Kelly Clifford - Ask The Right Questions -

My Reflections: SHIFT Day: The Light Bulb Moment

A purpose beyond profit or money is very powerful! I am a big believer that we all have a unique contribution to make and lasting legacy to leave should we choose to do so and of course take MASSIVE action to achieve. Precisely what that is will vary from person to person, as we are all unique in our aspirations, dreams and expectations.

The trap that many of us fall into is doing what we think is expected of us given our current circumstances whatever they may be. There is an innate peer pressure applied to us by the people we surround ourselves with, usually not intentionally by them, societal pressures and doing things because it is always been done that way. We are cautioned against upsetting the apple cart or rocking the boat.  I know, I’ve fallen into that trap many times without even knowing it at the time.

Despite my preciously expressed reservations coming into the retreat, I wanted to fully embrace the process without expectation of the outcome, so gave myself permission to really open my heart and mind to creating a powerful contribution to this world that would ultimately leave an even bigger legacy.

Step 1: The Dream Question

The principle here is about asking a BIG BOLD QUESTION related to something that is important to you or that you can contribute to, given your skills and interests, that would ultimately leave a powerful legacy or make a meaningful difference to the lives of others, where the motive is more than just making money for yourself. There may not yet be an obvious solution for the question that is posed, in fact it may not even be possible to achieve it, but it really doesn’t matter at this point. The point of this exercise is to open your mind without artificial limitations and boundaries to the possibilities and to DREAM BIG.

A useful structure for posing your dream question is as follows:  What if * insert something that is important to you * was possible?

My ‘Dream’ question:

“What if we could eliminate all avoidable small business failures globally?”

Why is this important to me? The reality is that over 80% of all businesses will ultimately fail. That’s an alarming statistic in my book. Wouldn’t you agree? That means 4 in every 5 businesses will ultimately fail and will likely leave a trail of emotional and financial devastation in their wake for all involved. But I believe that many of these failures are completely avoidable though because too many people start their businesses thinking that ‘being good at what they do’ or being good at the ‘doing part of their business’ is enough, sadly its not though. The missing ingredient for many of them is that they are overlooking one of the most important parts of a business – the NUMBERS.  I believe that there is tremendous power at the intersection of entrepreneurialism and what I term ‘profit numeracy’ (understanding enough about numbers and profit to ensure a business THRIVES).

Now I know that reducing this business failure rate to 0% is not realistic, nor even entirely possible, as many businesses should fail. I say this because many businesses aren’t viable businesses to begin with. But just imagine if something could be done to make a dent in that statistic by helping to reduce it to say 3 or 3.5 in every 5 businesses failing. Imagine the knock impact of job creation, economic prosperity and improvements in the emotional well being for hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. It would have a MASSIVE impact and would be a positive contribution to have made in terms of legacy.

Step two, having asked the right dream question, is to determine your purpose in relation to the question posed and your unique skills and contribution. It is important in the context of creating a business that your purpose is linked to providing a solution for a real and identifiable problem that a large enough group of people (market) is facing.

My purpose is:

“Transforming the experience of small business owners who feel as though they are drowning in quick sand in relation to the numbers to that of feeling INVINCIBLE!”

It was the combination of these two elements that created the light bulb moment for me and got me VERY EXCITED by the possibilities and allowed me to define My Big Game (Mission). Like any game there needs to be rules but as what I am creating is a game for me and nobody else, I get to set them based on what meaningful success would mean for me in pursuing it.

So what is your Dream Question & Purpose?

Next Instalment To Come: My Reflections: My BIG Game & The Rules

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  • David Wimblett

    Reply Reply January 1, 2015

    Hi Kelly,

    Seems we have the same big dream!

    Let’s make 2015 the year.

    Happy New Year,


    • kellyclifford

      Reply Reply January 2, 2015

      Hi David,

      It is a big problem to be solved so the more of use trying to tackle it the better 🙂

      Happy New Year to you. Be sure to make 2015 your best year yet

      Best regards


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