singular focus, in mind.

What so often happens, is that we decide that we’re going to do a launch, we’re going to have a webinar, a masterclass. You’re going to do a 5-Day Challenge, a 30-Day Challenge, whatever it is, in order to share your value with the world and enroll new clients.

That will be your upsell; you’ll be enrolling clients into your containers and inviting them to work with you. And, the energy that we bring to the work is very hustling; it’s kind of like all over the place. And it’s very draining and exhausting.

That is very different from being a cheetah, which is very focused and very powerful. You will be tired and fatigued at the end of the process, whether you enroll those clients that you were hoping to enroll or not. But it will not be like a frazzled kind of energy. It will be the energy of doing your best work. Going after the goal. Keeping your eye on the prize. And, going after that one thing.

I like to contrast cheetah energy with a little kid in your house that has a bottle of spray paint. And there’s no mom or dad keeping tabs on this child, and the child is just like all over the place. Like, if you leave the kid in the house with a bottle of spray paint and you go out for the day, you might come home and find that your child redecorated your walls and your furniture. Sure, you’re not going to be so happy with the results.

The kid is just all over the place, and that’s what happens when you have an unmanaged mind. You’re just hustled and frantic and frenetic, and all over the place, and you’re not being focused. When you’re focused, at the end of the day, at the end of your launch, at the end of the quarter, implementing new systems and processes in your business, you feel tired and extremely accomplished.

A few weeks ago, I shared with you, when I climbed Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, five years ago. It was a very long day because we were also hiking together with my dad, who was 80 years old at the time. We went at my dad’s pace, which was a little bit slower than the pace we would have gone as 50 year olds. It was me and my husband and my sister, and also my dad’s cousin actually, who was in his early 70’s at the time.

But neither here nor there, we 50-year-olds would have gone at a faster pace than my dad if we could have, but we went at his pace. So, I think from the bottom of the mountain to the top, and from the top back to the bottom, it took us, I think, 14 or 15 hours; that was my sister and I and my cousin, we got down to the bottom first.

And then, my husband stayed with my dad, who came down the mountain more slowly. If I’m not mistaken, it took them 17 hours round-trip to get, you know, from the bottom to the top and back down. When we got to the top of Half Dome, I was physically exhausted. My arms, in particular, were shaking from pulling myself up the cables.

To get to the top of the mountain, we had to pull ourselves up at a 60-degree angle. I was exhausted. I think my arms were probably shaking. And I felt exhilarated, because that thrill and joy and that taste of success, that I had accomplished something that was so challenging, so audacious, that not a lot of people in their life try.

It was such an amazing feeling that flooded my entire body. I was tired, exhausted, exhilarated, and proud, at the same time; and that is the cheetah energy. When you are staying in your cheetah energy, you’re going to be focused. You’re going to work hard, and you’re going to feel so amazing at the end of it.

I’m not a runner, but I imagine that marathon runners feel the exact same way when they run a good race. Whether they came in first, or they came in last, that pride from having this tremendous achievement just floods their entire body. And I even have an image now, in my mind, of horse riding in the Kentucky Derby, and just going and charging fast on your horse and trying to cross the finish line.

Again, whether you came in first or second or last, it’s still going to be that thrill of doing a job well done. And when you are focused on your goal, and whether it’s your long-term goal of whatever you’re implementing during the entire year, or whether you’re breaking it down to a quarter, or just what you’re doing this month in January, I encourage you to be in cheetah mode and to go for it when you’re going for it, and stay focused.

Don’t let your mind wander off into all the other things; the “would have”, the “could have”, the maybes. When you’re doing the implementation, just keep implementing, keep going and stay focused.

Let’s move over to Scientist mode. A scientist puts an experiment together. And, a scientist tests his hypothesis. And after performing a test, the scientist is going to get data. And then, the scientist is going to look at the data and try to create a story, from these data points that the scientist has collected.

So again, let’s say that you are looking at the month of January. Now, we’re in the middle of January, and you’re just looking back at the last two, two and a half weeks, that you have been working in your business, since you came back from the winter holidays.

You want to evaluate, like a scientist, the results of what you have been doing. You have a hypothesis; how I’m going to go out into the world? How I’m going to attract clients? Have sales conversations? Invite them to work with me? Now, I have some data, and I want to analyze the data to get all the juicy information that I can, out of this data.

The scientist is going to look at what worked; I put these things together. I ran a webinar. I did a masterclass. I sent five emails. Did people respond? Are people opening my emails? Are they clicking to my links, to my blogs, to my podcasts? Like, what is working with what I’m doing?

And then, the scientist asks; what is not working with the things that I’m doing in my business? And the scientist doesn’t get emotional. It’s not like; oh, I’m a bad person, nobody likes me. I’m not enough. Nobody wants to work with me.

The scientist is completely neutral, because the goal is to keep testing the hypothesis. To see if the hypothesis, ultimately, is going to work or not work. And every experiment, every test in your business, is an opportunity to get new information. Then, you make a decision after looking at the data.

You’re going to tweak something, and then you’re going to implement. And once you implement your new decisions, you’re going to get new information. You will analyze that new information. You’re going to make a few adjustments. And then, you’re going to go back out into the world again, and you’re going to implement something new.

And every single time you have a new implementation, a new cycle, a new way of doing… It’s not new, it’s like version 1.0, version 1.1, version 1.2, and then you’ll get into version 2.0. You’re constantly iterating what you have already established. And then, you’re continuing to do this cycle, over and over and over again, in order to get to your income goal for 2023.

So, we have the Cheetah that is working hard; very focused, going after the goal. The Scientist is going to take all the information and analyze the information; tweak it, and then go back out there and implement it again.

So, then the question is, what is the Bear? When we think of bears; cute, cuddly little bears that grow into big, growly grizzly bears, right? Many bears hibernate in the winter. And actually, if you go and you do some googling, you’ll see that bears don’t actually hibernate. They do something called a deep sleep, which is called “torpor”. Thank you, Google, for helping me out with my bear understanding today.

This is what we want to take away from the bear. A bear has a period of rest. Now, what a bear does when the bear is sleeping, is a little bit different from what a human does when a human is sleeping. But I like the metaphor and the analogy that it brings up. Your human body also needs time to rest.

If you are that cheetah, who has gone full steam ahead after a certain goal, you need time for your brain to process information. You need time for your cells to heal. You need time for the repair that’s going on in your body. You need time to rest, digest, and be out of your business.

I feel extremely blessed and fortunate and grateful, that as a religious Orthodox Jew, I have the Sabbath, the Shabbat. I unplug from my computer, I unplug from my business; from Friday afternoon to Saturday night I am completely offline, and I rest from my business.

Actually, if we look at the specific words in the Bible, when we are given the commandments to observe the Sabbath, what God tells us, is that we stop creating. That is really what the Sabbath is; it’s our time in which we stop creating. It’s also the time that we celebrate being with our Creator, on the Sabbath.

But the words are so specific, that it fits exactly this metaphor for what we’re doing in our businesses. Because all week long, we’re creating and creating, and implementing and doing. And when we stop creating on the Sabbath, we give our brain and our body time to rest. Our cells need time to repair. Our brain is going to process information and compartmentalize it, and just put it exactly where it needs to be stored.

And, we just take time out. We get to show up for the new week with a lot more creative energy and creative juices, in order to carry on and keep going the next week. Showing up in our business working seven days a week, 30 days a month, 360 days a year; I’ll give you five days off, right? It’s not healthy; it’s not healthy for your mental health, for sure not. It is not healthy for your creativity, and for your long-term growth, and income potential.

As a business owner, you need time away from your business. And, I also would encourage you to schedule rest time into your day. I’m very fortunate, I think I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before, that I have a bed in my office.

There are times that I will just lie down on my bed, close my eyes for 10 or 20 minutes, listen to a guided visualization, and that gives my brain time to just let go of all of the stuff that has built up during, let’s say the first half of the day. I get my power nap. And, I can keep going for the second half of the day.

So, being in bear mode, sleep mode, rest and digest mode, that is, from a nervous system level, when you’re in your parasympathetic nervous system. You are in that rest mode, and you’re completing your stress cycles. It’s critical for you, as a business owner, who wants to reach her income goals by the end of 2023.

Let me recap the three modes of operation. They’re all happening during the course of the year; it can be happening during the course of a week, they can be happening during the course of a single day. Be very intentional, especially about putting yourself in bear mode, where you are resting. Don’t start working from nine o’clock in the morning till nine o’clock at night, without taking a break.

First of all, make sure you get up and take care of your biological needs, from time to time. Especially, I think, as women we tend to keep pushing ourselves through. And every woman should just make sure she takes the time to go to the bathroom and pee, because that is very important. But more than that, make sure you’re well fed, you’re getting away from your computer, you’re getting fresh air and sunshine, you’re moving your body exercising.

These are all great ways for you to rest, take a step away from your business, and be in that bear mode; and not in the cheetah mode, and not in the scientist mode. Because both of those need your brain and your body fully onboard. And so, you’re going to need that other time during the day, during your week, and your nights and your weekends, in order to gather up your resources to meet your business the next day.

And if you’re not, in your Bear mode, or your Scientist mode, or your Cheetah mode, the biggest danger is that you’re going to be that kid with the can of spray paint, just wildly spraying everything. You might get lucky and come out with a picture that looks like a Jackson Pollock. But I have a feeling that not too many people are going to fetch the prices that Jackson Pollock did; because hey, that’s already been done.

Focus on the gifts that you have been given, and create what you are here to create in the world. And be very intentional about how you are showing up, so that you can meet your income goal this year.

All right, my friends. Thank you very much for tuning in today to this podcast. If you like this episode of the podcast, I’m asking you to please go to Apple podcast, to go to iTunes, and rate this podcast. The more ratings we have on the podcast, the more Apple will promote the podcast.

It will rise up in the ratings, and then more people will be able to hear what I have to say. And they will get help growing their businesses, making money, dissolving their money beliefs, and serving more people in the world.

If you give me any kind of rating or review; I would love a five-star, of course. It would be very warmly received. But if you’ll take a couple minutes out of your day and go rate and review the podcast. I thank you, very much. And I look forward to seeing you next week on the podcast. Bye-bye, for now.

Thanks for listening to Mastering Money in Midlife. If you want more information on Debbie Sassen or the resources from the podcast visit MasteringMoneyInMidlife.com.

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