Eating Our Own Cooking
Froghair, the company I’m currently spending most of my time on, has spent a considerable amount of time wandering in the fog. As I explained in chapter 1, when I started the company, it was a very low priority, we went through various permutations of ownership, it morphed into a little business I ran out of my garage with my boys, and I ultimately sold it. Then, when my partner and I took Froghair back, we found we needed to create a much clearer focus. Our beacon in the fog is now to become the leading agency in the outdoor sector that helps launch brands internationally. Our catalyzing statements have to do with specific benchmarks we have set for each month as we have tried to undo the damage created by the previous owner. And having those benchmarks (which will be discussed in more detail in subsequent chapters) has turned Froghair from a company that was under deep water financially into one that is beginning to make a profit and move my partner and I toward our broader goals.
On a far more personal level, my overarching beacon in the fog is to make a dent in the poverty that permeates developing countries. But that is an overwhelming challenge, one that world leaders, philanthropic organizations, and development agencies have not been able to solve. Recognizing my inability to fix such an overwhelming issue with my limited means, I turned to a catalyzing statement that motivates me each day and that has brought many like-minded individuals on board with me—to educate 1,000 young people from developing countries by the time I turn fifty.
The beacon in the fog is our destination. Where do we want to go? This is our big, audacious goal. For some, it is a dream vacation to France. For John F. Kennedy, it was his goal of having the best space program in the world. For me, it is educating young people in developing countries.
Our beacon in the fog is not a short-term goal; it is a long-term goal that our short-term goals are leading to. We then supplement it with our catalyzing statements, which add specificity. As we zig zag toward our individual beacons, it is essential that we pause long enough to climb high enough up a tree to see beyond the fog. We are then able to check our bearings to see if we are heading in the direction our zig zagging is supposed to be taking us.