Strategy insight: Begin with the end in mind…

The best advice I have ever been given about pretty much everything has come from multiple sources and in different words but the essence has remained the same.

Always begin with the end in mind.

As kids we worked maze puzzles.  Did you ever start at the end?  It wasn’t cheating.. it was smart!  Imagine planning a trip and having to pack without knowing where you are going..  We need to start any endeavor knowing how we want it to finish.  It’s about intention.  It’s about strategy.

It was no surprise to me when I first ventured into writing to learn that many successful authors also followed this formula.  Before they started to write, in many ways they had finished the book.  How? They knew what they wanted to accomplish.  They had a purpose and intention. That meant that the book had its origin at the finish line.  As I am working on my next book I come back often to my vision for the book’s message and what it will mean to the reader. It allows me to stay on track and (for the most part!) on schedule.

What are you about to begin? Can you see the finish line in your mind?  To end there, start there.  Best advice I’ve ever been given is now my advice.  Pass it on.


About Kathi Laughman

Referred to by her clients as “The Plan B to Z Expert”, Kathi inspires them to see beyond probabilities to possibilities. They are stronger, happier and more financially secure than ever before. The result is the creation of far more value in the rest of their story than they ever dreamed possible. She serves professionals committed to continuously creating new pathways to success and significance.


  1. I was just considering this last night about my mini-series The Abigale Chronicles. Where and when will it end? Great advice! WRITE ON!

  2. I’m in awe of people like you that write such incredible stories. Particularly where there is such strong character development as well as story line. I would imagine that your creative process may not always allow you to “know” all of the details of the ending but a friend of mine once said that she used the principal to get past any blocks. If she couldn’t figure out what to do next, skip that step and go to the next one. It generally sorts itself out! In life, I’ve heard this stated as writing your own eulogy or epitaph and then living your life to make it true. Thanks (as always!) for stopping by.

  3. Hi Kathi, interesting response to the challenge. I sometimes begin reading a book from the end (I know I shouldn’t) so it makes sense to write with the end in mind 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Merlene. I am pretty we’ve all read the last chapter first on occasion! What I like about this principal is that it extends beyond just a story line to how you’re going publish, where, etc. Knowing what you intend to accomplish can be both a powerful motivator and touchstone throughout the process.

  4. Kathi, this is truly the only thing we can do if we expect to succeed in our efforts. There are so many challenges that we have to overcome. If we don’t follow some kind of plan, we’re bound to get lost.

    As one who has lived through the ups, downs and workarounds, I understand exactly what you’re saying. We all struggle with making decisions and finding clarity from time to time. When I find myself in that position I just pick a point and work from there.

    Pretty soon, the clouds move, I can see what I need to do, and I’m able to go on toward my goal.

    With you as a friend to inspire me, it makes the work much easier!
    Teresa Beeman recently posted..Do You Have the Mindset For Success?My Profile

  5. On the heals of the UBC “ending” so to speak, even though it will still be ongoing, I feel like I have finished the challenge, but now what? Where do I want to go from here? I have several things in the works but I’m not sure which to go with.

    So, I needed this today. I will do just that. Keep myself reminded of the end and work that way. Good advice.

    Thank you,
    Missy Bell

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