How to Sneak Up on Incredibly Elusive Goals
BY Jeff Haden
If success always seems to be just out of your reach, consider approaching your goals from a new angle.
You know how to set conceivable, achievable, measurable, aligned, etc., goals. You create checklists and milestones and find ways to reward yourself after making even the smallest gains.
You know achieving goals takes determination and drive and effort and persistence.
Yet despite our best intentions and efforts you--and I--somehow still fall short.
If you're failing to achieve a major goal, don't just decide that next time you'll try harder. Don't just apply the same old strategies. Don't just do more of the same while hoping for a different result.
Instead, try achieving a different goal. Try achieving a goal that will naturally result in achieving your primary goal. Sneak up on an elusive goal.
Here's how it works. We'll pick a fairly universal goal: Say you want to lose weight.
Look around: Who tends to be thin and fit? Runners. Not people who run. Runners. As the old saying goes, you may see a fat person running... but you'll never see a fat runner. (Other groups of people are thin and fit, too. I just picked runners to illustrate the point. So all you cyclists back off.)
Runners are thin because they can't help but be thin: They burn huge numbers of calories and focus on healthy eating so they can improve performance. In the process, without focusing on losing weight they become or stay thin and fit. They can't help it.
So if you want to lose weight, one way to sneak up on that goal is to train for and run a marathon. You'll lose weight, and you'll feel an incredible sense of pride from having conquered a separate and amazing goal.
Is training for a marathon an easy way to lose weight? Oh, hell no.
But unlike the endless parade of "incredible weight loss breakthroughs," it works. Achieving a difficult goal isn't easy; if it was everyone would be successful, satisfied, and fulfilled.
You can apply the stealth approach to just about any goal, whether personal or business. Here are a few quick examples:
Want to start a business?
Don't focus on forming an LLC or developing a business plan or setting up accounting systems, at least not at first.
What do entrepreneurs really do? Entrepreneurs make money. So focus on learning to make a profit. Turn a hobby into a business, no matter how small. Turn a skill into a sideline.
Focus on making money and you'll learn a lot about running a business, you'll learn to spot opportunities, and you'll start thinking like an entrepreneur because you are an entrepreneur.
And before long starting a bigger business will seem easy... because you've already done it once.
Want to land more media opportunities?
Developing a better delivery and presence will help, but who gets media opportunities? Experts.
Become an expert in your field and you'll have something original or insightful to say--and your delivery and presence will naturally improve. Content trumps delivery every time.
When you're an expert you'll find it a lot easier to get booked--in fact, the media will seek you out.
Want to build an amazing network?
Don't think in terms of building a network. Build a list of key individual contacts.
Think about every key area your business depends on: Supplies, products, professional services, marketing, media, etc. Then work hard to build a strong relationship with one person in each of those areas. Build a connection with a lawyer. An accountant. The shipping clerk at your supplier's warehouse. Your FedEx driver. An influential analyst.
Make it your goal to establish a key contact in each area of your business--with a person who won't just return your calls but will also enjoy hearing from you--and you'll naturally build an amazing network.
And some cool friendships, too.
Want to be wealthy?
If you're starting from scratch, getting rich isn't easy. Still, some people tend to become wealthy in a relatively short period of time, like athletes and entertainers.
And successful business owners.
If you want to be rich, focus on serving a need and serving customers. Forget, for a while, about your bank account and focus on building a successful business.
In time you might become rich... in more ways than one.
JEFF HADEN learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business. @jeff_haden