Go For the Goals

Chapter 10 – This is an excerpt from Opportunity Rocks by Marvelles Mark!

Of course I’m ambitious. What’s wrong with that? Otherwise you sleep all day.
~ Ringo Starr

The self-confidence one builds from achieving difficult things and accomplishing goals is the most beautiful thing of all.
~ Madonna

opportunity-rocks3Madonna may be the best model for rock star goal setting alive. You can be a nobody from Michigan who moves to New York and makes a momentary splash. That has happened often enough in the entertainment industry. But to be idolized, criticized, and emulated all over the world, you have to set your sights a bit higher.

Her career in music has lasted several decades; she has international respect as a smart businesswoman in addition to being a savvy artist. To do that, you need to set big, bold, audacious goals.

Rock your BHAG

Are you familiar with the term BHAG? It has been floating around corporate and motivational circles for years now. It stands for “big hairy audacious goal.” The concept dares people and organizations to dream big, to set your sights on the very best possible outcome for yourself and your organization. Your vision can be a manifestation of this.

Your swagger is what will give you the guts to live in hope and expectation of achieving it. The Grateful Dead’s BHAG was to be considered the only band in their niche. KISS’s BHAG is to rock their fans with a full spectrum experience that no other band can match. Can you and your band articulate something that expresses your idea of the wildest success imaginable.

Dream On, Dream On, Dream On
Dream until your dreams come true.
~ Aerosmith

I said in Chapter 4 that your vision does not have to be grand, and that’s true. If you and your band want to start out with something less scary than a full-on BHAG, that’s fine. You have to find a jumping off point that works for all of you at this moment. But keep this in mind on the journey: there is little satisfaction in achieving a goal that you know is within easy reach. If you get there, there’s no surprise or deep satisfaction. But if you fail, you will probably beat yourself up. If you fail at a huge goal, there’s still a certain satisfaction in having tried. You don’t tend to kick yourself over it. And if you do succeed? Well, then you really have a reason to be proud.

We’re trying to do something new; we’re trying to be the greatest group in the world, and that also means the biggest. At the same time, we’re trying to be radical-I mean, we never want to be really respectable- and maybe the two can’t coexist, but we’ll try.
~ Joe Strummer, the Clash

G Chord Drill

Sit down with your band and ask the question “what is your idea of the hugest success imaginable?” What would it look like for you to succeed beyond your wildest dreams? Really imagine and describe it. Get specific. Get silly if you need to. But get it out there. Write it out. Keep it close and read it every now and again.

If you’re climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don’t look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don’t think you’re progressing until you step back and see how high you’ve really gone.
~ Donny Osmond

The Plan of Action

Wait a minute, did I just quote Donny Osmond? That cheesy guy from the ‘70s? Before you go dissing the Donny, let me tell you that the guy had 5 top ten hits before his 21st birthday, staged a successful comeback in the early 1990s, moved into a successful career on Broadway, and won on Dancing with the Stars in 2009. Now that’s a rock star who knows how to stay focused, long after your critics tell you that your days are done.

Let’s talk about that idea of climbing the ladder one step at a time. What does that mean for a rock band? It means completing a set of ongoing tasks to perfect your sound, get the word out, and get fans.