5 Reasons to “Go Big or Go Home” When Setting Goals

If you haven’t read my post about creating an ultimate goal in life, please do that first.  It may help explain where I’m going with this.

Before I share my own ultimate goal in life, let me explain my “Go Big or Go Home” goal setting logic.

Small, vague goals don’t work for me.  I’ve watched what happens when organizations or people set specific goals that are bold and it does something special to them. When JFK declared to the world that we would land a man on the moon, it captured the attention and imagination of billions of people.

With focus, pride, and hope, a nation poured its passion into a project that just a few years before would have been seemingly impossible.  In doing so, we not only inspired generations of young children, but also invented many things we use today.

By setting the bar so high, we became better for it.  It defined us as leaders, inventors, and pioneers.

When challenging NASA to land a person on Mars, President Obama called the moon landing “…an endeavor that pushed the boundaries of our knowledge, of our technological prowess, of our very capacity as human beings to solve problems.”

I only get one life, so for my one goal, I needed to choose something big…something that would inspire me, push my boundaries, and lift me up to be a better person.

Here goes nothing…

My ultimate goal in life is to give away a billion dollars.

I have this deep desire to use my life to make a big difference for other people and I think a billion dollars put towards some amazing causes ought to do it.

Some of my closest advisers think I’m losing it.  They gently remind me that a billion dollars is a LOT of money since I started from nothing and just took a beating in this economy.  It’s hard to disagree with them, but after wrestling with this one I just can’t shoot any lower or I’ll lose my inspiration.

Since I hear some snickers from the back of the room, let me explain.  Here are five reasons why I choose the “Go Big or Go Home” goal setting approach and this goal in particular:

1)  It explains who I am

My ultimate goal serves as a personal brand promise.  It says that I believe in something bigger than myself and that I like an epic challenge (also that I’m a little nuts).

It’s clear that I like to dream big dreams and chase them down.  When partnering with me, I’d like people to know that I’m chasing something bigger than myself.

I’m not driven out of selfish ambition.  I’m giving my life for others.

2)  It’s big enough to capture my imagination and dedicate my entire life to it

I need a big enough challenge to keep my attention and drive me forward.  This goal will most likely be the thing I chase until my last breath, giving me plenty of time to focus, strategize, and build towards it.  No changing gears, message, or personal brand.  This goal keeps it simple and focused.  This is it.  My whole life is on the line.

Will I fail?

Possibly, but…

3)  If I fail, I will still make a difference

I believe that life is about the journey, not just the destination.  If I’m going on a journey, I want to be traveling towards something amazing.  It makes the hard parts easier.

Also, I don’t like to fail, but if I only give away $700 Million there will still be lots to celebrate.   One cannot have a focused ultimate life goal like this and not have other achievements along the way.  When people are pushed to be their best, good things happen well before the final goal is reached.

4) It is motivating

I used to be the development director of an inner city school in Milwaukee and we were able to raise about $2 Million and build a school that changed the world for hundreds of kids.  Some of those kids are headed to college now.  That experience changed me.  It feels good to give, and it feels great to make a difference in the lives of others.  It gives profit a new meaning.

5) I’m able to include others

I cannot do it alone.  I will need others to join me, so I’m going to start a foundation and gifts from others will count towards my goal.  My wife, kids, family, friends, and others who care about this goal will be able to take part in changing tens of thousands of lives.  If I achieve my goal, it means others have too.  I’ve always believed in teamwork and I can’t wait to travel down this road with others.

It begins now.

Let me know if you have any suggestions. I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Have a great night,


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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

18 comments on “5 Reasons to “Go Big or Go Home” When Setting Goals”

  1. Sounds great. I can see where having big goals helps with something like this. I think the key difference between a big goal like this and others is #3.

    My personal big goal is to promote science literacy. Haven’t set any specific benchmarks yet though. Even if I have to start by making sure any kid I know personally who wants a science book or chemistry set is able to get one it’ll be making some difference.

    I look forward to following the progress of your project.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Adam. To be honest, I was fully expecting no comments on this post since it’s fairly personal and several people I know have called it bizarre. Thanks for proving them wrong.

      As for #3, I think that can apply to your goal as well if you make it measurable (i.e. 10,000 science items given away).

      Thanks again for the comment.

  2. If you surround yourself with the right people and focus on what is important, anything is possible.

    1. Mario, thanks for the encouragement. I’m pretty excited and love having this group of 8pm Warriors to discuss stuff like this.

      I appreciate your comment. Thank you.

  3. From your previous post I had no idea what to expect your goal to be. I searched myself to think about what my single goal would be but came up empty. Plenty of lofty goals but no single goal to pin all others to.

    I believe what you have come up with is brilliant and truly inspired (and inspiring). This single goal will drive you to achieve other “lesser” goals – not meaningless but definitely those other goals help you reach the ultimate goal.

    Food for thought and I’m sure I will be revisiting this as I think more about it. Thank you for the thought provoking post.

    1. Lane, it took me years of wondering and soul searching to narrow it down to this. Painful experiences sometimes have a way of shaking one up and offering a new perspective.

      Don’t give up, sometimes the pursuit of setting a goal is how you learn the most about yourself…

      Thanks for the thoughts and encouragement. It means a lot.

  4. Haha! Awesome!

    After reading your post yesterday, I was a bit apprehensive. You might have been able to tell from my reply that I was gearing up for a sharp rebuke. (Again, because I care.) I specifically mentioned charity because I was afraid you might have lost sight of the “I am third” priority list – God, others, self. Needless to say, I’m pleasantly surprised.

    It turns out that our goals aren’t so different after all. I have some very clear goals for my family’s financial future. I’m currently on track to retire as a multimillionaire by age 55, but it’s not so I can sit on a beach and drink all day. My wife and I want to travel, looking for charitable causes we believe in, and then donate our time, talents, and treasures to those causes. That’s my true motivation for “getting rich slowly.” (We are also giving regularly TODAY, making sure we don’t just put off charity for “later.” We know how that kind of procrastination usually ends.)

    As for family, a strong part of our own goal is to prepare and enable our children to give even more than we will.

    Instead of disappointing, you have made my day. Now we REALLY need to have a beer sometime. Seriously.

  5. Good Morning Aaron

    To me this is an inspirational blog. Just knowing
    some one cares enough to think of giving that much
    to others is great.

    I’ve made allot of friends on twitter who are doing
    different things for people.

    I find it amazing that people still care about others
    and the world to even give a helping hand.

    Gosh I remember when I was on this site called Yuwie
    and I met a lady who became like a sister to me. Well
    she was expecting twins and ended up losing 1. Got put
    on medical leave got her paper work for the company to
    pay while is was out of work messed up and she had to go
    on welfare and that took 30 days. Well I decided to help her
    I couldn’t give her money but I could get the word out about her
    needing help so I made a blog on the yuwie site for her explain
    ever thing that happened. Well just from 1 site I raised over $1000
    for her. This was all most 2 years ago and at thanksgiving time i
    get a IM on Facebook thanking me for what i had done for her and
    no one else not even her family helped her out.

    That made me feel so good to be able to help her. To make a
    difference in some 1 life.

    So Aaron I say go for don’t let any thing stop you.

    Enjoy your day and sorry I took up so much of your time

    1. To me, doing something more important than just myself feels more fulfilling. It looks like you’ve discovered that secret too.

      People matter.

      Thanks for the thoughts and support!

  6. “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.” Mosiah 2:17 – Book of Mormon

    This has always been one of my favorite scriptures and I try to live my life this way. Knowing that now, you should also know what I think about your Go Big or Go Home idea. Let me know if I can help.

  7. Aaron:

    You need a deadline. 7 years. Whatever. Or maybe I missed it?

    Deadlines demand action.

    I love your aspiration. Let’s make our dreams happen. Put your $1 in today. Email me your paypal and I’ll put my $1 in. That’s action.

    1. My deadline is my death.

      I agree with the concept, but can assure you that I wake up every day moving towards this goal. I really appreciate your offer to help and will indeed take you up on that as soon as I have the first project figured out.

      The billion dollar total will be made up of all sorts of littler project pieced together. Thanks for the comment and support.

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