By Solomon Thimothy, founder of Clickx.
We've all heard it before: You need goals to get something done. The same is true in business. If you're a business owner or entrepreneur, goals drive much of what you do. Most people would agree that any goal is better than no goal. However, I want to challenge you to think big goals even if you don't think you'll hit them. No one likes to be set up for failure, but when it comes to creating goals that drive transformation or result in amazing outcomes, you need some Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG).
As a business owner and entrepreneur, I've often set goals that seem to be from outer space for our agency. And that's OK -- the purpose is not to punish ourselves if we don't meet these goals but to motivate us to do greater things than we might have thought possible. So why should you set big goals even if you don't think you can meet them?
You Achieve More
Imagine setting a goal that was something you could do in the blink of an eye. What do you think the final outcome will be? Probably nothing more than what you expected. But what if you set a really big goal? What would the results look like then?
More likely than not, you'll be surprised at what you're capable of achieving. Think of it this way. Say you wanted to lose weight. If you set a goal to lose two pounds, you'd probably get there and be happy. Now, what if you set a goal to lose 15 pounds? Even if you don't get to the 15 pounds, getting to 10 pounds is still better than a mere two pounds.
In business, big goals drive teams to achieve what may seem impossible. A few years ago, our agency set a goal to create a marketing software platform. Initially, it sounded completely nuts. But even with a small team, we've created a marketing intelligence platform that now has thousands of active users.
You Work Harder
Given the right team, big goals motivate everyone to work harder. I recently heard the story of Steve Davis, an employee at SpaceX who was given an almost impossible task to reduce the cost of manufacturing a part from hundreds of thousands of dollars to a mere few thousand dollars. Many people would have probably given up before they even tried. But, determined, Davis worked 16-hour days for years.
The result? He ended up manufacturing the part below the price of the outrageous request given. In business, as in life, no one wants to miss the mark. This alone drives us to work hard, so why shortchange yourself with attainable goals?
About a year ago, I decided that our company really needed to step up its game in video content. So I set a challenge for us: create daily video content. The initial goal seemed impossible. How could we possibly create daily video content when we were producing video content so infrequently? With determination, the entire team and I were able to create upwards of four to five videos a day!
You Stretch Your Potential
The great thing about somewhat unattainable goals is that they help you stretch your potential. The mere fact that you've learned to work harder and achieved more by doing so sets you up to do even greater things in the future.
As the CEO and visionary for our company, setting goals is my job. Bigger goals mean that the future will be better than today. Whether this means getting more from individuals or achieving more as a company, big goals force us to stretch our creativity and focus. My team is surely waiting for the next seemingly unattainable goal.
Don't cheat yourself by setting easy goals. My gym instructor reminds me of that all the time. Sure, you can use those 15-pound weights and be happy. But how good will your workout be? Challenge yourself and your workout will be a great one. So I challenge you to set business goals that may seem a bit far off - you'll gain a ton even if you don't quite hit them.
Solomon Thimothy is the founder of Clickx, a marketing intelligence platform that helps businesses and agencies with marketing attribution.