BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal

Happy New Year! A new year requires new thoughts and often, an evaluation of old goals. What have you achieved this past year? Where do you want to be a year from now; five years from now? It sometimes bodes well to think differently to achieve something special. Think BIG, not just ahead.

Launching my PODCAST this month with a focus on my first book “Making Your Miles Count: taxes, taxes, taxes” was a real treat. It’s been over 15 years since I wrote it and it’s amazing how current it is in principle and how well it shows the escalating tax savings over time. In 2006 (the time of publication), the tax savings were $7,600+ per driver annually, and today, the savings is $12,500+ per driver annually. Remember it’s not about who your accountant is, it’s about what system they choose to use.

Our firm has been recording the tax savings we have generated since 2006. Starting out with a paltry $200 K in annual savings, we recently recorded in 2022, annual savings at $5+ million dollars. Though a lot of the growth came in the volume of clients, the savings per client also rose by 65% over 16 years. Our firm’s 16-year total is more than $60 million.

In Jim Collins’s book “Built to Last” the concept of a “BHAG” or Big Hairy Audacious Goal was introduced. It asked, what one primary goal can an organization focus on that represents the most important issue to the organization? In my opinion, net tax savings per client over and above what other firms produce is the differentiating feature. So, after 20+ years of operating an accounting firm and saving clients’ taxes, what should my ‘Audacious Goal’ be? For some hairy reason, we want to save the Canadian Independent Operator Industry a billion dollars in taxes. Now THAT is an ‘Audacious Goal’. We’ve worked 16 years for $60 million…. which is only 6% of a billion. So, at the current $5 million per year, I’ll achieve a billion in only 188 years. I know I’m a planner but that far ahead is a little ridiculous.

To achieve that level within my lifetime requires a dramatic increase in clients. However, growing just for the sake of growing is not a good idea. There must be a serious infrastructure in place to provide quality service as well as a whole host of other things.

Government and Media throw around the terms “billion” or “billions of dollars” seemingly every day, making it sound normal or easy, as easy as popping a candy out of a PEZ dispenser. A billion here, a billion there, people get used to it and file it in their brain as a large but achievable number. Having Elon Musk buy and play with Twitter for $44 billion again seems a relatively achievable amount for no other reason than everyone seems to use the ‘B’ word without concern. But, let me assure you, a billion dollars is a LOT of money. It’s a ‘Big Hairy Audacious’ pile of tax savings.

Entrepreneurs such as Independent Operators should all have BHAG’s, those ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’ that seem unachievable.

So, what is YOUR BHAG? May I suggest a few? How about getting completely out of debt, mortgage and all? Many of you might think it would take you 188 years… but it won’t. To achieve the seemingly unachievable, you cannot keep thinking and acting in the same linear mindset. You must change your input to change your outcome. How about losing weight? This one was especially hard for me. I lost 50-55 pounds during the pandemic, not because I was bored but because my health was not optimum for a virus. Before COVID I was pre-diabetic and had high blood pressure. I had to change my daily habits and my daily inputs (literally). Though I am not at a perfect weight, I am now at a very healthy and sustainable weight with good blood sugar and blood pressure. It only took 2 years, which in junk food years is six centuries.

Without a clear goal or objective, success rarely drops in your lap. Monitoring your progress towards your goal can often be the most motivating feature in achievement. Engaging in a BHAG can be one of the most encouraging aspects of life. Achieving the nearly unachievable is something to chisel onto a headstone.

About the Author:
Robert D. Scheper is a leading Accountant and Consultant to the Lease/Owner operator industry in Canada. His first book in the Making Your Miles Count series “taxes, taxes, taxes” was released in 2007. His firm exclusively serves Lease/Owner Operators across Canada. His second book “Choosing a Trucking company” is the most in-depth analysis of the operator industry available today. He has a Master’s degree (MBA) in financial management and has been serving the industry since he and his wife came off the road in 1993. His dedication, commitment and strong opinions can be read and heard in many articles and seminars.

You can find him and his books at or 1-877-987-9787. You can also e-mail him at

About Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper operates an accounting and consulting firm in Steinbach, Manitoba. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of the Book “Making Your Miles Count: taxes, taxes, taxes” (now available on CD). You can find him at and or at 1-877-987-9787. You can e-mail him at: