9 Powerful Tips from NLP Master Practitioner Terry Hickey On Being a Successful Visionary

Terry Hickey is a talented NLP practitioner who specializes in belief change work with high end coaches, entrepreneurs, visionaries, leaders, and athletes. Many of the visionaries he works with are in the film industry, including actors, directors, producers, and dialog coaches. He also works with financial visionaries and professional athletes. I interviewed Terry last year as part of my Creative Visionaries Interview Series to see what he can teach us about why some visionaries succeed and others do not.

Visionary Guiding Principles

Here are some of the brilliant pieces of wisdom I gleaned from my conversation with Terry (you can listen to the full interview below):

1. Visionaries have a higher purpose that is the underpinning of the vision they create. They also have a sense of mission — a joy and passion for what they do. They don’t see it as a struggle, but rather as a joy and a privilege, to create what they are here to create.

2. Visionaries face the same sorts of challenges and opportunities the rest of us do, but they see them as opportunities. In other words, don’t think of a lack of success as failure, think of it as feedback. For example, try on this thought, “I haven’t yet employed the right strategies.” Ask, “How is this an opportunity? What’s the learning?”

3. Successful visionaries have a mentor or coach to turn to for help reframing or thinking about things differently. Even Bill Gates and Walt Disney have had mentors. Choose mentors that are as competent as or more competent than you are — don’t be afraid of competition. Choose to learn from people who know more than you do.

4. As a visionary, your role is to create such a powerful vision that others want to create it with you. Terry notes, “Leaders have followers, managers have conscripts.”

5. Visionaries hold what they are doing as so important that they simply can’t NOT do it. They are driven by something larger than themselves. They always go back to their dream — even when challenges come up that keep them awake at night and even when they might lose people they love over it — it’s so powerful they always come back to it.

6. A quality that sets visionaries apart is clarity. They know what they are doing and why they are doing it.

7. Visionaries are so committed that they are willing to get through any stuckness that may come up. They know they must manage things like writer’s block or athelete’s slumps so it doesn’t become their overriding experience.

8. Successful visionaries recognize their own limitations and bring someone on board to help fill in the gaps. Warren Buffet, Oprah, Bill Gates all have in common that they have brought people on board to help them with their problem areas.

9. Visionaries must learn the distinctions between each part of the process of bringing an idea to fruition in order to be successful. This includes creative phase (brainstorming), the evaluative phase (feasibility), and the project management phase (procedural and systematic). Walt Disney used three different rooms for each of these processes — each had its own time and place. (I spoke about this on my free TeleGathering last week.)

Books Terry Mentions:

Find Terry Online


Listen to the full audio interview here:


Making It Real

How are you inspired to apply these visionary principles to your own Big Dream? Leave us a note in the comments below.


What’s Jenna Up To?

~> February 25, 2011. Special call with guest Isabel Parlett on “How to Say What You Do, When What You Do is Deep, Powerful, and Hard to Describe.” Details to be announced.

~> NEW DATE: March 4, 2011. Virtual Workshop: Claim Your Calling: 5 Steps To Get You Back On Track With What You Were Put Here To Do. Details. Registration CLOSES February 21st.

Time To Wake Up: Inspirations from a Creative, Visionary Muse

It’s time for the next installment of my Creative Visionaries Interview Series.

This week we’ll talk to Giulietta Nardone, an Inspirational Rebel and Fearless Branding guide who helps people take back their lives and step into their greatness.

Her vision is to wake up the world, one person at a time.

Her mantra: “Wake up, you’re alive!”

Giulietta describes herself as a visionary and a muse: Someone who inspires people to have fun, be alive, and be human.

Spending time with Giulietta is like swimming in a sea of beautiful, inspirational ideas. Her vision is to wake up as many people as possible before she leaves the planet, with her musings sessions, her “life shops,” her fearless branding and graphic design work, and her local civics group.

She sees so many people around her who are asleep with their eyes wide open, and she’s determined to change that.

The way Giulietta characterizes the epidemic we face is this: We are sleepwalking through life. We’ve been socially anesthetized, buying junk, overspending — it’s like we’ve become “modern day indentured servants to credit card companies.”  We’re passionless drones going through the motions, not even remembering to care what we’re doing or why we’re doing it.

Giulietta woke up to her life when her local historic town hall was slated for demolition and she was the only one in opposition to the project. Her passion to preserve the building inspired an entire group to the project and the historic building has now become the gem of her town. Since then, she’s never stopped waking people up to their own lives.

Here are some tips I gleaned from my conversation with Giulietta about how to wake up to your own life and to your own greatness:

1. Be a “power participant” in your life. Stop sleepwalking. If you aren’t filled with enthusiasm and passion for something you’re considering, don’t do it. Immerse yourself in what you love.

2. Find your life purpose. Suffering and misery come from not knowing your purpose — mobilize yourself to find it, now. (If you need help with this, check out my upcoming workshop.)

3. Be who you are. Instead of having a “work” face and a “play” face, be who you are. Why would you bother doing anything different?

4. Get into uncharted territory so you can feel how alive and vital you really are. Giulietta loves the feeling that all her “senses are sparking” when she’s traveling.

5. Read.

6. Ask questions. Lots of them. Be curious. Follow your curiosity. Ask, “What can I learn today?” Ask the questions other people are afraid to ask.

7. Ignore the naysayers and keep going toward whatever holds your interest. It’s only because of their own fears that they want to hold you back. Don’t be willing to go along with other people’s programs. What do you want to do?

8. Think outside the “societal mindset” that if you just collect enough things you’ll finally achieve nirvana.

9. Get outside. We’ve become an artifical indoor society, which is dehumanizing. You need to be in nature to feel alive and connected and real.

10. Spark a movement. If people say no to something you’re passionate about, keep going until you find someone who says Yes.

11. Band together with others who are awake or waking up. You are not alone.

You can find Giulietta at http://giuliettathemuse.com and http://www.fearless-design.com.

Listen to our full interview here:


What did this article spark for you? Please share your comments on the blog below.


What’s Jenna Up To?

~> November 5th. Virtual Workshop: 5 Steps To Get You Back On Track With What You Were Put Here To Do. Early registration is now available online here only through October 15th at Midnight Eastern Time.

~> November 12th and 13th. In-Person Workshop in Berkeley, California: Give Voice to Your Inner Vision Mastermind Retreat. Clarify your unique vision to implement your Life Purpose in a specific, step-by-step plan. I will not be extensively promoting this program, so if you’re interested, please contact my team to request a private consultation with me to determine if this is the right event for you.

Douglas Eby on the Inner Dynamics of Creative Visionaries

Douglas Eby of Talent Development Resources at www.TalentDevelop.com and its associated sites, like www.TheInnerActor.com and www.TheInnerEntrepreneur.com, has been researching and writing about psychology and creativity for the last 10 years, and regularly publishes intriguing tidbits about creativity, personality, and more.

I connected with Douglas’s work originally through my interest in highly sensitive people and his site www.HighlySensitive.org.

In the past he was a film journalist and wrote film production articles for Cinefantastique magazine, interviewing numerous actors, writers, and other filmmakers, which helped further his interest in the inner dynamics of creative people, along with his graduate school education in psychology.

Characteristics of Creative Visionaries
Eby describes creative visionaries as people who have a drive, passion, persistence, or consuming commitment to realize their creative ideas. As visionaries, they have a sense of their work being so important, meaningful, and emotionally powerful that they are willing to commit to it and persist with it.

For example, filmmaker James Cameron originally conceived his movie Avatar in the 1970s and finally released it after 4 years in production this year.

He notes that this kind of persistence can be seen as a form of obsession. :)

Common Challenges & Obstacles
Eby notes the following challenges and obstacles often come up for creative visionaries:

  1. Mental Health Issues often come up for creative types. Writers often struggle with mood disorders. Creative work doesn’t provide immunity to those feelings, and in fact they seem to be more prevalent with creatives.
  2. Perfectionism. Creatives often have a burning need to make everything “right.” On the other hand, as Eby notes, James Cameron says, “I’m not a perfectionist, I’m a ‘greatist.’ I just want to make it great.” (Personally, I love that!)
  3. Self Esteem. The dichotomy of feeling entitled and much more talented, creative, and visionary than most people, but simultaneously feeling less than or inadequate (so common for creative types) can wreck havoc with one’s self-esteem.
  4. Fraud & Impostor Feelings. Many creatives feel like frauds or impostors, as if they will be found out as not really being talented. Actors Kate Winslet and Nicole Kidman both talk about such feelings.

How to Overcome These Obstacles
You may be helped by these common ways creative visionaries overcome these obstacles:

  1. Receiving Therapy. Many actors and writers talk about therapy and how it has helped them. Actor Heather Graham feels that she creates better characters as a result of her personal work. Self awareness seems to increase creative quality for those who pursue it.
  2. Going Ahead with Your Creative Work Anyway. James Cameron admits to feeling depressed at times and yet going ahead with his work. This is so true for me — as an Enneagram Four who often bumps into feeling down at times, I can’t wait around to be “in the mood” to create.
  3. Seeing Your Work in Larger Terms. James Cameron again is an example of someone with a powerful vision who has a larger perspective on the work he brings to the world. This is one of the keys to making an impact with your creative project or vision.

How to Sustain & Fuel Your Creativity
Eby notes that many creatives are helped by collaboration, if that works for you and is appropriate to your creative process. James Cameron, for instance, hires the most creative people he can find, which helps him keep his ideas active and sharp, and emotions high. Solitary artists like painters and writers may have to fuel themselves in a different way.

Similarly, Eby recommends going with the flow of your creative work — not resisting it — as a way to sustain and fuel your creativity.

On Dealing with Naysayers, Fears, & Doubts
Eby suggests that creative visionaries become conscious of their doubts and fears and how they might get triggered by other people’s doubts and fears. He advises that we question and examine the underlying beliefs and ideas around the messages we receive from others.

Ask, “How true is that?” For example, a common admonishment to artists is that “you can’t make money doing art.” But how true is that really? Are there people out there making money with their creative efforts? (The answer is a resounding yes! in my opinion.) (If you’d like help with quieting these sorts fears and doubts, consider joining my Quiet Your Inner Critic course coming up June 22.)

What Supports Creative Visionaries to Succeed?
To help stay the course as a creative visionary, follow your gut. If you feel driven, called to, or have to take action on creating your creative dream, despite all the fears, doubts, and reasons not to, follow your gut to claim and step into your role as a creative visionary.

Also, pay attention to your emotional life and what holds you back from your creative spirit, expression, and interests. Therapy, coaching, or mentoring may be helpful. Deal with the fear and anxiety you have so you can get on with your creative work. Coaching in particular can provide a sense of responsibility for bringing your creative project to life.

Want more details? You can listen to the full audio interview here:

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What’s Jenna Up To?

~> Tuesday, June 22, 2010, Jenna kicks off her workshop intensive series, “How to Quiet Your Inner Critic So You Can Stop Holding Back On Your Soul’s Mission.” Register *today* to receive 3 special bonus gifts.

~> Summer 2010. Jenna’s Embrace Your Inner Wisdom teleclass. Details to be announced. Learn to work with one of your greatest gifts as a sensitive soul — your intuition.

~> August 2010. Give Voice to Your Inner Vision Mastermind Retreat (in-person). Dates to be announced. Clarify your unique vision to implement your Life Purpose in a specific, step-by-step plan.

On Being Ahead Of Your Time

I just finished a brilliant interview with Mark Simpson of www.ExceleratedSuccess.com.

Mark is teamed up with his wife, Bria Simpson, a six-figure marketing mentor, and he uses his creative visionary abilities to help entrepreneurs develop their own successful creative visions for their businesses.  In the past, Mark designed, owned, and ran a children’s museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Along those lines, he cites Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss as two of the most successful, creative visionaries of our time. I couldn’t agree more.

Mark shared with me a favorite quote of his by Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) that helps keep him inspired and on track, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Here’s a bit of what I gleaned from Mark about how successful creative visionaries thrive:

  1. Be willing to take risks.
  2. Trust your own instincts.
  3. Have a deeply rooted support system firmly in place of people who believe in you.
  4. Channel your creative visions into real and tangible outcomes.
  5. Stay inspired by staying tapped into your big picture vision — remember all the lives you will or are touching.
  6. Keep your distance from the people who doubt you.
  7. The only person to please is yourself.
  8. Be willing to take a leap of faith (or many).
  9. Be willing “fail” and learn from your mistakes.
  10. Stay focused on your big picture vision.
  11. Don’t get caught up in the day-to-day minutia. Instead, delegate and surround yourself with people who have strengths in those areas.
  12. Have people around you who believe in you and ways to stay connected in the world socially. That helps balance the isolation that can come from having a vision that other people may not “get.”

Here are some characteristics of creative visionaries we touched on.

  • Out there
  • Ahead of their time
  • Ahead of the curve
  • Standing out
  • Misunderstood
  • Hard to find
  • At the cutting edge
  • Avant garde
  • Big picture thinkers
  • Idea generators

I’ll post the interview later today.