In my experience, you either go for the win or you don’t go at all. When setting your goals, you should figure out what you want, not what you think you can get, and then put everything into achieving that goal.
Settling for second place is going to result in a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Do you think the New England Patriots started this season saying, “I hope we make the Super Bowl”? No chance. It’s win the Super Bowl or nothing for those guys. Do you think Michael Jordan said, “Man I hope we make the NBA Finals this season.”? Nope.
I think people get used to being told what they can and can’t accomplish, and they start believing that. I had a beer with a friend recently and I asked him what his goals were at his company. He said, “I want to run the place”. Perfect. Simple, defined, and incredibly ambitious. If he strives for that, and in the process moves up the ladder, gets a better job, etc, then great. And heck, maybe he’ll just pull it off. But if he thought about what was most likely to happen and made that his goal, he’d probably never even achieve that.
Why am I writing this? At this time of year both people and businesses start thinking about what they want to accomplish in the promising year to come. Those that have achieved unlikely success in their past usually have lofty, sometimes unreachable goals. Those that haven’t achieved that kind of success are likely to set their goals lower and are less likely to be successful going forward.
So it’s on my mind right now as I talk to friends, colleagues and clients.
I’ve written this past year about the 5 qualities every entrepreneur should have. Check out the first point.
Bottom line: If you don’t believe you can achieve anything, you never will.