Perhaps you are already sick of the play on words “20/20 Vision” / “2020, the year of Vision”? I secretly love a dad joke, so I’m still getting a giggle out of this one. Apologies for those with a more evolved sense of humour than I!
On a more grown-up note, I do love this time of year to get really clear on my vision for the next 12 months. In 20+ years of work and 10 years running my own businesses, I have come to understand the absolute importance of a clear vision for what you want to create.
“Fuzzy desires give fuzzy results.”
– Janet Bray Attwood & Chris Attwood in The Passion Test
Some people would describe their career journey as ‘just evolving with no plan’, and opportunities just coming their way. I have always been baffled by this, because one of my deepest values is living my life ‘on purpose’.
I do believe in the value of being open-minded, just showing up and seeing what happens… but at the same time, I personally have experienced my career journey as mostly being about working out what I want, forging a path and adjusting the plan as I learn from the surprises that do come up. I have certainly many times received the gift of opportunity, but the times I have spent considerable effort getting clear on what I want to achieve are the times I have progressed the most and felt the happiest.
Clarity really is the key.
Here are some of the key moments of clarity that have taken my businesses to the next level:
Clear Vision #1: The writing on the wall
About 4 years ago, I moved into a new house and before I repainted the walls of my home office (they were blue!), I used them as a giant chalkboard to do some brainstorming. I wrote down in big letters what I believed to be my key strengths and how they matched with each of the services I provided in my business. I could clearly see where the power lay in my work to affect change for people, and realised from looking at my giant scribble on the wall exactly what I needed to amplify in my messaging to my target audience. This marked the beginning of a much more powerful brand, and markedly increased personal confidence in what I contribute. I now teach others how to identify their key strengths in their work.
Clear Vision #2: The sure-fire sales plan
Last year I sought out the help of some of my most trusted, experienced friends in business to brainstorm how I can move more of my clients from booking short workshops to working with me on longer programs of 6 months or more. I had been frustrated that even though I’d run a successful workshop and receive glowing feedback, it wouldn’t automatically translate to a longer project, even though I might ‘mention’ it to the client. From the discussions I arranged with my very generous and helpful mentors, I formed my plan for moving clients step-by-step through a process so that a full program was the end goal. The best bit about this was that it felt like a natural plan to help my clients, not a sales pitch for an ‘up-sell’! I’m now excited to start working on some really fantastic new programs booked for 2020 and to see real and lasting change in organisations from the frameworks I teach.
As I think you can see, these moments of clarity have been game-changers in my business. And while sometimes inspiration strikes out of the blue, the turning points above came from deliberate actions I decided to take.
Next week I’ll give you 5 key areas to get clarity on as you move into 2020 and some activities that I’ve found helpful for getting clear.