When people have a sound business idea and the excitement to act on it – at least initially – they probably anticipate there will be loads of work to do and problems to address. And, their first task should be having a clear objective. Without a well-defined goal and reasonable measures to ascertain successes, you’re already fighting the uphill battle. In fact, you may as well just throw in the towel now.
Did that last bit of advice get your hackles up? If it didn’t, it should. Your lack of reaction could be the result of an unclear vision.
Few people consider anything beyond the tangible nuts and bolts of getting a business started. This is natural, considering the amount of work that is put into legalities and producing a convincing business plan. It requires enough funding; there are decisions to be made on employee counts, office plans, payroll and benefits, and a world of other details. The sheer amount is enough for you to raise your hands in surrender.
Not to pay short shrift to all those business processes, but there is something well worth mentioning that you might have overlooked. It begs the question – when the most difficult issues do arise, do you have what it takes to overcome them?
You may not believe what you read next, but it is true. Every move you make in your business is directly connected to your vision, and by vision, we mean definitive, tangible goals as well as what inspires you and gives you the desire and focus to go forward... all written down.
“It goes deeper than that. It affects how you carry yourself, and how you make decisions. It affects the quality of people who want to work for you, which is probably the ultimate game-changer.” - Simon Sinek
Are you clear on your own vision? Are you passionate about your idea? Can you articulate why you do it? Do people care? If you are not sure, take a look at the following examples and try to answer those same four questions about these two individuals.
Trent says his vision is to sell a new brand of healthy snacks, including crackers, cookies, and nut bars, that actually taste good. He wants to see them in every major supermarket by 2020. The brand name is “A Wealth of Health.” Trent thinks it’s a good idea, because the low-fat snacks that are currently available taste like cardboard. He has revenue goals for the five upcoming years and feels confident of his success.
Laura’s vision is to create a facility that offers a variety of afterschool programs for school-aged kids in a safe environment. Her dream is to provide reassurance to single mothers that their children are safe, being tutored, getting exercise, and being fed light meals during evenings when parents work late. Her thought is to keep it open from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM weekdays. She thinks it’s a great idea because one of her biggest concerns as a single mother was the safety and care of her own children when she could not be home.
Both of these individuals are attempting to solve a problem. Are the problems something people really care about? Do their solutions provide a meaningful answer? Are youable to articulate the reasons why Trent and Laura are pursuing their objectives? Did you sense any passion behind their reasoning? Which one do you care about more?
Stepping back into the real world, ask yourself the same questions about your own vision. The answers are vital, because they touch on every aspect of your business. If you believe that what you are trying to achieve is essential, and you are passionate about the idea, this should be reflected in the kind of talent you attract; how customers feel about you and your business; your reputation in the industry; and in the points-of-view of your employees. In other words, are others sensing that spark of inspiration that drives you? Because if they do, it's catching.
Businesspeople who are connected to what truly inspires them harness energy from their convictions to face the times when they experience significant difficulties. There will be impediments, setbacks, and a few very bad days, but these individuals are not deterred. They are clear and confident in their vision and their clarity helps them navigate as they make decisions, address problems, celebrate successes, and watch their business grow.
If you want to discover whether passion is driving your ideas, and find out just how complete your vision is, I invite you to participate in an upcoming online event where I will be exploring this subject in depth. Tune in May 17th at 9:00 AM (PDT) for a free webinar: GPS for Success. Find out more here.
A great number of people whose businesses have succeeded have taken advantage of the coaching I provide. Perhaps you will consider it as well.