Q4 - Where You're Going
Updated: Feb 9
If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else. - YOGI BERRA
The question of WHERE YOU’RE GOING is about intent and vision. You have an idea— about a product, a business, or yourself, and now you need to describe what the future holds for that idea. What is the outcome you're pursuing? Why or how will this make a difference? What are the implications for how you will evolve your product, expand your business, or grow your career? Simply having an idea is a nice conversation starter. But to execute on that idea and make it happen, you need to know where you're headed.
Knowing your long-term goals is the starting point for making a plan forward. Then you must outline the steps, resources, and milestones necessary to take your idea from a dream to reality. Having a clear vision allows others to imagine what's possible. In turn, they become a champion for your plan.
People want to be inspired by what you stand for and where you are headed. If they understand how your idea will bring them something beneficial, either directly or by association, they will want to come along for the ride.
Having a goal and a plan to get there gives you a massive advantage over others. Those who know their worth, and know where they want to go, make it happen. Those who don't, don't. Companies that are reacting are not innovating. People who are job hunting without direction aren't developing an area of expertise. Products that don't nurture customer experience can't compete. The Anchor of Average is the result of choosing not to embrace the vitality of WHO YOU ARE, define the uniqueness of WHAT YOU DO, or articulate the value of WHY YOU MATTER.
Without discovering what makes you relevant and defining why people should care, you can’t make a plan for standing out and rising above the rest. With no vision to guide you, you will remain precisely where you are.
However, when you know with clarity where you want to go and are motivated by your beliefs as to why this is important, you’ll be able to plan the steps to get there. There are numerous real-life examples that prove this is true: having a vision for your idea is critical for planning how to make that vision a reality. Planning where you want to go is the cornerstone of building the successful future you imagine. Those who choose to drift along will be successful at precisely that—drifting along, with no aim in sight and nothing exceptional accomplished. By having a vision and making a plan, you're choosing to pursue your calling to achieve the success you imagine.
Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. - Joel A. Barker
Map Your Journey
To map your journey, you first need to give voice to your vision for what’s possible. The question of “WHERE YOU’RE GOING” results in a powerful tool called a “vision path.” The ability to describe the kind of life or business you dream about and want to create (your vision), and how to best move forward in making that vision a reality (your path), is a genuine life skill. It takes a lot of consideration and thought, requiring commitment and action.
Your vision is about what you intend to accomplish. Your vision is about what you want to be known for. Your vision is about how your gifting will make a difference.
See WHERE YOU’RE GOING Through These Examples
Personal: A young woman, whose dream has been to create art that makes people smile, changed her career from designing buildings to designing household textiles, using her paintings as the basis for the fabrics. Her textiles are constructed using the same principles of balance and function that she learned as an architect. Her vision for her company is to build a "happiness empire," where every product not only has a purpose, but the beauty of the design is a source of delight. Understanding that she intends to be an "advocate for happiness," and that she will accomplish this by creating a line of textiles, she was able to map out the specific actions she needed to take. She is now manufacturing and selling nationwide several lines of home textiles that incorporate her vision of what she calls “functional joy.”
Business: Amazon got its start as a result of Jeff Bezos wanting a plan to fend off any regret from not participating sooner in the Internet revolution. From the beginning, Bezos envisioned what his Internet enterprise would be, starting with the name of his company. He noted that the Amazon River was, by far, the biggest river in the world, and he planned to make his store the biggest in the world. After reading a report about the future of the Internet, Bezos decided that the way to accomplish his goal was to sell books online, due to the significant worldwide demand for literature. With this vision, starting point, and pathway for growth in place, Bezos has been able to grow Amazon into precisely what he envisioned: the largest Internet-based retailer in the world.
If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you."- LES BROWN
Step 1: On a separate piece of paper, list in detail what motivates you. Think beyond the here-and-now, and discover what’s beckoning you toward the future that you envision for yourself. Answer the following questions.
What’s your driving passion?
What’s making you restless?
What do you spend your time thinking about how to solve or where to make a difference?
Helpful Tip: The reason I keep asking about what motivates you is that too many of us go about life based on what other people say we should do. We ignore what makes us want to get out of bed in the morning. Knowing, accepting, and reveling in what truly motivates you gives you a secure and authentic foundation for going about the work you were called and equipped to do.
Step 2: Imagine what is possible by your idea becoming a reality.
Finish this sentence: “What if…” and describe the long term benefit of your idea. (Example: “What if I discovered how to grow wheat in a desert? What would the benefit be?” OR “What if I helped end bullying by writing a play about how to create community? What would the benefit be?” OR “What if I found a way to create a new collaboration tool for businesses? What would the benefit be?” OR “What if I took my experience leading complex projects and applied it to community service? What would the benefit be?”)
Step 3: List who your ideas will benefit.
Step 4: Create a statement as to why your ideas will benefit them.
Step 5: Write down ten reasons why you must take action on your ideas.
Step 6: List the people you need to connect with to achieve this goal. Are they researchers, politicians, playwrights, software developers, artists, inventors, venture capitalists? Do you already know them? How will you find them?
Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you. - Misty Copeland
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This relates to the law of averages, the theory that the result of any situation is the average of all outcomes. Making what you envision happen involves associating with people who have a similar standard of excellence, who believe in the power and potential of ideas, and who are honestly interested in helping you achieve your goals. Choose wisely who you spend your time with. Seek those who infuse encouragement, enthusiasm, and support into your life. Look for people who will challenge you to be the very best you can be, and who will support you on your journey.