Beyond SMART: Setting Goals for Online Businesses

It’s that time of year again. Time when everyone is setting goals for their business. 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, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely … SMART.

While that looks great on paper—and clearly it’s easy to remember—it doesn’t go far enough for those who want to achieve big things.

Setting goals should go beyond SMART

Think about it. Do you want to be stuck with “attainable” and “realistic” goals when you dream about a 3-day workweek, frequent international travel, and enough money to fund a mission trip (or three). Seems pretty clear that those safe, smart goals aren’t going to get you there.

In fact, setting goals that are SMART might even do worse than simply “not get you there.” SMART goals may actively hold you back.

Let’s talk about this

Consider what happens when you set an “attainable” goal of earning 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’ll likely earn about 10% more.

“Not bad!” you say. After all, that was your goal. And you reached it. Check!

But did your 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 setting goals that are attainable and realistic, savvy entrepreneurs know 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. They find “smart” ways to do things. Then, they don’t have to work twice as hard, but they remain open to the possibility of doing so—at least in the short term—when it’s necessary.

Setting goals should go beyond SMART

My Goals

I’m going to bite the bullet and set a “holy cow” goal. Not only am I setting the goal, I’m making it public. (oh no!) I want to make 50% more income this coming year. I have several businesses and I’ve been evaluating them. Looking at the ones I can work smarter, not harder. Finding the best ways to build my businesses.

Of course, I can’t simply declare crazy goals and expect them to happen. That’s exactly why putting aside those smart goals is so…smart. When you shun the attainable goal, 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.

I’m also trusting God to give me wisdom in my business decisions and where I spend my time this year. He’s the one that will make this happen in my business.

Sure, I might not double my income, but I’m 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.

What “holy cow” goal will you make for your blog this year? Leave a comment below. Let’s hold each other accountable.

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