“LNCs beyond SMART” means going beyond the gold standard of goal writing.
Here’s an exercise I did with groups. I’d stand in front of the room, and say, “Extend your right arm, keep your feet pointed ahead. Now twist your hips and draw a line with your finger from your midline to your side, parallel to the floor. Pick a spot on the wall you are now pointing at. Note the spot.
Now come back to your midline. Face ahead. Extend your arm and move your finger to a point as far as you can reach. Look at the point on the wall. Have you gone further?”
Invariably, each person stretched further when I asked them to do so.
SMART goals are like the first set of instructions. They focus on goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
This easy-to-remember method sounds great in theory. However, it is not always the best way to create true entrepreneurial growth.
Let’s say you make a goal to earn 10% more in the next business year. To do such, you might create plans to work 10% more, increase spending on marketing by 10%, and reach out to 10% more prospective clients. In the end, you earn about 10% more.
Great, right? You did what you intended to.
However, did that goal of 10% inspire you to truly invest yourself and your time put into your business? Or were you trying to stick to the path and get it done? Perhaps it even made you feel like you couldn’t possibly do more than just 10%.
But like the exercise I described above, you can stretch yourself when you try.
LNCs Beyond SMART
Instead of focusing on creating goals that are realistic and attainable, a true entrepreneur pushes outside of the 10% comfort zone and recognizes and chases those lofty goals, where incredible success lies.
Savvy entrepreneurs don’t restrain themselves to modest goals. They continuously strive to gain more and do more than might seem possible. They don’t limit themselves with what-ifs and unknowns. Instead, they stretch themselves to the place of true growth. They are constantly re-inventing their process, always on the lookout for ways to improve their business model.
Of course, one can’t simply talk about these goals, or write them down on that forgotten notepad and expect them to come into being. It is at this point that pushing away those SMART goals is the smartest move.
When you let yourself move away from something easily achievable in favor of the “Can I really do this?” option, you are challenging yourself to reach past any self-restrictions to shoot for the moon instead. Reaching further than you think you can, you are able to realize how much growth can really happen.
While you might not be able to double your income, you are likely to surpass that mere 10% increase. So, expand your boundaries and set huge goals for yourself. At the end of it, even if you fail, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of where your SMART goal could have left you.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs to obtain more clients, make more money, and achieve their business goals and dreams.
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