Every year at this time, Dr. Misner takes time off to do some reflection. Since this is the last podcast for this year, Dr. Misner wanted to talk about creating a life plan. Create a list of what you hope might happen. Wherever you are in your life, this has value for your future.
Here are the goals Dr. Misner had for each decade of his life when he first undertook this exercise:
- Twenties: Learning Years
- Thirties: Establish Career
- Forties: Growth Years
- Fifties: Top of Game
- Sixties: Elder Statesman
This year Dr. Misner wants to set another thirty-year plan. Take a day and reflect on what you want to be doing and who you want to be doing it with.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of Episode 487 –
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast, brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, California. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and the Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello, Ivan. How are you and where are you?
I have been in Austin, Texas all month. We are headed towards the end of the year, and I have done a number of podcasts here on BNI podcast over the years talking about how I take a little bit of time off before the end of the year and do some reflection. As a matter of fact, BNI exists because I did this over 30 years ago, and I took at look at where do I want to be in the future and how did last year go? I was like oh my goodness. What happened last year? It was that moment that gave me an opportunity to really think about making BNI a global organization.
So I take this time off every year and since this is that last podcast for this year and we are moving into the new year, we are going to go on holiday for a couple of weeks here. I wanted to talk about creating a life plan. So this podcast is more personal than it is about BNI. It is personal and you can use it in your personal life but also in your business life. And, of course, you can do some planning, no doubt, in BNI with this.
I have always been a believer in setting goals and targets. Literally in my 20’s on one of these times that I took days off between the holidays and New Year’s, I assembled my plan of where I wanted my career to be as I matured throughout my professional years.
I know. I know. It never turns out the way you plan it, but try telling that to a 20- something who has this overwhelming ambition to blaze his own trail, which was me when I was in my 20’s.
So in my 20’s right after college, I sat down and I wrote out my vision of where I hoped to be as my career progressed. I am suggesting that wherever you are in your life, whether you are towards the end of your career or the beginning of your career, this has value for your future.
I happened to have done it in my 20’s. You might imagine as a recent college grad with a diploma in hand and ready to take on the world, I kind of tossed and turned at night wondering that I was going to do and where I might end up.
I created a list of what I hoped might happen. Here is what I came up with:
In my 20’s I wrote down that these would be my learning years. These would be when I pay my dues. Be prepared to work crazy long hours a be a sponge for learning.
In my 30’s I wanted to establish myself in my career. I wanted to pick a professional lane and move forward. That is what I wrote down in my plan.
In my 40’s these were my growth years, build my business, create a reputation, continue with lifelong learning. You will notice that’s always important. Lifelong learning. That happens to be one of the core values, lifelong learning while accelerating the growth of my business.
In my 50’s, I wanted to be at the top of my game, the top of my game professionally. I hoped to have built- this is was I was envisioning- hoped t have built a postitive, professional reputation and a successful business.
In my 60’s, and I just hit 60 this year. In June of 2016, I turned 60. In my 60’s and beyond, I wrote that I would like to be the elder statesman, spend time – I didn’t use these words back then, but now I would call it working in my flame, doing the things I love doing and providing strategic leadership in my business.
I am here today in my 60’s just having turned 60 and I have arrived at this later phase of my list. I have to say that I am pretty excited about it. This life has taken me places I never really dreamed I would go and I met people that will forever changed the course of my life. I have seen things that would alter my perspective in profound ways and I have learned to expect the unexpected.
To this day, I am still amazed at how setting a vision helped create a reality in my life. My goal now is to set another – I am going to shoot for a 30 year plan. When I am 90 I will see if I have any more goals and bbjectives. But my intention this year is to set another 30 year plan and see where I am at in the next 30 years.
Now, you know, if you are my age, some of you may be at the beginning of your career. It doesn’t really matter where you are. If you are my age, you know, no matter what age you are, setting five to 10 years goals, I think are really, really important. The best time to do it is right now.
There is this great Chinese proverb. I know I have shared it in the podcast before. The proverb goes like this. It says, “When is the best time to plant an oak tree?” The answer is 20 years ago. When is the second best time? The answer is “today”.
So that is why I say no matter what age you are at, now is a good time to start creating a vision for where you want to take your life. It may or may not end up where you are anticipating, but I am here to tell you that it is a lot easier to know what direction, what paths to take when you a direction in mind.
Sometimes the directions may change. What I thought I would be doing in my 20’s is not what I was doing by my 30’s but still the general theme of my 20s was learning, be prepared to work crazy long hours and be a sponge. And that I did. And in my 30’s I picked a professional land and moved forward in that lane.
It is not a matter of really having a crystal ball and knowing exactly where you are going to be. It is a matter of having a roadmap to try to take you where you want to go. You can do this at anytime in your career.
I urge you if you are listening to this podcast, do it now. This is the end of the year. Take at least a day before the new year. This is perfect timing. Sit down and create at the very least a five year plan. What do you want to be doing? Who do you want to be doing it with? My wife and I, every year, create family goals and those family goals may be one year goals, five year goals, ten year goals.
I don’t think I have ever shared this on the podcast. We literally had the name of our children written down. I have that one page summary. The names of our children written down on our first year goal sheet 27 years ago. We knew roughly how many kids we wanted. We knew what their names would be.
There are a lot of things on that goal sheet that we didn’t do. We changed our mind. But there are a lot of things on that goal sheet that we have done. We go back to it every now and the. Certainly in the early days, we said do we still want to do this? If so, what are we waiting for? We want to do this. We haven’t done it on our goal sheet. It is powerful to set a vision and then move towards it.
That is my advice to everyone listening to this podcast. What are your thoughts, Priscilla?
Well, I love this idea. I am the kind of person that is constantly making lists and checking them off, thinking in advance. On my list for today, was setting goals for next year so that is pretty funny. I just find that, like you, if you write it down and you think about it and you let it go, and you come back to it, it is amazing how many things you may have accomplished that is on that list. It really makes you feel good about your work.
It does make you feel good and to be able to look back and see how reasonably close I came to sort of my life vision is humbling. It makes me feel just fantastic. You know, in my 60’s I wanted to be the elder statesman and spend time working on the things that I am most passionate about. This is it. Podcasts, interviews, writing, speaking- those are the things that are my flame and the things that I want to do. That is what I am doing here. This podcast is a great example of it.
That’s all I have for today, Priscilla. If you are listening to this podcast, please take a few minutes. Take a few hours probably and before the first of the year, sit down and create your vision of where you want to take you life at least over the next year, if not the next five to ten years.
Thank you, Priscilla.
Okay. Thank you, Ivan. I have to say that you do that very well. What you do in your flame is excellent so thank you so much for all that you give us through the podcast and all the other places that you speak and write.
Thank you, Priscilla.
So I think that is it for this week, and I’d just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we hope you will join us next week or maybe in three weeks actually for another exciting episode of the Official BNI Podcast.