Minimalist Manager Challenge Part 2: Vision Board

The second task in my #MinimalistManager Challenge is to create a Vision Board.

Follow along to hear how it went, what went wrong, and why I decided to revise my old goals.

A Little Background…

The Minimalist Management philosophy based on a belief that we can reducing our reliance on unneeded things, and increase our appreciation of the world around us.

I believe there are 4 essential areas to succeed in adopting this:

  • Care for Self
  • Organize Surroundings
  • Prioritize Time
  • Help Others

In this analysis, I will provide a Post-Mortem Evaluation of the task to help me determine the root causes of actions to avoid as a business owner, which includes:

  1. what happened
  2. what went well
  3. what didn’t go well, and
  4. how we can adjust for the future

Check out my first post to hear why I decided to start this challenge.

View this post on Instagram

Autumn is here, and it’s time for a new #minimalistmanager challenge! I’ll be experiencing tasks that get me closer to business goals, even if it’s uncomfortable… like eating #nosugar (tomorrow’s objective) 🍭🛑. Want to join me? Here’s how: . . . Pick 9 activities that feel slightly uncomfortable but move you toward your goals in four areas: • Care for Self • Organize Surroundings • Prioritize Time • Help Others If you own a business, consider ways to stretch yourself as an owner. Set aside a period of time to work on your challenge (I recommend 9 to 15 days). Write down your challenge tasks. Each day, pick one card out of a hat 🎩. [I scheduled 15 days with 9 activities; the extra days are to recognize and celebrate growth, or consider why it didn’t go so well.] I’ll be posting updates about my challenge here: Join me, and let me know what you learn about yourself!

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The full list

  • Part 1: No Sugar
  • Part 2: Create a Vision Board
  • Part 3: Leftie Day
  • Part 4: Organize Office
  • Part 5: No Facebook
  • Part 6: Send Thank-You Notes
  • Part 7: Get Offline
  • Part 8: Meditate 3x
  • Part 9: Work at a New Location

So how did my 2nd task go? Let’s find out!

Part 2 of My Challenge: Vision Board

I define a Strategic Vision Board as

“A tool used to clarify life, career, and business goals in a tangible, visual way.”

Creating a board like this can be really simple, or you can make it as complicated and artistic as you like. Here are some of the variations:

  • structured or unstructured
  • with the use of artistic components or without
  • hand-drawn or computer generated
  • using a large poster or just a letter-sized paper
  • as part of an ongoing process or a one-time project

I recommend using the 9-Square Bagua Map technique, which is described here.

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Strategic Vision Board and Essential Oils in Order

The Bagua Map is derived from Feng Shui principles. By using this framework tool, you will be able to identify any gaps in your strategic vision-ing process and discover new things that may not have occurred with a traditional planning method.

Essential Area

My Vision Board process fit two categories particularly well:

  • Care for Self
  • Organize Surroundings
  • Prioritize Time
  • Help Others

Looking into future is both a self-awareness process (by focusing on what YOU want to accomplish) and a time prioritization process (by considering WHERE to focus your attention and energy).

Post-Mortem Evaluation

My goal for today was to create a new Strategic Vision Board using a tool I developed:

You can read more about how to do this here.

1. What happened

This task did not turn out the way I imagined. I had planned to create a video explaining how to do a Vision Board, but the day got away from me due to a combination of an ongoing chest cold and the chance to go out for Pho with my husband (see pictures below).

Instead, I decided to consider my goals from a previous vision board and update them.

View this post on Instagram

Part 2 of my #MinimalistManager Challenge: Create a Vision Board. For lunch, my husband and I ate at a #Pho restaurant. Designing a strategic vision board means you need to take time to the impact of each square. During lunch, I thought about the Journey square (explore new opportunities that stretch me — like this challenge) and the Wisdom square (look for ways to increase knowledge, apply it, and share it with others). The lovely Thai decorations and soothing food were both reminders to continue pursuing my goal of traveling internationally as a speaker and consultant. . . . #minimalism #strategy #visionboard #baguamap #fengshui #goals #goalsetting #strategicplanning #phonoodles #thailand #thaifood #freshspringrolls #thaibasil #travelgoals #businessgoals Read my updates here:

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2. What went well

Although I wasn’t able to get crafty and design an artistic new vision board (hopefully soon), this challenge did help me to dedicate time to clarifying what I do want for the future.

3. What didn’t go well

The process of considering the future can be painful.

We are often reminded of what we AREN’T doing right now; the things we did NOT accomplish already, and how we are still far from our goals.

Some of my goals have changed. I reluctantly admitted this to my husband over our lunch of Pho beef broth and noodles. Yes, I still want to accomplish a lot of the same things… but not for the same reasons, or in the time-frame that I’d originally set.

For example:

Old goal: Achieve a Ph.D. in Management

Reason: I love to learn and want to demonstrate my expertise and knowledge.

Turning point: The financial investment (approximately $100,000), massive time commitment (5 years with attention away from my business and family), and servitude to a university’s strict standards do not necessarily align with my goals at this point in life.

Alternate goal: Select a focused area of expertise, gather relevant information, synthesize it, and share it with others. (This is the exact definition of Communication Intelligence).

Other Old Goals

Some of my other goals were to

  • earn $XXX/year in sales,
  • become a published author,
  • be invited to speak at more keynote conferences, and
  • contribute to influential companies as a recognized strategist.

While each of these is fine, I am adjusting them to fit the needs of my family, the limits of my business life, and my own changing professional and personal demands.

In other words, they are all accomplishable; but I may not really want to put the time, energy, expense, and mental focus into achieving them right now.

Sometimes, our big goals need to change.

The beautiful part about setting goals is that we also have the freedom to adjust them, create new destinations, and add self-imposed limitations as needed.

There is nothing wrong with setting limits. In fact, that is exactly what my challenge is all about: creating artificial limits—a conscious decision to give specific tasks focused attention, and to remove all distractions… which can result in an enriched capacity to solve problems more creatively.

While I wasn’t able to create a complete vision board on this challenge day, I did allow a lot of room for forgiveness. Someone I trust (my husband) “held space” for me and didn’t judge me for having failed to reach such a high bar.

Self-forgiveness and holding space are the antithesis of self-loathing. We often feel useless and pathetic when we fail. It’s important to build up your sense of accomplishments so that you can see failures as a learning opportunity, rather than another reason to feel disgusted.

Failure is good. Read more: Why #MeToo Inspired Me to Be Transparent and Share My Failures

4. How I can adjust for the future

This process did clarify two very important goals:

  • The Journey square allows us to explore new opportunities that stretch us— like this challenge is pushing me out of my comfort zone.
  • The Wisdom square helps us to look for ways to increase knowledge, apply it, and share it with others. As I enjoyed the lovely Thai decorations and soothing food, it reminded me to continue pursuing my passion for traveling internationally as a speaker and consultant.


This task was really helpful in re-establishing my goals. Although I skipped the “poster-making” part of the Vision Board, I did consider the direction for my business and how I want to get there.

And ultimately, that’s the whole point of setting a goal: to decide where you want to be in the future. As we change and mature, that future point can change.

Through this challenge, I learned that there’s nothing wrong with recalibrating your goals as you adjust your focus.

It’s okay to give yourself permission to miss the target, as long as you recognize what went wrong, pick a new target, and press forward.

Follow my #MinimalistManager journey:

Stay tuned for the next installment, where I discuss what it feels like to use my Non-Dominant Hand for a whole day!


Interested in hearing how you can reverse a toxic workplace? Find out more here.


Grace LaConte is a business consultant, writer, workplace equity strategist, and the founder of LaConte Consulting. Her risk management tools are used around the globe, and she has successfully reversed toxic work environments for clients in the healthcare and non-profit fields. Grace specializes in lactation law compliance & policy development, reducing staff turnover after maternity leave, and creating a participatory work culture.

Find more at, or connect with her on Instagram and Twitter @lacontestrategy.

2 thoughts on “Minimalist Manager Challenge Part 2: Vision Board

  1. What a great post – thank you. If minimalism and hoarding were on a large graph, I’ve moved way down closer to minimalism since I’ve thrown out so many items in the last few years. Once you get to your 50’s and remember all the “junk” your parents had laying around towards the end of their lives, you really open you eyes at (1) reducing your footprint, (2) taking better care of yourself, and (3) making each moment count.

    1. That is such a wonderful point, IM Fletcher. A lot of the antiques and accumulated collectibles that mattered to previous generations are just not as important to their children and grandchildren. Thank you for sharing!

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