Goal Setting Is Not The Answer To Success

Cover of Dwyer's book, TARGET SUCCESS "Goal setting does more harm than good for most people," so said the late Don Dwyer, who overcame countless obstacles in life en route to building a multi-national business empire. The following article has been adapted from Dwyer's book, Target Success: How You Can Become A Successful Entrepreneur, Regardless Of Your Background.

"It will certainly surprise many of you that I am not going to '‘lecture' about setting goals," wrote Dwyer, who helped more than a thousand individuals become entrepreneurs before his death in 1994. "Many authors and motivational speakers talk about goal setting, supposedly to encourage readers and listeners, and to inspire them to reach greater heights in their lives. To me a goal seems like something that's a long way away, and I can't get very excited about that. Like most people, I need immediate gratification in my life."

Dwyer described goal setting as a win-lose proposition, and he used statistics to back up his opinion. Only a small percentage of people achieve huge financial success in the United States-less than five percent. Those who succeed, said Dwyer, set goals. In fact, he said the achievers are avid goal setters.

But what about the 95 percent of people who do not earn the big money? Many of them set goals, too. However, they didn't reach their goals. So they gave up. Dwyer said, "They probably became frustrated on the long, bumpy road to goal achievement and they quit."

Goals have a finality about them. People either reach their goals, or they don't. Those who don't, fail. And they quit.

"I think almost everything we've ever learned about goal setting sets us up to fail, not to succeed," wrote Dwyer. "Even worse, the goal setting process leaves us feeling miserable about ourselves when it doesn't work. Set a goal. Fail to make it. Quit. And feel miserable." Dwyer urged people to avoid that process.


By targeting.

Dwyer didn't say goals aren't important. "I do believe in goals," he wrote. "However, I have developed a different approach to pursuing goals. I call it targeting. It's a win-win proposition."

It was Dwyer's belief that targeting could work more often for the entrepreneur. Like goal setting, targeting imposes a value system, but unlike goal setting it provides the flexibility of more than one way to be a winner. Targeting can be used to set objectives, but without the negative stigma of a goal.

Dwyer suggested substituting the word "target" for "goal."

"Think about the last time you went target shooting, or the last time you threw darts," he said. "If you missed the target, or the bullseye, what did your mind say to do?"

Try again!

"And you did. You tried again and again. Even if you only hit a piece of the target, you told yourself, '‘Good job. Try again.' That process of learning continued until you got better and better at target shooting."

Targeting is a process to be enjoyed, said Dwyer. It's not a do-or-die proposition. It is a philosophy for achieving success without the disadvantage of goal setting. "In our entrepreneurial lives," wrote Dwyer, "we should set up targets (our goals), aim, and shoot. If we hit the bullseye the first time, great! If we missed, try again and again."

Throughout Target Success, Dwyer relates challenges from his own life and explains how he "targeted" through them. Early in his career, Dwyer was a goal-setter, but he changed his approach as he coached aspiring entrepreneurs. Dwyer recruited these entrepreneurs and taught them to succeed in their own franchised businesses. Today, his companies support approximately 2,400 franchisees in nearly 31 countries. His book relates the stories of some of his franchisees and explains how they used his targeting method.

The book also includes 10 targeting techniques to help those who want to learn the process. For a copy of Target Success, send $5 to: The Dwyer Group, attn: Janelle Carroll, Target Success, 1010 N. University Parks Dr., Waco, Texas 76707. For more information about Dwyer's system of success, call 1-800-274-0528.(NAPSI)

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