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•Identifyand describe a potentialstretch goal–A mental model you have for the future of society•I am not looking for some personal goal (for example, getting rich) – rather, something that will change the world•Onethat you currently do not know how to accomplish, and even if you do, you do not have the resources to undertake the task.•What motivates your interest in this goal?•With this goal in mind, and given your current situation, develop a strategy for selecting projects in the immediatefuture. •Describea possible side project options based on your selected strategy–Possible small relevant wins you could undertake, –Possible small “irrelevant” wins you could undertake–Possible small loss bets you could undertake

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Women in Entrepreneurship
Topic 6: Persistence & Stretch Goals
Prof. Kenneth McLeod
Entrepreneur in Residence
March 7, 2019
• Announcements
• Stretch Goals
– Uses and misuses of stretch goals
• Small Bets
– Small loss and small win strategies
• Class Activity – Small Bets practice
• Persistence
• Homework assignment
• Next Guest Speaker
– Theresa Pipher
• SUNY Buffalo grad
• Research Analyst at Dawnbreaker
– Linking academic researchers with federal funding programs
• Active in local community development
– Tioga County Foundation grant writer
• Mother of two young children
Side Project Update
• You have had three weeks now to work on your
side project (we started 2/14)
– You are over 1/4 of the way to the final
– Time goes fast, doesn’t it?
• How many of you have passed the first
milestone you set with your SMART goals?
– How many of you have set aside a specified time
each day (30/60 minutes) to work on your project?
Getting Started
• Most of you will likely struggle to complete your
side project this semester
• Your enemy is not lack of preparation
– it is not the difficulty of the project
– It is not the state of the environment
– It is not the emptiness of your bank account
• We have discussed the importance of starting
before you are ready
– Our blood heats up
– Courage begets more courage
– The gods witness our boldness
• What is the problem?
The enemy is resistance
Projects which elicit resistance
• Basically, any act that rejects immediate
gratification in favor of long-term growth

The pursuit of any creative activity
The launching of any new venture
Any diet or health regimen
Education of every kind
Any act of political, moral, or ethical courage
Undertaking any endeavor with the aim to help others
Any act which entails commitment of the heart
The taking of a principled stand in the face of
• Characterized by:
– Fear, self-doubt, procrastination, distraction, timidity,
• Resistance is:

Invisible – Strong repelling force
Insidious – It will take any form to deceive you
Impersonal – It is a force of nature, it acts objectively
Infallible – It will consistently call on you to stop doing
Universal – Everyone must learn to deal with this force
Never sleeps – It will not go away
Plays for keeps – It aims to kill
Additional negative influences
• Rational thought
– After resistance, this is your worst enemy
– You must let go of the need to control
– You need to learn to work from the Self
• From instinct, intuition, the unconscious
• Friends and family
– Friends and family know us for who we are
– Hopefully, the last thing you want to do is remain as
you are
• If you are in this course, it is because you sense a “second
self” inside you – an unlived you.
– Prepare to make new friends who will advocate for
this future being- this is why we network
Our Allies
• Stupidity – Stay stupid
– Ignorance and arrogance are indispensable allies.
– Stay clueless to how impossibly arduous your task is.
• Stubbornness – Once you commit to action, the worst
thing you can do is to stop
• Blind faith – Imagine you are holding a box with lid.
– Open the box – what is inside?
– No matter how many times you open the box, there is
always something inside it
• Passion – You may think you have lost, or cannot
identify your passion – but this is not true
– Fear destroys passion.
– If you can conquer your fear, you will discover a
bottomless, inexhaustible well of passion
“Fear defeats more people than any
other one thing in the world.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Suspend Judgement
• You are not allowed to judge yourself
– Start out without fear, without self-censorship
– Just get started – do something
– Think of this as play, something you learned as a child
– There is no failure in play, the goal is discovery
• Education tends to destroy this crucial life skill
– We are taught to believe there is a “right” answer, a “correct way”
to do things, and we learn to fear being “wrong”
– There is not a “correct” way to do something new
– You are playing successfully if you catch yourself laughing
» Laughter is an indicator of surprise – it only occurs when you
experience something new, when you discover
Proficiency (Number of catches)
Start Date 9-4-18
3 balls
~15 minutes per day
Note: Power Law Behavior
40% improvement/session
y = 0.24*x1.4
y = a*x^b
Reduced Chi-Sqr
Adj. R-Square
Days of Practice
Stretch Goals
• “A person’s reach should exceed their grasp,
or what is heaven for?” – Robert Browning
• Let’s imagine the future
– In HW 1, you imagined your future
• By looking back over your long (100 year) life
• This is a type of stretch goal
– A personal objective that you hope to attain
– But are not necessarily sure you will attain
– Now let’s be bolder (Mental models of the future)
• What alternative future for society can you imagine?
– Do you want to be part of creating this alternative future?
Entrepreneurs are Driven
by Stretch Goals
• Stretch goals are not simply challenging
– They are moon shots
– They are goals that appear unattainable
– True stretch goals are so ambitious that you:
• Do not have any idea how you would achieve the goal
• What resources would be required
• If you could ever get access to those resources.
• A common definition of entrepreneurship
– “the pursuit of opportunity beyond the resources
under your control.”
Understanding Stretch Goals
• Extremely Difficult
– Radical expectations that go beyond current capabilities
and performance
– In entrepreneurship, we often refer to a 10x difference
• Let’s say you can travel to NYC (from BU) in four hours
– By car or bus – (flying would be much slower)
– 180 miles/4 hours = 45 mph
• 10X difference would be getting to NYC in 24 minutes
– Is that “better” or “transformative” ?
– How would you accomplish such a thing?
• Extremely Novel
– Brand new paths and approaches must be found to bring
a stretch goal within reach
– Requires thinking/working differently, not simply
working harder
Use and Misuse of Stretch Goals
• Use of stretch goals is quite common
– Successful use is not
– Most people miss most of their stretch goals
• Important to know when stretch goals make
sense, vs. alternative goal setting strategies
Your Current Status Have Uncommitted
Few Uncommitted
Perfect candidate
to pursue stretch
Pursue series of
“relevant” SMART
Consider “small
loss” strategy
(modest risky
Pursue series of
SMART goals
Alternative Goal Setting Strategies
(Small Bets)
• Small Win (SMART Goal) Strategy
– Stretch goals require novel approaches
– Path to novelty is unclear
• No simple, obvious, series of intermediate goals
– Small wins work by building momentum, energy,
resources – and foster learning
– Don’t expect small wins to incrementally build to
some predetermined goal
• If you have a “stretch goal” pursue relevant SMART
• If you are floundering, just push for some successes
(irrelevant goals/side projects)
Alternative Goal Setting Strategies II
• Small Loss Strategy
– “Failure puts decision makers in a risk-seeking
frame of mind” – Kahneman & Tversky
• Vs. success, which makes us risk averse
– Important not to take a “go for broke” strategy
• Pursue “Small risk” experiments – involving small losses
• Only a few will work, but you will learn from them and
they will provide groundwork for future success
• What is being tried will be distinct from what is already
• Small losses build resilience and confidence
• Lessens temptation to “go for broke”
My Alternative Future
• Make Binghamton a bedroom community of NYC
– Travel time to NYC ~30 minutes
– Strategy – Ultra Light Rail System
• Does it sound ridiculous?
– “Yes, and” practice
– How should I pursue this goal using small bets approach?
Ultra Light Rail System
Operating in interstate
SMART Project Options
• Small “relevant” win options?
• “Small loss” strategy options?
Putting it all together
• Most of our daily efforts will be focused on
achieving small wins, or experiencing small
– Having stretch goals is extremely helpful for
directing us to appropriate short term goals
– Documenting your stretch goal significantly
increases odds of achieving that goal
• Note, this video emphasizes personal stretch goals
Scottish Himalayan Expedition
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to
draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills
countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one
definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All
sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise
have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the
decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen
incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no
man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
― William
H. Murray
Class Activity
• Form groups of 2 or 3
• Have one group member propose a stretch goal
– Not a personal goal, a societal goal for the future
– Be brave, be bold
• As a group, identify:
– One or more “relevant” SMART goals the proposer
could pursue
– One or more “small loss” goals the proposer could
• Repeat for each person in the group
Homework #6
• Identify and describe a potential stretch goal
– A mental model you have for the future of society
• I am not looking for some personal goal (for example, getting rich) –
rather, something that will change the world
• One that you currently do not know how to accomplish, and even if
you do, you do not have the resources to undertake the task.
• What motivates your interest in this goal?
• With this goal in mind, and given your current situation,
develop a strategy for selecting projects in the immediate
• Describe a possible side project options based on your
selected strategy
– Possible small relevant wins you could undertake,
– Possible small “irrelevant” wins you could undertake
– Possible small loss bets you could undertake
• Write up and submit next week in class.

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