If you could have, do, or be anything you want, what would it be?
Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders of the United States dreamed of a grand republic founded upon principles of liberty. Gandhi dreamed of peace for India. Churchill dreamed of defeating Hitler and keeping Britain safe. However, many of us we dream of simpler things like physical fitness, finding love, great relationships with our children, getting a college degree, buying a house, or finding stimulating work. No matter how large or small the task, you’ll have to influence someone in order to make it happen, even if the only person you influence is yourself. The first step towards building the influence that will create the result you want, is to create a vision of what you want.
[taken from LinkedIn email course, needs rewriting for book]
LinkedIn Overhaul Step #1 — Vision
Let me guess…you thought I was going to start out by talking about your photo, right? That one’s easy–use a high quality photo that makes it easy for someone to recognize you in real life. Upload a square photo, at least 400 x 400 pixels. Done.
Much more important than your photo is your vision, your dream, your objective. Real quick, answer the following questions for yourself:
- Where do you see yourself professionally in 10 years?
- What is a specific dream tied to that vision of the future you?
- What a goal that would help you make that dream reality?
- How can LinkedIn help you fulfill that goal?
For example, let’s say in 10 years you want to be a successful entrepreneur. That’s your big vision of the future. A specific dream is that you want your business to do $10M per year–this is enough to make you feel like you’re a successful entrepreneur. A first step goal to help you make this dream reality is to attract 1,000 customers during the next year, each paying you $100 per month. This will give you a $1.2M business, and you can scale from there. LinkedIn will help you fulfill this goal because your customers are on LinkedIn, and if you engage in thought leadership they will consume your content and either reach out or be receptive to your sales pitches and advertising.
Sound too easy? This is real–it works. I’m doing it, I’m not alone, and you can do it too.
Homework: Define Your Vision
- Answer the questions above to get clear about your vision, dreams, goals, and how LinkedIn can help you get there.
- Look at your LinkedIn profile. Is there anything that seems out of place, given your vision for your future? If anything obviously doesn’t fit, delete it or modify it. If there’s anything big missing, add it.
- Optional: Post this to your LinkedIn feed:
I’m getting clear on my vision of where I’m going to be professionally in 10 years. I’m going to share what I’ve come up with, and I’d love to hear what your 10 year vision is.
Then explain your vision, and ask others to share their feedback and their own future visions. Tag me in your post, I’d love to hear what you have to say.
And fix that photo!
That’s it for today. Tomorrow, you’ll take the next step. In the meantime, if you want to check out some of the worst mistakes people make with their LinkedIn photos, you may enjoy my blog post 29 LinkedIn Photo Mistakes To Avoid.
Create vision steps, how does one find their vision
Covey — circle of influence, you have more control over yourself than others, focus on what you can control to make the biggest impact and expand your circle of influence
Personal mission statement
Vision gives confidence that leads to action
Faith, creativity, imagination
Without vision the people perish
Visionaries and integrators
If you’re going to dream, dream big.
Homework —Your Dream Funnel
Marketers often use the word “funnel” to describe how they gain the attention of the masses and then guide people through various steps to a predetermined action, generally a purchase.
In the first five chapters of this book you’ll learn how to create a “dream funnel” that begins with your vision of the future and guides you through various steps until you identify The One Thing you can do, today, to make your vision reality.
[funnel graphic below]
- The one thing I’m going to do right now
Building Your Dream Funnel
Step #1 — Write down what your life will look like 10 years from now.
Write this in the past tense, as though it has already happened and you have accomplished everything you put down. This will prevent you from creating a huge to-do list that will overwhelm you.
Before you begin writing out your vision of the future, create three lists.
It may help to make a list of roles you fill or want to have. Perhaps today you are single, but 10 years from now you want to be married and have children, and so “mother” or “father,” should be on your list of roles, as well as “husband” or “wife.” Other roles might include:
- Daughter or son
- Sister or brother
- Aunt or uncle
- Employee or employer
- Thought leader
And so on. Since our dreams are often closely tied to the roles we occupy, having a list of roles to reference will help you as you write down your dreams. If you were starting with the role of a parent, for example, you would then include details about what kind of parent you are and the relationship you have with your children.
Similarly, create a list of achievements you wish for your future self. Since this is being written from 10 years in the future, you might write “I have…” at the top of your sheet of paper or online document and then create a bulleted list that might include things like:
- I have spoken at a TED event…
- Published a New York Times bestselling book
- Been featured in 20 high profile magazines
- Built up $200,000 in my savings account
- Established a collection of 10 rental properties generating monthly recurring income
- Bought the house of my dreams
- Reconnected with my father
- Built three close friendships
- Married a wonderful man or woman
- Run the Boston marathon
States of being
The third list to create before writing down all your dreams is a list of ideal states of being. You might start these with “I am…” and complete them like this:
- I am exceptionally healthy and fit…
- Cool, calm, and collected at all times
These three lists will make it much easier to write out your vision of the future and make sure you’re covering everything you want to include. If you want to add to these lists as you create your vision, that’s fine. In fact, this is a process you should repeat frequently, editing your lists as well as your vision as your life changes or new insights come to you.
- Write down your vision in as much detail as possible.
- Don’t worry what people will think about your crazy dreams, this is for your eyes only and nobody else needs to read what you’re about to write.
- These are not only your “influence” related dreams, these are your dreams for every aspect of your life, whether personal or professional.
Some people complete this step in an hour. Others take weeks. Take as long as you need, but don’t be afraid to do a quick version now, and come back later to refine it.
As we move on to more steps in your Dream Funnel in future chapters, the funnel will squeeze and get narrower. It may be painful to go through the process, but most changes worth making involve at least a small amount of discomfort.
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. — C.S. Lewis
Although completing your Dream Funnel may involve minor discomfort as you choose what is most important to you and what will wait for later, you’ll also make great progress, and it will be far less painful than stumbling along without a system to guide you and make it straightforward. You might not find it painful at all, but fun.