I was horsing around with my dog the other day — I promise this is an article on entrepreneurship — when something extraordinary happened.
We’d been playing tug-of-war with her red doggie blanket when, after 10 minutes of tugging, I finally managed to wrench the festering rag from her clenched, bulldog jowls. I flashed the blanket about like a torero, bowed, then I flipped it behind me and hid it on the small of my back.
Sugar searched frantically for a minute while I sniggered and snarked. Finally, my inner villain satisfied, I dropped her prize in plain view at my feet. Here’s where it gets weird.
Sometimes the simplest tools can lead us to our biggest breakthroughs. Here are three tips that can help you achieve the vision you have for yourself.
Visualize Your Way to Success
If you have a pair of scissors, some old magazines, glue or tape, and some sort of poster board or canvas, you can make your own vision board. You don’t need to be a talented artist – you really don’t even need to be particularly creative – the purpose is to make your vision come alive through meaningful images.
You can cut out pictures, single words, and entire quotes – anything that you can dream of! Choose images that really resonate with the goals you have. You can create multiple boards if you’re the type of person who loves organization – for instance, one board for your personal goals, another for business oriented ones.
To get the most out of this exercise, I recommend setting aside about an hour where you’ll be undisturbed. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to create your board – have fun with this!
A new calendar is a blank slate. All of the missteps of the prior year are erased and nothing but possibility is before us. What will happen in the next year? To a large extent, it’s up to us and how we think. Most of us set goals, make resolutions, about what we want to happen in that vast gulf that is represented in that empty calendar. We tick our desires down in to-do list fashion: “Lose 20 pounds.” or “Find a new job” or “get a new car”
Time will pass and we will make judgments about how well we did with our goals. We will succeed at some and fail at others. Most of us will fight to a draw, the opportunity represented by January’s blank slate missed.
Over the past year we have been surveying ‘success’ literature looking for common patterns. To our surprise, we found them hiding in plain sight. From Napoleon Hill’s epic survey of industrial titans, “Think and Grow Rich” to the ‘scientifically’ based “Psychocybernetics” to “The Master Key” which is the basis for “The Secret”, all of them are saying the same things even though they were written in different times for different audiences. To us, it breaks down to three basic principals:
Though the Texas fires dominated the news this summer, they are actually not America’s largest: Agricultural fires in the Southeast and Mississippi River Valley are more visible from space than the forest fires of the West. And while it may seem that the U.S. has recently experienced a proliferation of fire, only two percent of the planet’s burned area each year is in North America–70% is in Africa.
Many times when people think about getting into business for themselves, they cherish the idea of the freedom and control it would bring, but are often stifled by fear. ‘How will I find customers?’, ‘How do I find the money I need?’, ‘Will anyone really buy what I’m selling?’ are typical of the questions we run through our minds just before a wave of fear spills over us and we suddenly feel grateful for the job we loathe.
We tell ourselves that having a business is for people that come from money, yet many of the greatest success stories are people that had little or no money at the beginning of their journey. We are convinced that we need ever increasing amounts of education, but Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest people, didn’t complete college, Sir Richard Branson never went.
So what is it? What makes some people successful and others not? It boils down to three primary traits: