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Beyond SMART: Goal Setting For Entrepreneurs

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If there’s one thing we know about goals, they have to be SMART, right?

After all, that’s what we’ve been told for years. The only thing that matters is that your goals are specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Sure, that looks great on paper—and clearly it’s easy to remember— but does it go far enough for those who want to achieve big things?

Think about it. Do you want to be stuck with “attainable” and “realistic” goals when what you really dream about is a three day work week, lots of international travel, and enough money to fund a dream trip (or three)?  Seems quite clear that those safe, smart goals aren’t going to get you there.

In fact, they might even do worse than simply “not get you there.” They may actively hold you back.

Think about what happens when you set an “attainable” goal of earning say, 10% more than you did last year. You might work 10% more. You might spend 10% more on ads or product creation. You might even reach out to 10% more potential clients.

And you may well earn about 10% more.

“Not bad!” you say. After all, that was your goal.

But did that 10% goal inspire you to work harder? Or did it create a subconscious ceiling on your earning potential that you’re unable to break through?

Rather than focusing on goals that are attainable and realistic, savvy entrepreneurs know that the key to incredible success lies in creating lofty goals that feel out of reach—maybe even UN-attainable.

They don’t strive to earn 10% more than last year. They want 50% or even 100% more. They stretch themselves. They find new—and better—ways to do things, so they don’t have to work twice as hard, but they are open to the possibility of doing so—at least in the short term—when it’s necessary.

Of course, you cannot simply declare crazy goals and expect the universe to hand them to you. It doesn’t work like that. And that’s exactly why putting aside those smart goals is so…smart. When you shun the attainable in favor of the “holy cow, how will I ever do THAT?” goal, you push yourself beyond those self-imposed limits and reach for the stars.

David Joseph Schwartz got it in one when he said, “Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success”.

Sure, you might not double your income, but you’re almost guaranteed to do better than a mere 10% increase. So push your boundaries. Set big, audacious goals. Even if you fail, you’ll be much further ahead than those smart goals would leave you.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Julie Syl Kalungi

    Hey Christy,
    I always Set BOLD goals and each of these letters Has a Meaning and guess what happens. I hit my targets spot on, above and beyond or just short of. Either way they are never SMART lol. YET They allow me to Work Smart and 10X my actions and results. 🙂

    What are your personal experiences of SMART Goals and what lead you to decide they just aren’t for you?

    January 1, 2018 at 9:31 pm
    • Reply Christiana

      I just feel like they’re too broad, especially if you’re applying them to business. Change is constant and if your goals are not big enough to adapt, you get left behind. I’ve learned that you have to be fearless to go after your goals. They have to be big enough to make me get out of bed in the morning and if it’s not working out, change the plan until it does.

      January 3, 2018 at 8:52 am
  • Reply MomJonz

    I say set high, reach high, aim high! If not, you will always be in the same place.

    January 4, 2018 at 3:31 pm
    • Reply Christiana

      Too right!

      January 5, 2018 at 8:01 pm

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