top of page

How a Shirt Story Can Help You Reach Your Goal

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

No typo. It’s a shirt, not a short story.

Aw c’mon Paula. A story about a shirt can help materialize my business goal?

Stay with me.

The shirt story illustrates the basic premise and context of goal fulfillment.

Because the content of goal doesn’t necessarily matter, the context and your mindset does. Big time.

Disclaimer. There’s always an exception. Although. On the topic of goals. Debate kills them. Here’s why. Make a fist. I’ll do the same. Place the face of your fist square against mine. We’ll both push equally as hard against each other. What happens? Right.

In working with business owners, I teach expansive thinking, imagination and mindset alchemy in the context of goal fulfillment. That fist thing, is for the Debate Club.

Christmastime 2018. The shirt. The goal. I maneuvered through throngs of shoppers to the Men’s Department of a national retailer in search of gifts for my husband. There it was. Black and red. Long sleeves. The perfect shirt. A slight wrinkle. I need a size large. There was one extra-large. I went to the clerk, “I need this shirt in a large, are there any in the back?” “Inventory says there are two on the floor, but I can order and ship it to you.” suggested the clerk. I declined opting to scour the floor. Zilch. Back to the registers, “I’d like to order this shirt in a large, please.” Clerk number two says, “It’s unavailable for online order.” Wait. What? I left. My online search failed. Days later I went back to the store. “Hi, I’d like to buy this shirt in a large, can you order it for me?” “Sure. Where would you like it sent?” says clerk number three.

Christmas morning. My husband slips on the black and red stunner, “Hun, I love it although I need an extra-large.” OOF. For reasons unknown, I ignored multiple signs, the difficulty in ordering the large. Note to self. Discounting intuition is not a good life strategy. Back to the store. No extra-large. A fourth clerk says, “It’s unavailable for online order.” “Would other stores have it?” I pressed. The manager handed me a store inventory printout. With list in hand, I started home. I called the first store and was told there’s no inventory. The customer service rep checked two more stores, “Nothing. I’m sorry ma’am, is there anything else I can help you with today?” Thank you. No. All sensory evidence indicated, no shirt. I believed otherwise. Because the biology of belief is a transformative power. Besides, there are hundreds of stores in this chain. There is one black/red extra-large shirt.

The goal. I’ll have that shirt. My mantra. It exists. It’s on route. It’s delivered.

Ignoring everything every clerk and store manager said, I searched online again. Bingo! An extra-large shirt. It exists. It’s on route. It’s delivered. One day ahead of schedule. Holy moly Paula, what’s up with this shirt? My husband loving the shirt aside, there’s a fundamental principle here. I teach business owners mindset alignment with the goal. It’s your pixie dust. Because a goal starts on the inside in the workshop of your mind. It’s impossible to consistently think/feel/speak lack and generate wealth. Just as it’s impossible to materialize a goal, when your internal chatter says, there’s no freaking way this’ll happen.

The shirt story merely scratches the surface. Meanwhile its context is goal achievement 101. Everyone has an opinion, expert store clerks and managers included. Count on obstacles. What’ll you do when facing a roadblock? Quit. Or will you tap the single most powerful faculty, your imagination, to achieve your aim? Are you committed to the vision in your imagination or does sensory evidence to the contrary stop you? Is another’s word gospel? Or are you dedicated to your goal despite group think? Mindset alignment with the goal underpins everything you do. Everything. It’s your internal cause to an external effect.

The inspiring news? Be it new product development, scaling your business or building horizontal income buckets, the shirt story context is portable to your goal. It has fulfillment potential. It exists. It’s on route. It’s delivered.

Paula M. Parker © 2019 The article was originally published in the

bottom of page