How your vision becomes reality

In a new year full of personal resolutions and business visions, Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes, has found a way to transform those visions into reality.

When our resolutions—and our corporate vision statements—are vague, they are only airy hopes, he says. “Without a plan so clear that it can be seen almost as a movie in one’s head, such resolutions will sputter,” Karlgaard wrote in the January 19 issue of Forbes.

Karlgaard summarizes the advice of businessman Cameron Herold. Herold, like many others in business and sports, used visualization techniques—what he calls “vivid visions”—to increase sales of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? from $2 million to $125 million.

“A vivid vision starts when an entrepreneur, founder or CEO plants one foot in the present and then leans out and places the other in the future, the ‘what could be,’” wrote Herold. Find a remote, quiet, inspiring place, take a pad and pencil, and imagine your success in the next three years: every aspect of it, in detail. 

To help, Herold offers a free “Vivid Vision Checklist” at He recommends sketching out 1,000 to 1,500 words. But don’t stop there. Hire a professional writer to make the words pop and a graphic artist to make it look good, says Herold.

“Your vision won’t help your company if others don’t see it as vividly as you do. Too many CEOs expect others to see the movie in their head. Well, that’s impossible. You have to make the movie available and vivid to everybody.”

Put it on your website. Take laminated copies to board and executive meetings. Start your meetings by asking executives to read aloud from it. 

It should act like a magnet, attracting people who are committed to your vision and repelling those who aren’t. That commitment is what will transform your vision into reality.