“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
This doesn’t just refer to government or Christians or Jews. It is talking about you. It is true for YOUR business.
What? You thought you were exempt from Biblical wisdom? There is some pretty amazing business principles in that Book. 🙂
For the purposes of this exercise, we are going to say “Where there is no vision, my business, my profits, and my employees will perish”
That stings right? Without your profits, your employees can’t support their families. You can’t support yours.
Have you ever seen a business that has the following characteristics?
- The employees seem tired and unfocused
- The revenue is dwindling
- The energy of the business is no bueno. You feel lethargic when you hang out there for too long.
- No body really knows what to do
- Instead of things working together in the business; it seems like everything works against each other.
- The policies blow in the wind like a ship lost at sea
- The company has no clear map, the tactics used to market the business change constantly
- The overarching theme is ‘throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and see what sticks’. Hint: Unless you are making spaghetti, this isn’t effective.
These are some of the characteristics of a visionless business.
Have you seen a business where:
- Everyone knows what to do
- The employees and leadership move urgently with a sense of purpose
- Everything in the business works together for the good of the business
- Profits are growing
- Decisions are easy, because the leadership knows where the destination is
Vision bonds people together, gives direction to the company and creates a portrait of the what the business will look like.
I have seen visionless businesses. They lack passion. They have no vitality, no life. And the bottom line is they have no profits. Blech.
Who wants that??
I have seen other businesses where everyone, from the owner to the clerical help is ON FIRE for the company’s vision and customers. These places are so much more fun to work and to buy from.
You might be saying “Yes, I do need a vision, but that seems crazy complicated and hard. This is going to be a long process. I should sit and think about it for a while”.
- Not a lot of brainstorming happens while sitting
- It is pretty simple
- And more importantly. . .IT CAN CHANGE. Write your vision today. You can revisit it, as you and your company grow.
Here is a secret: I have been one of those people that have ‘waited’ and ‘thought’ to find the perfect business. And here is what I learned: waiting and thinking don’t generate much revenue.
Back to your vision creating.
Answer these questions:
(You can get a pdf download of these questions here)
- What do you want your life to look like?
- Why did you go into business?
- Why is the answer to #1 important to you? For example, if you went into business to serve the most amazing food to customers in Kissimmee, FL – why is that important to you?
- Why is the answer to #2 important to you? Go deeper.
- If the answer isn’t meaningful to you – you might want to go another level or 2 deeper into the whys.
- Close your eyes. (Ok, well, finish reading this then close your eyes)
- What would your ideal business look like? Forget what it looks like today. What do you want it to look like?
- Who are your customers?
- What do they say about their experience with you?
- How do you want them to feel after working with you or buying your products?
- Who is your team? Is it virtual, local or both? Do you have a large office building or work mostly on your porch?
- What do you spend your time doing? What does your life look like?
Vision is deeper than dreaming. The answers to your questions above may make you a little nervous. Ideas that lived in your head as dreams before. Dreams are awesome as starting points, but they don’t become reality. The next step to creating your dreams is crafting a vision.
In Entre-Leadership, Dave Ramsey said:
“As dreams start to morph and move toward reality, that is when I start calling these dreams visions. Vision is the next step of developing your dream into something. Visions are dreams with more clarity.”
Go over your answers to the questions above, and clarify them further. Here are 2 keys:
- Is the vision for your life congruent with the vision of your business? This is crucial. If your ideal life is being location independent, then it is important that the vision for your business agrees with that.
- Is the vision for your business customer centric? Your business isn’t about you and the millions you will make. It is awesome to make millions, but the only way to get there is to focus on your customers.
Now find the core of your vision.
What are the 15 – 20 words that state your customer centric vision?
Remember that you can revise this. Update it. But this is the starting point.
Now that you have your vision – the work isn’t over.
In Andy Stanley’s book “Visioneering” he states you have to discuss the vision of your organization 21 times before people start to hear it. And you have to restate it constantly. This vision isn’t just for you – it is for your team, your customers and your vendors.
Start spreading it.
Want a downloadable worksheet with these questions? Get it below.