A few weeks ago, I mentioned a concept called aiming high in one of my posts. I think it is very important to understand just what aiming high is and how important it is for your success.
However, it is also important to know how it is especially appropriate to apply this concept to your daily practice of running your business.
For those of you who want a quick synopsis of aiming high, aiming high is the practice of setting high and ambitious goals and being motivated enough to achieve them. It thrives on the belief that the only barrier that stands between you and success is yourself: what you believe you can and cannot achieve.
If you don’t believe you can attain something, there is no way you are going to get there. However, if you believe that you can accomplish something, and you are motivated enough to reach for it, there is no reason that you can’t get what you are aiming for.
Every operation and department of you business should aim high. If you don’t aim high enough, you may forestall higher growth, greater efficiency or increased productivity that you were otherwise capable of achieving. No matter which measure you use: revenue growth, profit growth, ROI, reduction in cost of goods sold or any other, you should always aim as high as you can.
Here’s the rub: aiming too high may discourage you, but not aiming high enough may stop you from growing to your fullest potential. It is impossible to know how high is too high, but I would suggest aiming slightly higher than what seems reasonable and allow some margin for what you still deem acceptable. That way, you are not erecting any mental barriers that may stop rapid growth, but you are allowing yourself some margin of error so that you aren’t discouraged.
Let’s look at an example of a high achieving student named Ryan. Ryan wants to get the best grades possible and has set a goal of receiving a 100 on every test. While it is admirable that he is aiming as high as possible, Ryan knows that with this goal, anything under 100 would mean failure. He will either be unhappy with his actual result, or find it too hard to achieve on certain tests. Ryan decides to allow for a 5 point margin of error, where he is effectively saying: “I will aim for a 100, but I will still be happy with a 95”. This way, he is still aiming high with a challenging margin, but getting slightly less than his goal is still a success.
Notice that Ryan didn’t aim for a 98, he aimed for a 100. He aimed for the highest possible grade on his test that he could have achieved. Since getting a 100 is a possible outcome there is no reason to set a barrier lower than that.
The same applies to your business. Don’t sell yourself short and don’t create mental barriers that may stop you from realizing your fullest potential. Why aim for moderate growth when there is a possibility for high growth? If you create a motivated, high aiming culture in your workplace, you and your employees will all benefit from it and will all work together to create an atmosphere that fosters a much greater amount of success than if you didn’t aim high.