My Journey in Entrepreneurship: Visualizing Success
Updated: Feb 24, 2019
Choosing to take the leap into solo entrepreneurship wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It wasn’t anything I or countless others have done on a whim. As I reflect over the last three-plus years, I realize this moment in time is very much a result of visualizing success. Taking the proverbial leap requires focus, motivation, and tenacity. I can trace the beginnings of my current journey back to friend and collaborator, Daniel Wiggins, an online article, a blank sheet of flip chart paper, and a bunch of markers. (Could it be that my childhood Vacation Bible School arts and crafts had prepared me for this one moment?)
It was late December 2016 and Daniel sent me an article about using mind maps instead of making New Year’s Resolutions. I was visiting Daniel that New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day 2017, he broke out the markers and flip chart paper, and we began visualizing what we wanted our 2017 to be.
No, we weren’t creating wish lists or commitments to work out more. Rather, we committed to thinking about the lives we wanted to live, careers we wanted to forge (and explore), and the risks we wanted to take. In essence, we were asking ourselves what does success look like in 2017?
Once the ideas were put on paper and a visual was created, the ability to see success in a new way had taken shape. Goals and strategies were no longer mental post-it notes we hoped to accomplish if we were lucky. What we started was a way to “think out loud”.
We found ourselves questioning and confronting what activities or circumstances were getting in the way of fulfilling personal goals and objectives. What things were nagging us? How or where were we getting in our own way?
Perhaps our greatest learning has been accountability. Daniel and I integrated a process to keep one another focused and accountable. While the visualization process is powerful, its true success relies on accountability: That one person or group of people who challenge you, ask the tough questions, and keep you committed to taking action. As an entrepreneur, the success I visualize in 2019 is possible with keen planning, accountability (i.e. challenge and support from my partner Daniel), and taking action.
2019 marked the third year Daniel and I have mind mapped. Our 2017 effort was so personally valuable we replicated it in 2018. The culmination of 2017 and 2018 helped me visualize and unleash an entrepreneurial mindset I now know I had been unconsciously blocking.
What do you do to visualize or conceptualize success?