One of the first things my coach had me do was develop a document titled “The Visualization.” This is a very personal one-page document with very specific targets, written in present tense. I was reluctant to spend time on my visualization, but I realized that in order to have our coaching relationship work, I needed to “play along” (I can’t think of a different phrase for that – I don’t mean to trivialize the coach’s system, but sometimes I’m too proud for my own good and disregard things as silly or meaningless).
At first I thought it was going to be a hokey mission statement, with all the feel-good words and cliche phrases that are in just about every mission statement in the world. I memorized the mission statement from my last company – there was the president’s version, and the workers version (which put an irreverent twist on the president’s version). It was fun to memorize, but really, when you got down to work it was easy to disregard.
I didn’t want to come up with a meaningless statement that sounded too good to be true, with little regard for my day-to-day battles.
I found the visualization to be different, though. To get me started, my coach sent me his. I was quite amazed – it was very, very specific. At first glance it seemed a little over-the-top, but as I re-read it, it was indeed achievable. In addition to goals, there was a resulting dollar amount tied to most everything. His was written in a way that it broke big ideas down and detailed certain parts of his visualized accomplishments.
Using my coach’s visualization as a model, I developed my own. It is one page. It serves as a motivation and helps me focus every single day (I have it right next to my keyboard, and on my fridge).
It’s easy to get distracted, or at least wonder if I’m distracted (I have JibberJobber stuff (design for the programmers, marketing and PR, accounting, admin stuff, etc.), this blog, book marketing (thank goodness the writing is done!), and a conference that I’m putting on with a partner in October. Not to mention stuff outside of work… I’m pretty busy, and it’s easy for me to either get too focused on one thing, or spend a lot of time on a lot of things with no focus.
That’s where the visualization comes in – like I said, it does two things for me:
- It motivates me. I look at the numbers, which right now are targets, and think about how things will be different once I achieve them. My visualization very specifically declares the income I’ll have from various revenue streams, and for a guy coming out of unemployment, that’s very motivating.
- It refocuses me. My most important target is in the first five words of the visualization document. It just happened that way – which is interesting because it’s obviously the most important thing on my mind when I wrote it. But now, more than 60 days after I wrote it, I find myself using the visualization to see if I’m deviating, or indeed working towards the goals I set.
I can’t share my personal visualization here on my blog – it’s too private. But tomorrow I’ll write a visualization that I should have written for my job search… and you’ll see how it differs from a regular old mission statement.
Have you gone through the visualization exercise, formally? If so, has it been beneficial to you?
The bank charges usually differ for each creditcard. But for those who always buy to let mortgages tales care of the rest, everything eventually leads to debt. Having a look at homes for sale is no reason to go crazy. People who work from home are well aware of the value of money and instead value becoming insurance leads instead.