Many people who are just starting out in the business world are afraid to set unrealistic goals. The main reason why the majority of these never become successful is that they are seeking comfort in taking on tasks that are achievable in their perspective. They are trying to be realistic, and modest.
When I was a kid, the most successful person I ever met was a coffee bar owner. Everyone else was doing cleaning jobs, bartending, selling ice creams, or doing admin jobs in public services. Managers, directors, bankers – I saw them only on TV, and it seemed quite impossible that I will ever get an opportunity to do anything similar. There were only 2 universities in my home town – tourism and maritime.
Realistically, my worst-case scenario was to become a cleaning lady, and my best-case scenario was to become a hotel receptionist.
I am 25, and I managed to achieve things in life that seemed impossible to me in so many ways. Some people say I am lucky, but the truth is I am just persistent, smart, and I work very, very hard. Now I know that anyone can accomplish whatever they set to do – if they decide to believe in themselves.
Set unrealistic goals for motivation
Setting unrealistic goals can be quite tricky if you lack the confidence to do so. It is important to note that playing safe means that you will never grow in what you're doing. You will forever be stuck in the mindset that you're not good enough to do any better than you are right now. There are always excuses you can find, like the lack of opportunities in your area, your lack of education, lack of experience, or fear of the unknown. All of these are more mental than physical barriers, and all of them can be changed - if you want to, of course.
There are ways to grow step-by-step without compensating all that you currently have. Having said that, your wishes and dreams needn't suffer in this process. If you have a goal in mind - take baby steps. It might take five, ten, or twenty years - but if you don't lose sight of your destination, you will find a path sooner or later. In this article, I will set my personal story as an example of how setting ambitious and unrealistic goals helped me grow and become who I am today.
This is how I got from „This is impossible“ to
- "I did it"!
1. Think about your wildest, craziest ambitions.
1. Don't resort to thoughts like what can I do. Think – if I could do anything, what would I do? Set a goal.
I was 16 when I did this for the first time. I was sitting in front of my high school in a small city on the coast of Croatia and talking to one of my colleagues. I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up. She said that she wanted to work in an accounting office and hopefully get a safe job in one of the big companies.
- What about you? – she asked.
- One day, I will be a CEO and I will run companies on a few continents, probably in Dubai, London and San Francisco – I replied.
- And how are you planning to do that?
- I have no idea.
You don't have to know how to achieve something, it is important that you know where you are going. You have plenty of time to figure out how to reach your destination.
This was actually me:
2. Surround yourself (at least virtually) with people who are already successful.
People say that we only have an average of five people that we spend most of our time with. People in your life make a great influence on the way you think. Your thoughts are becoming your habits, and your habits are becoming your life. If you are lonely or surrounded by people who can't influence and inspire you, you need to seek motivation elsewhere.
It is up to you to choose if you want to spend your day watching Keeping up with the Kardashians and playing Candy Crush, or watching Ted Talks, motivational videos and speeches, business-related documentaries, and reading books about success strategies and biographies of world leaders.
I basically had to brainwash myself into believing that I am on a road to big success. I believe psychologists would call me delusional, considering my then-current reality, but I decided to think big. I followed 300+ pages on Instagram with inspirational quotes and business tips. Every morning, I would be watching one Ted Talk or videos of speakers like Marie Forleo. I would read at least one book a week. I started emailing media companies and directors of marketing agencies saying that „One day I want to be like them“. I would also add that I am happy to volunteer to do things like bringing coffee to them if they would like to mentor me on how to become successful. If you don't know where to start, you can join our free Meetup group or FB community Entrepreneurs Without a Tie.
3. Work it out backwards.
For example, my goal was to become a CEO. How do CEOs start their career? I had no clue – so I asked them. While volunteering or just having five-minute phone calls „for my school research“, I was trying to find out everything on how they started their career. I came to the conclusion that there was a pattern. A typical career path looked approximately something like this:
· CEO in 2010
· Manager from 2006 to 2009
· Team Leader from 2004 to 2006
· Specialist from 2001 to 2004
· Assistant from 2000 to 2001
· Student in Business School
So, I realized that I have to go to business school. I didn't have money, therefore I needed a scholarship. I was not talented in sports, so I had to excel in academics or find some other way to get into the university I wanted. Turns out that CEOs have to know a lot about marketing, sales, customer relations, finances, accounting, and how to set up a company. I took a notebook and I started writing everything down; Part one – marketing. I basically learned everything you could find about marketing on the first 10 pages of Google. I did the same for all other departments. I didn't understand accounting, so I opted in for a live accounting training where I got a certificate stating that I can be an Independent Accountant. It was enough to mark it off my checklist.
4. Eat That Elephant
One of the greatest books I have ever read was „Eat That Elephant“. The book was about dividing big challenges into many smaller ones. For example, if you set a goal for yourself that you wanted to create a brand - it seems big, hard, even impossible. Where or how would you even start!?
But, if you were to divide it into smaller steps, for example:
· Monday – Read XYZ article about what are brand statements and how to create them.
· Tuesday – Write your brand statement
· Wednesday – Read XYZ article on the psychological impact of colours and how to pick the best colour for your brand.
· Thursday – Pick a colour, ask 10 people for their feedback, confirm the final colour scheme.
Friday – Find a freelancer on Remote Bob to design a logo for your business idea.
· Saturday – Prepare a brief (description of your idea) and send it to the freelancer.
then you will have a brand in less than two weeks
5. Fail time and time again
Unsuccessful people fail. Successful people fail - and then try again. You will fail many, many times. Note that this is normal - you are going out of your comfort zone and experiencing growing pains.
Detach yourself from your bad results. If you write a blog post for the first time and someone leaves a comment saying „this sucks!“, don't question yourself. I used to think; "Oh my God, how stupid can I be? I am just embarrassing myself, it would be better if I just give up right away..." Never, EVER go down that path! When you get bad feedback - embrace it, own it.
Yes, I wrote a blog, and yes, some parts were boring, or silly, or not precise enough (in someone's opinion). But, this is a learning curve, and I can say that I'm proud of myself for at least trying. This feedback gives me even more motivation to read and learn further on how to write a great blog post so that I can try again. I am worthy, I am powerful, I am talented, and I believe in myself. I am not afraid to fail – failures make me strong and resilient.
6. Invest an hour daily in visualizing or working on your goals
The most important step in reaching your set unrealistic goals is to not forget what you're fighting for. For example, from Monday to Friday, take one hour off your day and devote it to reminders of your wishes and desires. Look up your desired position on Google, and then work on it - learn, volunteer, read, and visualize. Believe in yourself, and don't stop - the rest will come with time.
7. Be Fearless
Feel the fear and do it anyway ;)