December 14, 2016 reinierh

How to shape the world

You’ve found it!

The key to a better world…

is just two short words.

My first working lunch with Deepa Paul got me thinking about how challenging it can be to make the most of all the opportunities and really make the shift beyond incremental changes in our lives, businesses, and the world.

As an ambitious human, most often your biggest limitation is yourself. There are so many things you could do, prioritizing your time is essential. You can make to-do lists. But the lists change everyday, new urgencies pop up. Soon you’re buried in incremental steps that leave you looking back after a month or a year, thinking am I ever going to get there?

I have two simple words for you: road map.

If you know the desired end-game, you can refocus everything from your yearly goals, to your daily steps. Most importantly, you can start to envision how to get to radically new futures. A road map helps you work backwards from your end goal, which is a different mindset than simply prioritizing your daily life.

But hardly anyone makes a roadmap. Do you have one? Now I know you are smart ;), but physiologically you can only hold so much information in your head and even the most spock-like among us will still get wrapped up in the day-to-day. This clouds your focus and delays the endgame. In most discussions I have with entrepreneurs they find this kind of roadmapping a good idea, it helps them stop treating their business like a hobby and clearly define their ambition.


  1. Think 5 years ahead, where are you, what describes your ideal? Let go of today. Hold-off on asking yourself how have you gotten to this ideal, that comes later. First you focus on asking yourself why 5 times and get to your ideal future. Write it down.
  2. Work backwards to 1.5 years from now, what have you accomplished? What are the biggest uncertainties you had to overcome? Write both down.
  3. Detail steps starting with tomorrow. Keep them small, simple, attainable, with a clear date and task. If you can’t start tomorrow, work your way up to a clear launch date when you know you have a good chance of success. Treat yourself*, the launch should give you a boost!

* Know yourself – most often you will start with what you are good at. Try to keep this in balance with what you are not good at but needs to be done. Manage your energy levels – by saving what you like doing for second, and starting with what you don’t like. Always prioritize the biggest uncertainties: that cost the most effort/time, have the biggest impact on achieving your goal,

“Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”

Albert Einstein

In a recent coaching session, my client said everyone needs a coach. He was a startup coach himself. It helps to have a mirror to look into and break free of our own limitations. If we stop and reflect, we can roadmap our way to a better world!

P.s. Thanks to Luuk Jansen for the great idea to draw my working lunch conversations!
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