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By Michael Angier

 

  

 

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Hitting Some Out of the Park: The Excitement of Personal Home Runs

I’m not a big baseball fan. I enjoyed playing when I was younger, but I’ve just not gotten caught up in watching nine innings of the game.

Perhaps it’s because the home runs are so few and far between. Watching someone bunt, walk or get a base hit slowly but surely adds runs to the scoreboard, but they lack the luster of a home run with the bases loaded.

Seeing that ball sail out of the park while the runners head home and the batter tags each base in his victory lap is fun.

Setting and achieving goals is a bit like baseball. For the most part, things don’t happen all that fast, and it’s not always exciting. But if you want to win, you have to do the things that put you on base in a consistent fashion.

We all have some goals we want to accomplish that aren’t particularly inspiring or motivating. We want the result, but we aren’t always excited about the process.

Unless they’re part of a bigger (and more inspiring) goal, they tend to be what I call “maintenance goals”. Things like a 15% increase in sales, a 10% increase in profits or paying off a credit card.

To make the game more interesting, however, it helps to have some home runs.

Last summer I was telling my friend Sterling Valentine about my upcoming projects and explaining my plans for several new ventures. I told him that business was up 23%, and I reviewed a couple of other things that would clearly be viewed as quite positive.

But as I discussed these things with him, I noticed I didn’t seem to have the passion I usually have. I said, “You know, all this is good, it’s interesting, but what I’d really like to do is hit a home run.”

He asked what that would look like. His question made me think—and think hard.

What WOULD a home run look like? What kind of goals would I look upon as they were accomplished and say, “Wow! That’s a home run!”

So I made a list of goals that would qualify. They weren’t safe, predictable, maintenance goals. They were BHAGS—big hairy audacious goals.

I chose three of them and decided to swing for the fence on all three. I really had nothing to lose because even if I fell short, I would have made good progress—probably more than if I hadn’t gone for it.

And I got two out of three.

We more than doubled our 2005 business compared to 2004. I’d done this before—two or three times—but our business was much smaller then. Home run number one.

I created, launched and sold a 12-month team coaching program (Diamond Club). I thought 21 participants would be a home run for the first year. We have 43 enrolled, and we still have another couple of weeks before we close it for the year. Home run number two.

My third goal was a best-selling book (100,000 copies).

Didn’t hit that one—at least not yet. But I do have two books published and a third in production.

As a result of achieving these goals, I’ve never felt more confident. I’m really looking forward to reaching for some big ones in 2006.

Action Point
What about YOU? Where are you on the “GO-FOR-IT Scale”? Which of your goals or dreams would be a home run for you?

It’s good to have singles, doubles and triples, but every once in the while, you have to take a big cut and swing for the bleachers. You’ll strike out sometimes, but hey, even the best batters do that.

 

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Last Updated 02/01/2006