Realizing Your Personal and Professional Vision

By Dan Lionello, an EO Vancouver member president of Padtech Global Sourcing

Have you heard of the Painted Picture concept? It’s a process that helps you explore your truths in order to clearly envision where you want to go in business or life. In business, it’s a vision; a high-level overview of what your company currently is and where it could be. In life, it’s a detailed look at how your life is and how it could be. The physical creation of everything we wish to accomplish begins in the mind; therefore creating a “Painted Picture” is the first important step to achieving the results you desire.

By beginning with the “end in mind,” your Painted Picture becomes a snapshot of the future and allows you to draw a “map” to get there. By focusing on your personal or professional vision and using it as a filter when making decisions, it will guide you to where you want to go. Not only will your Painted Picture allow you to clearly communicate where you want to go to yourself, but it will also communicate to others your intentions so that they can help you get there, too. What’s more, it will allow you to align all of your resources to achieve your vision.

My experience with the Painted Picture concept began in 1998, when Forum mate Brian Scudamore (founder of 1-800-Got-Junk?) had a vision to franchise his Vancouver-based, summer junk removal business. Along with Cameron Herold (then an EOer), the three of us brainstormed all of the possibilities.  Afterward, Brian went to his father’s cabin for a few days of uninterrupted peace, which allowed him to relax his mind and create what he called his “Painted Picture for 2003.” The results of this first Painted Picture are well documented.

I became fascinated with the power of the Painted Picture as a visioning and strategic-planning tool when I saw the results of Brian’s Painted Picture firsthand. I went on to work with him on his first personal Painted Picture, as well as subsequent ones for his company (he paints a new picture for his business every three years). Through this period, I had an interesting convergence of learning events, all of which helped me create my own Painted Picture and set me up for success:

  • I came close to losing my business after the tech meltdown of 2001, and connected with Jim Pattison (a local billionaire and YPO member) for guidance … the first thing he told me was, “If you still have a heartbeat, you’re not dead!”
  • Carey Mobius (another Forum mate) did an accounting intervention, during which I learned to first “define,” then “defend,” the financial model.
  • I joined the local EO board and began learning how the senior board members had succeeded in visioning and executing their businesses.
  • I trained as a strategic-planning facilitator for EO boards, and learned I LOVED the process of facilitation!
  • Tore Steen, a CEO member and former Forum mate, taught me that we all know the answers … we just haven’t allowed ourselves to acknowledge them yet.
  • Jim Collins taught me that if the business isn’t aligned with who you are, then you should change the business … or change what you do in the business so it is aligned!
  • Thanks to Jon Mara, I became aware of my energy equation and began to eliminate activities that took energy away from me; I started to instead focus on those activities that give me energy within my business

Many of us don’t allow ourselves to acknowledge the truths within us.  Change isn’t easy, we all know that, and facing our fears is much harder than the status quo. Elephants are trained by being chained to a post for a period of time so that they get used to the constraint. After a while, the chain is taken off, but the elephants don’t leave the post … they perceive that they are still chained. Each of us has the ability to release our chains if they exist, and then we must move away from the patterns that kept us there in the first place. That’s where a Painted Picture can come into play.

Being aware and knowing where you want to go are the first steps. The battle within is the next, and there are people who will help you along the way. I became one of those people. As I went through all of the learning opportunities, I found myself teaching the Painted Picture to others. Through this experience, I have learned that I enjoy coaching entrepreneurs immensely. I created my first personal Painted Picture years ago, and discovered what I truly wanted for me, my family and my life.  The transformation was not easy by any means, but now I get to work in my highest energy zone and within my unique ability every day. What portion of each day are you in the zone? What does your Painted Picture look like?

Categories: Inspirational


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