World -class athletes, when training for an event like the Olympics, spend considerable time mentally preparing and visualizing their performance. Startup founders should do the same thing, only mentally thinking about their future success and documenting it via a painted picture. A painted picture is not a visual, photo-oriented representation of goals but rather a vivid written description of what things look like three years in the future.
Tony Robbins advocates writing your goals down on sticky notes and putting them on your bathroom mirror so that you see them first thing every morning. Cameron Herold advocates making your painted picture the autoresponder email text when someone applies for a job at your company so that they are either excited or repulsed by what you want to do.
Here are some tips for your startup’s painted picture:
- One or more founders should write it on their own
- Don’t make it group think with every word massaged by different team members
- Describe every aspect of the company, team, product, office, business model, etc so that the three year vision is completely clear
- Shoot for one to four pages in length
- Laminate the painted picture and hand it out to every employee, vendor, partner, etc
Painted pictures for startups are a powerful way to visualize the future and align expectations for everyone involved. Once the mind knows the future it automatically starts working backwards to get there.
What else? What are your thoughts on painted pictures for startups?