Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tips to Create Your #DreamsList

One of the things I've done for years that I also advise my clients to do is to create a "Dreams List".

What is a Dreams List? A Dreams List is your list of the clients, people or opportunities  you'd most like to work with or for...and these are not easily reachable. These are clients that are your absolute dream to have the opportunity to work with and serve!

I'm only showing part of my list in this pic but so far in 2016, I've already checked off one!

My Dreams List includes having the opportunity to facilitate and conduct self assessments for Steve Harvey & his organization, Ivanka Trump & her team, Fairmont Hotels and their leadership team, etc.

Of the 20 on my list, it will likely take me 1-2 years to work it in addition to doing my daily work. I won't necessarily land each one....that's not the point. The point of the Dreams List is to design and create the big opportunities you want in your life. It doesn't matter if you are a volunteer, stay at home mom, mompreneur, business mogul, startup entrepreneur, CEO, nonprofit executive, etc.

Creating my Dreams List has literally changed my life because it keeps me from getting too comfortable with what I can easily strive to achieve and it creates excitement with always striving for goals for my businesses that are outside of my comfort zone and reach!

Here are some tips to help you create your own Dreams List and watch your world shift that one degree that makes the difference between living big and living comfortable...

Tip #1 Make sure that the people on your Dreams List have a characteristic(s), project(s) or service(s) that you highly value so that you can focus in your pursuit of landing them as a client.

For example, my Dreams List includes a few companies whose work and products I greatly admire.  So they are on my list because based on what I do as a facilitator and strategist, I want to help these companies continue to be great and evolve.

There are no people or companies on my list who I deem not providing a valuable service or product that serves humanity in some way. Thus, my Dreams List is filled with social enterprises and people/startups that have been generous in their charity support, etc.

And when it's a person, again, focus on a characteristic they consistently exhibit.  For me, Steve Harvey is someone that I have followed and known about for years in the Black comedy circuit.  Seeing his rise from hole-in-the-wall comedian to building an empire while maintaining his integrity with grit and gusto is freaking amazing to me and all the people like me who have known about him for years.  He's on my Dreams List because I want to work with him and his team to continue to be the BEST at what they do and how effective they are at executing their mission and vision.

Tip #2 As inspiration, use the proverb of "seed, time, harvest" as your strategy.  The first encounter you create with your Dreams List person or company is not an Ask.  Your first encounter needs to be one of a "seed", meaning, where you offer something that is of service to them and/or supports their goals and objectives.

For example, I have a major nonprofit on my Dreams List that is changing lives on an everyday basis.  I have observed this non profit from afar and two years ago, started contributing $25 per month to their fundraising efforts.  I read all their newsletters, I am on their email list of their major fundraising event in New York, etc.

It's been two years and I still haven't made my Ask...but I WILL!  I am currently in the "seed" and "time" part of my strategy with this group: donating, reading, researching, being intimately knowledgeable of their mission, their board, etc.  The harvest will come!

And just know, there will be some Dreams List clients you can land in 3 months of cultivation and there will be others that may take you five years.  Keep at it!

Tip #3 Prepare as you go.  One of the greatest attributes of people who are happy and content with the life they are living is very's called patience.  Keep in mind, Dreams List clients are not your everyday clients.  They are the ones you are building up to and towards.  And as the wise adage says,

"Success is when preparation meets opportunity."

Don't prepare for your big pitch or presentation to your Dreams List client when you make the Ask.  Prepare for them as you go!  Keep a file on them so that every time there is news, a clipping or other information about them or their organization, you have a place to file it to keep the information organized.

And what you are doing is being patient in the meantime for the right opportunity.  When you are well prepared in being so knowledgeable about the person or their organization, you are clear as to how your product or service will solve a major issue they have OR adds value to their current product or service and you do that in a way that shows you have been patiently waiting for the right opportunity...this increases your chances of getting a "YES" from the opportunity you are Asking about 10 fold!

Tip #4 Don't get discouraged if you initially hear a "No"...I once heard one of the most highest grossing individual fundraisers in Texas say that when she gets a "No", she knows that it means that she only needs to provide more information (meaning, she doesn't take it personally and give up). 

Maximize that "No" and ask followup questions that will position you to get a "Yes" the next time you inquire about the opportunity.  Even if that is three months, six months down the line where you make another "Ask", ask enough questions (when you hear a "No" during your Ask) to get more information that will get you inside their mind as to what their highest priority needs are and go back to your Dreams List file and assess how you can pivot your pitch for the next "Ask".

Tip #5 If you will notice, creating a Dreams List is not for the faint of heart.  You have to be bold, believe in yourself, be patient, be well read, be focused, etc.  This is not for the timid of heart who is more concerned with being average than with living BIG.

If you are doing a Dreams List for the first time, I'd suggest creating your list to include dream clients or people who are a 1-2 degree of separation from you that can help you build up your boldness.

Also, don't worry about creating a Dreams List with 100 people or organizations. Starting with five is just as important as the 20 I mentioned.  I've been doing this for a while and am hyper focused so I can manage 20 while doing my everyday work.

For example, when I am on social media, I am not diligently following every celebrity or person in my community.  I focus 90% of my social media attention and engagement on my family, closest friends, partnerships, current clients and my Dreams List people and organizations. Period.

And lastly on this tip, don't think your Dreams List has to be celebrities or known people.  I have admired Steve Harvey as one of my heroes way before he was as famous as he is now.

And one of my Dreams List people is the Publisher of an Australian magazine that I hope my work with them will help them take a key project global and make more effective.  This Publisher is not globally known but is a female entrepreneur who exhibits lots of grit and gusto and her magazine is going to change many lives when it goes global.  I highly admire her and she's "Liked" several of my Instagram reposts of her magazine's best articles...I've been giving my "seeding" some "time" and I'm almost done with the creation of my "Ask" so that I can "harvest"!

Let these tips inform the creation of your own Dreams List and as always, I'm believing for you to live authentically in your purpose with grace and in style!

It's Curva-Lish.


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