Some Stretch Goal Ideas for 2017

Stretch goal has a terrifying definition. It's an objective you can't achieve in incremental steps. Putting in an extra hour by getting up earlier each morning won't get you there. Neither will taking more certification courses, reading more articles, or watching more YouTube videos. You'd think spending more money would do it, but . . . Nope.

For a stretch goal you've gotta, well, stretch. Stretch goals are for the tough who get going BEFORE the going gets tough. They're the prize for conquerors and believers, the ones who don't measure their days in hours, but achievements.

Stretch Goal? But, I'm Tired

I know. You're tired. The chair you sit in hurts your back. If you eat another fun-sized candy bar you'll probably be back in last year's clothes, the ones before you lost that weight. You just need a stimulus. I understand.

You'd love to compare your job to a race and have all this energy to run for the win. You picture a colleague who does one of those Spartan race things. Maybe it’s a metaphor for your career aspirations and the dreams you have for your association to really excel. But then you picture mud in your eyes, your calves screaming, and your lungs aching. Back to droll reality.

In spite of all that, I throw these out to you because, maybe, just maybe, one will energize you. It might be your second wind. It might put the smile back on your race-winning face.

Okay, well just read them anyway, even it's purely for amusement.

Start (and monetize) a podcast.

You know stuff. Some people out there -- believe it or not -- want to listen to it while driving or jogging or whatev.

And it can do things for you that might be dream achievements. Want to reach millennials who are in the orbit of your association? Add a revenue source? Create more winning content to help more people find and join you?

You say, "We can't pull that off." Who knows? Take a read: Produce Revenue Generating Association Podcasts.

Dream up and implement an unforgettable annual meeting.

Momentum. Your existing annual meeting has it. The expected keynote speaker. The breakout sessions. The sponsored, alcohol-laced social event. I'm not picking on you, at least not you alone. All organizations feel it. The same old same old keeps getting older.

Stretch yourself with an out of the box meeting plan next year. Make it one that causes people to walk away with a new purpose. Blow their paradigm. Give them a different environment than they are used to.

You'll know you reached you goal if members write to say their careers were changed at your meeting. Read more about this crazy idea here: Transform Ordinary Meetings into Extraordinary Experiences.

Become an iMIS Power User.

The "entity theory" of intelligence says your genes contain a certain amount of it. You can't add to it or subtract from it. Heidi Grant Halvorson (Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals) says we have to get beyond this wrong theory of our own brilliance.

She's referring to the research of Carol Dweck, who says the truth is something else. Dweck's "incremental theory" of intelligence, promoted by Dweck, says you can accumulate intelligence just like weight lifters grow muscle.

Okay, I said all that because we all know iMIS is not easy stuff. How many people say, "I'm just not smart enough to write queries and make SSRS reports and stuff?"

If you want to become a power user of iMIS, I recommend you get to know NiUG.org. That's the National iMIS User Group.

Hosting three conferences in America every year, plus several abroad, NiUG also has a listserv and training programs. Here is a page where you can see just some of the learning opportunities available to you through NiUG (and I hope to see you at a conference): NiUG Learning Center.

Plan a Freemium model to grow your membership.

Freemium. It's now a word in English. It's where you offer some services for free. You do it because you're smart. You know the people most likely to buy your services are people who already use your services. And you market the free services a whole lot. Get gobs of new people using the free stuff. The more the merrier.

But you have other essential services that aren't so free. And people who have benefitted from what you offer, who come to know and trust you as a provider of what-they-need? They want to return the favor. They happily pay for stuff.

If the economics of Freemium sound scary, rest in this fact: the technology world thrives on Freemium. Can it work for your association? Put some read time into this right here: SIDE PROJECTS: How to Turn Member Benefits into Marketing Magic.

Happy stretching!

Derek Leman, Director of Business Development, dleman@501CiO.com

P.S. Heads up. 501CiO is about to start offering AMC services in 2017. Our iMIS knowledge will back up our AMC staff to form an unbeatable combination.

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