Creating a BHAG for Your Law Firm (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” –Confucius

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” –Zig Ziglar

Here’s a brain game for you: What would you envision for your law firm if all the limitations were taken off? If you had all the working capital you wanted, all the contacts, all the manpower, all the time…what would your firm look like? What goal would you set for your business that at the present time seems unrealistic—even impossible?

I affectionately refer to this kind of dream as a BHAG, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I personally think every law firm needs at least one BHAG.

Why Create a BHAG?

Remember the old saying, “If you want to hit the moon, aim for the stars”?  The idea is you’ll accomplish more by aiming for the unreachable than if you focus only on immediately attainable goals. Creating a BHAG for your law firm helps set your overall vision high, so you will stretch further, and consequently grow larger and faster, than you might have believed possible. Even if you don’t reach the BHAG itself, you’ll likely achieve more by having one than by not having one.

What Should Your BHAG Be?

Your BHAG should be a goal that is currently unattainable, but one that you could reach eventually with the right kind of growth—something that feels impossible without being demoralizing, something that forces you to grow toward it. Examples might include:

  • Becoming nationally known in your field of emphasis, to the point that you’re the one the news networks call to weigh in on the issues
  • Generating $50 million in annual revenue (if your firm currently takes in $1 million or less)
  • Writing a book that reaches the New York Times Bestseller List

Just make sure it’s something you believe could achieve under the right circumstances—because your next step is to start working on creating those circumstances.

Once You’ve Established Your BHAG…

Once you’ve decided on a BHAG, start setting smaller, more attainable goals that act as milestones on your way to achieving the larger goal. You’ve set a goal that requires growth—now, what will you do to accomplish that necessary growth? You can’t reach $50 million this year, but could you do $5 million? How many new clients do you need to reach that mark? How many new leads do you need to generate those new clients?

Once you’ve achieved your BHAG, it’s time to set a new one. And even if you don’t reach your specific Big Hairy Audacious Goal, I’d bet good money that by having one to reach for, you’ll find more success for your law firm than you could have previously imagined.

Building Better Business Systems For Law Firm Owners