One of Napoleon Hill’s laws of success is “Imagination.” His stories illustrate the many aspects of how imagination can help you to be successful at sales and marketing.

I believe success comes by using imagination that starts with dreams that become reality. One must have a “burning desire” to make those dreams a reality.

Jesse Jackson said, “Dream big dreams! Others may deprive you of your material wealth and cheat you in a thousand ways, but no man can deprive you of the control and use of your imagination. Men may deal with you unfairly, as men often do; they may deprive you of your liberty; but they cannot take from you the privilege of using your imagination. In your imagination you always win!”

When we look to the root cause of all successful people there is a compelling dream that keeps them on track even when obstacles get in the way of progress.

We have all heard the stories of success of McDonald’s billions of hamburgers sold, and the invention of Liquid Paper by a secretary, and the success of Mrs. Fields Cookies so many times they may not be as inspiring as they were when first told. The story of Josie Natori’s simple idea may ignite your imagination.

Raised in the Philippines, Josie Natori came the U.S. to study economics and had a successful career as an investment banker. But, she recalls, “I was bored. It all came too easy.” She and her husband were mulling over starting their own business, considering items they could import from the Philippines, when a friend sent her some children’s clothes with elaborate embroidery.

Natori took one look at the clothes and was inspired. The look might not work for kids, but she felt it would look great on women’s lingerie. She began creating her own designs and soon had orders from major department stores including Saks and Bloomingdale’s.

“From the beginning,” Natori told an interviewer, “I wasn’t consciously trying to challenge the established ideas of lingerie. I simply followed my instincts. I had no preconceived ideas and asked questions that forced buyers to reconsider what (lingerie) should look like. I naturally asked questions like, ‘Why can’t a nightgown look like an evening gown?’ or ‘Who says you can’t wear these slippers with that dress?’”

Today Natori’s company does $25.6 million worth of business annually and sells products across America and in Canada, Italy, Japan and France. Natori’s imagination continues to be the fuel that drives her business forward. “Even when I’m shopping in a flea market, I am searching for inspiration.”

No matter what your dream is, if you think about it every day and see it as a reality the universe will conspire to put the opportunities in front of you that will take you step by step to realize that dream.

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Randy Martinsen is the president/CEO of BudgetWorks Inc., a full-service marketing and business operations consulting firm. He can be reached at 707-206-6443 or randym@budgetworks.net.


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