Why entrepreneurs should push their limits by setting ambitious goals

Not all major business goals will be realised but not setting any will only result in a business becoming stagnant

A popular old Arabic saying goes along the lines of: “Stretch your leg as far as your blanket allows”. While the adage mainly cautions against overspending, it should not be applied to our business goals.

How many times did we stop ourselves from dreaming big because our current situation made it seem impossible for us to realise it? Or we could not imagine an opportunity that would allow our dreams to manifest?

Throughout my career, I found myself in situations where everything was perfectly aligned and my business flourished. At other times, I found myself at crossroads, faced with unexpected circumstances. I even had to completely reinvent my business once.

staying in my comfort zone seemed the right thing to do when faced with tough times. But it was precisely then that I knew I had to aim bigger, even if it was against all odds. Limiting my aspirations could have led me to never realising my own potential or that of my business.

I remember discussing the aspirations I had for my career at early stages, with some people advising me to go for realistic goals. “Why do you want the headache?” they asked, or “this is great if you were entrepreneur X or Y”. Having big dreams for your business may not mean that you will always realise all of them but I found that not setting big goals at all will lead to your business becoming stagnant.

Setting big goals and dreams drives us to excel. When was the last time you set a goal for yourself that made you feel exhilarated to wake up and go to work every morning? Imagining how my business can progress drove me to work harder and helped me through hard times. The bigger the goal was, the more excited I felt about achieving it.

The one thing I learnt throughout my entrepreneurial journey is that it does not matter where you are today and how your business is performing. How you imagine your business to be, your aspirations for yourself and for your business are things you can control. Unfortunately, many of us let our current circumstances dominate us through that process and clip the wings of our aspirations.

I was only able to realise the major goals I had for my career when I refused to let my current situation dictate my aspirations. In the past, big challenges overwhelmed and discouraged me because I wanted to deal with them all at once.

A house is not built in a day but it goes through different stages. The same applies to achieving our goals. Keep your eyes on your goals, and work on achieving mini goals on your way to your big ones. A small step that you can take today, if you are thinking of expanding your business, is to have a wish list of dream locations for your new headquarters. Build on your small steps and before you realise it, you would have achieved your big goals.

Many of the inspirational people were not necessarily IVY league graduates, or came from privileged backgrounds. What set them apart from the rest was that they allowed themselves to dream bigger, to not conform and they dared to walk in the direction of realising something many of them were discouraged from.

If the success story of the likes of Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk has taught us anything, it is that nothing is too challenging if we dedicate our minds to it.

It also proves that it does not matter what others may think. As the late Steve Jobs best put it: “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati journalist and entrepreneur who manages her marketing and communications company in Abu Dhabi.

Updated: November 7th 2021, 3:30 AM