‘Everything is in the mind, that’s where it all starts. Knowing what you want, is the first step towards getting it’ (Mae West)
Mae and many more who have made their mark on the world always tell us that we need to have the imagination to see what we want before we can have it. You need to create a vision of success that fits you! No two people’s vision of success is the same, one person’s dream may be to have a business running out of their spare room that helps them home school their kids while someone else’s might be to be the next Jeff Bezos. There is no right or wrong vision of success. No one can tell you what success is for you.
So, how do you figure out what you want?
Most people who don’t know what they want, typically end up going around in circles. It’s a little like getting into your car to drive from Belfast to Dublin. You might not know exactly how to get there. You don’t know where the road-blocks or traffic lights are, you don’t know where the traffic tends to build up or any number of unforeseen events along the way. But, you do know that if you head in the direction of Dublin that you are getting closer to Dublin with every mile travelled because you know to head South. You can follow road signs, you can ask for directions, you may get frazzled, but you can put up with sitting in traffic jams because you know you are getting closer to achieving your aim of getting to Dublin.
Now, imagine you get into your car with no destination in mind. You drive around aimlessly. There are no road signs to nowhere, you can’t ask for directions to nowhere, and hurdles and obstacles are more annoying because they are getting in the way of you getting to nowhere. You don’t know how much money you need or which currency. You don’t know if you have enough fuel to get you there and the whole trip is filled with so much uncertainty that you find yourself driving in circles until you eventually arrive back home exhausted from the journey, deflated at having not really achieved anything and are right back to square one with nothing to show… This is not how you want to start your business journey!
When you take to the driver seat of your business, you want to know where you’re going. You might change direction or take some detours along the way, but you MUST know your destination… your WHY, because moving towards it, no matter how slowly, will be what keeps you going. It will be the thing that makes the hurdles and the challenges worth it. It will be the thing that makes you unafraid to ask for help and it will be the thing that tells you what you need to get through the journey.
So, let’s start to get clear on what you actually want!
So many people say to me: ‘But Claire, I don’t know what I want’ and my reply is always the same: ‘Tell me what you don’t want’ – This they find much easier! If you know what you don’t want, you absolutely know what you do want.
They say things like ‘I don’t want to work to work in this job forever’, ‘I don’t want to always be wondering where the money is coming’, ‘I don’t want to just get by’, ‘I don’t want to work so much that I miss my kid’s school play’! What I hear is: ‘I want a new and exciting opportunity’, something that ignites my soul’, ‘I want financial freedom’, ‘I want to know that the money I need is showing up in my bank account every month’, ‘I want time freedom so that I can do work that I love and still enjoy precious time making memories with my kids’.
While most people’s definitions of what they want are different, they are essentially the same – everyone wants freedom of some kind.
Before you start to deep delve into what that freedom looks like for you, I want to talk a little bit about dreaming big. It really does take just as much effort to go after the little goals as it does to go after the big ones. Back to the car analogy, but when you start the car and build up speed, you have to go through all the gears whether you intend to level off at 40mph or 70mph – the effort is exactly the same. So, you might as well go after the big goals, right?!
Size is purely subjective, what could be a huge goal for me might be easy for someone else and vice versa so here are 3 questions to ask yourself to size up whether your goal is big enough:
#1 – Is this something I have done before? If you’ve done it before there is no growth in it. You are in your comfort zone. You know it can be done and you know how to do it. This goal is a stepping stone!
# 2 – Is this something I’m pretty sure I can do? So, this could be something like replacing your salary from your job with income from your side hustle. This is a good goal but it’s not THE goal. It will certainly motivate you to get going and that’s a good thing but there’s no intrigue to keep you inspired. There’s not enough growth. Motivation is temporary, inspiration is permanent. If it’s something you’re pretty sure you can do, you’re less likely to challenge yourself. You’re still in your comfort zone. Again, this goal will be a stepping stone to the big goal but isn’t big enough by itself.
# 3 – If I knew I couldn’t fail, would I be satisfied with this goal? If the answer is no, then go bigger still! Inspiration comes when something is so big that you have no idea how you will achieve it! These are the types of goals that you really, really want even if you’ve never allowed yourself to even dream of them before. These are the goals that would completely transform your life. When you choose these goals, you’ll not be motivated to succeed, you’ll be inspired because they will awaken such strong emotional responses within you.
So, here’s what you need to do: Grab a clean sheet of paper and now imagine that you couldn’t fail at anything! Write down all those big goals you would have, knowing that you absolutely couldn’t fail. Get really creative and engage your imagination. When an idea pops into your head, write it down straight away, without any thought as how it could happen… just write.
Now the hard part: Choose just one to work with!
I know, I know you have so many dreams and goals now, how could you possibly choose just one? Worry not, you can have them all but only by focusing on one at a time!
So, how do you choose?
Go through your list and choose the one that stands out most to you. The one that when you think of having it, your heart sings. The one that makes you most excited and scared at the same time. The one that will have the biggest impact on your life when it’s accomplished…. That’s the one!
Once you’ve chosen ‘the one’ write down your goal as if you already have it. ‘I am so happy now that I earn x amount per year’, ‘I am so happy now that I have my own office space’! Look at it. Read it out loud, say it in the mirror, get used to the feel of it. Allow it to sink into your mind. And now ask yourself this question: Am I willing to do whatever it takes to make this my reality? Am I willing to go outside my comfort zone? Am I willing to learn? Am I willing to ask for help because I know that no one has to do this alone? Am I willing to say yes to opportunities that I know will arise once I have made a definite decision that this is my goal? Am I willing to make this goal my heart and soul? Am I willing to do the things that scare me? Am I willing to believe, like really believe that this is possible for me?
If you’ve answered YES to all of these, then CONGRATULATIONS, I’m so excited for you! You’ve found your direction, You’ve discovered your why! You’ve found the thing that will inspire you to reach beyond what you can see! You’ve decided that you are worthy of the life and business you want, and that decision is going to have such a transformative impact on you and everyone around you! You should be proud. According to Mae West, you’ve now taken that first step to getting what you want and once you’ve started a snow-ball rolling down a hill, there’s no stopping it, it just keeps getting bigger and better!
If you liked this blog post, then you’re going to LOVE my FREE 6 module audio programme, ‘Get Set GO’. Get access here!