Write It Down, and Make It So — How One Sheet of Paper from March 19, 1998 Has Guided Me Forward

2:00 am Good News

My son was not yet one year old, and I was trying to imagine a work vision statement that would call me forward.   On March 19, 1998, after going deep and evaluating everything I felt in my heart, gut, and head to be important at that moment in time, these are the words I wrote.  I’ve been carrying them around  on a tattered sheet of paper to every new business meeting I’ve attended since then to keep me focused.

“My work combines my love of writing and my strength in creative ideas to influence others to take action and make a  meaningful difference to improve business performance or enhance quality of life.  I have autonomy to work a schedule that accommodates family commitments.  I enjoy the variety of people I work  with, many of whom share my love of the creative process.  Team members value the contribution I make.  I enjoy work I do from my home office, using the skills I have spent my career developing:  writing, marketing, advertising, public relations, special event planning, public speaking, etc.   I don’t have to go to an office everyday and deal with office politics.   The work I do impacts the business in a way that counts, either by advancing sales or helping others become more effective so they can advance sales or impact some other meaningful business measurement.  I am paid well enough to fund my interests and aspirations outside of work and enjoy a level of grace in my life.  My son participates and enjoys the activities that he wants to without having to worry about whether or not we can afford it.  We splurge on fresh and distinctive foods more regularly than we do now.  We take special family vacations during which we can see special places and have memorable experiences together.”

It is now 14 years later.   And the vision I typed on that sheet of paper is my reality.  I am known as a  Business Bio Expert and Get Known to Get Paid Mentor.  I serve clients in my own backyard and well beyond who value my contributions to their success.  I get invited to speak often, and I love that.  This somewhat introverted gal gets to work independently without dealing with the chaos and drama of a typical office scenario.   Better groceries are a way of life for us.  Gosh, it’s always been about better groceries for me. 

I attended business school with the idea that I would build a career.   And all the years I worked in corporate life, I never had a good enough reason to consider creating my own business until my son was born.  He was my “why.”   Now, he’s 15.  And my business will celebrate its 12th anniversary this February.  My son, husband, and I have been figuring things out step by step the whole time.  My husband also runs his own business.  It’s been a step by step, deliberate journey for both of us to build businesses that express our specific talents and deliver real value.  Not every step we’ve taken has been perfectly placed.  We’ve made our share of mistakes along the way, and we keep moving forward.

Our son has an appreciation for what it means to work hard to succeed because we’ve been modeling that for him every day.   He chose to enroll in a marketing class at school, and he seems to like it. That makes me smile.

Today I am grateful for the journey we’ve traveled so far.  I am happy that my son gave me a powerful reason to bring my work vision statement to life.

There is more still to learn and accomplish, and I am going to go deep to imagine new specifics to call me forward, and I am going to write them down.  Why?  Because one sheet of paper can be a very powerful guide.  And, the results for staying on the right path really can come true if you keep your eye on the prize.

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