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Wednesday, 2 July 2014


When you think of Steve Jobs, which fits better? Visionary or Great Goal Setter?

What's the Vision of the company you worked for?

(Student readers can refer to the annual reports of any listed company you currently vested in.)

What do you see?

It's usually a few words that are vague and can mean anything right?

Now look down at the Mission Statement.

More words. Less broad. Less vague. But still can mean pretty much anything isn't it?

Think for a minute why companies can't be more specific like your X amounts in Y years financial freedom goals?

Why don't they just say:

To grow the annual revenue from $100 million to $1 billion in 10 years?

To build 100 more stores in the next 5 years?

To increase the market share from 10% to 30% in 8 years?


We were already on the treadmill when in school. It's the same treadmill when we worked for others after leaving school. We soon forget we were told how to speak, act, and think while running in the treadmill.

Isn't it ironic that you find those seeking freedom from the treadmill are still using the same language and tools of that animal in the treadmill? They say they want to leave, yet they cling on to what they have gotten used to all their lives. 

The tell tale signs? Once they hit their financial goals, they will move the goal posts. Running is all they know... 

Don't laugh. Wait till it happens to you and you will know how terrifying that feeling is when you can do whatever you like!? And no one to tell you what to do anymore!!!

What language and tools do land owners, shepherds, and puppet masters use?

Just look up.

P.S.  Readers may be interested in this old post for more context and examples:

Life goals - be as vague and broad as possible


  1. Hi SMOL

    i am facing the dilemma too in a moribund job..my heart says this , my brain says that ...to be or not to be ..hmmm

    1. Small Time Investor,

      When you are with her, do you think about the love or feel the love?

      Remember the time before starting school how you yearn for that favourite toy?

      Was that "yearn" in words and numbers? Or were they imagery?

    2. Perhaps it's about time to say goodbye.

    3. Life is a series of decision points.

      Some will turn out so so.

      Some turn out downright bad and disastrous...

      Some may turn out deliriously wonderful!

      Either this or we can choose the alternate path of constantly wondering "what might have been" during the twilight of our years.

  2. Hi SMOL

    I would think Steve Jobs as an inspirational leader that create a new level of technology buzz amongst people.

    The reason why I think companies did not put any financial numbers as part of its mission statement is because they are much more easily impacted by external factors. Instead they will say something like providing the best service to the needs of the customers - something more intangible something more ambiguous and immeasurable that they can put there such that they do not need to move their goal posts each time they meet the target.

    1. B,

      Does that mean at a personal level when we make plans and goals for the next 20 or 30 years - we are LESS impacted by the external factors that you refer to ;)

      P.S. I'm not a technological nut, but I don't think Apple created many NEW technologies... Those were created by others. For eg, Creative's MP3s were technological superior to iPod, but Apple won.

      Steve understood PEOPLE.

      Steve did not ASK what consumers wanted like was "taught" in marketing schools. And look at how Apple "forced" it's consumer fans to accept it's limited product range of iPhones compared to Samsung. Broke so many marketing rules ;)

      OK, After Steve left, more iPhones alternatives appeared...

      To me, Apple is a great DESIGN and MARKETING company.

    2. Hi SMOL

      Couldn't agreee more with your APPLE example. Steve really is spot on with the people. You are right on that.

      Hmm, on a personal level, I believe most people have a similar sort of statement. For e.g one can say that he/she wants to reach financial freedom so that they ma have time and more flexibility to do the other things they like. Very abstract. I hardly doubt anyone have a statement that say I must achieve $xxx at the age of xx. Maybe there is but hardly any specific.

    3. I thought B is the one who set specific target to achieve by when. No?

    4. Don't look at me!

      I am not playing the pot calling the kettle black game :)

    5. Nowadays, do we still find kettle or pot black in Singapore?

  3. Bosses' Vision becomes Goals set for the bottom to receive the shits from them.

    1. CW,

      Hee hee. Goal-based approach to Investing Strategy - is that shitting on oneself? (You are one of the few qian beis who can take a poke. Better "angkat" you before you really punch my face!)

      Study that time got report cards.

      Work got annual performance review.

      If I am running my own race and not competing with others, why the need for goals and benchmarking?

      Men often say one thing and do another thing :)

    2. Alamak! You really lost about investing.

      In stock market; there is no Boss, No Customers, No Peers and No Subordinates.

      Just You and Mr Market.

      Mr. Market doesn't know you!

      We just need to know ourselves.

    3. CW,

      Sorry, sorry,

      Ah! Your powerpoints are for your own PERSONAL viewing pleasure ;)

      Not those "look! I caught big fish" pictures fishermen like to hang on their walls :)

    4. Actually most fishermen have vision of catching big fish and they have plan and goal to catch them.

      After spending many $60 per boat trip for number of years; my colic last month finally catch one 6 Kg Giant Grouper.

    5. CW,

      We are in harmony once again.

      Two sides of a same coin :)

    6. CW,
      Well put. People who understand the market is for any TOM, DICK OR HARRY who dares, will win in the end.


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