If you said “yes” to any of the above
questions keep reading …
There are people who like to be organized, create plans and set goals. Some are A-type personalities (like me) that often have plans for their plans, as well as a mindset to constantly create contingency plans. But there are also other people who choose to reside in the world of unplanned, spontaneous living. My goal in this article isn’t to make a case for either position, but to offer concepts that can be applied to anyone who desires to learn, grow and be inspired by change.
My Pursuit of a 25 Year Transformation
I first heard about the concept of a 25 Year Transformation from the founder of The Strategic Coach®, Dan Sullivan, during a seminar in 2004. He explained how this process allows a person to change their way of thinking so they can see the next 25 years of their life with more opportunity, passion and excitement than any 25 years of the past, regardless of history or age. I remember the older entrepreneurs in the group, in particular, having a range of responses. Some were thinking more about retirement and a golden parachute from their business, and they didn’t necessarily believe that the next 25 years could be their most meaningful. Many of them weren’t even sure they would live 25 years. Much of this thinking came from self-imposed limitations and on expectations set by the world around them.
Determined not to live life this way, in 2005, I began spending a day a week developing my 25 Year Transformation that would take me through 2029. I started to build a strategic process around this and put together a binder to map out everything. There is no set way to go about this, though I am one for practicality and creating a way to directly apply what I learn to my life in a tangible way. My 25 year transformation binder was focused on what I was most passionate about (much of what is stated below actually), as well as perpetual growth planning for the future blessing of my company, Sharp Innovations, Inc. It is exciting to look back 5 years into my transformation and see how much progress has been made from that original plan, and how the journey continues to evolve and become more exciting. I am hopeful that some of the ideas below can help you to begin to create your own 25 year transformation plan (regardless of it being a binder or in some other format). Have fun with the process of dreaming. In doing so I think you will be inspired to lead your business, career and family through a life of new outlook, meaning and purpose. I am glad to help you build your own 25 year transformation or show you examples from mine. If you would like assistance please contact me.
Building Your 25 Year Transformation!
Please keep in mind this is a concept, not a set in science structure that you must follow. It is simply a concept where become specific about dream and life progress planning in areas of your life that you feel drawn to change. Clearly, there is much in life we are not in control of, and as a man of faith I truly know that God is in control of the results in our lives, including my own. I do believe though we are here for a reason and though the river we travel on through our daily business days that we call life (though it is created by God), still holds our part to play out. Our part is rowing the boat my friend. When we stop rowing we stop dreaming. When we stop dreaming growth and a life of deep purpose and meaning becomes much more difficult, and nearly impossible. Furthermore, when you take the passion out of dreaming and growing by having an oppressive structure to follow I think a person is missing the point. I understand this approach is not for everyone. However, I do believe that many business owners (and in reality anyone) can become supercharged to see the next 25 years as more full of hope, opportunity, passion, purpose and meaning if they go through this process. Below are some ideas to help you being the process of creating your 25 year transformation if you chose to embark on one:
- Choose and appropriate time-frame for you! If 25 years freaks you out, then take a different time frame say no less than 3 to 5 years as your starting framework. I believe 25 years is powerful because it stretches a person to look out further than they can really get their hands around easily, and because of that new dreams can be born!
- Create a long-range Business/Career Plan – this can allow you and your key team members to collaborate on new company (could be sister company creation) strategic planning and existing company or company growth idea creation. If your team goes out far enough you can in many cases analyze how a success plan (for older owners most times) can become realized, and how your key leaders can also be given more authority appropriately to strive toward a thriving future for the company(s) and their families.
- Create a bucket list of the top 10, 25, 50 or 100 life goals you have. The number is not as important as being specific when you write them down. They could be places you want to see, things you want to learn, business/career goals, financial goals including giving, etc. You can review this annually to see what progress you have made through your journey.
- Create a set of autonomy funds so you can earmark how you want to earn, save, and spend your money in the future. All things with a specific purpose including money become more meaningful. Some examples are: Free Days Fund, Emergency Fund, Unique Opportunities Fund, Health/Well-Being Fund, Family Care/Support Fund, Creative/Education Fund, The Friendship Fund, Dream Home Fund, Community Fund, Charity/Giving Fund, etc.
- Get the most important people in your life involved in this process – Including your wife, kids, family members, or friends/mentors/coaches that you seek advice from in life. They know you best and can give you good input on your planning and help you gain insight and perspective on your next steps because of how well they know you. They can also be many times more objective being emotionally removed.
- Some other areas I focused in my plan included: spiritual growth, dream planning, charitable giving goals, and a plan to touch people that held special meaning in my life in unexpected and on-going ways.
Finding Inspiration for Your 25 Year Transformation
I have a dear friend named Dick who, though he is around 70-years-old, has an inspiring zeal for life. I play ice hockey with him and marvel how he outworks kids a third of his age and provides inspiration to players of all ages. He is much like my 91-year-old grandmother who has faced a life of burden, including the recent passing of her husband, yet she looks at life through the lens of faith, realizing she is here for a purpose. She continues to make her life about bringing beauty to everyone around her before focusing on her own needs (this is the selfless “agape” love of the Bible). There are many others I have met like Dick and my grandmother, and I bet if you look at your own life, you know beautifully courageous people like them. I challenge you to join those who focus on living a life of increased meaning and purpose. I dare you to dream about your 25 Year Transformation (both professionally/personally) and begin to take action on it today. If you ever have any questions or want to discuss how to best approach this in your life, please let me know.
I help my coaching clients focus on matters like these so they can see their business become more efficient, profitable and scalable, if desired. I also help them achieve better balance professionally and personally so they can see their business truly work to support their life purpose and vision. If you want to find out more about how this could be leveraged in your world, or if you want to discuss a business problem you are facing, feel free to contact me or call me at 717-615-2274.You are also welcome to share this article or other resources found on my blog. Feel free to contact me if you or an associate would like to join my blog or receive this article as a PDF.