Starting at the End

Visualizing writing a marketing book for 2013

Since it is the end of the year, I thought I would share one of my favorite marketing ideas. It is something I have deployed in almost every job I have had since I was a teenager putting away paint cans at Karlin’s Paint Store in Springfield, New Jersey and carried through to my current global marketing position today. 

Start with the end in mind. 

Imagine you are starting a big project that is at the top of your to do list. Now, visualize that the work is completed and you can physically hold it in your hand. It is real. It is right in front of you. The goal is completed - now what will you do with it? This is how I like to tackle top objectives that I have set for myself in the coming New Year. 

An example will help. 

I have decided that in 2013 that one of my personal goals is to publish a marketing book that is written for inexperienced business people looking for marketing advice. My goal is to share stories about my experiences and to extract a key lesson from each story. A physical book (or e-book) will provide me with a new platform, beyond my blog, to mentor and teach about marketing to interested entrepreneurial students, small business owners and others. It is something I have never done so it is a perfect challenge for me. 

Making it Real 
To help encourage, motivate and focus my effort, I have created a mock book (cover and all) that I keep on my desk at home. It allows me to see the end product and to help me keep my eye on my prize. This mock book is a physical representation of something I want to achieve in 2013. It also reminds me that it is never enough to just create something (a product, a brochure, a book, etc.) As I hold this mock book in my hand, it forces me to think how I will market it to my target audience. 

When you are marketing with the end in mind it means you are always thinking about what it will be like when the work is completed. Whether it is video, book or creating a new event, I pretend that I have the finished product in hand and I think about what is next. By mocking up something tangible that I can hold, see or touch, it helps make the idea as real as concrete. My goals has weight, form and substance. 

Some people call this visioning where you create a board (on Pinterest or the real world) of your wishes and desires. I like something I can get my arms around as I imagine what it will feel like to complete this effort. 

At times it may be hard to make a physical representation of your goal, but a little creativity can help. As a teenager, when I worked in the paint store, I was tasked with reorganizing all the paint cans, brushes and stock in the basement. It was a huge job that was going to take much of the summer. I took one small area of this space, and made it immaculate. Everything in order and properly rotated. I took a Polaroid of the finished section and I kept it with me to motivate me what the entire job would look like when I finished. That picture represented the goal and by holding it my hands, it somehow made it achievable. 

By looking backwards, as if the work is completed, it helps me to think about how I’ll measure the success from this project and it keeps me motivated to realize this important goal. 

Try this: Pretend it is December 2013 and you are looking back at your accomplishments for the year. What 3 things are you proud that you achieved? Can you mock up a tangible representation of each goal so it becomes more real than an idea or an item on your to do list? Keep it close by so you see it often and can hold it in your hands. Convert the goal from words to something of weight. 

What are you going to create, invent and accomplish in 2013? Can you find a way to hold it in your hand? 

About Me:

I am a marketing professional with over 30 years of experience creating success. If you enjoy these blog posts, please sign up to receive them in your email or share them with other marketing friends who might be interested in these topics. Sign up with your email at the top of my blog

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