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The Power of Business Imagination

April 26, 2012
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223429

The Power of Business Imagination

When you bend your business to your ego, you forfeit your capacity to believe. You've defined your company's practices as only those things and people that you can influence, control and manipulate. With this corporate policy of assumed perfection, you give away the keys to your ability to imagine your business as wildly successful.

Your mind is content without imagining. Your mind abhors the unfamiliar, preferring instead to more efficiently file away the familiar in previously established categories. By nature, you are mentally satisfied. It is OK with your mind not to imagine your company as achieving anything more than it is right now.

However, doing business today confronts you, at times even assails you, with the unfamiliar. The context in which you transact business changes every single day you open the doors and answer the phone. If you play to your mind's laziness and refuse to accept these unfamiliar perceptions, by default you bend to your ego. You stand in your business's batting cage and refuse to swing at anything thrown at you except those few pitches you recognize. In your assumed perfection, you settle for less than you can achieve by redefining your reality. You stop short of fulfilling your dreams. And if you keep your business alive long enough, you reach a point at which you say, "I wish I had known so I could have done something about it."

But you were born to believe, not bend to ego, so that you can be at your best and imagine a positive work lifestyle. Imagination is your pilot through unfamiliar skies. 

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Think about how you do business this way: You focus your thoughts on the strengths of your business, accepting the unfamiliar changes, and filter out the negative characteristics. Next you cooperate with a team of positive people whom you've chosen to attract, who compare and compete rarely, and you complement one another quite well, confirming, validating and expanding positivity throughout your business. Then Team [Company Name Here] Positive -- customers and clients, employees and suppliers alike -- believe together that your business can grow in phenomenal ways, and begin to imagine a broader range of positive solutions you can offer and achieve based on a positive work lifestyle.

See how it works?

Imagination is the key to your business success. You perceive, conceive and believe based on more than what you alone can see, hear, taste, touch and smell, and primarily on what you can imagine. The impossible becomes possible. The unexpected happens. The unexplainable occurs and all you can do is shrug, and say to your partners, "All I know is it actually happened."

Your company's success is the culmination of how you think about it, partner with others to think about it, and then collectively imagine outcomes that seem unrealistic at the moment, but are achievable as all of you believe.

When I speak to business groups of executives, entrepreneurs, and owners, I pass out apples to the audience. Then I ask, "How many apples are you holding in your hand?"

Of course, the first answer I get is "One" and usually the person says, "Hey, that wasn't so hard." I say, "OK, one. Anyone have another answer?"

The room gets quiet and then, usually from the back of the room, I hear someone say, "A bushel." And I ask, "How so?"

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This person says, "Well, you can plant the seeds in this apple and grow a bushel of other apples."

And then I ask, "Just a bushel?"

Someone else answers, "No, you can get an orchard out of this apple."

"An orchard?" I say.

And then someone else says, "Oh, more than an orchard. There's an infinite number of apples in this apple."

"How's that?" I ask.

"You plant these seeds and they produce an orchard of apples. And from the seeds of those apples, you grow other orchards and those orchards grow still more orchards and pretty soon you can't count all the orchards."

You'll succeed when you imagine that you hold in your hand everything and even more than you could ever want to enjoy a positive work lifestyle. When bent to ego, you hold only what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell -- the dimensions of your company that you perceive you can influence, control and manipulate. Your business holds so much more in store for you . . . if you will only believe that your focused, filtered, positive thoughts, conceived in a complementary relationship, can produce an infinite harvest.

Related: Are You Your Employees' Morale Problem?