Jim Collins did some research back in 1995 into successful companies and what made them achieve their high levels of success. He found that many of them had goals that were high achieving, far reaching, and very specific. He called them BHAGs.

BHAG (Pronounced bee-hag) stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goals and was introduced that same year in his book Good to Great. Setting BHAGs is an effective business strategy that will move you out of your comfort zone and stretch you to do things you thought were impossible.


BHAGs are intended to stretch professionals beyond what seems possible at the given time. As a result of using BHAGs to set objectives, you will reach higher goals much faster and with more ease. There are many challenging steps along the way but, day by day, that BHAG becomes a reality.

It is important for everyone in a business to have goals beyond the present and what you think is possible. You are capable of so much and with belief in yourself, your abilities, and those around you, what you thought was impossible yesterday becomes completely possible today.

BHAGs defy all logic, but remember that emotions drive behavior. To attempt a BHAG, you must be emotionally connected to achieving it, and emotionally prepared to take the path toward accomplishing the goal.

Steve Jobs and the BHAG

Steve Jobs, from Apple, is known for the following statement: “I [Steve] want to put a dent in the universe.” BHAGs cause you to dream big. Apple set their sights on changing the way people use computers. In the process, they created completely new categories as well as how people use their technology. Chances are, you are either reading this on a device Steve worked on, or you have one in your immediate vicinity. This all happened because Steve set a BHAG for his team to stretch them from what they thought was impossible to what is in fact possible. Because he followed his BHAG, he made a huge dent in popular culture, technology, and communication, and changed the world forever.

BHAG in Action

Take your BHAG and break it down into smaller actionable items piece by piece so you can better manage, achieve, and evaluate it.

Let’s say you choose to make an additional $1,000,000 a year in your company. First, you must understand that it means earning $83,333 more a month. Here’s what those business strategy steps might look like:

  1. Determine what that means in billing a month.
  2. Determine the difference in billing.
  3. Determine what a new customer typically bills.
  4. Determine your lead numbers:
    • How many leads it takes to get an appointment?
    • How many appointments does it take to close?
    • How will average cost be per close?
  5. Begin working your plan.
  6. Give it time; BHAGs are audacious, so take time to make progress towards the goal.

Start on your Business Strategy Soon

Don’t be afraid to dream big! Think about where you want to go ultimately. Shoot for the moon, but don’t worry about only landing on the roof. Then, break your goal down into bite size pieces so you can work out a clear path there. Be prepared for stops or splinters, but also be prepared for new levels of success.

Start Now

If you are still having trouble setting BHAGs or would like to have some help with your business strategy, I invite you to sign up for a free 30 minute Time Creation Session that can help inspire you in setting goals, and also on the path toward them.

I encourage you to enjoy life daily.