So the other day I was being interviewed for a podcast:
“Anna, can you tell us how you managed to build a million dollar online business in less than 12 months?”
“Well, Brian, the funny thing no one tells you about entrepreneurship is that…”
I have a confession to make. This conversation hasn’t actually happened… YET.
But the “looking back interview” is a tool I have been using for years to help me visualize my goals and work out road maps on how to get there.
By telling my story in hindsight as it will play out before it’s happened, I get clearer on my goals and what it will take to reach them.
If you’re interested in more weirdo methods to help you figure out what you want, keep on reading!
1. Get all your ideas out
The first thing you need to do to figure out what you want is to brain dump all of the ideas that keep circling in your mind.
Get them ALL out there! From becoming the CEO of your company of choice to moving to Bali to work with street dogs.
Think about what you hope for this change to lead to. Our ambitions are all very different and the motivation behind them varies.
From the Silicon Valley “making the world a better place” to “I just want to get paid” or “I’m exhausted and just can’t travel like this any more”- it’s all valid, but the clearer you are on your drive and what you hope to achieve by making your dreams come true, the easier it will be to make it happen.
2. Research and reverse engineer
When you have a few tracks that you want to explore further, it’s time to Ask Google. The goal here is to get as specific as possible, so that you get a better idea of what it will take to get there. By specifying, you can eliminate ideas or put them on the back burner for now.
A good place to start is to look through LinkedIn profiles or feature articles of successful people you admire.
Then it’s time to reverse engineer a path for you and see what is realistic as a next step for you.
3. Challenge your obstacles
When you’ve done the work to see if something is possible in theory, it’s time to challenge the ways you are holding yourself back.
As a coach, my job is to help identify what my clients want (like we’re doing right now!) and work with them through the obstacles that are keeping them from getting there.
You will be surprised how many beliefs, habits and mental blocks may be affecting you from getting what you want.
Another area we focus on is building capacity in your life. One fear many women have about taking on more responsibility is that work will take over their lives and that they won’t have any time or energy left over to take care of their families or themselves.
By systematically delegating, outsourcing and letting go, you will find that you have as many hours in the day as Beyonce.
4. Try on your ideas for a while
When you’ve identified what you want, mapped out a plan to get there, handled mental and practical obstacles from achieving this, it’s time to try on your new job for a while.
This means starting to imagine yourself living this life already now. What will you days look like? How will it feel? What will you be doing during the day and what will you achieve? How will you wind down at the end of the day?
I call this the jacket technique.
It means that I try on a life for a while until I have a good idea of what it will look like. More often than not, I discard the idea and try on something new.
When you do this over and over, you start to really understand what you value and what you want more of in your life and most important, WHY you want it.
No more doing stuff because your parents expect you to or because all your friends are doing it!
You know what you want and in your mind, you already have it.
This is called visualization and is not some woo-woo hippie crap, but something every single Olympic medalist does on a daily basis to stay focused on winning.
5. Make the goal clearer every day
Congrats! You have FINALLY figured out what you want. Now, its time to go get it.
Open your Notes app and write a LinkedIn description of what you want to your current job description to say by the time you’re ready to take the next step.
Make sure to tell key people around you about your ambitions so that you stay top of mind when the opportunity arises.
Do work in your current job that will leverage you towards your next step, even if it’s not 100% in your current scope.
Interested in more inspiration and tools to crack the career code? Sign up for my mailing list at annacosic.com/signup
Anna Cosic is a Leadership and Career Coach who works with busy, ambitious women to help them earn more, achieve more and have more.
She holds a Master of Science in Management from Stockholm University. Anna spent almost 10 years climbing the career ladder in Scandinavia’s biggest media company, Schibsted, eventually leading a company and managing 70 people before starting her coaching business.
She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, toddler son and two pugs, Igor and Doris.