I was helping my good friend Aimee with her vision statement over the weekend. For those of you who have never participated in this exercise, I highly recommend that you write one to give yourself clarity about what you want to have in your life and/or business. You can write it free-form, or begin it with the words “It’s December 31, 2010 and I’ve had my best year yet.” Then fill in the blanks that got you there in exquisite detail.
I’m smiling as I write this because Aimee and I just had an email interchange that is very typical. She wrote a very reasonable statement. She’s an excellent writer, so that piece is a slam-dunk. I made some suggestions. Where I questioned her and drilled down was on the specificity factor.
Where Aimee wrote “I make a substantial profit” I asked her to write down the exact amount. If you were the Supreme Being, how much would you give her? Would it help you to know that she anticipated $500 or $5,ooo,ooo in profit? Where she wrote that her play was picked up, I added spaces for ‘by whom’ and for ‘how much’. Getting the picture?
I asked Aimee if my questions made her nervous. I acknowledged that getting specific amps up the scariness factor and takes you out of vagueness. Simply stating a desire for two new clients in March is more powerful than saying, “I’d like to have two to three new clients in March.”
In her typically generous fashion Aimee responded to my request to share our conversation on my blog. “If my pain can help others, go for it!”
Honestly, I don’t mean to inflict pain. Watching friends and clients writhe in indecision and vagueness is far more painful than having them commit to a scary, but specific goal.