Best Of: Painting a Picture for The New Year

Brian Scudamore on Scaling Up Podcast with Bill Gallagher

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As we head into the holiday season, we reflect on the year that is coming to a close, and begin to make resolutions for the upcoming year. Often, these goals and resolutions remain incomplete. How can we avoid that? Today, we’ll be sharing an older podcast episode that will help you learn how to paint a picture for your life and for your future… and show you ways to build plans around it, so that you can actually set and achieve your goals in the New Year.

Brian Scudamore is the Founder and CEO of 1-800-Got-Junk? and has been running the company since 1989. Since then, he has started several companies like Shack Shine, You Move Me, and Wow 1 Day Painting.

Here are the steps it takes to create a painted picture for your business (and your life). First, it starts with you being in an inspirational place. Second, you want to take out a piece of paper and write in very specific and intentional language. Brian didn’t write, ‘I hope to be’ or, ‘I want to be,’ he wrote, ‘I will be.’

Third, Brian gave himself incredibly specific goals, in this particular case, a five-year goal to achieve his big vision. And step number four, after writing out the big idea, he added color to the picture. What would we feel like as a company? What would the culture be like? How would the brand be presented to the world?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • What is your top-line revenue?
  • How many people are on your team?
  • How would your people describe the culture of your company when talking to a family member?
  • What is the press saying about your business? Be as specific as possible — what would your local paper say about your company? What would your favorite magazine say?
  • What do your people love about your vision and where the company is headed?
  • How would a customer describe their experience with you? What would they say to their best friend?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of? What accomplishment are your people most proud of?
  • What do you do better than anyone else on the planet?
  • Describe your office environment and culture in detail.
  • Describe your service area. Who are your customers and how do they feel?

When he was finished, he was surprised by the results. As he re-read what he wrote, Brian realized that what he wrote was absolutely possible, so he shared it with his team. Some members of his team were excited, and those who weren’t ended up leaving.

Brian believes that it’s best to come up with a vision about where you’re going and then recruit the who – the people that will help figure out how to get there. However, the one thing a painted picture will not do, is to say how to get there.

The reason for this, is that the CEO doesn’t always know best. His team will have a better execution plan than he will. It also prevents the CEO or founder from getting cold feet when he realizes the ‘real’ work involved. Let your team support your vision and use their expertise to help guide you to your end result.

Interview Links:

Painted Picture Visualization

WOW 1 Day Painting

1-800 Got Junk Website

You Move Me

Shack Shine

WOW 1 Day Painting

Good to Great, by Jim Collins

Brian on LinkedIn

Twitter – @brianscudamore

Facebook – bscudamore

Instagram – brianscudamore

Scaling Up Business Podcast – Bruce Eckfeldt

Scaling Up Business Podcast – Brian Scudamore


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Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Gazelles Coaching, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher, host of the Scaling Up business podcast and a leading Gazelles Coach. Gazelles is the term we use for fast-growing companies.

We help leadership teams with 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Scaling Up for Gazelles companies is based on the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from Verne’s original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).

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