You've read or watched The Lord of the Rings, yeah?
In it, there's a singular goal that pulls a disparate group of heroes together for an incredible mission: destroy the ring.
Similarly, we can find the "one ring to rule them all" for our own purposes, one that pulls people into OUR mission, and informs the actions we take on a day-to-day basis.
For our purposes, this "ring" or "mission" is our vision that we have for ourselves and our businesses.
First, let's identify the qualities of a "Ring", a vision that will guide us for the forseeable future:
- Clear, measurable outcome
- Motivates you to keep going no matter what's at stake
- Pulls people in to join you on your mission
- At times may seem impossible
This week I realized that I was doing all of these different things - posting to Twitter, writing "atomic essays", connecting with other creators, thinking about new products, etc. etc. etc...
And I was getting nowhere.
Then I was reminded of this concept of a singular vision - a "one ring to rule them all".
I asked myself "why am I doing all these things?"
The answer I had at the time was, "I have no idea. Growth, maybe?"
Not inspiring, to say the least.
I realized that I'd never settled on an overarching vision. I hadn't found my "one ring" yet.
So I set out to do so, and in the process found a way that anyone could find their own. (I'll talk about why you would even want to in a second.)
Clear, Measureable Outcome
What was I really trying to accomplish through all of this activity? Why did I want to try and grow my reach online, why did I have this desire to create products and services, why wouldn't my brain ever shut off?
I realized that what I wanted was to contribute, to impact the lives of others who were struggling.
Specifically: artists, creators, and entrepreneurs who have the passion and the skillset, but don't yet have the systems and the foundation of a resilient, profitable business.
Taking it one step further, the reason that I wanted to do that was because I've seen too many creative & artistic friends struggle or give up completely, which means the world doesn't get to benefit from their genius, from their contribution.
With that clarity of purpose in hand, I could decide on a measurable outcome.
I want to become an influential person, someone who is able to change people's lives for the better, in very specific ways.
How would I measure that? 10,000 email subscribers.
I chose this metric because it's a combination of everyone (like yourself) that signed up for the newsletter, or wanted to learn from me through my free email course, or purchased a course from me, etc.
If I could grow the list 10x from where it is now (~1150 people), then I feel like I would be proud of the effort and the impact I've been able to have on a large group of people.
Motivates You To Keep Going
You know when you've landed on a "one ring" type vision for yourself when the energy around your work changes dramatically. I have been up late many nights this week plotting out the strategy (yes, that's how my mind works, strategy first!) for how I was going to reach this goal.
New ideas kept popping up, but now they had context for how they fit into helping me accomplish the greater mission.
I get up early excited to start work so that I can use every available minute to make progress toward this goal and make sure that is is accomplished.
Even when things are hard - schedule changes, interruptions, other work obligations - I'm not deterred, because that greater vision is driving me more effectively than other forms of motivation or inspiration.
Pulls People In To Join You On The Mission
I was so worried over the last few months about bringing new course partners in to make a course on Craftsman Creative because the "system" wasn't perfect yet.
But with this new context, again, I was able to overcome that fear and set up a cold-email outreach system (yes, another system!), which had a 35% response rate, where 10% of those people scheduled a call, and 100% of the calls turned into a YES!
I was able to speak to each of these potential partners about the big vision I had of reaching 10,000 people, and they eagerly wanted to join and bring their skills to the table.
At Times, May Seem Impossible
One of the signals that I KNOW I'm on the right track with this big vision is that it, at times, feels impossible.
How am I going to 10x the amount of people I've influenced in only 5 months?
(Yeah, I set the goal for 12/31/2021...)
It requires that I constantly remind myself of the bigger vision, tap into the resources I have with my mindset, my skillset, my partnerships, and anything else I can find.
It means that I have to keep going and be consistent in the effort.
It means I have to track my efforts so that I can do more of what works and less of what doesn't.
That consistent effort + constant improvement will inevitably lead me to the goal.
Lucky for me, there isn't as much as stake as there was for the fellowship of the ring, but it's an important mission nonetheless.
Whatever you're working on, ensure that it is getting you closer to your big vision for yourself and your business. If not, then let it go, as it's just a distraction. Refocus on what matters and the bigger mission.
Want to help me on my mission? You can share this newsletter with anyone you think would benefit from it each week using the links below.