Long Term Planning

76 years ago Napolean Hill wrote the book “Think and Grow Rich,” one of the best selling self-help books of all time. He argues that to reach financial wealth the most important thing to do is create an aggressive and specific target monetary target. Tape the goal to your bathroom mirror, imagine yourself achieving that goal, and make it part of your being. Once you know where you’re going, getting there is the easy part.

This idea of long term goals has become a cornerstone of personal and business development. Esteemed business authors and experts have written extensively about this concept. Here are a few better known examples:

  • A 1981 article by George T. Doran first described the value of setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound (SMART) goals.
  • The 1991 book “Built to Last” by Jim Collins spent an entire chapter explaining how successful companies have Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). Hard to achieve goals that galvanize and align everyone you interact with.
  • The 2006 book “The Secret” borrows wholesale this idea of immersing yourself in your goals. If you fall in love with the idea of having a bunch of money, you turn yourself into a riches magnet.

At some level this approach makes intuitive sense. After all, you wouldn’t set sail without a destination in mind.

There’s one problem: it doesn’t always work

You Sure Know How to Pick ‘em

I’ve analyzed 100 great business executives and have found 99% of them share one trait which I feel is the main driver of their success. The person who doesn’t do this thing is nothing more than a statistical outlier.

What’s the one trait?

They all wear underwear. (One of the CEO’s was more…liberal…than the …read more