Years after working with an Olympic coach, I realized that the process of visualization was a lot like building a dream home. If you can visualize what the dream house–or your designer kitchen–looks like, then you can talk to an architect and explain the vision you have in your mind. You can even tear photos out of magazines to help explain what you see in your mind. Once the architect can ‘see’ the same vision as you, he or she can create the blueprints for your dream home.
When you have a blueprint for success, you are more likely to achieve your desired goal, whether it’s building a house, winning a sports competition, or growing a business. That’s why as a business coach and mentor, I believe that it’s essential that you communicate what your business is going to look like at every stage of its growth, but most importantly, what it’s going to look like in three years. I like this timetable because people will have a better idea of how to incorporate over-arching goals into their day to day work, since it doesn’t seem as far away, but isn’t in the same category as other daily tasks.
Just so we’re crystal clear: This blueprint or ‘Vivid Vision (formerly Painted Picture)’ isn’t a to-do list, a five-year plan, or a vision statement. Vision statements are when everyone gets in a room and you pull together the words that best describe your business, and you create a one sentence vision or mission statement for your company that no-one reads and no-one cares about ever again. This is different. This is when an entrepreneur, CEO or whatever you are plants one foot in the present, and then dips the other into the future, into what ‘could be.’
When you peer into the future, what do you see? What do you want to be there? What materializes in front of you as the epitome of success? Don’t worry about how you’re going to build it, just focus on describing what you see over the next three years. One exercise that can be helpful is to imagine you’re filming every aspect of your business: your employees, customers, supplier relationships and so on. Once you’ve completed this exercise in its entirety, you’ve created a ‘Vivid Vision.’ Scroll down here to read the Vivid Vision. This is where I start my CEO Coaching of all the Entrepreneurs I mentor.