It’s early January and you’re setting your business and personal goals for the year. Your first inclination might be to set a big financial goal, but achieving that goal may be a hollow victory.
Here’s a rough script I used for this video if you prefer to read than watch:
We’re at the beginning of the new year and it’s the time of year when people have had a couple of weeks off and now they’re ready to get back into the swing of things. You’ve set some new years goals or resolutions. You’re looking forward to the year thinking about everything you might want to accomplish.
When you think about setting goals for your business, your first inclination will invariably to set some financial goals. You might say I want my company to hit a specific revenue amount for the year or that you want to be able to take home a certain dollar amount from your business. I’ve done this, in fact I still do this. Last year we were targeting $5 million in revenue for MarketBeat and this year we’re targeting $8 million. And the reason that I set financial goals for my business is that I believe that every business is either growing or dying. Businesses will naturally decay overtime if you don’t work to keep growing and improving them. If you stop working to grow your business, it will inevitably start shrinking and will eventually go away. Competitors will out maneuver you. Customers will churn. You have to keep working to grow your business as long as you want to be in business, so we always try to do a bit better than we did last year financially. By creating a revenue goal or an income goal for your business, you’re putting the focus on growth, which you should do, but I do want to throw out a word of caution as well.
If you set out a big hairy audacious financial goal for your business, you will find out that chasing a specific revenue amount or a specific net worth is a hollow goal. For the longest time, I wanted to have a $1 million business. Then I got there, and it turned out it was just another Wednesday. I thought well, maybe I should aim higher, so I thought I would shoot for a business that did $5 million in revenue. Well, we hit that too, and that was also just another Wednesday. Nobody brought me a trophy. Balloons didn’t fall from the ceiling. There wasn’t a big party. It was just another day.
What you’ll find out over time is that reaching major goals of financial success are pretty hollow. Nobody else is going to care because it’s not like they were the one that just hit a major financial goal. It won’t really change your lifestyle dramatically because you really don’t have that much more money than you did a day ago a week ago or a month ago. Wealth for wealth sake or setting big arbitrary financial goals ultimately turn out pretty hollow. You having a lot of money in the bank because you have a successful business will change a lot less than you think it will. The only thing having $1 million in the bank is that the answer to “Can I afford this?” is always yes. Having a lot of money won’t fix your broken relationships. It won’t make your children thrive. It won’t feed the poor or change the world. It won’t even necessarily make you more popular, influential or well liked.
Goals are a good thing, both in your personal life and in your business. It’s even okay to have some financial goals, but don’t think achieving a specific financial goal is going to make your life perfect or dramatically better than it is now, because it won’t. Financial goals really only matter in the sense that they enable you to better your life, the lives of those around you and do good in the world through charitable giving. So, when you’re thinking about goals for your business this year, I would encourage you to think broader. Instead of thinking only about, how much money do I think I can make? Think about other types of goals that you can set for your business. What social good can my business do? How can it contribute back to the community? How many people can we employ? How happy and satisfied could we make our customers? I’d especially encourage you to think about what goals you can set that help other people, more than yourself. Having money will bring you some happiness because your basic needs are met, but true happiness and joy, in my opinion, comes from helping other people better themselves and achieve their dreams.
Good luck with setting your business goals this year. I’d love to hear what kind of goals you’re setting in your company. Feel free to comment what goals or aspirations you have for your business on the comments below this video.