Cast a vision

This week, I’ve been reading Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership–which, as a side note, I highly recommend for all you small business owners out there–and I’ve been really struck by his focus on vision and goals. If you can’t tell from our social media pages, I’m a goal-oriented person; I live my life by to-do lists I carefully make out on 3×5 cards, so I really appreciated his rich discussion on goals.

But I was challenged by his articulation of vision. As a business owner, I run Quill Pen with a particular mission and vision in mind. Like most businesses, we want to turn a profit, of course, but that’s not why we’re in business. (If I were merely motivated by money, I would stick with my comfortable job in Corporate America.) When it comes down to it, I run this company because I love books, I’m inspired by up-and-coming writers, and I think it’s an exciting time to be in indie publishing. And to serve our writers, I have a very specific vision for the future of Quill Pen.

But the more I thought about it, the more certain I became that this principle goes beyond the world of business. You can apply it to your writing career. Uncovering why you write, why you engage with your fans on social media, and why you invest the time and money into publishing your book can help direct your painstakingly crafted to-do list. So take a few minutes to think big picture. Why do you write? What do you want your writing career to look like in twenty years? What’s your vision? And don’t be afraid to dream big.

Once you figure out your vision–and make sure to put it in writing–think about all of your short-term goals through that lens. Does each item on your list help you get closer to your goal, or is it busy work? Once you’ve implemented this system, live into it. Fight for that vision, and watch as you reap the rewards of steady, focused determination.

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