The Power of Visualization (don't ignore this! It works!)
Plus my view of the new Amazon Fashion Store (yes, a physical store)
So last week, as you know, I messed up. I mistakenly sent out the newsletter on Sunday evening rather than Tuesday morning. To my surprise, the open rate was as good or perhaps a bit better than when I typically mail the weekly issue on Tuesday. So, this leads to a question. Do you prefer a Sunday evening distribution vs. a Tuesday morning mailing? Let me know as we are here to serve you!
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People everywhere have been using visualization techniques, very successfully, for years. Professional athletes use it, business CEOs use it, and you should consider using it as well.
I know it sounds a bit wacky, but it’s not. Oprah uses it, as does Michael Jordan. Want more examples? How about Jay Z, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey? Want some business examples? How about Walt Disney and Albert Einstein?
“If you create a vision for yourself, and stick with it, you can make amazing things happen in your life. My experience is that once you have done the work to create a clear vision, it is the discipline and effort to maintain that vision that can make it all come true. The two go hand in hand. The moment you’ve created that vision you’re on your way, but it’s the diligence with which you stick to that vision that allows you to get there.” – Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks Coach
“I always visualize the run before I do it. By the time I get to the start gate, I’ve run that race 100 times already in my head, picturing how I’ll take the turns.” – Lindsey Vonn, World Cup Winning Skier
“It was New Year's Eve of 1997, and I was depressed. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? was eight years old and had stalled after growing to $1 million in revenue. Nothing I did seemed to make a difference. I wasn't sure if I was the right person to build the company. The future seemed murky. My perspective changed when instead of worrying about what wasn't possible, I painted a picture in my head of what was. I closed my eyes and envisioned how I wanted 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to look, feel, and act by the end of 2002. For the first time, I went into extreme detail. I turned this 'painted picture' into a one-page document, blew it up, and then framed it in our headquarters for everyone to see. It contained not only tangible business achievements like the number of franchises we would have and the quality of our trucks, but also more sensory details, like how our employees would describe our company to their family members and what our customers would say they loved best about working with us. In the five years that followed, roughly 96% of what I'd written down had come to fruition--even my wildest dream of appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show.” – Brian Scudamore, Founder & CEO 1-800-Got-Junk
OK, so what is visualization?
Visualization is the practice of imagining what you want to achieve in the future, just as if it were real today. You use all five senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing) when visualizing. Done properly, this process directs your subconscious to be aware of the goal or goals you have set for yourself. In effect, it trains your brain to believe a future outcome is true and real in the present moment.
There are two types of visualization, and it’s best to use them together:
Outcome visualization: envisioning the desired results that you will achieve at some point in the future, and
Process visualization: envisioning the process, step by step, you will use to achieve your goals and desired results.
Why do I need to visualize?
In today’s world, becoming distracted from your goals is easy and in fact likely. Texts, emails, the lure of social media, people at work asking for your time, meeting requests, even Netflix! The list is endless.
Visualization allows you to maintain focus on your goals and the related processes you will use to achieve them. It helps ensure that the future you desire becomes a reality rather to succumbing to the multiple, non-priority distractions in life.
How? By using a process called selective attention. In short, selective attention means that the things you focus on are more likely to become a reality. Don’t believe me that selective attention is real?
Watch this video: Test Your Awareness: Do the Test.
Visualization is built on the theory that thought precedes action. By visualizing the future in great detail, your brain records your future state as if it's true today. The subconscious mind operates at 40 million bits of data per second, while the conscious mind processes at only 40 bits per second. So, even though we don’t realize it, our subconscious mind is processing things at a crazy rapid rate. Visualization leverages this to our advantage.
The subconscious mind records and thinks in visual images and feelings. This means that if you set a goal, via visualization, of earning a certain amount of money or launching your own business, the likelihood of achieving the goals increases dramatically.
So, how do I visualize?
Here are five steps to get you started on your visualization practice:
Write down your goals, hopes, expectations in great detail, engaging all 5 senses. Be sure to include lots of sensory images, as they will help what you are visualizing become real and tangible. As a result you will be more motivated to follow through to make the desired outcomes happen. Keep adding to the details until it feels as if you are living the experience.
Imagine the emotions attached to the outcome. The more you can feel what it'll be like to accomplish the goals you visualize, the more you'll believe it can be attained. And the more likely you'll be to act.
Take daily action toward achieving your desired goals. Accept that there will be setbacks. Close your eyes and imagine how you'll deal with the setbacks as they occur and keep moving forward towards your goals.
Expand your knowledge as necessary. If more knowledge is required to achieve your desired outcomes, seek it out. Read, research, ask questions, be relentless. Use that knowledge to further detail to your goals and the related processes you are visualizing to achieve those goals.
Commit time for visualization. Visualize twice a day for 10 minutes or so per session. I’d suggest early morning and just before you go to sleep at night. This helps engage the subconscious. Close your eyes and imagine the desired outcome using all of your senses emotions.
I know, it’s a bit hard to believe this actually works. But there is no better way to find out for sure other than trying it. I am guessing that if you give visualization a chance, you won’t be disappointed!
Amazon (apparently) Loves Brick & Mortar Retail
Amazon recently announced it will launch its first physical fashion store. Yes, a fashion store! It’s will be called Amazon Style.
This, of course, is not Amazon’s first foray into physical retail:
2015: It opened its 1st physical bookstore, Amazon Books.
2017: Amazon acquired the Whole Foods chain.
2018: It opened a number of cashier-less, self-checkout stores called Amazon Go as well as Amazon 4-Star stores.
2020: It launched Amazon Fresh, a chain of fresh grocery stores.
So it’s clear that Amazon holds a belief, as many of us do, that serving the customer must occur at all touchpoints. Stores, online, social platforms, they/we must engage the shopper wherever and whenever she wants to engage.
The first Amazon Style store will open later this year, year at The Americana at Brand, a lifestyle center in Glendale, Calif. The approximate 30,000-sq.-ft. store, designed to offer a high-tech shopping experience, will feature women’s and men’s apparel, shoes and accessories. The assortment will feature “hundreds of brands” chosen by fashion creators and “feedback provided by millions of customers shopping on Amazon.com,” according to Amazon.
A “reimagined” shopping experience
Amazon Style will only have “sample or display items” on the sales floor, with the remainder of the merchandise held in the backroom (anyone remember Service Merchandise?). This format will in theory allow Amazon Style to offer more than double the number of products offered for sale in a fashion store of its size. Of course, this will require a deeper investment into inventory so this will be something to watch.
Using the Amazon Shopping app, customers will scan an item’s QR code to see sizes, colors, overall customer ratings and additional product details. With the tap of a button, shoppers can have the item brought to a fitting room. If the customer doesn’t want to try it on, the item can be sent directly to the pickup counter. Amazon says the quick delivery to fitting rooms by human employees is facilitated by the same technologies and processes employed at its fulfillment centers. Time will tell how quickly items move from one place to another but I am skeptical. Staffing shortages, possibly long wait times for product “delivery”, and lines at the pickup counter (I need to wait at the pickup counter and the checkout??) are all concerns from my perspective.