There's a funny truth in the business world: hard work does not equate to success. If you've believed in this supposed connection for any length of time, you may find it unbelievable that there is in fact no direct cause-and-effect relationship between those two things.

So, if you can't draw a straight line between working hard and achieving your goals, then what else is there?

To help answer this conundrum, I turned to my consulting coach, J.V. Crum III -- an author, keynote speaker, and serial entrepreneur who made his millions by the ripe old age of 25. Now, he shows other business coaches and consultants how to go from six to seven figures and beyond in their businesses, and teaches high net worth business founders how to move from making a tiny ripple to making a tidal wave of impact with both their passions and their profits.

When I asked him about how to systematically set goals and rapidly achieve them, he told me the one reason why most people never come close to achieving their biggest goals.

He pointed to his head, and said, "anything you achieve in life, you have to achieve it in here, first."

The first step toward financial freedom

In his book, Conscious Millionaire: Grow Your Business by Making a Difference, he goes in-depth on what he calls "Conscious Millionaire Visualization," which is a high-level form of goal visualization. It not only empowers you past the point of most visualization approaches, but it also gives you permission to live at your highest potential.

Admittedly, much has been written on the power of visualization, particularly in the realm of sports athletes who use visualization to put themselves into their goal before they even begin. But, while it makes sense to visualize yourself physically careening down a ski slope in the Olympics, is it also possible to visualize achieving enormous wealth?

According to Crum, it's not only possible -- it's essential to achieving your monetary and business goals.

Most people -- even those who think they use visualization -- never actually visualize themselves being in the state they so desperately want. In fact, most get stuck, emotionally, in the wanting state, and are never able to put themselves into a high-level performance state.

Instead, people who achieve enormous success -- and fast - learn and then embody the secrets for putting themselves into a state of mind of already having achieved their goals.

They feel what it's like to be wealthy. They walk through their days as if they've achieved that promotion. They go to bed at night feeling grateful for having bought that dream home, even though they haven't even picked it out yet.

Visualizing your biggest goals

Your mindset, as I've personally learned, is everything. What I've also learned is that the power of visualization does not come through voodoo or magical energy (though I'm willing to be debated on either). Instead, I have found that visualization works, in part, because we tend to make different micro-decisions based on our state of mind. In other words, we make tiny, seemingly insignificant variations in our daily habits that, over time, add up to wildly divergent outcomes.

Since we make literally thousands of decisions every day, it's easy to imagine how a tiny variation in each of these decisions -- based on your state of mind -- can either lead you to achieve your goal, or to remain continually stuck in the same old grind forever.

Following Crum's system, let's try an exercise. Close your eyes. Imagine you've achieved everything you ever wanted, and more.

What does it feel like? Smell like? Look like? What do you hear all around you, and what are you saying to yourself?

While maintaining this state of mind, see yourself taking empowered steps toward your goal. Who's around you, cheering you on? What kinds of challenges do you now have with your newfound life?

Open your eyes. Make a conscious decision to stay in that empowered state of being.

Then, take empowered action to achieve it all.