We all know that it’s important to set goals. Unfortunately, the way we think about goals tends to reduce the chance that we’ll achieve them or that they’ll fulfill us.

One of the most common models for goal setting is SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, & with a Timeline.

Certainly, it’s useful to have this kind of focus. It’s simple and utilitarian, but almost useless in helping you to achieve something of real significance.

What’s missing it the purpose behind the goal. That is, what is the big WHY behind any goal you set? And it’s important to realize that all WHYS are not created equal.

When it comes to life goals, relationship goals, business goals, creative goals, and, of course, marketing goals, most of us set goals around what we want to achieve, what’s important to us.

In other words, goals that feed our ego, selfishness, self- aggrandizement. This is something that almost everyone misses. For most, goals are about me, me, me. What can I get to enrich or improve my life?

Well, what’s wrong with that?

Look, to some degree a certain amount of enlightened self-interest is necessary. You need to pay your mortgage and put food on the table. But I want to argue that this should be a secondary consideration regarding any big goal that you set for yourself.

I remember the story of when Steve Jobs was trying to recruit John Scully to become the CEO of Apple. Scully was currently CEO of Pepsi Cola. He asked, “John, do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?”

Indian entrepreneur Kamil Anji Reddy expressed this very well: “Everyone has a purpose in life and a unique talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.”

This is the first of five articles about the 5 Pillars of Marketing, my marketing model that helps get your marketing on track. Read the article at The original 5 Pillars.

Are Jobs and Reddy being too idealistic?

All I know is that the greatest business people, scientists, artists, and yes, even politicians, are not very motivated by what they can get for themselves, but by how they can help others and make a real difference.

Achieving great goals is not about wealth accumulation (although that may often be a side benefit) but about lifting up others, and creating something of lasting value.

The first pillar of marketing is setting a goal for your marketing. What specifically do you want to achieve? But more importantly, if you achieve that goal, what difference will it make to your clients, your family, and to the world?

My goal for the More Clients Club is to have 1000 members within a year or less. But what motivates me to work on achieving that goal is the thought of 1000 self-employed professionals who are better able to share their valuable work in the world.

When we are so focused on what we’ll get, what we’ll achieve, what we’ll earn, there’s a certain emptiness to it. And no matter what we achieve, it never seems to be enough. If we chase our goals to achieve “ultimate success,” how is that really possible if our goals are shallow and empty?

Believe me, this wasn’t always my attitude about goal setting. I chased money as much as anyone else. But I also discovered that when money was my prime motivator, things didn’t work out too well; the projects tended to flop. But when my focus was on service, things went faster, more easily, with more energy and success.

I recommend that when you think of goals, also think of service as the Queen of Soul did:

“Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.” – Aretha Franklin

“Earn your success based on service to others, not at the expense of others.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“If you create incredible value and information for others that can change their lives – and you always stay focused on that service – the financial success will follow.” – Brendon Burchard

“When your dreams include service to others – accomplishing something that contributes to others – it also accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. People want to be part of something that contributes and makes a difference.” – Jack Canfield

Now, after reading all of those words of wisdom, what is your marketing goal and what is the service-oriented purpose that will drive it?