Alan Kay, the REAL inventor of the mouse and the graphical user interface, famously said in 1971, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” A few years ago, I rewrote this idea in my book, Be Unreasonable.

“The best way to invent the future is to predict it.”

How would you like to change the direction of your life?

Or maybe just the direction of your business?

Or keeping it real simple, how would you like to get to “the next level?”

Yesterday we completed a rather drawn out move into a new home overlooking San Diego Bay, with a view 30 miles up the Southern California coastline. Hard work (I hate moving even if I don’t do the heavy lifting) but well worth it.

Now one of the things I love best about my work is that I was able to do everything on my own timetable. I didn’t have to check in with anyone. My schedule is my own.

Nobody was trying to track me down… Nobody was in a panic because they couldn’t reach me when they wanted to…
I set my hours, work when I want, can travel for weeks or even months at a time with no loss of income, and pretty much make the rules. And I can’t remember the last time I had to deal with somebody else’s emergency.

And even despite the fact that I’m not “on call 24/7,” my clients are consistently and repeatedly delighted with the work we do together and the results they get in working with me.

I like it this way – so much so, I baked it right into my business from the very beginning. It was one of the key “design criteria” that guided and shaped the business I’ve enjoyed for the past 18 years.

You see, the last job I had was a wonderful job as far as these things go. Great pay, interesting people to work with, intellectually challenging, lots of autonomy…

But it was still a job. You know: being paid a relatively fixed amount of money, by someone else, who had a long-term lease on my time, to produce results for them, inside of their framework.

Not necessarily bad – in fact, not bad at all…

Just not that good for me.

So I set about changing things by predicting the life I wanted, first creating in my mind what was going to happen to give me that life, and then creating my business out in the world to deliver on that life.

To have the business you want and live the life you want, you have to “predict” it.
And just to be clear: what I mean by predict is create it in your mind and then declare that this is the way it’s going to be. Both of these components are required. Once you do them, and then commit to settling for nothing less, then (and only then) figure out how to make it happen.

Lastly, of course, get busy…

So, I ask you:

What future do you want to predict for yourself?

How do you want the next phase of your life to go?

What feelings or experiences or situations do you want to make part of your every day?

Or, maybe you don’t want to change your whole business or life…

Just to keep it simple, are you willing to “predict” your next level? Imagine it, tell people about it, and then make it happen?

By the way, for many people this is an underused muscle. Most just go about their business and whatever happens, happens. Then there are those among us who see things more deliberately…

And one thing I’ve noticed is the difference that makes a difference for those who consistently get what they want is they quickly act on information that will improve their lives. (Get the hint?)

If you’ve got a sec, please share your predictions about what’s next for you. Hop over to the blog and – or if you’re here already – leave your thoughts and comments below this post.

Don’t be shy. The kind of prediction I’m talking about here is the stuff that will shift your life. As they say, “be proud and be loud.” Let everyone know…

11 Responses

  1. Lynne

    Love your quote – Be proud and be loud! To predict your own future is great. Knowing where you want to be in the future and working towards it means that it is achievable and that you are determined for it to happen. You make your future and working towards your goals will make your predictions come true.

    Reply
  2. Stuart

    I have endured a succession of poor managers allied with ill fitting cultures, so I’ve decided to do my own thing and despite the rapidly dwindling cash reserves, right now I couldn’t be happier.

    I’m predicting that identification of a market niche (this is done), some sold marketing, some hard work and a little luck, I can be successful in the future.

    Reply
  3. Phyllis K Twombly

    My prediction is that the science fiction screenplay I’m finishing this week will generate a bidding war with the successful filmmakers eager to keep me involved in the process. This will lead to a profitable movie venture for all involved and help secure my screenwriting future, including equally successful sequels. All my films will bring entertainment and inspiration to viewers the world over.

    Reply
  4. Adrian

    Hi Simon I dont know if this could help you as I have some experience of providing an offline lead generation service for Small to Medium companies.
    At http://www.freelanceleadgeneration.co.uk there are a number of actual companies I have worked with and what service I provided for them. All those companies (and as you can see they vary greatly) have one or two fundamental issues that either can drive them out of business or hold them back from substantially increasing their profits. Firstly the lack of a consistent lead generation system to ensure steady income which is scale-able. No company want loads of work one week and none the next, its stressful and no fun at all. Secondly some business owners are excellent at the technical but terrified of picking up the phone and talking in a relaxed and respectful manner to potential customers. Its no good making a few haphazard calls you need to understand your individual sales cycle and how to cultivate key clients.

    We also need to know what to say and how to say it. As you probably know there is a growing number of individuals starting up many of whom are excellent at what they do but do not have sales skills and this is where we can help them. I would go into a company do my research and often get results (it depends on the product) within a couple of hours. My best result was 12 qualified appointments from just 35 calls.

    From your post its clear you are under pressure and if you feel I can assist you I would be happy to do so.

    Best Regards, Adrian Brown

    Reply
  5. Simon

    I have struggled for 2 years to find a business model to replace my 80+ hours per week business systems consultancy job that previously fell victim to market forces.

    Throughout that time, I predicted that I would never again be someone else’s employee (pawn), I would create a business: that I actually enjoyed and was proud of, that was rapidly scalable, that allowed me to take calculated risks to achieve step changes in growth, provided a comfortable living for my family, offered a career path for my 3 sons if they decided to join me when they grow up, and enabled my partner to give up the job that is slowly destroying her soul.

    After several false starts, the first stage of my master plan is to launch a lead generation business for offline companies, grow it rapidly, and then move on to stages 2 and 3.

    But no bank will lend to small Internet related businesses in this country, so I have burned through all our savings, exhausted all lines of credit and run up substantial debts to give myself the relevant education and equip myself with the tools necessary to be successful. All the while, confident in the conviction that this will work.

    I am now on the verge of launching, trying to secure as many customers as fast as possible, so that I can get profitable quickly and scale up. In other words I am ready to try make it happen. 🙂

    …and then I get the news today: my partner is going to have to resign from her job. A devastating blow to our income, as we lose about 85%. My feelings of excitement and anticipation immediately replaced by ones of desperation, as I now have just one month to completely replace her income before the next round of bills come in (as well as continuing to service all my debt interest).

    Damn! So having predicted my future, not only do I now have to make it happen, but I also have to make it happen PDQ! Wish me luck.

    Reply
    • Adrian

      Hello Simon, I dont know if this would help you, I have done quite a lot of Lead generation (offline) and if you find the right type of companies to work with it can be a good income. Also you can present mini seminars and implement a complete lead generation system, including what (and how) to say on the phone for companies. There are some real life examples on my site at http://www.freelanceleadgeneration.co.uk along with the very real challenges I experienced. The main value you add to clients is a steady stream of enquiries / appointments for the MD or sales staff to go and close, instead of what seems to be the more usual senario of having lots of work one week then nothing for the next two weeks. This is very stressfull and no fun at all, it seems to apply mainly to SMEs and single ownwer operators, many of which have no sales skills as they are technical in nature. Hope this could help feel free to contact me if you wish.
      Best Regards
      Adrian Brown

      Reply
  6. Rob

    Ok. I’ll bite.

    Endured a divorce two years ago.. I now have an inflexible parenting plan and an uncooperative ex. Blaming the ex for schedule constraints has not been a lucrative business strategy. Time to stop being a victim. “What future do you want to predict for yourself?” I predict that I will have clients scheduled on the days I am available. I predict that I will be writing more. I predict that I will have an updated website with engaging content. I believe I will have stopped saying, “.. but I don’t have enough money, time, know-how to do that.” I predict I will be saying, “I don’t know everything, but I decided to move forward anyway!” I predict that I’ll be living with the conviction that what I do is worth charging more for than what I charge today. Every day that I work, I predict that I will experience fulfilling conversations with clients who want what I have to offer. I predict that I will experience immense satisfaction that I have completed another chapter of the book that is drafted. I believe that I will be spending more time with a supportive group of colleagues that meet periodically to hold one another accountable and help one another to make our dreams of financial freedom and work freedom realities.

    I predict that I will feel surprised that I squandered so much time in the past living in fear and self doubt.

    Reply
  7. Andrew

    What future do you want to predict for yourself?

    A future quite like yours (no one to answer to, set your own schedule, client are happy to work with you) is what I predict for myself. Been looking at various business models and there are several that could fit that criteria.

    How do you want the next phase of your life to go?

    I’m entering my 30th year this year and I want the next 10 years to be almost the opposite in terms of productivity and contribution – meaning I am going to do more of both.

    What feelings or experiences or situations do you want to make part of your every day?

    Feelings – A sense of accomplishment and success which will be validated to me by making more than just an hourly wage.

    Great post, thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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