Kaleidoscope 25/40: What am I willing to do to achieve this goal? (Or - Do I actually want this?)

Kaleidoscope 25/40: What am I willing to do to achieve this goal? (Or - Do I actually want this?)
Dreaming of millions is so passe — billions is where its at.

Hello friends!

One of the things that has happened over the last two decades is that my goals and ambitions have changed. Largely moderating, some by a lot.

One perspective on this is that, with time, I've become less ambitious.

Another perspective is that I'm figuring out what goals I actually want, not just conceptually want.

I personally believe that the latter is true, because today, I ask myself a key question:

What am I willing to do to achieve this goal?

An unpopular truth is that to achieve exceptional results, you need to be the exception — to have exceptional input.

There are lots of types of exceptional input — it could be dogged persistence, it could be strong relationships or unusual abilities, it could even be exceptional luck or access to capital.

Usually, its several of those stacked together. But something has to be outstanding.

When formulating goals in my 20's, I didn't consider the input. Rather, I looked at the output to decide what I wanted to achieve and worked backwards from there.

Today, I think at least as much how much I want the input as I do the output.

When I started my first business — The Resume Revolution (yes, we can all laugh at that name) — I knew I didn't want to be in that business for long. My goal was to become a business coach, and I knew that I would be a much better coach if I built a business myself first.

So, working back from the goal of being a hugely successful business coach, I looked at what people might be willing to pay me to do. I was really good at getting hired and did some pretty unusual things that I could teach to others... so, tada! The Resume Revolution was born.

It didn't matter that I had little desire to help job seekers — I had two goals for The Resume Revolution: I wanted to get mentioned in the NYT and hit 6-figures of revenue.

There was very little I wouldn't do to hit those two goals.

Thank goodness for that, because getting a business started requires a lot of hustle. And I pushed myself, hard, through all of it.

But, 8 months in, when I achieved them both, near simultaneously, I quit, closing that business within a week. Who closes their business the same week as getting mentioned (positively!) in the NYT?!?

While I was willing to put in work to achieve those goals, the input required was not aligned with what I wanted, clearly.

Today, I would approach the same goal very differently.

I aim to value the process — the actions taken to achieve the goal — at least as highly as the goal itself.

This has caused me to rethink and revise a number of my ambitions. Mostly, revising them downwards. Sometimes, aiming for a more humane timeline.

Not because I'm lazy or don't want to do hard things.

I LOVE working hard. It's one of my favorite things to do — as anyone who has worked with me will attest.

Rather, I think I've lost ambition to do things that I don't actually want, or only wanted for vanity's sake.

And when I find ambitions that I am deeply driven for, I can be very clear with myself about exactly how much want it — enabling me to work harder and make big sacrifices that might otherwise concern me.

By releasing goals that aren't aligned with what I want, day to day, I am far more free to pursue goals that do.

Which is why I ask myself, What am I willing to do to achieve that goal... and do I actually want to do that?

Until tomorrow,