As the story goes, Warren Buffett asked his pilot of 10 years to list his top 25 goals. Upon return of the list, he asked him to mark the top 5, essentially ending with a list of 5 and a list of 20. From this exercise, most of us would conclude to concentrate on the top 5 and continue onto the 20, right? Wrong. At that point, Warren Buffet told him to pitch the list of 20 since these would put him on the path of becoming unsuccessful: the list of 20 is a distraction. Pitch it.


Means v. Ends

As marketing managers, most of us have a zillion “goals.” Maybe they include greater penetration in a multi-cultural market, expanding geography, posting on FB daily, starting an e-book, or offering training sessions; and the list could certainly add up to 25. All good goals, but what are the top 5, or 2? If the goal is a certain number of dollars in revenue, consider that to be the END. Websites and social media are the MEANS. Don’t let the means distract or discourage you from the end.


Staying the Course (not!, or yes!, or maybe)

So you determined that in order to make that revenue goal you must invest in a good mix of marketing efforts: video, social media, pay-per-click, brochure package, follow up brochure/notes, etc. You line up your favorite marketing firm (Crest Marketing, Inc.!) and get to work. But here is where marketing differs from sales. What is creating interest and generating leads may take a very long time to generate sales. If your goals are set to a return-on-investment for each of these efforts, you are bound to fall short and may scrap something that, given time, will be your best resource for brand loyalty.


In other words, know that “vigilance” may be more valuable than determination.


Adaptability. Welcome a change

Most of us at some point set a goal to lose weight. As we change eating habits, we may find that the weight loss becomes secondary to simply healthier eating and feeling all around better (lowering blood pressure, reducing sluggishness, etc.). Does this mean that we failed in our efforts, or should we celebrate that we found a new form of success? Same goes for business. When going to network events to find clients, we may find the best accountant for our business. Or when writing a blog, we may find good relevant language for a website; or realize that most of our audience is enjoying brochures, or having a major AHA moment for a new service offering.


Go for the success that will work for you: minimize the number of goals and so, the stress and distractions that achieving these bring.