Form a Powerful Vision of your Future Self
“I am not yet able, as the Delphic inscription has it, to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things.” – Socrates from Plato’s Phaedrus
Know thyself. Wise words that have survived the ages.
These words are more relevant today than ever before. With social media trolls competing to influence how you see the world, to their benefit, a little introspection can go a long way.
Knowing yourself is key to developing a powerful vision for your future self.
This lesson is about looking inward to your past experiences, both good and bad, to come up with an online business strategy that honors the unique aspects of your life journey.
Finding your Vision
The Vision Exercises begin with a series of questions that will generate some fuel (data) to feed your lateral thinking processes.
You will generate ideas that are based on your own unique background and experiences. Feel free to come up with your own variations of the questions and lists.
There may be some overlap in your answers to the questions, which is okay. Just create lists of answers to the questions without feeling restricted in any way. You can weed out duplicate ideas later.
In some cases the same experience or idea may have more than one aspect to it that you may find helpful. Some of the questions are similar, but different enough that they may prompt you to generate some different answers.
It may be the connection of 2 or more of the ideas you generate below that will help you to carve out an Online Business niche that makes complete sense for you. Okay, let’s get started!
1. What good life experiences have shaped your view of the world?
Later on you can consider ways to double down on the good and help others to realize similar experiences. Expanding your life into areas that have worked well for you in the past can be a good starting point for an online business.
2. What bad life experiences have shaped your view of the world?
Later on you can consider how you overcame them, which may lead to ideas for helping others overcome similar problems. This is a potent life path for many.
Maybe you haven’t overcome your bad life experiences yet. Maybe it is time to overcome them and document your journey on your blog.
People are more attracted to powerful stories than they are to gurus who claim to have all the answers. Think in terms of “turning your mess into your message.”
3. What are you good at?
Consider focusing on your strengths and avoiding or outsourcing your areas of weakness. Exploiting strengths is generally more productive than trying to improve on weaknesses.
Strengths in this context are not just your specific skills, but also your qualities. This could include things like creativity, great at analyzing details, or leadership.
For example, maybe you were captain of your football team at school, and all your teammates followed you heart and soul.
If you aren’t doing something with your life now that taps into your leadership skills, then perhaps it is time to consider how you could make that happen.
4. What do you enjoy doing?
Following your passion can definitely work. Just keep in mind this is only one of many lists you will create here. The entire process may help you uncover things you could become even more passionate about, that may be better suited to making a living.
5. How are you different or unique, or how do others perceive you as different or uniquely qualified.
These are typically things that energize you rather than deplete you. Becoming more of who you are can lead to great breakthroughs in developing a sustainable life path.
Sometimes you can get further faster by focusing on what makes you different from others, rather than focusing on what makes you better than others.
In the business world they refer to this as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). With a little thought this can lead to a path that is much easier for you to achieve.
Becoming the best at something and convincing people you are better is very difficult. Pointing out how you are different and how that can benefit others can be easier.
6. How have you helped others in the past?
List the kinds of things people tend to seek or accept your help for. Don’t include times where you have given help or advice that has been ignored.
You are looking for areas where your contributions have had an impact. This can include times where people have “stolen your ideas”, or taken your help or advice and not given you credit for it.
Others imitating you is not only the sincerest form of flattery, it is a sign that you have something of value that others want.
If one or two people have wanted it in the past, the Digital Age offers tools to scale that up to help hundreds or even thousands of people solve the same or similar problems.
7. What are some past successes that you felt good about?
You may be able to build on them or do similar things. List also the things that you feel led to the successes: your habits, activities, relationships etc.
If you feel certain good habits led to those successes, consider if you still employ those same habits now. If not, could you resurrect them?
8. What recurring problems would you like to eliminate from your life that may even make you angry when you think about them?
Similar to bad life experiences, this could lead to a life of solving these kinds of problems for the benefit of others, and making a living at the same time.
9. What are you grateful for?
Include things you may not be totally happy with yet, like an old car that you want to replace but still gets you where you want to go.
Be grateful for partial victories that are taking you in the right direction. Later on you can consider ways to take it from good to very good.
Perhaps something you are grateful for is a thing that others desperately want to have in their lives. Later on you can consider ways to help them get it.
10. Who do you admire and why?
Aspects of what others have accomplished may be possible for you too. Give yourself the freedom to think big.
If they did it maybe you can do it too (or something similar). You may even be able to come up with connection ideas by combining people you admire.
For example, I might say I want to take the best attributes from Anthony Robbins, Steve Jobs and my Mom, and consider where that might take me.
A motivational coach & high tech design genius that makes an awesome apple pie anyone? If you think that sounds like a bad idea, that’s probably because it is.
However, with a little lateral thinking, even bad ideas can lead you to better ideas when you do your overall analysis later.
11. Who would you never want to be like and why?
Of course everyone has redeeming qualities, even if they aren’t obvious to you. Adding people to this list doesn’t mean you think they are all bad.
Focus on the aspects you would not want to emulate and why. If you don’t feel comfortable naming the people, just focus on the qualities they have that you don’t want to emulate.
Knowing what you don’t want to become can provide clarity later. Draw some lines in the sand for yourself here!
12. What reasons do you give yourself for not making significant changes in your life?
This may turn into a long list of reasons why you think you cannot succeed. This is the one list where you can let your negativity shine through.
These are problems you need to solve before you can move forward. Find ways to overcome these things so you can reach your goals.
Then, if it fits with your ultimate Vision, help others do the same.
More Input for your Lists
To further refine your ideas at this point, review my 659 Profitable Niche Markets guide.
In addition to listing the 659 Profitable Niche Markets, the guide also describes the top 7 categories for making money online.
Revisit the lists you have generated so far with that in mind. It may help clarify a direction that makes sense for you. One that combines your unique skills and background with profit potential.
Consider writing your lists up on cue cards so you can mix and match, to consider which things could fit together as “connection ideas”.
It can be much easier to differentiate yourself with a combination of ideas that make sense for you.
For example, in the book I wrote I combine my experiences in the following areas:
- 10 years of online business experience
- 1 year teaching adults in a classroom setting
- Professional project management experience
How to Use Your Results
In Lesson 3 you will take the lists you just generated to organize and prioritize your connection ideas. In Lesson 4 you will learn how to evaluate the profit potential of each idea or combination of ideas.
Today’s Homework Assignment:
Join a Like-Minded Community
“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
I recommend this knowledgeable community dedicated to making money online, and helping each other out along the way.
They interact with Live Chat and discussion areas that are integrated into the different sections of the community website.
For example, their training section on choosing a good niche market is highly relevant to what you just learned here in Lesson 2.
There is plenty of discussion at the end of that section where people are comparing the online business ideas/niches they are considering.
They say the best way to improve yourself is to stand by the smartest person in the room, and if that person is you, then you are in the wrong room!
This online community is a good room to stand in to soak up the knowledge of those that are a few steps ahead of where you are.
Having the support of a like-minded community can make a big difference. It is free to join.
Lesson 1 – The “Critical Steps” to realize your Online Business Destiny
Copyright © 2018 – Bradley (Brad) Morgan
Please add your questions, comments, or feedback on this Lesson below …