Matt Corker, Futurpreneur Canada Mentor,, Vancouver, BC

I am addicted to my to-do lists. I like to get things done efficiently and move on to what’s next. I set goals and I go after them relentlessly. I love breaking things down into sequenced processes.

Do step 1 first, then step 2, and then step 3.

As I mentor young entrepreneurs, I see this addiction in them as well. They get wrapped up in doing things in the right order in the right way. They let their to-do lists takeover and their process begins to take precedence over the results they were driving for.

To help prevent these driven leaders from burning out, I do a visualization exercises to take them to the point in time when they are already successful. Maybe that’s 5 years from now, maybe its 5 months from now. I ask them to put themselves in a future where they can envision and experience their ultimate success.

I ask questions such as:

a)     What accomplishment are you celebrating at this time?

b)     What does that feel like to you?

c)     What are your customers/suppliers saying about you?

d)     What is different about the world around you because of what you’ve created?

e)     What is different about your life because of what you’ve created?

That list goes on. The intention of each question is to give them an opportunity to get out of their day-to-day tasks and envision the future they are in the process of creating. Seeing their future through the eyes of their customer, their suppliers, their partners, or their families can also help them see the greater impact their work has on those around them.

I call this step 5.

Some may call this process vision setting, or strategic forecasting, or long-term goal setting, all of which are correct. But for the to-do list addicts, I call this step 5 so they can see that this future is not an unattainable dream, but a result of the actions they take every single day. This creates a level of determination, a resilience, and perspective that can help keep entrepreneurs moving forward – even on the less-than-awesome days.

As a mentor, I want to help entrepreneurs see their success and support them as they drive towards it. Sometimes the first thing to do is start at step 5.

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