4 Questions to Make Your BHAG Practical

By Jessica Wishart

If you are bogged down in the day to day operational responsibilities of your job, it might be hard to see how your long term strategy is impacted by your daily decisions. Every once in awhile, though, you probably have opportunities come across your desk that could have a huge impact on your company's future.  As entrepreneurs, you’re probably tempted to say "yes!" to new projects and opportunities for revenue.  But, these are the times when it is important to stop and reflect on whether saying "yes" to the opportunity will be a detour or bring you closer to your BHAG.  You can use your BHAG as a filter to decide whether or not to pursue new opportunities that come your way.

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself when you come to what Patrick Thean refers to as theBHAG Guide - Big Hairy Audacious Goal "spaghetti junction" of opportunities:  

1. Do we even like doing this? Ask this to ensure that your decision is aligned to your company's Core Purpose.  If it doesn’t feed your team’s passion, then it is probably an opportunity to pass up.

2. Are we great at this or are we amateurs?  If you don’t have the capability to become the best at the opportunity, or if you don’t have the time or resources to invest in getting your team there, then this may be another opportunity to let go of for now.

3. Is this how we are supposed to make money?  Make sure that you are staying true to your financial driver or Profit/X.  

4. Does this take us closer to our BHAG or is this a detour?  If you can’t identify how this particular opportunity will be a stepping stone to achieving your 25 year visionary goal for your company, then don’t do it!  

Asking these questions will help you to live and breathe your BHAG instead of just having it as a poster on your wall or something you came up with once in a meeting and never looked at again.  Saying no to opportunities that look appealing in the short-term may not be easy, but the ability to make these tough decisions to say “no” to opportunities that would distract you from your long-term strategic goals is what separates good companies from the ones that become truly great.  Having the discipline to execute on your strategic plan every year, every quarter, every week, and in these everyday decisions is what will catapult your company to the success you’ve imagined.  

Download our BHAG guide to learn more about how to come up with an inspiring vision for the future of your company and to read more practical advice for how to use your BHAG to connect strategy to execution.  Good luck! 


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Jessica Wishart


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