That is what Elon Musk is doing.
What about you?
Setting seemingly unattainable goals is the best way to succeed, stay focused and execute in business living happily and fulfilled. Jim Collins, in his book co-authored with Jerry I. Porras, Built to Last, posed the idea of a BHAG. Establishing a Big Hairy Audacious Goal that visionary companies used to inspire bold missions as powerful ways to stimulate progress. The thinking behind such an approach is that to generate exceptional focused growth, a “moon shot” goal is needed. The manned lunar mission led to countless innovations in manufacturing, technology, computing and human physiological support and nutrition resulted from this endeavor.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”
– Norman Vincent Peal
The NASA space program and the Kennedy mission demonstrated that great feats can come of extraordinary dreams. But of course, most businesses don’t have the entire financial might of the US government behind them when they start out.
What about other businesses?
In 2001, Elon Musk had the idea to colonize Mars and by 2007 he was stating it publicly. Within a few years, SpaceX was created, and the path was set. Today, Musk believes this will be a reality in 2026. Innovation and evolution have occurred along the way. With one of the most important being a reusable rocket which enables huge financial and technical advantages to allow multiple launches and easier commercialization of space travel. This created a funding mechanism to keep the program moving forward. Other advancements in solar energy, battery storage, tunnel boring technology, and electric vehicles across all his companies were either borne out of the big vision, or supported it. Along the way, the impact of Musk’s big thinking has inspired competition, innovation, and cultural change.
When Steve Jobs rejoined Apple in 1997, he put the focus squarely on an ideal. That was “to build an enduring company that prioritized people”. Given the excess of the late nineties and rising stock market bubble, the focus on people-not-profit was aspirational. In the following decades, Apple would make user enjoyment and design the focus while they delivered some of the biggest evolutions in modern consumer electronic history. They literally changed industries from computer chip improvements by suppliers and operating systems, to hardware design and industry disruptions including music and cameras. Bill Gates and Paul Allen had the vision to “put a personal computer on every desk and in every home”, well it worked. Had they really understood the acceleration of their goal, they might have said “to put a computer in every pocket”. Microsoft along with its competitors and suppliers ensured it. By creating the simple software that interfaced with average human and business users, computers quickly became ubiquitous. In time, size was reduced, and capability was vastly improved. The computational power of technology that once occupied entire floors in buildings now rests in the palm of our hand.
Putting a human on Mars seems like a goal for Elon Musk, but not everyone. Maybe your big goal isn’t quite that size, but it must stretch you beyond today. Of course you might have been taught that goals should be “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). In fact, the principle seems to imply that goals should always be within reach. Inherently that approach wilts in the face of such audacious goals as described above. Maybe it is semantics and we’re really discussing dreams versus goals. Every dream or massive goal can be smashed into hundreds, thousands or even millions of small “smart” goals that when achieved incrementally, produce an exponential impact. These pieces become the road map – or business plan - to reach that dream.
With what I call a “BFG” (Big F’n Goal) you can see the future through your future self’s eyes, and you are not constrained by the financial, geographic, or technical realities of today. What is needed to accomplish the goal, but doesn’t exist today can be invented or created in time. All dreams can be deconstructed and built step by step.
A cosmic ripple
Now, I am looking to make a cosmic ripple effect. I once set a goal to help direct $1 million to charity every year. Creating a business platform, assembling the right people and processes to deliver that impact, we exceeded $12.5 million in six years! That Big F’n Goal changed my life and legacy. Today, we look beyond that to a new one-for-two-billion challenge by creating a billion dollars of wealth and a billion dollars of charitable impact. We know there is a multiplier, and it will only take a spark to ignite the imagination and vision releasing the energy of one hundred special, impact-minded entrepreneurs, and business owners to commit to their own Grow Get Give process to make that a reality.
We might not be going to Mars, but our impact will be inter-stellar.
Big goals can be accomplished one step at a time or all at once. When contemplating my legacy, I realized I didn’t want to wait. I had to ask myself the question, “What will give me the greatest possible reach to be that spark to energize others?” It is going to take an engaged community of a thousand, impact-minded, thought leaders and business owners, and we need just one hundred of the right entrepreneurs in our Grow Get Give Coaching family to light this match.
I asked, “How will they find me?” I could continue growing one or a few at a time, for years, trying to rise above the digital noise, but if I could reach millions of people at once, we could accelerate this. That is when I decided to join the biggest platform available today. In January I agreed to join creator Christopher Lavoie and The Social Movement TV Series as a producer.
We are assembling innovators, CEO’s, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to share their genius, giving them just “4 days to save the world”. If you think you have what it takes to tackle the world’s greatest problems and want to learn how this will elevate your personal, professional and brand currency, just watch this trailer and schedule at time to speak with me.