When I first meet with potential clients, I don’t focus on their writing. I focus on their story. I ask questions. I found out what they do. I discover what they would like to do. I ask why they do what they do or why they want to move in a different direction. I ask them how they will communicate what they do and why they do it to their audience. I ask them for, in a word, a vision.
Most of the time, potential clients have a vision. They want to work with disadvantaged youth because a coach or mentor poured him- or herself into them when they were in high school. They want to go overseas because they have a heart for a specific people group. They want to build an application that will help alleviate malnutrition and poverty because they believe their skills and talents should be used to solve real-world problems. Rarely, rarely do potential clients talk about money as a vision.
Some do, and it’s a response that always concerns me. I do not believe money is or can be a vision. Money may be a result of pursuing a vision, but it should not be the vision. Making more money has no depth to it. It is not a rallying cry. It may be supported during the plentiful years, but the famine ones? The famine ones either will result in bankruptcy or in people backbiting in an attempt to get ahead of each other. They do not want to be the ones left holding the empty bag.
Trying to tell a story based on a vision of money or on “double, double, triple” as one person said to me, is next to impossible. How can a person gain momentum for a product or service if the person’s goal is to make more money? He or she can’t. That person is so focused on him- or herself that he or she has no story to tell. No, to tell a story, a better vision, a real vision, has to be found.
Photo: 401(K) 2012 (CC BY SA 2.0)