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By Kim Ades

RISMEDIA, Jan. 21, 2008-The story of Starbucks is a wonderful example of reaching out and taking what you want, of perseverance, and of never losing focus on your desire. Howard Schulz created the culture known as Starbucks, and by making a $4 cup of coffee part of our way of life, turned it into a billion-dollar retail operation.

Schulz began his career selling coffeemakers, leading him to visit one his best customers, Starbucks and Co. in Seattle, which sold coffeemakers, beans and took great pride in educating its customers on the virtues of brewing. He fell in love with Seattle and the warm and loving family business. He lobbied to work for them, urging, persuading, cajoling, and persisting for one year until they finally hired him as director of marketing and operations in 1982. Schulz says, “Life is a series of near misses. But a lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It’s seizing the day and accepting responsibility for our future.”

He traveled to Italy, where he was swept away with the romantic idea of sipping espressos and cappuccinos with biscotti and conversation. He was enamored with this way of life and had a vision of bringing this coffee charm to America. Starbucks resisted his plans to serve coffee in their stores. But Schulz was passionate about his vision. He left their company and opened his own coffee shop, creating the ambience he had felt in Italy. He completely believed in his idea. He could see it, taste it, smell it, and feel it. He absolutely visualized his goals. He was so successful that a year later he bought Starbucks for $3.8 million and the rest, as they say, is history.

Here is a very, very good example of having a clear and focused vision, seeing where you want to be, and taking the steps to make it happen. Schulz says, “Pour your heart into your work and you can achieve dreams others may think impossible.”

You have to visualize your goals before you can achieve them. Write them down, shout them off the roof as you dismantle the twinkly lights, think about them as you write down your New Year’s resolutions, make your goals a priority in your life and then set out to achieve your goals.

Even when we are surrounded by pessimism and gloom in the real estate market, how can we create our vision and step forward to reach our goals? The New Year is a critical time for making “the list.”

Your Top Eight for ’08 List of Ways to Visualize and Achieve your Goals:

1. Ask yourself what you want.

2. Imagine yourself doing exactly what you want to be doing.

3. Write your goals down on a piece of paper and stick them up where you can see them, write them in color markers, laminate them, and above all, read them every single day.

4. Write down all the wonderful and amazing things that reaching your goals will bring into your life. We know that your goals are not just about financial success, but really include all those tangible dreams, like exotic beaches and luxurious cars.

5. Talk about your goals, let people know what you’re doing, and share your excitement and joy. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

6. Surround yourself with people who share your vision and passion.

7. Hire a coach or a mentor to help you achieve all that you want to achieve for yourself, and to help you stay focused and clearly on the track towards attaining all of the success you desire.

8. Dream big. Schulz says, “I’d encourage everyone to dream big, lay your foundations well, absorb information like a sponge, and not be afraid to defy conventional wisdom. Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it.”

This year, dream big, live big and achieve all those goals that are within your heart.

Kim Ades, MBA, is president of Opening Doors and Frame of Mind Coaching. Visit and download free: “The Seven Secrets to Adjusting your Frame of Mind to Attract More Real Estate Sales Sooner.”