Ep 18 – How high should you aim when building a strategy?

Ep 18 - How high should you aim when building a strategy?

In this episode we talk about the idea of determining what level of success you’re aiming for. We’ll share several examples and demonstrate how that level of success can sometimes feel like it’s chosen for us (and how to push back against that tendency).

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Episode Notes:

  • Level of success can often be seen in a moral way. People who achieve or strive for higher levels of success. Alternatively, there may be a cultural taboo on NOT setting sights high enough.
  • The Dip, book by Seth Godin
  • Aside from determining the proper end destination, this is the next most important aspect of building a strategy.
  • Defining the topic: level of success.
  • You might define “growth” as your goal, but how much growth are you aiming for?
    • A startup company might set a goal of 100% growth.
    • An auto repair shop might look for something more like 5-10% growth.
  • Example: “I want to be a professional violinist.” There are many possible levels of success inside of that. How great of a violinist you are, how much money you make, how famous you are, etc.
  • Sometimes level of success is built into your end destination. For example, a “professional” implies a certain amount of financial success. But much more is left vague even in those examples.
  • When you’re farther away from your end destination, being very clear on level of success is less important (e.g. “I just want to make it to the NBA” or “I just want to get hired by Google”). But once you’re closer to achieving that, you’ll need to get more specific.
  • Example: “I want to start a small business.” Once it’s up and running and cashflow positive and/or self-sustaining, you’ll have to consider how big you want to make it.
  • Often our “floor” is set by what is happening now, but the patterns we see around us, the things we compare ourselves to.
  • The Anchoring effect – Wikipedia article
  • Example: For years Apple had a smaller percentage of the market share but way more of the profit coming out of the market.
    • Even the size of the market is an anchor. 100% of the market is not a permanent number.
    • Many times new players on the market will create new markets or new spaces on the market.
  • Markets are constantly changing and evolving as technology changes.
    • Even something like plumbing or HVAC that seems stable for dozens of years at a time, can have shifts: e.g., heat pumps and mini-split systems.