11 Aug 2017  •  Practice Management  •  7min read By  • Practice Plan

Don’t think big – think MASSIVE

David Hyner, motivational speaker, and Les Jones, Creative Director at Practice Plan, fellow members of The Professional Speakers Association, make the case for setting massive goals to achieve your business dreams.

David Hyner says…


Yes… That’s right, I said it!

The much taught, ‘realistic and achievable’ goals are (to quote Tim Watts, CEO and founder of one of Europe’s largest recruitment companies, Pertemps) “setting people up for mediocrity… AT BEST!”

Many of us complain about how we are ‘missing something’ in our lives, or not fulfilling our potential in some capacity, and this longing could be down to:

  • setting targets that are too easily achieved
  • setting the ‘wrong’ goals
  • no sense of purpose
  • being too afraid to set big goals in case we fail
  • not having the skills or knowledge or support in place.

The truth is that we have all failed along the way at some point or another, and yet we soon forget our failures when we ‘have to’ or ‘must do’ a goal. Frequently this is when we have a need or desire to achieve that is bigger than our fears and insecurities. A PURPOSE!

So, if realistic goals do not work, why are they being pushed onto us on nearly all management training courses, the MBA, and in our education system?

‘The much taught, realistic and achievable goals are setting people up for mediocrity… AT BEST!’

There could be many answers to that question, but based on over 200 interviews with top achievers from all walks of life that I’ve carried out, I suggest that we can all achieve far more than we dare believe possible both in business and personally if only we set bigger… MASSIVE, purpose-driven goals. SMART goals were designed for a specific role within project management and were never intended to become a generic goal setting model.

To quote globally renowned design engineer and world powerboat racing champion Jules Morgan, “can you name me any of man or woman-kind’s greatest ever achievements that would have been achieved if they had set realistic and achievable goals?”

Here are a few tips to get your team achieving massive goals…STOP telling them what to do! Instead:
  • explain clearly ‘why’ we are setting this goal
  • show them ‘how’ we are going to achieve it
  • get their input, agreement and commitment to work towards ‘what’ you want to achieve.

If you have a reason why you must achieve that is bigger than your doubts and fears, you take bigger decisions and tend to be a little more courageous in your actions. We have had many, many clients who have achieved massive goals when they believed the goals to be impossible.

An entrepreneur who was number one in his industry (cost management) set a MASSIVE goal for himself to double turnover and profit in a year, and take ten holidays instead of his usual four. He laughed as he said it out loud.With the right plan, the right purpose, and a lot of hard work, he achieved his goal.

A young woman wanted a mentor to help her understand politics, but she was painfully shy and was stuck. She got a plan, got a purpose, and got supported by Barack Obama.

A business school lecturer tried to prove our massive goal principle wrong! He became a global best-selling children’s author.

I could go on, but I am more excited by what YOU are going to do? Could this article be a nudge, kick or catalyst for you to make a change, or will you still be wondering this time next year, what might have happened had you taken action?

Set MASSIVE Goals!

Les Jones says…

David is right…SMART goals don’t work. They are a recipe for incremental improvements but not for high impact change.

I love MASSIVE goals. Why? Because they change the way you think, the way you plan and they are the catalyst for ground-breaking creativity – and as someone who works as a creative director – that’s right up my street!

Think about it for a minute…

If you set goals that are within your comfort zone, nothing really changes – you just do what you’ve always done a little bit better. It’s all about finding efficiencies and small wins. Motor car pioneer, Henry Ford once said, “if I’d asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse” – same stuff, slightly improved.

‘SMART goals don’t work’

Setting massive goals changes the dynamic completely

If you set a goal that is deliberately outside the scope of how you currently do things you have no option but to change – to do something new. It’s now all about different and better, not just incrementally better – and that means new ideas are essential! Creativity, particularly in a business sense is driven by a need to find new answers to problems and challenges. It’s about coming at situations from different perspectives. Once you do that, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

So, how do you set a MASSIVE goal and how do you know that it’s not just a SMART goal in disguise?

Well let’s think about it in the context of a dental practice and your goals for the next twelve months. Most dental practices, like most businesses, set their future goals based on their past results, i.e. our goal for next year is what we did last year plus a bit. So, the first thing you need to do
is break out of that way of thinking and leave the past behind. It’s a move from thinking…

‘what have we got and what’s the best we can do with it?’ to ‘what do we want and how do we make it happen’

Hopefully you can see the difference in the approach. If you want a great way to start this new thinking, try using the phrase, ‘wouldn’t it be great if…’ and then fill in the second half. Allow yourself to dream for a minute or two. So…

Wouldn’t it be great if…we could halve our marketing spend but double our number of enquiries?Wouldn’t it be great if…we had no gaps in our diary?                                                                               Wouldn’t it be great if…we became a specialist referral practice?

Now…here’s the test as to whether what you come up with is a MASSIVE goal or just a SMART goal.

  • If it doesn’t fill you with trepidation, it’s not MASSIVE.
  • If you immediately know how to do it, it’s not MASSIVE.
  • If it doesn’t get you excited, it’s not MASSIVE.
  • If it’s not going to make a massive impact or difference, it’s not MASSIVE

So, if you’ve passed that test and created your MASSIVE goals, brilliant! You’ll now find it’s almost impossible not to start thinking about ‘how’ you’re going to make them happen. It gets your creative juices flowing. And that’s the next stage – creating the ideas, strategies and actions to start the journey towards making the goal a reality and that’s something that the whole team can be involved in and contribute to.



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