When we grow up we are taught to be “realistic” in our goal setting and our life. While we might be encouraged to “dream big,” that’s often followed by the caveat that we should still be sure to stay realistic. We shouldn’t aim too high for fear of failure or disappointment. The lesson we hear is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. But that keeps us from reaching our full potential. Setting unrealistic goals is the way to win big. Being realistic is the enemy of true innovation and growth.
Being realistic in your goal setting is ultimately a flawed approach. It limits you to the reality in front of you – one that is often someone else’s vision of reality. Set unrealistic goals instead! Be the artist of your story, and paint your own canvas. Don’t follow the same paint-by-number instructions of everyone else.
Dreaming big means going well beyond the confines of what you think is possible. If it seems realistic to shoot for $1 Million in revenue, then double that. Or triple it! You’ll never find out what’s possible if you don’t expand those boundaries.
Push Your Goals to Higher Levels
Working toward “unrealistic” goals and achieving incredible things is exactly what happened for one of our Members. Antonio Wint of Syn Ack Fin Network & Computer Services set his company the goal of achieving $1 million in revenue. When that goal began to seem viable in the first quarter of 2019, he doubled the goal – and achieved it by the end of the year. In spite of some major setbacks and what seemed like an unrealistic goal, Wint and his team aimed high and kept on pushing until they made it. That’s how a company thrives.
If you want success and true financial freedom, then set unrealistic goals and truly innovate. Take Google, for example. That company is continually setting unrealistic goals and trying on ideas and projects just because they seem interesting or exciting. In all of their experimenting and innovating, Google fails 40% of the time. But when they succeed, it changes the world.
Don’t Expect to Achieve Every Goal
Here’s an excellent rule of thumb: 50% of your goals should have a 50% chance of failure. 50% of your goals should essentially be a coin-flip. They might work, they might not. But you’ll never know unless you try. And if you don’t try? You won’t succeed. You might not fail if you keep sticking to the same path you’ve been on for so long, but you also won’t push yourself or your company to new heights.
Being unrealistic means being bolder and more daring. Make half of your goals tough and bold. You don’t have to know how to get there in order to aim high. Too often, people approach goal setting from the perspective that they should seem achievable. Productivity gurus tell us to focus on small, achievable goals. To take things bit by bit. That may be true on the day-to-day level but it will hold you back in long-term goal setting. If you achieve 100% of your goals then, you are being entirely too “realistic” in your approach. You only have to hit 70-80% of your goals to achieve remarkable things.
Set Goals That Fire You Up
“Unrealistic” and bold goals should bring out an emotion in you and your team. You should feel excited. You should feel a little scared. Most of all, you should feel like achieving this goal will have a significant impact for you and your business.
Take some time to review your goals. Do they scare you a little and excite you a lot? If so, great. If not, go back and push on them. Stretch things farther – beyond the bounds of what seems “realistic.” Aim for unrealistic goals. Whether you hit that goal or not, you will benefit from trying. It will stretch you and your team in ways that you might not be able to anticipate, which is a good thing. It’s how we grow and innovate.
Finally, remember that it’s okay to fail. Whatever happens, you will learn by failing, and you might still move your business forward. It’s only a true failure if you don’t learn something from the experience.
By Blair Koch