Change Catalyst with Shanna Mann: Strategy & Support for Sane Self-Employment

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Not Sure How to Make Your Vision a Reality? Here’s What To Do.

The thing I like best about my client is that have big visions. I like big visions. They’re my version of skydiving.

Big visions have a unique set of problems associate with them, though.

1. They’re intimidating. Like standing at a the foot of a mountain, looking at the peak you plan to climb, your primary thought might simply be, “Look at the size of that sucker!” It can be easy psych yourself out.

2. They’re motivating in the abstract, but in the moment, they’re less compelling than, say, watching The Daily Show

3. There’s no clear, self-evident way to get from point A to point B. Nope, it looks like you’ll need to bushwack. And bushwacking? Well, let’s just say you’d have to be a little crazy not to be looking for an easier way.

So big visions are intimidating, unmotivating, and don’t have a clear-cut solution. But that’s why they’re so much fun. They’re like a puzzle box!

To Solve the Puzzle:

Write a long description of your vision. You want at least a page, and two would be ideal. Keep writing. Write about how this vision affects other aspects of your life, such as relationships or spirituality. Most of all, write about how it feels to live this vision. Serene? Exciting? The feeling is the most important aspect.

Identify the Essentials and the Nice-to-Haves

Now, look at the specifics of your vision. Reflect. Which ones are absolutely *essential* to feeling the way you want to feel? Some, like “working for myself” might be a hard requirement for a feeling of ‘independence’ and ‘like I can decide where and how I want to spend my time.’

But something like, “I will be earning $80K/yr” might be a “nice to have”, especially when you refine what that $80k supposedly buys you, like “I’ll be able to go on three three-week vacations per year” or, “I’ll be able to pay for yard service so I don’t have to mow the lawn”. Especially differentiate the ‘nice to haves’ that are just one of many possible ways for you to have what you want.

People often think they know what they want; ‘I want to be happy.’ ‘I want supportive and healthy relationships.’ But in concrete, real world terms, they have no idea what that means. It’s like getting your heart set on having a Victorian house. Why do you want a Victorian house? Lots of reasons. They’re usually in stately old neighbor hoods with mature gardens and big trees. They have high ceilings and exquisite craftsmanship. Most of all, they have a certain elegance and graciousness to them that you want to associate with.

So sure, you could save up and buy a nice Victorian. But maybe a Craftsman-style home would make you just as happy. Maybe a loft in an old refinery would be good, as long as it was near a park. There are LOTS of ways to be happy, so don’t get fixated on any one.

Pick a Path and Start Walking

Ok, so now you have your vision. You know the reasoning behind your vision. But here you are, still stuck in park. You have even more choices than before! Oh no, now you’re even more paralyzed!


Having made the point that there are lots of ways to be happy, and to get what you want, I hope that’s taken the pressure off of you to make the Right Choice. There’s not just One True Path that you must not forsake at any cost. There’s a plethora of ways to get there. All you have to do is get moving. You don’t even have to make sure that it’s in the right direction.

You just have to pick a likely direction. Big visions don’t have straight paths associated with them, remember? If you get to a better vantage point, you can adjust. But get moving.

Do you have a story about the zigzagged road to an unlikely outcome? Share in the comments!