What if I told you to stop “Shooting for the moon”?

Many of you are familiar with the quote from Norman Vincent Peale: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”.

I realize this quote is intended to be inspirational and it likely is for many purposes. However, if you are running a business and your message does not trigger your target audience to buy from you. There is little inspiration to be had.

Imagine that you create unique, one-of-a-kind, made-to-order animal figurines. They are lovingly crafted using hand-blown glass and carefully brought to life with special paints containing precious metals. Then imagine that your marketing team proudly announces that the most recent marketing campaign has resulted in a FLOOD of calls from daycare facilities and elementary schools looking to purchase entire farm and zoo animal collections.

Do you share in their excitement? I think not.


Because they missed the moon and landed among the stars. And the stars in this example need mass volumes of figurines manufactured using low-cost materials and they only a have limited budgets to work with. Not a single sale to be made.

Your clients are Very Special Moons.

My focus is working with professional service business owners. And a critical aspect to achieving success and profitability is being able to recognize, attract and serve only Very Special Moons, which I like to refer to as the NFC (Next Favourite Client). Within the professional service industry, the uniqueness lies in the delivery and communication of services. These two elements must be carefully considered in order to accurately aim all marketing efforts.

Another subtle negative effect of landing among the stars is the deflated feeling you may experience because you did NOT hit your target. You missed. Or to put it more bluntly. You failed. This is definitely the opposite of inspiring and may leave you feeling tired and discouraged. Running a business is tough enough without adding unnecessary negativity to our burden!


Instead, aiming at a closer target will increase the probability and frequency of success. And success is inspiring, motivating and will typically energize you to continue (and maybe even amplify!) your efforts. An added bonus to this approach is that if you do miss at close range you may still gain some benefit for your efforts as you are only slightly off the mark. To use the same example from above, if the marketing campaign resulted in response from a number of museums, it is possible that some of those organizations would have a need for your unique figurine and result in some sales for your business. And last, when you are closer and miss the mark, only a small adjustment is required to improve results.

One of my favourite examples of aiming carefully is to use the legal profession. Perhaps you have read that you should ‘pick a niche” and you have decided that ‘lawyers’ will be your niche. Well, guess what? That is not a niche – that is a huge, unfocussed target so far way that you would be extremely lucky to hit the mark on any kind of consistent basis. Why? Simply because there are a multitude of specialties within the legal industry. There are corporate lawyers, litigators, real estate lawyers. The list goes on and on. And even within each specialty there are additional subsets of specialty that require an even more specific approach in order to gain their attention.


Now that you are looking more closely at your intended audience, it will be easier to identify even more specific details. This will put you even closer and will give your marketing and service delivery activities a better chance to reach and delight those that you want to work with. And that’s a WIN-WIN.


It took time for me to build these habits. I did not do it alone, and you don’t have to either.

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