I’ve been doing a lot of existential-type exercises lately, because I run my own business, and as my own boss, I need to a) keep myself on track, and b) substitute imaginary friends for a board meeting.

Napoleon Hill describes the process of creating an ‘Imaginary Cabinet’ in Think and Grow Rich. You relax your body completely, and imagine all your greatest heroes sitting around a table with you, eager to answer your questions.

In order to keep my imagination from getting crowded (because, seriously, it’s already pretty packed in there) I used the Map from Michael Bungay Stanier’s Do More Great Work.

Here are the heroes that will be guiding me in my dreams, and the 4 qualities of each I admire them for:

Felicia Day, actor and creator of The Guild

Photo by Gage Skidmore

  • She found a niche with her hobby, and made it her career.
  • She integrates multiple multimedia channels
  • that have given her a platform to perform, all the time.
  • She is unabashedly authentic. She’s still a pale geek, and Hollywood never took that away.

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple

Photo by Acaben

  • Vision beyond the now.
  • A continual return to the user experience (i.e. the customer experience).
  • An unforgiving dedication to quality.
  • Brevity.

Daniel Stein, former School Director of Dell’Arte

  • Wisdom, and no fear of sharing it gracefully.
  • Curiosity into the world around him, and why it works the way it does.
  • An adoration of applause often found in lifelong performers
  • Faith, in his religion and his world.

Francisco d’Anconia, fictional character

Artist’s rendition.

  • Innate ability, beyond that of normal men
  • Centeredness that comes from being utterly capable
  • Raw genius, and the desire to throw it at difficulties
  • Rogueish approach to life

James Cameron, film director

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

  • Powerful storyteller, who uses
  • Incredible visuals to show, not tell, his stories.
  • He distilled mythologies into the potent pinch points.
  • Epic stories. Big, epic stories.

These are my heroes.

As I dream this evening, these are the people who will be sitting in my Invisible Cabinet. It is to their personas that I turn for advice, for inspiration, and for guidance.
Who do YOU turn to? Leave a list of your heroes in the comments.