Walking on the Moon, Apollo 13 and Setting Goals

The first month of the New Year is almost over. How are you doing on focusing on the goals you set yourself for this year? This could be either personally or for your business.

I’m using the very inspiring analogy of the Hollywood version of the Apollo 13 space mission story to get us all really thinking about our businesses. Moon landing

As a quick recap, Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. It was launched on April 11, 1970, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later. It severely damaged the service module on which the Command Module, the section the astronauts returned to Earth, depended.

The first challenge was for NASA engineers to improvise and design a carbon dioxide removal system that the astronauts could make with the materials available on the craft. The next challenge was, due to limited power, they didn’t have all the systems necessary to keep them on the right trajectory for their re-entry to Earth. This meant that they had to navigate manually to ensure the correct re-entry angle. It needed very slight ongoing adjustments to get back on course but the margin of error was very tight.

Despite great hardship caused by limited power, the loss of cabin heat, the shortage of water, and the critical need for the makeshift carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17.

So what has this got to do with business?


Lesson 1

The importance of just deciding where you want to get to – setting your destination or goal. The film starts with Tom Hanks, who plays Jim Lovell the Apollo 13 Mission Commander, watching Neil Armstrong take the first step on the moon. He then says “It’s not a miracle…we just decided to go”.


Lesson 2

Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. While you may not have all the tools and equipment you think you need at your disposal, be creative and use what you have. Perfection can be overrated and you are better to implement something and adjust than wait.


Lesson 3

We all get off course on our business journey but it doesn’t mean you need to give up. Just start making slight adjustments along the way.  It’s amazing the difference a lot of little steps will make to your progress rather than a big dramatic change.

Social Media Marketing Tip #104: Setting Goals


Your business may not be in the life or death situation of Apollo 13. Equally is it achieving what you want? I’ll certainly be getting hold of a copy of ‘Apollo 13’ to watch again. This time, it will be with a very different mindset as I will constantly be thinking of how this applies to my own business. I would recommend you take a look too.


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