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My friend Dan is one of the most effective management consultants I’ve ever worked with. I still remember the day I watched him work magic by asking a client, “What does it look like when it’s done?”

The client sat quietly for a minute, then started to talk about where he wanted his business to be at the completion of a series of initiatives. While he was talking, Dan listened quietly then asked some clarifying questions.

Soon, he and Dan were up at the dry erase board in the client’s office drawing a schematic of all of the contributing factors and components of what success looked like for the company.

Before the end of the day the executive brought team members in and explained his vision to each of them. His enthusiasm was contagious.

By the next day when Dan had the whole executive team together it was a relatively easy task to help them build a plan to get there.

As you traverse the path of opening, operating, then growing your business and want to take your business to the next level, ask yourself, “What does it look like when it’s done?” Then draw it out so you have a clear picture of your vision.

If you have a clear vision of where you’re going, not only does it keep you from meandering off the path, it clarifies your direction when you share it with others, be they suppliers, collaborators, or clients.