The Power of a Picture

AdvisorBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice
In this issue: A vivid picture of success can propel you to your goal, despite your circumstances.


We’re half way through the year. Is your picture of success for 2014 still clearly, vividly, vibrantly alive in your mind?

Driving slowly up my street one late afternoon this week, I was interrupted by a skinny boy, a soccer ball, and 40,000 elated fans. The boy had crossed a kick between a red Toyota Prius and a large grey rock, scoring a goal. Apparently this ignited his fans into a frenzy, and while his little brother frustratingly trudged off to retrieve the ball, he paraded around the carport, looking skyward, blowing kisses to a bunch of people I couldn’t see.
But he could see them. For that moment, that crowd was all that mattered to the boy. For him, they were definitely there, right down to the photographer who apparently asked him to do a Superman-pose and stick out his chest.

How clear is your image of what success looks and feels like? A rich, dynamic image is exceptionally powerful. My young neighbor could clearly see the fruits of his success:  he could hear the crowd and feel their adoration for him, and it kept him excited about his game. If you keep your image of success as clearly defined, it will propel you through challenging times.

In the early 1990s, when I managed Speedo New Zealand, the company began experimenting with different materials, creating super-fast swim suits. In 1992, at the Barcelona Olympics, the world’s best female swimmers showed up in Speedo’s new S2000 Cat Suit. It was high-necked and covered more skin than traditional suits. Consisting of innovative material that channeled water away from the body, it created less drag than bare skin. As record after record was broken, the new suit got much of the credit.

Very quickly, desperate parents, who wanted the best gear for their children, began calling local stores, searching for the suit.

There was one big problem:  the hi-tech material in the Cat Suit was prohibitively expensive for the mass market. A suit would need to sell for at least two and a half times the typical cost for a high-end girl’s competitive suit, and we knew we could not sell that to the retail market. No store-owner would stock the Cat Suit, even if parents said they would buy it.

But the demand was incessant. So, finally, we decided to make the same style of suit from ordinary Lycra material. The shape of the suit was the same as what the Olympians wore, but the additional non hi-tech material disrupted the hydrodynamics of the water across the swimmers’ bodies, creating more drag than traditional, skimpy racing suits. Swimmers wearing the suit should have recorded slower times.

But they didn’t.

The suit was a great commercial success. We kept getting more and more orders for the Lycra Cat Suit, and national records kept tumbling. Girls loved the suit and felt great in the water. Coaches were thrilled with the results.

What had happened?

The swimmers had a powerful picture etched in their minds from watching the Olympics. They “knew” that this style of suit would help them swim fast, and so, it did.

Do you have a clear image of success in your mind – one that, regardless of circumstances, will never fade? Or, has the picture of success you imagined for this year in January dimmed or gotten buried in the clutter of your day-to-day busyness?

Take some time this week to:

  • Reflect on your picture of success. Make sure it’s vivid in your mind. Refresh it if it has started fading.
  • Focus on why you’re doing what you’re doing. Get your passion back, and move forward with a new-found purpose.
  • Keep that image prominent. Write down a phrase or print a picture that will bring your image to mind and put it where you will see it each day to keep you focused on your imminent success.

You’ve reached the half-way mark for 2014. Keep heading toward your goal, hearing that crowd roaring for you as you achieve your dream.

Now excuse me while I go move my car; it just deflected the soccer ball three times in as many minutes.

Keep dreaming,

Paul KingsmanSpeaker and executive coach Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals overcome distractions to achieve success sooner. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an advisor, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisors. Through his professional speaking and executive coaching, he helps his clients successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. He is the author of the forthcoming book,
The Distraction-Proof Advisor: Get the money you need, the clients you want, and more time to do what you love.

To find out more about how Paul can equip you or your team to achieve outstanding results, visit or email him at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *