Clarity of purpose and direction is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. To develop your personal clarity or purpose you need to do three things. First, define what success means to you. Second, create a vivid mental image of you as a success. Third, clarify your personal values. Once you define what success means to you personally, I suggest that you develop a clear mental picture of you as a success. This image should be as vivid as you can you make it.
I’m on a plane from Boise to Denver as I write this. I spent the past three days at a workshop on internet marketing hosted by Russell Brunson. It was three days well spent. I learned a lot that can help me make my common sense success message available to more people, helping them achieve the successful life and careers that they want and deserve.
Russell and I agree on a lot of things. In this case, I’d like to focus on one of those points of agreement…
If you want to succeed in your life and career, you need to have a clearly defined sense of purpose and direction.
In the opening session, Russell urged all of us to think beyond our internet product or products and to think about creating an internet business. In order to do this, Russell says that you need to develop an entire sales system. This system should be a long range plan of your offerings, as people who purchase one information product from you, will be likely to purchase more – if these products are made available to them.
As I sat and listened to Russell and his associates speak, I was reminded of one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits – begin with the end in mind.
In other words, develop a clarity of purpose for your career and life. Last week, I did a post on semantics in which I described how you can think of your purpose as your mission in life or your career, and your vision as your direction. You can see that post here.
Your clarity of purpose and direction is where it all begins. As Russell Brunson points out, don’t think in terms of a product, think in terms of a business. I suggest that you don’t think in terms of a job, think in terms of a career.
I was a young guy in 1974. I had just completed a year of service as a VISTA Volunteer and was in my first job with a training and organization development consulting company. We had a few employees, but the majority of our trainers and consultants were independent contractors. These people worked for themselves, contracting their services. I liked this career model. I decided that my vision for my career was to run my own one person consulting business.
At the time, I was 24 with a BA and little work experience. I wasn’t ready to create a profitable business. But I made plans with my end in mind. I furthered my education, getting a Master’s in Communication and a Doctorate in Adult Education and Organization Behavior. My second job was as a trainer for an oil company, my third was as a Manager of Training and Organization Development for a chemical company. My fourth job was as a Director of Organization Development for a very large pharmaceutical company. All of these jobs took me one step closer to opening my own consulting business.
I finally did so in 1988. It took me 14 years, but I styed on the road to achieving my clarity of purpose. 21 years later I’m still at it. My purpose hasn’t changed. I’m still in business for myself, helping others succeed. My direction has changed a little over the years. I do very little training these days, a little consulting, a lot of speaking and a whole lot of coaching.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are clear about the purpose and direction of their lives and careers. They begin with the end in mind. They know where they are going in the long run. I figured out what I wanted in my life when I was 24 years old. I consciously took steps to keep me moving in that direction. I didn’t follow a completed, straight path — I had a few detours and missteps along the way, but I kept heading in the same direction until I achieved what I set out to do. It helps to get clear about what you want out of your life and career early on. However, it’s never too late to start. If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to figure out what you want out of your life and career, chart a path for getting there, and follow that path.
That’s my take on creating your dream and then doing whatever it takes to make it a reality. What’s yours? Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.