One of the most important business books I’ve ever read in my career is Vivid Vision by Cameron Herold.
When I first heard the Vivid Vision concept I had just started Conscious Copy & Co., and I was a company of ONE. Believe it when I say, I created my first Vivid Vision having NO IDEA how I was going to make it happen.
All I knew was that I was totally in love with what I had dreamed up! (More on this later…)
If you’re not familiar, a Vivid Vision is a document where you paint the picture of what you want your company to look like three years into the future as if it’s already happened.
You describe what your sales and marketing look like, what media you’re featured in, the kinds of clients or customers you’re attracting, and the key parts of your team and culture as if it’s already happened.
It’s not a plain mission statement–it’s a living document that can help:
Attract people to your business who are just as excited about the vision as you are.
Get your current team aligned with your goals.
Keep you focused and motivated even in the most challenging circumstances.
At Conscious Copy & Co., we’ve helped 350+ entrepreneurs create their Vivid Vision so they can inspire their teams, attract top talent, and get partners/vendors/customers enrolled in where they were headed.
However, there are a few common mistakes that can come up, which I’d like to share with you now, so you can avoid them when creating your very own Vivid Vision.
Vivid Vision Writing Mistake #1: Trying To Write Before You’ve Mind Mapped
A mistake we’ll sometimes see entrepreneurs and CEOs make is jumping into the writing of their Vivid Vision but getting stuck because the ideas aren’t fully fleshed out.
What we recommend is to start with a mind map. We have a process at Conscious Copy called the Vivid Vision Mind Map™ where we share the different areas of your business that you will want to gain clarity around when it comes to your three-year Vision.
The idea is writing short bullet points to just get your ideas down. Once you begin to get clarity and are feeling confident of what you have then you begin the writing process.
When we work with businesses to create their Vivid Vision, we’ll ask them: “What do you want your business to look like?”
“I don’t know,” they usually say.
What we’ve found is oftentimes confusion is a sneaky cover-up for avoidance.
If we “don’t know” what we want, then we don’t have to take action… so we stay stuck.
But if you want to gain more clarity, just think about one portion of your business, and don’t make mistake #3, which is getting stuck on the how (more on that in a moment).
For example, consider your culture. In three years, what do you want your culture to look like, in real life terms? Do you:
Step into a bright building to see your team members communicating with one another openly, walking in and out of each other’s offices to solve problems, creating an environment of openness and commitment?
Have monthly or annual team building meetings, which all members are excited to attend, and celebrate the wins everyone accomplished?
Know that everyone on the team feels valued and respected, having people thank you privately for honoring their hard work and making them feel heard during meetings or group activities?
Once you see how easy it is to tap into the vision you have for one part of your business, then it becomes easier to gain clarity on your vision as a whole!
Vivid Vision Mistake #2: You’re Afraid You’re Going to Put A Cap Your Vision So You Don’t Start Writing It At All
We see this one all the time with high-achieving entrepreneurs.
You have this great big vision, but…
You think, “What about all of the things I don’t even know are possible? If I write this down, am I limiting myself to this vision when there may be something that’s way bigger and better waiting for me?”
You’re not alone. This is super common.
It’s not capping you at only being able to achieve what you write down, it’s providing a structure of support for the future so you have a direction to go in.
There are many of our clients who crafted their three-year vision and ended up achieving most of it in a year or two, and then began to create something even bigger.
In this post, we shared an example of a law firm who wanted to increase their caseload to 75 cases a month, but one of the partners thought it was too much.
Another partner told him not to worry about how, and to stick with the vision, and they actually put 150 cases a month in their Vivid Vision!
Don’t worry about whether it’s too much or not enough, just write what you’d love.
Vivid Vision Mistake #3: Getting Stuck On The How
This is where most entrepreneurs get stuck when they write a Vivid Vision.
In Cameron Herold’s book Vivid Vision, he shares how important it is to avoid this mistake:
Look at the road in front of you. Don’t focus on how you’ll make it happen. When I was COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? I was, by choice, never a participant in the process of creating what Brian called his “Painted Picture” (Vivid Vision) because I was the “how” person. In contrast, the company’s founder, Brian Scudamore, was the “where” person: he looked at the road ahead to see where he wanted it to go. If I’d been involved in crafting his vision for that company, I’d have gotten in the way by constantly thinking about how we’d make it happen. Now I know how to get out of the way of progress and stop asking “how?” all the time.
When you get caught up in the how, you can potentially stop yourself from creating a Vivid Vision that truly expresses what you want.
For example, your headquarters: What do you want them to look and feel like?
Here’s what we helped one of our Vivid Vision clients come up with:
Two miles to the east of the Cumberland River’s still water, along the brick sidewalks of downtown Clarksville, there’s a preserved building from the early 1900s that marks the confluence of commerce and conscience. The modern and minimalist interior reflects the progressive ideas being produced. There are no corner offices to satisfy egos. This is a business hub, a place for people to connect, and is another resource for those who make up its ecosystem. Anyone who needs it can pop in and use what we’ve built to make deals happen. Investors love coming in to meet with us. They can feel the energetic buzz within the walls, as ideas are formed, shared, acted upon, and turned into reality.
They didn’t stop to ask how, they just told us what they wanted, and where they wanted it.
EXTRA CREDIT: If these limiting thoughts creep up when you write your Vivid Vision, take a moment and acknowledge them, then…
Amplify your vision!
If you want to grow to $10M in revenue, but you’re absolutely unsure of how you would get there, remember, it will help you to break out of the how and stretch your vision muscle 🙂
Vivid Vision Mistake #4: Not Being In Love With The Vision
When you get your Vivid Vision on paper, and it doesn’t fill you with excitement, inspiration, and drive you to want to go out and turn it into a reality…
Chances are, no one will feel that way about it either.
If you’re not in love with your vision, there could be a couple things happening:
You’re Still Unclear Of Your Vision
This is common. A lot of entrepreneurs know there’s a vision inside their mind that wants to come out, but it feels impossible to say or write. If that’s you, try the tips in this post here on how to write your Vivid Vision, or…
Have A Conscious Copy Visioneer Walk You Through
The Vivid Vision Process™
And Make Your Company Vision A Reality, Faster
You’re Sharing The Vision You Think You Should Be
This is similar to capping your vision. Sometimes, if you’re not in love with the vision you’ve put on paper, it’s because you’re not being true to yourself.
Maybe you played it safe, or wrote something you thought your partners/investors/customers/team wanted, but it doesn’t reflect what YOU really envision.
It’s important to remember that this is YOUR vision, not anybody else’s. The first person who needs to be enrolled is YOU.
Once people see how clear you are of your vision, and how fired up by it you are, they’ll be attracted to it—but it starts with YOU.
Vivid Vision Mistake #5: Having Your Internal Team Write It With You
Cameron Herold says in the book Vivid Vision is that the CEO or entrepreneur is the one responsible for writing the vision down.
Once we had a client that incorporated a lot of his team’s feedback in the writing process, and by the time they were through with the vision, it was less than 20% of what he originally imagined.
It was full of everyone else’s ideas for what they wanted the company to look like.
But YOU are the holder of the vision; you are the leader of your company.
That’s why hiring an unbiased, external team to help draw the vision out of you can help you express what’s in your head, without it becoming watered down.
Vivid Vision Mistake #6: Hiring The Wrong Writer Who Doesn’t Understand The Point And Process
Some entrepreneurs make the decision to outsource their vision to a writer, only to get it back and feel even worse about it than when they tried to do it themselves!
If you want to hire a writer to help you with your vision, here’s what we recommend:
1. Avoid Hiring Randomly
You might think that hiring someone from Upwork, or a writer you know, is the best route. However, if the writer you pay to write your Vivid Vision isn’t familiar with the process, you’ll end up frustrated.
2. Make Sure They’ve Read Cameron Herold’s Book Vivid Vision
This should seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many businesses just hire writers who aren’t even familiar with Cameron, his book, or the Vivid Vision. When hiring, make sure they know what they’re doing (and if they’ve never read the book, they probably don’t).
3. Ask For Examples
Your best bet when it comes to hiring a writer for your Vivid Vision is to go with someone who’s created one (or more) before! When you find a writer who has, look over the examples and ask yourself these questions: “Is the picture of this business descriptive and inspiring?” “Does this feel like a document that would excite employees/clients/customers/investors/partners?”
Vivid Vision Mistake #7: Not Taking Action
The biggest mistake of them all!
It’s not uncommon for some business owners to get so overwhelmed that they decide not to do a Vivid Vision.
Whether you write it yourself, or have an expert guide you through the process, a Vivid Vision can radically change how you do business.
The Power Of A Vivid Vision
Remember when I shared about crafting my own Vivid Vision when I started Conscious Copy & Co.?
Well, three years later, almost everything came true!
I wrote that I’d love to have a team of 10 people where everyone felt like family.
I also wrote that I was working with some of the top thought leaders in the online business and personal development space.
People like Joe Polish, Dan Suillivan, JJ Virgin, Brendon Bruchard and all these others I had no connection with at the time.
Within 6 months, I started working with some of those people.
And I remember a surreal moment at one of our team retreats, where I looked around and counted exactly 10 team members…
It was like a snapshot of exactly what I wrote in my vision.
We’ve now written two Vivid Visions for my company and my team and I have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs create their own.
The Vivid Vision is the most important document your company might be missing, and just imagine your future if:
You double, triple, or even 10x your revenue…
Systems and processes are so tight that when you leave on family vacation you know you don’t have to check your phone because everything is running smoothly…
Your company is listed as a Top Place To Work and written up in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, etc…
You have a self-managing team with top talent that takes just as much responsibility in growing your company as you do…
Investors are so bought into your vision that they’re happy to hand over the funding you need to scale faster…
You create a powerful legacy that will live on and impact team members, clients, and the community for years to come…
If you’re ready to turn your vision into a reality, and you want to know more about how The Vivid Vision Process™ works…