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Entrepreneur Mindset

How to Start with the End in Mind: Key Elements You Need to Achieve Your Biggest Business Goals and Your Greatest Vision

Years ago, I was part of a group of up and coming entrepreneurs and we were excited about learning how to run a successful, profitable online business from the leader of the group (he happened to be a world-famous entrepreneur).

I clearly remember him asking, “Who wants to know how I got a million-dollar book deal?” 

Every hand in the room shot up and he said…

“Three years ago I asked myself what I needed to do to get a multi-million dollar book deal? What did I need to put in place? Then I focused on taking action and building that.”

It was a super simple answer and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was blown away by the truth of it.

There was no “insider secret,” “ultimate hack” or “no-fail formula.” And certainly no “magical thinking.”

It wasn’t complicated or hard to understand. It was about having a clear vision or goal and then going for it step by step.

In other words, he started with the end in mind and he kept going until he got what he wanted.

Why Start with the End in Mind Fails

Getting “start with the end in mind” to work for you is about reverse engineering a path to the ultimate outcome.

What this means is you have to hold your goal or vision in your mind and then look back over your shoulder and think about the actions, tasks and steps that are going to lead you to that vision.

Basically, this is about getting clear about what you want, then identifying how you need to show up, what you need to do and who you need to be in order to realize your vision or goal.

So, I’ve found that a lot of people never get close to what they want because they don’t complete that all-important first step…

Getting clear — really clear — on what they want in the first place.

I see this all the time with wannabe entrepreneurs.

They have this dream of becoming their own boss and so they quit their job.

They don’t really know what they’re actually going to do in their business… they have no idea what the business is going to be about, if they’re going to sell a product or service and who they’re going to sell to.

And, because they don’t have a clear vision it leads to missteps, mistakes and missed opportunities.

At Live Your Message, we have an proven, effective way to overcome common roadblocks people face when they try to put start with the end in mind to work in their business. It’s a method that’s based on our Experience Formula, which is about gamifying/experiencifying your business — and life — goals.

It’s a simple but powerful framework with just 2 key elements…

Key Element #1 Mission 

Key Element#2 Your Future Self

When you have these elements in place, you’ll have a bird’s eye view that gives you the clarity you need to create your unique path to your destination.

The Start with the End in Mind Framework

Okay so let’s start with your Mission and it’s basically the “what” or the “end” that you need to have in mind. 

It’s the destination or “win state” you want to get to – this could be a specific goal (like getting a big book deal) or your overall vision for your business.

Then, we have your Future Self and this is the vision of who you’ll become in order to make your Mission a reality.

Your Future Self is a big part of the “why” behind your Mission and it’s the driving force that fuels your motivation to get to your destination or the win state. 

So now that you know the key elements, let’s take it for a test run.

First, let’s come up with a great Mission. It needs to cover what winning looks like and it’s essentially the specific goal or “end” that you’re going to say yes to.

So, let’s say you’re dreaming of starting your own business but you’re stuck at a boring 9 to 5 gig at the moment. A great starter Mission for you might go like this…

“To get paid to do what I love and fully replace my work income with my business income within 1-2 years.”

 Now let’s look at the Element #2 — your Future Self.

This is about finding the “why” behind your mission and it’s about seeing a clear picture of what reaching your Mission will allow you to do and be and have.

Identifying your Future Self will let you see the true impact, transformation and result of achieving your Mission and the changes you’re going to see in your life and within yourself.

And when you get clear on these elements  — Mission and Future Self — you can start to map out the action steps you need to take to build a new business that can replace your paycheck within 2 years.

This is our powerful, actionable “start with the end in mind” framework you can use again and again to achieve just about any goal or vision no matter how big or out of reach it feels right now.

The Journey is Just as Important as the Destination

the journey matters as much as the destinationWhen you start with the end in mind, it’s important to know that the journey is just as important (sometimes more important) than the destination.

What this means is how you feel, and who you become (your Future Self) is just as important as getting to the end result.

So circling back to our example…

It’s not just about replacing your paycheck with your business income within 2 years, it’s also about why you want to start a business in the first place.

The truth is way too many people don’t have a reason that’s strong enough to keep them motivated and inspired as they work toward their goal.

And if you don’t have a good reason, and you’re not really sure why you want what you want, you’ll start to drift away from your Mission when things get challenging…

And when that happens, Mission and your Future Self will forever remain out of reach.

What’s Awesome About This…

In case you’re wondering…

I’m in the middle of my own “start with the end in mind” journey 🙂

My current Mission is to scale Live Your Message to 20 million dollars a year, in the next 5 years.

And my “why” is to have the resources and team we need to realize our company mission of reinventing online education around the world so results and engagement become the norm and not the exception.

Hitting this goal will allow us to invest in the marketing we need to reach more people — including audiences that are currently out of our reach — and hire a world-class leadership team, which frees me to work exclusively in my genius zone and focus on creating an extraordinary experience for every single person who steps into our world.

Of course I didn’t start Live Your Message with a massive 20 million dollar a year Mission. I started with something much smaller… much like the first example I shared with you. 

I simply wanted to replace my $50K/year salary with $50K/year in business income.

And that’s what’s awesome about “start with the end in mind”…   once you achieve your Mission, you get to set a new mission for yourself.

Once you master the process of starting with the end in mind, you’ll be able to use it for all kinds of work and life projects both big and small.

Keep in mind…

No matter what you decide your Mission is, no matter what you envision your Future Self to be, it all begins with your first step, it all begins where you are right here, right now.

So I’m curious,  what’s YOUR Mission right now?  

If it’s got something to do with building a profitable business that aligns with your values and gifts and skills, then I’ve got your back 🙂

Start with You  is a one-of-a-kind training that gives you crystal clarity on the business you’re meant to build and not just the business you can build.

With Start with You you’ll learn how to: 

  • Identify your True North Business: one that will be both personally fulfilling and profitable.
  • Know what you’re really meant to do in the world and who specifically you’re meant to serve.
  • Have 3 compelling ways to express exactly what you do with clarity and confidence.
  • Know the exact next steps to move the needle in your business every day, week, and month moving forward — while feeling truly fulfilled.
  • The support you need to follow through (even when the going gets tough)

 You’ll also get incredible bonuses to support you including six weekly group coaching calls and direct personal feedback from a trained Live Your Message Master Coach.

Get Start with You Now

Before you go…

What’s a personal or business “Mission” that you’d love to get done in the next year or two? 

Share in the comments so I can cheer you on!

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Dudley Hirata

    Excellent ideas galore!!

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks! I hope you put them in action… 🙂

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

What's the Business You're Truly Meant to Build?

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