Hi, Ilya here, PowToon's Chief Renegade.
I would like to share an interesting little side project of mine. It began as a small idea for business, but is turning out to be a big idea for everyone. I’d really be grateful for your feedback. But first, a little history.
You see, I wasn’t always the Chief Renegade here at PowToon. In fact, in the world of non-awesomeness, I actually had quite a "square" career: turning around failing businesses. Don't get me wrong - it was never boring. But it wasn’t the awesomeness of PowToon either...
During my time working as a turnaround guy, I had a huge challenge: Walk into a business, pinpoint their problems in record time, and figure out how to save them from drowning. I was really struggling until I stumbled upon something that I call "the Blue Sky Scenario,” which changed everything.
The theory is simple. I would ask the business owner or manager to close their eyes and project themselves three years into the future. I would ask them to drop themselves into a “perfect day,” where the sky is blue, the sun is shining and a gentle breeze caresses their face (hence, the Blue Sky Scenario).
Then, I would ask them to open their eyes, waking up in this ideal world, and describe the elements of that perfect day. I would say: “In your Blue Sky Scenario, where is your new office? Who are the clients (by name)? How many staff are there in the customer care department? Where do they sit,” etc…
The key was to go into excruciating detail, even as far as asking them to describe the wallpaper in the conference room and the outgoing voicemail message for missed calls.
The Blue Sky Scenario allowed me to compare the current, sub-optimal situation that led to the company's distress, with the perfect-world scenario, where the company thrives and succeeds. All I had to do was chart a path between these two points.
If the voicemail message was already the same as in their Blue Sky Scenario, then they had taken a powerful first step toward creating their ideal business. Doing this exercise acted like an incredible connector. Seeing the path between their current reality and the vision a business owner had in their head brought their dreams into the realm of the possible.
As powerful as the Blue Sky Scenario is for business, I soon found it was even more powerful when used in your personal life. And I’m a strong believer that when you discover something good, it should be shared. That's why I’d like to share it with you.
In a famous ten-year scientific study conducted by Harvard University, MBA graduates were asked “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” The result: only 3% had written goals and plans, 13% had goals that were not in writing, and 84% had no goals at all.
Ten years later, the 13% of the class who had unwritten goals were earning double the amount of the 84% who had no goals. The 3% who had written down their goals were earning, on average, ten (yes, ten) times as much as the combined average for the other 97% of the class!
The absolute, number one factor that determines success - certainly in business, but even more so in your personal life - is defining goals. That means clearly visualizing what you want to achieve. It's too easy to feel trapped by circumstance, and not dare to create your own Blue Sky Scenario. But all of us need a vision of our perfect life to use as a beacon on our journey.
To quote the incredible Napoleon Hill (author of "Think and Grow Rich"): A goal is a dream with a deadline.
If you don't know your goal, you can't steer the ship in the right direction. But dreaming can be a challenging task. I've created something for all of us who need an inspirational boost, and maybe a little help to visualize our goals.
I call it... THE BLUE SKY BOARD
It's incredibly simple. The Blue Sky Board is a place where we collect our dreams and aspirations in the form of images, inspirational sentences and quotes that connect with you personally.
These become our lighthouse, our beacon, to steer us to our goals. It's as simple as that!
Here’s an example:
If you’re single and looking for your soul mate, visualize him or her and how your relationship would look. Then find images and put them on your Blue Sky Board.
Or try this one:
If you’re in a dead-end job, picture yourself in your perfect job and find some way of representing that on the board. Remember to include excruciating detail!
The Blue Sky Board is an incredibly powerful psychological device to steer you in the right direction.
To make it super easy for you, here's a Blue Sky Board template. It's totally customizable to fit your personal Blue Sky Scenario. Change the background and the images to make it your own. Once you're ready, add a soundtrack that makes you feel good and export your Blue Sky Board as a movie that will motivate and inspire you. Then watch it… Daily!
Inspiration can be rare; my advice is to grab it when it comes along. Close your eyes for a moment and project yourself three years ahead into your “perfect day.” Open you eyes and click the link below to start creating your own Blue Sky Board right now. It will focus your goals and help you to create a path to reach them.
If you have a story that supports the power of goal setting, or if you just want to share your Blue Sky Board, please let me know in the comments below.
To express my gratitude for taking part in this project, the best comment will get a 1-year business subscription to PowToon.
As always, stay awesome,
P.S. Bring your goals into focus and create your Blue Sky Board right now!
P.P.S. Please share your experience (or lack thereof) with goal setting, or your latest bit of inspiration in the comments.