Have you ever seen that motivational poster that says, “Shoot for the Moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
I hate that poster. For a lot of reasons.
The moon is roughly 240,000 miles away from Earth. The nearest star, about 4.5 Light Years. If you don’t remember how far that is, it’s the distance a beam of light could travel in a year’s time. And remember that light travels at 186,000 miles per second.
And I hate those sort of cheesy, fuzzy platitudes. And besides, that’s hardly a goal, right? But 3,000 miles on a bike, in a year, now that’s a goal.
The end of 2014 will mark my second year in business. And it’s been a very good year. I diversified my services, found a niche and have exploited that niche. Along the way I’ve learned some tough lessons on salesmanship and trust. One particularly glaring mistake was trusting a PR gal out of New York. The company she represented sold high-end grills and I was a natural for their product. A guy that can write, manage social media, and has a food background would be the natural fit for a grill company, correct? Well turns out she was only interested in my ideas. Three days after discussing my proposal and ideas, I knew I had been “had.” Ah well, live and learn.
This year I also got back in cycling in a big way.
I have a cycling team dedicated to one event, the Ride to Remember. It’s the largest fundraiser for the South Carolina Alzheimer’s Association and it happens to be a 252 mile, three day bicycle ride across the state. All of us on Team Coast Busters have a personal connection to #ALZ and that’s what brought us together. And in the process of preparing for this ride, I reconnected with road cycling. Heaven help me, I do so love it. About two months ago, I realized that I have a very good shot of putting in 3,000 miles for the year. Three thousand! I certainly didn’t start out with that goal. I just wanted to complete the #RTR with my team and along the way raise a nice chunk of money. Which I did. And now here it is early December and I’m only 128 miles away from three thousand. December…with its endless invitations, cold weather, minimal sunlight and endless temptations. You would think I would totally devote myself to putting in those final 128 miles, but I’m not. I’ve already reached my cycling goals for the year, but haven’t reached my business goals and honestly, those are a bit more important. If I end the year with only two thousand, nine hundred and forty miles then that’s that. Not bad for a guy that spent the first half of 2013 on crutches, right? I’ll delight in the fact that this year I’ve made a lot of new friends, seen some incredibly beautiful sights, lost twenty four pounds, and increased my company’s reputation in Greenville’s business world.
The lesson? Set lofty goals but make sure they’re concrete, something you can track and manage. But make sure they’re big. And if you don’t make them, then you’ve still gotten close. But along the way to achieving those goals, enjoy the view and the fringe benefits.