You might already know I’m not a big fan of SMART goals.
I’m not hating and understand why they work. And, in the right context, they can be very useful.
However, when it comes to building, growing, and scaling a business you’re wildly in love with that also makes you bank, those SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals can get in your way.
My biggest problem with these so-called smart goals is with what we deem ‘realistic’ and the desire to tie this to a timeline.
‘Realistic’ tends to keep us playing small and that timeline can cause us to push towards expectations we have no control over…causing so many entrepreneurs to call it quits when they don’t ‘achieve’ their ‘measurable’ goals on time.
The irony in all of this?
When SMART goals in business let us down, what do we do?
We find something new to make another SMART goal around and repeat the process.
Here’s the deal, playing it safe with “realistic” goals actually ISN'T so realistic, and will, in the long run, keep us treading water.
Hear me out on this one.
Tim Ferriss talks about this in The 4-Hour Work Week, where he explains:
“It’s lonely at the top. 99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre middle-ground. The level of competition is thus fiercest for “realistic” goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and energy-consuming."
Besides, if we’re being honest: realistic is also boring and uninspiring.
No one comes to me all fired up about their really practical and realistic dream or goal they want to achieve in a very timely manner. And, having the fire of "unrealistic" passion behind us, makes it more likely you'll keep going when the going gets tough. Which, ya know, as an entrepreneur might happen once in a while.
Business and life are full of unexpected surprises, ups and downs, and storms that threaten to knock you down. Why not set yourself up for success and happiness to weather these storms by arming yourself with dreams and goals big enough to inspire and motivate you to keep going?
And, how about releasing the pressure valve on when you expect those results to start rolling in, so you have enough space to show up for and create your vision? ‘Cause I don’t know about you, but tons of ‘timely’ pressure shuts me down.
THEN, you can reach these ‘unrealistic’ goals through a series of bite-size, more attainable, measurable, realistic steps that are tied to a timeline.
And, if you’re worrying about what might happen if you allow yourself to have an unrealistic goal?
I’ll leave you with this challenge: I DARE you to come up with something so big and scary it’s “unrealistic”...and fail trying.⠀
I DARE you to fail at your “unrealistic” goal.
At the end of the day, there's no shame in trying and failing. That’s the good kind of failure. The failure that gives us lessons, opportunities for growth, and leads to success.
What I don’t want for you this year is to fail by default because you’ve decided it’s not possible and sat on the sidelines. Or to fail to play big, stuck in ‘realistic’.
The only way you truly fail is by not showing up. By not setting your sights high. By deciding it’s not possible and quitting before you even start.
You’re so much more capable than you give yourself credit for.
Most people don’t fail because their dream was too big and unrealistic or because they didn’t have the right SMART planning system or strategy in place...they fail because they never gave themselves a chance.
Here’s the thing, someone is going to do that thing you dream of. Someone is going to make it happen. Someone is going to fail, fail, and fail again until they create the *unrealistic* goal they have their sights on.
Why not let the “unrealistic” person be you? ⠀
P.S. Ready to create an ‘unrealistic’ business vision and get the mindset and strategy behind you to do the damn thing? I’d love to help you make the unrealistic, realistic, so you can build, grow, and scale a business you’re wildly in love with that also makes you bank.