Do you have a clear direction and vision for your business?
Clarifying your vision is one of the best ways to relieve the overwhelm of running a business and can help you become motivated once more about your goals and direction.
However, the textbook ideas around creating a vision often focus on what you “should” do.
You should aim for rapid growth.
You should set huge income targets.
You should dream big…
I prefer to remove the word “should”?
Creating your vision is about so much more than ticking boxes and saying the right words.
Creating a vision is about:
- Connecting to your heart’s desire
- Creating a deep connection to what you want
- Putting yourself into the vision, you want to create
Textbooks can’t tell you what your vision looks like. But creating a clear, compelling picture of what you want in your business and your life will help you develop the grit to make it through the ups and downs.
There are three common pitfalls business owners typically when setting their vision.
Mistake #1: Not taking time to pause
Maybe you started your business from an idea, and it’s taken off since then. Perhaps you’re now really busy, and you haven’t stopped to reflect.
Over 20 years ago, my partner, PJ, and I booked a weekend at this little house by the beach in southern New South Wales, and it turned out to be one of the most significant weekends of our life.
We’d built our business to revenue of around $300,000 annually, so we’d already kicked some goals. We employed a small team, we had customers, and we finally had a viable business model after a few years.
We knew there was a whole lot more potential.
However, we were so busy being busy that we couldn’t see where we were going.
We found this little blue cottage, which still exists today, and one glorious winter weekend, we stole a couple of days to go down there.
Over three days, we ‘unpacked’ how we’d grown our business from zero to $300,000.
We asked ourselves:
- How did we get here?
- What do we love about the business?
- What do we not love about the business?
- What do we love about what we’re doing?
At some point that weekend, I declared I wanted a million-dollar business. As soon as I said it, it felt more real.
There’s something powerful about taking time to declare what you want and actually share that with someone else.
By the end of the weekend, I’d written $1,000,000 in the sand of a nearby beach.
That weekend, we envisioned a million-dollar business, and it was a sign of things to come. Sure, there was a lot of work ahead of us. But, we had a direction in which we were focused and headed.
How about you? When did you last pause, explore your potential and reset your vision?
Mistake #2: Not creating a COMPELLING vision
Sometimes, we take a textbook approach to creating a vision. For example, you may say to yourself:
“I’m a business owner, I really ought to have a vision. So let me come up with something.”
Compare this with what Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple said:
“If you are working on something exciting that you care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
Having inducted over 200 of Australia’s most prominent business owners into the HerBusiness Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame over the years, I’ve learned that many of these successful women also hold visions bigger than themselves, pulling them forward.
Creating a business vision that you really want, with clarity and focus, pulls you forward.
With a clear, focused vision, you will find it easier to get up every day. You will find it easier to say “no” to the things that don’t matter and “yes” to the things that do.
Soon after our blue cottage experience, PJ and I set a vision of achieving financial freedom by PJ’s 40th birthday. For us, financial freedom meant that the assets we invested in would produce enough cash flow to cover our living expenses. This meant that we could choose to work if we wanted to and not work if we didn’t.
This became the big vision, and it allowed us to line up our energy and head toward this one dream.
A big mistake some business owners make is they create a vision that doesn’t make their hearts sing. Instead, I encourage you to create a vision that pulls you forward and is your heart’s desire.
What is your compelling dream?
Mistake #3: Not putting yourself in the vision
Let’s go back to that textbook approach:
You might be thinking: “I know I should have a vision. I’m going to find a vision that kind of works. I can put it on my website. I can share it with my team.”
Member Amy Geach from Maida Learning is an allied health professional. Her business helps other allied health professionals grow their practices. She also owns and operates her own private practice, providing hand therapy and paediatric occupational therapy. Amy recently shared the following with me:
“I followed what the book said. I was writing my vision so that I thought a business would look, putting my business’s needs ahead of my own. But I wasn’t heart-connected to it.”
Amy explained to me that she wasn’t in her vision. She felt disconnected from the vision, which didn’t pull her forward. Amy described the experience as playing “Snakes and Ladders”. She would push towards the vision and go up a couple of ladders. Then, she’d get stuck in the doing rather than letting herself stay connected to the vision and end up sliding down a snake.
“Putting myself in the vision was a massive game-changer for me. I’d never thought of putting myself or putting my family into it. I hadn’t thought of putting what I wanted in my vision and not just what the business wanted.”
For Amy, putting herself into her vision meant thinking about more than just what was good for the business. As a result, today, she’s growing multiple successful businesses simultaneously.
Where are you in the vision of your future?
- Creating a vision is a powerful way to get clarity and focus for you and your business. It is about:
- Take time to pause and think deeply about the vision you want to create.
- Throw away the textbook ideas of vision and allow yourself to create your own compelling vision of your ideal business.
- You create a business that inspires you every day by connecting your vision to you.
Let your vision be the powerful expression of your full potential
When you pursue a vision that is your heart’s desire, it makes it easier to do what you do every day. Your authentic and compelling vision will give you the grit to keep going. Even when you don’t know exactly how you’re going to get there, a clear vision connected to who you are will give you the energy and inspiration to get you there.
Remember, it starts with you.
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