It’s been well-documented from sports to business and everything in between – the practice of visualization can lead to real outcomes of success. The practice of visualization is often associated with big goals that you want to accomplish but need extra motivation and inspiration to achieve them. Visualization is the act of envisioning a particular reality you want to experience or achieve. Doing this allows individuals to imagine what that reality looks, sounds, and feels like. It’s an incredibly powerful technique.
A well-known example of this was shared by actor Jim Carrey in an interview with Oprah Winfrey years ago. In that interview, he shared that when he was a struggling actor with no money, he wrote himself a check for $10 million dollars that he kept in his wallet at all times. Every morning he would look at the check and visualize actually receiving that amount of money. Years after writing this check to himself, he received the confirmation that he would star in the movie, Dumb and Dumber which would pay him $10 million dollars.
There is no shortage of examples that testify to the power of visualizing our dreams and how doing so helps us overcome the challenges that come when pursuing those goals. At THP, our entire company was built on a dream to create something bigger and greater than could have been expected. Given where THP stands today, it is hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for my parents, Trần Quí Thanh and Phạm Thị Nụ, in the beginning.
My parents share many traits in common. There is no limit to their ambition, and they are relentless in pursuing their dreams. My father literally never gives up. Everything that they believe is encapsulated in THP’s seven core values. The core value closest to my father’s heart is the one which states, “Nothing is impossible. There are no limits to what we can accomplish.”
It’s hard to believe what was once a humble yeast and then sugar operation has turned into a leading beverage manufacturer with a goal to produce 3 billion liters of beverages in 2023. Of course, THP’s trajectory wasn’t always so clear. In the mid-to-late 1970s, my father got a job at the Ministry of Mechanics and Metallurgy. But he found it difficult to support himself on a government salary, and in 1977 quietly started a small yeast business. In 1979, yeast prices also collapsed, forcing my parents to pivot their business to a sugar- and fructose-processing operation instead. After a few years in the sugar business, they moved into alcohol distilling and then into beer. By then it was 1994, and the winds of reform were sweeping through Vietnam, legitimizing private businesses and creating multiple opportunities. Fast forward three years and THP had grown into a fast-growing business manufacturing beer.
Don’t Become Deterred
It was sheer determination and resilience that helped THP become the company it is today. I think about my father’s focus on achieving the next level of production for THP back in the 1990s. He had spotted an opportunity to buy a production line being scrapped by Saigon Alcohol Beer and Beverages Corp (Sabeco), one of Vietnam’s largest state-owned companies. But it was not an easy acquisition. Sabeco did not want to help incubate a rival, so its managers broke up the production line and sold parts from different warehouses. My father made sure he was at every auction.
When Sabeco got wind of what he was doing, they tried to foil him by selling crucial components to scrapyards. My father and his men scoured every single one until they had what they needed. They even purchased bits of scrap metal they did not need for fear the scrapyard owners would bump the price up if they realized how desperate my father was for certain items.
Once THP had all the pieces, my father and his team had to work out how to put them back together again. He hired some Sabeco employees to help him; after months of working round the clock, they got the production line up and running. They even managed to reduce the loss rate from 37 percent to about 2 or 3 percent. My father said he achieved it by never giving up. He also said Sabeco ended up respecting what he did. That line is still in operation today and has the largest capacity of any beverage manufacturer in Vietnam, although it no longer produces beer. Instead, THP pivoted to soft drinks and teas, with the company growing by 400 percent between 2006 and 2009.
There is Only One Way To Think: Think Big
Life-changing opportunities and big successes don’t just happen. They require an unrelenting desire and focus for achieving more. Thinking big forces you to grow beyond your comfort zone. THP has grown from a small family business to a multinational corporation because they always strive to be bigger and do better; part of making that aspiration a reality has been an ongoing commitment to setting big goals.
Back in 2000, my father made it clear that he intended to out-compete the leading multi-nationals. This was his vision:
The THP Beverage Group aims to make a significant contribution to the success of Vietnam by creating the country’s leading beverage brands. Our goal is to become one of the leading food and beverage companies in Asia while catering to global consumers.
In terms of goals – this was ridiculously big. In 2000, THP was not even among the leading food and beverage companies in Vietnam, let alone Asia. But like President John F. Kennedy’s goal of sending a man to the moon and returning him safely to earth, my father intended to shoot for the stars, too. That vision led to a $2.5 billion dollar offer from The Coca-Cola Company in 2012 for a controlling interest in THP; an offer THP walked away from.
THP’s vision and goals have only continued and grown as it achieves the goals set before. THP’s current goal is to increase revenues from $500 million in 2016 to $1 billion in 2023 and $3 billion by 2027. We want to build our exports to 10 percent of the total by 2023 and hope to find a strategic partner that will help us to grow and share THP’s vision together.
Making these statements – no matter how big – makes them real. It forces each of us to focus in on our objectives and seek to achieve them in our day-to-day tasks. Allow yourself to visualize where you want your company to be in X number of years. Set goals that help you achieve that vision – no matter how impossible it might sound to others. We truly believe nothing is impossible; just look at where THP is today.