On Wednesday, September 3, I went to Hyatt Regency to attend Pressense, an event organized by The Hindu on the opportunities in press advertising. They had put together a video presentation with testimonials from 3 very successful entrepreneurs on how advertising in The Hindu helped transform their businesses.

After the presentation, the executive from The Hindu assigned to me explained in details about the cost implications. A concessional package for 26 insertions of 10 cm x 10 cm advertisement over a period of one year would work out to approximately Rs.1.00 lakh per insertion. That type of money is not within our reach, just yet.

Despite this, as I travelled back to the office late in the evening in pouring rain, my thoughts were on how to mobilise funds so that Chennai-ites would get to see Service Square ads twice a month, for one year. I was sure this would help us build our brand and we would be firmly established in the market. I was excited beyond description.

The next day in the morning, I shared with our core team about this new desire of mine. Mathan scrutinised me closely to make sure all screws on my head were in place. He then assured me kindly that after about a year we could invest that type of money on advertising.

Some events and ideas send my imagination on an overdrive. I nurture thoughts of being invincible and think everything under the sun is possible. Effective planning factoring in efforts and the pain involved hardly register in my mind.

I have read and heard about S.M.A.R.T goals where success of goals is determined by ensuring they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. And, I have very often spoken to our staff about SMART goals.

Recently, I saw a video where an extremely successful coach and marketer Brendon Burchard promotes D.U.M.B Goals. When goals are Dreamy, Unrealistic, Motivating and Bold we are energised by forces of the universe in our impossible quests.

Goals that we stretch for and give our life for are those that captivate our imagination. SMART goals where the growth is incremental do not have the aura and romance of striving and winning against the odds. To me, we do tinkering work with SMART goals. With DUMB goals, we re-engineer or shift to a new orbit.

Often enough, Smart goals leave us satisfied with taking small steps. DUMB goals call for a new paradigm and big steps to cross over. As Buckminster Fuller suggests, “Don’t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.”

For example, running 20 km last Saturday was a goal I had taken for myself and even announced in my previous blog post. Seven or eight miles into the run, I started tiring and started blaming myself for embracing a goal that seemed very unrealistic and audacious. I chided myself for not being SMART.

I carried on nevertheless, brought out something extra from within and completed 20 miles though my legs were pleading with me not to put them under so much of strain.

The truth is, the marathon challenge has become a force that pushes me to wake up very early and pound the roads relentlessly, even if I have not had enough of sleep. I look forward to the conquest I make on the road every day.

I see my marathon preparation  leaving a trail of dedication and force impacting my business and life.

Yes, there are visible signs of improvement. Business is picking up. Customers continue to be happy.

We are opening our second office next week, in OMR area.

And we are gearing ourselves to brand ourselves as a Property Management Company rather than only a housekeeping company. So, we will engage ourselves in renting out, collecting rents and buying & selling of properties apart from painting, floor polishing, home renovation and maintenance services.

Coming back to what I started with on the topic of advertisements, advertising in the print media is on our radar at a future date. My discussion with people in the know of things has convinced me that there are more cost effective ways of advertising. The internet is a big place where we can sell our services. Social media, blogs and online ads have tremendous scope to penetrate the market.

These are areas where my personal involvement can mean gaining significant advantage for Service Square – at a fraction of the cost.

Only relentless and untiring action from me in the direction of achieving the impossible dreams we have for Service Square will ensure their fruition.

September 20th, 2014

Uncharacteristically, I hardly slept last night. And today happened to be the day of this week’s long run (18 miles). My two friends and I started running rather late, on today’s sultry, warm morning. We truncated our run at 10 miles, way short of the target. It was almost a unanimous decision to stop. I was half inclined to continue. I should have.

I am very disappointed, I gave in too easily.

In a long run, or in life, or in business, googlies may spring from nowhere to throw me off gear. But I have to keep my eyes on the goal.

Next Saturday’s target is 22 miles, the longest run before the marathon in about a month. Over the next five days, starting from Monday, I have another 28 miles to run. I am backing myself to run the distance on Saturday and will do everything possible to physically and mentally prepare myself – by sticking to the schedule during the days of the coming week.

I am getting a sense that the learning from my marathon training so far has given me enough ideas about what it takes to achieve my goals in business and life.

The biggest lesson is, keep running during the week to be ready for the long run on the weekend. It all adds up when I actually run the marathon.

And, keep taking unrelenting actions towards my goals in business, believing that the goal, however big, is mine to achieve.

I am a great fan of this song – The Impossible Dream (The Quest) from the play, The Man of La Mancha. It encapsulates everything I have tried to say in this post.

2 thoughts on “SMART vs DUMB Goals”

Leave a Comment