The 2018 Winter Olympics have been over for a few months now and though most of the excitement has died down, there’s one Olympian I keep thinking about, women’s half-pipe participant, Elizabeth Swaney. Swaney didn’t receive a medal. In fact, she placed dead last in her women’s half-pipe competition. Yet, when her run was over, she turned to smile and wave at the cameras.
Since she was seven years old, Swaney dreamt of becoming an Olympian. Because of her parents’ heritage, she was able to ski World Cup events in the United States, New Zealand and Canada before ultimately landing on the Hungarian team in PyeongChang. Swaney was well-known in the half-pipe ski community though some misunderstood her motives and criticized her for “country-hopping”.
It must’ve taken Swaney immense patience and determination to continue pursuing her dream, even when faced with constant letdowns. Her Olympic journey is easily comparable to owning a business. A business starts as a dream, comes to fruition through an investment in time, resources and a lot of hard work, and can be successful when the owner(s) are able to set and achieve seemingly impossible goals.
The Resultants refer to seemingly impossible goals as Core Targets, or BHAGs – Jim Collins’s term for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals. You can call them whatever you’d like. The important thing is to determine what, if achieved, could skyrocket your business from where it currently is to where you always dreamt it would be.
Swaney’s goal was to compete in the Olympics. It was very long-term but she focused on that BHAG and eventually reached what many of us never will. What impossible goal would you like to see your business achieve?