Ok, so I may not have a specific answer. I am not in your shoes. I do not have the same stressors and anxieties and challenges.
However, I am a business owner. A work-from-home entrepreneur. Raising babies.
And now, a schoolteacher. Yep, first grade virtual assistant right here.
Oh, and that business I mentioned? It was an in-person events company. Think workshops, roundtables, and staff development retreats. Or at least it was.
Just like you, I’ve had to make a hard pivot. Well, a few, actually.
In this new era, this new way of doing life, casting a vision is important.
So. Very. Important.
It gives us all something to hope for, to aspire for, to work towards.
And I’d love to walk you through an exercise that has helped me.
It has served me well over the years.
First, when I quit my comfortable nonprofit gig.
And as I launched my entrepreneurial dreams. And wrote my books.
As I created customized events for my local, in-person clients.
In a normal year (remember those?), I loved making a vision board, building upon my business strategy each quarter, brainstorming independently and in groups.
Heck, I would be facilitating in-person workshops with nonprofit employees on these very topics.
But here we are, in 2020.
Now we are all struggling with what was, and what is ahead. As we manage our day-to-day, on our little islands. In our own homes, some of us with babies underfoot.
My hope is that one entrepreneur, one person looking to change careers, finds a bit of inspiration, a bit of reassurance, in casting his or her vision.
First things, first. Set yourself up for success.
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Create a pocket of time, an hour if you can, with no disruptions, no responsibilities other than working on your business. Not in it.
No emails. No zoom calls. No kids barging in. You get the idea.
Grab some water, a pen and a blank piece of paper.
Next, center yourself.
“Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are. Let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it.”
- C. Assaad
In whatever way works for you. I prefer to go for a walk, outside. Soaking in the sun and all things nature. It’s my jam.
Maybe you like yoga. Or breathing exercises. Or jumping jacks.
Whatever it is, take 5-10 minutes to do it. And remember, keep all the distractions at bay.
“Believe in the beauty of your heart’s wishes.”
- Audrey Hepburn
Start by thinking about how you’d like to end the year.
Like really think about it. Picture it.
What does it look like?
How are you serving your clients, your team, your inner circle?
Think about the solutions you provide. About the money you plan to make. The products or services you offer.
Think about your personal life. Your relationships. The things you love to do.
Be sure to think about the curveballs that may come your way. I mean, it is 2020, after all.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t dream, that you can’t look ahead to a better version of yourself, of your life.
When we come out of all of this, how would you like your life to look? If you could literally redesign your day-to-day, jot down the things you would keep and the things you’d love to be doing, feeling, experiencing.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
- Walt Disney
Put 15 minutes on your timer and cast your vision. Brainstorm your opportunities and big dreams. And look at what a big breakthrough would mean to you.
“My hope is that you step outside of the comfort of your boxes and wholly and boldly be your truest, fiercest self.”
- Janet Mock
For those that may struggle here, I wanted to share a few ideas.
Maybe you want to launch a new program or e-course.
Or join a mastermind.
Write a book.
Learn a new skill.
Run a freaking marathon.
Or plant an herb garden.
Maybe you want to drop off meals to families who are struggling.
Downsize or upsize your home.
Change your career.
Or pivot your business.
For me, it looks like working from home, part-time, and writing content for female founders and course creators. It looks like joining a mastermind and launching a course.
Personally, it looks like traveling with my family in our RV, running a 5K in under 30 minutes, instilling a love of learning in my daughters and saving up for a kitchen remodel.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Remember your younger days, your 6-year-old self, standing on the shoreline of your local pond or lake, fishing pole in hand? Cast your vision like you would have cast that Barbie fishing pole. Ok guys, maybe yours was Superman. Point being, dream big. Throw it out there like you mean it.
And jot it all down. In bullet points or long-form or in whatever way works best for you. Send yourself an email, voice record it. You get the idea. This is about you, your dreams, your future.
Take the time to think about it.
And if you’re struggling right now, take a moment to pause, to reflect, and come back to this activity when you feel like you are in a better place.
Seek help if you need it. Talk to friends. And keep showing up for your life.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
- MaryAnne Radmacher
If you want to capture your reflections, check out All Things Business, a free, simple-to-use, 2-page worksheet for people in business. For entrepreneurs. For mid-level managers looking for a tool to use for themselves and with their team. Or for the c-suite, feeling all the pressures of work and life.
Yes, you can dream during a pandemic. If you are looking for permission, consider it granted.
“The world will see you the way you see you.”
- Beyoncé Knowles
If you found this exercise helpful, you may also enjoy 3 Simple Things to Think About as a Woman in Business. It provides prompts for reflections along with some needed encouragement as you continue your growth journey.
All the quotes used in this post are from my latest journal, Courage: A Journal to Explore Your Bold, Brave Spirit. It’s an easy addition to your morning or evening routine, when you want to sit quietly, reflect, and center yourself.