12 April 2019


Caroline Chevrier

Women in Business


“Where do you see yourself in five years?” I asked the people in my life this very question, and it proved to be a difficult one to answer. “I have no idea where I will be in a year, let alone in five!” Did this uncertainty only affect my peers? I needed to get to the bottom of this, so I asked the audience at my last entrepreneurship conference the same question…

“Raise your hand if you know where you want to be in 5 years.” Only 10% had a clear answer*.

Few people can answer this question with certainty. However, research has shown that if we have a clear vision of where we are headed, the higher our chances of getting there**.

Every year, from the time I was 25 years old, I got in the habit of reflecting on my five-year plan. I lay down my dreams, my ambitions, on a sheet of paper, and it works extraordinarily well. Most of the goals on my lists are achieved. I recently found a piece of paper on which I had written “2020: freedom” and you know what? In December 2018, I took a year-long sabbatical.

We spend hours planning trips, what the next destination will be, yet we seldom plan for our future, or the future of our business. In order to better understand the importance of having a long-term vision, I discussed with Hélène Savignac, the co-founder of Synaxon Expansion, a firm specialized in business transfers and growth. Here are her observations: “By having a five-year plan, we open ourselves up to possibilities, instead of leaving it to the last minute, limiting possibilities, and facing deception and setbacks.”

Most of the female entrepreneurs I work with have a winning attitude. They believe in their dreams, they surround themselves with the right people, and they become “programed” to succeed. The ones who make the effort to clarify their vision are the most successful. It becomes fuel for them. A mental picture of what success looks like.

But, how do we get there in a world where six months is considered long-term? Here are few questions to ask yourself to help you clarify your vision.

What do I want to achieve? (Get my MBA, start a business, find a new job, start a family, train for an athletic competition)
What is my dream? (Become one of the top 100 most influential people in Canada, move to the country, become a borough mayor, take flying lessons)

This exercise can be done at any time. I’ve always done it in an informal way.

I put everything on paper: my personal and professional goals, from trips, to getting my MBA, to babies, the sale of my business, the cottage, the investments, upgrading courses… And you know what, 80% of my vision actually came true.

The simple act of putting it on paper allows me to reflect on what I really want, which allows me to understand my objectives and have a clear vision of my destination. I concentrate on two or three specific goals during the year, and revisit and adjust as needed.

This week, take an hour to visualize your future!

Come on, play the game! Clarify your vision and turn yourself into an Olympic athlete. Try it, it works. You won’t regret it!

We’ve created a simple tool to help you get started.


* Based on a sample of 125 people.
**According to Forbes 2016 survey with 1100 participants, 500 of them, small business owners.

About the author

Caroline Chevrier

About Caroline Chevrier


Caroline Chevrier is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur. She is a renowned professional in the communications field in Québec. As an expert in food and health, she is regularly asked to give expert commentary in the media on the challenges facing the industries. As a conference speaker, she shares her passion for entrepreneurship with a view to encouraging more people to set up businesses in Québec.