Entrepreneurs, Without a Vision, You Can't Really Be Successful!
Every entrepreneur believes deeply in their business concept. Most have an abiding passion for what they do and the market they serve and are willing to put in the hard work to get their business off the ground. But, belief, passion and hard work, no matter how good the business concept, are not enough. Without a vision, there is no success. And I'm not the only one who believes that.
"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."
- John F. Kennedy
"Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days."
― Zig Ziglar
"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."
― Yogi Berra
Without direction, or more importantly, a vision for the business, and for you professionally, financially and personally, that defines "success" you can't achieve it.
That just makes sense doesn't it?
Yet, something so basic is missed by so many entrepreneurs.
And vision doesn't mean you have to be Steve Jobs or see a future that nobody else sees, but, in fact, it's creating (and modifying - we'll get to that later) a mental picture of what your business can/should be and where you can/should be.
Here's some idea of what a vision is:
- For your business
- It's what kind of company/culture you will have
- How it will be viewed by the market
- For you, professionally
- It's what you will be doing/how you will be growing
- For you, financially
- It's how much you will be making/what your net worth will be
- For you, personally
- It's how you will grow/become a better person/spouse/partner
But how do you create the vision that's right for your business and for you?
Here are 5 important factors to consider for creating that vision that will help drive your business and you toward achieving it:
As an entrepreneur, your business and you are joined at the hip.If you've decided to "take the plunge" and become an entrepreneur it means that you have determined that you want to control your own destiny. Whatever direction you take your business, you, necessarily take yourself. So, whatever vision you create for your business will impact whatever vision you have for yourself. For example, if you create a business as a solopreneur, where YOU will always be the business, your financial growth will be limited by your own bandwidth, but that's your choice.
A vision is not a dream. Make sure it's "yours" and realistic.Wanting to be the next Google, Amazon or Facebook is a nice thought, but there's a difference between a dream and a vision. As an entrepreneur, of course, you have a dream. That's why you got into business. But that dream has to be tempered with reality. For example, each of the aforementioned companies' success came through some significant outside investment. Without it, they would have been hard-pressed to achieve the success they did. What does your vision need to come to fruition? Is it realistic? Think of vision as a realistic dream.
Cover a specific timeframe and have a way to measure it.A vision should cover as specific a timeframe as possible. My recommendation, always, is to keep it shorter (3-5 years) vs. longer (5+). Have milestones along the way, for both the company and you, to measure progress. It's a way to ask yourself - "how am I doing?"
Use it as a filter and pass major decisions through it.Your vision should guide every major decision you make, both for your company and for you. If the decision goes against the vision, then you need to either re-think the decision or re-think the vision. Which leads us to the next and final point.
Review it frequently and don't be afraid to modify it.Sometimes, the greatest of visions gets sidetracked by market conditions. You think the vision an entrepreneur had when he/she started in mid-2007 was the same by the end of 2008? Also, sometimes, things you thought you were capable of, you just didn't have the necessary skills to pull off. Or, life simply takes you in a different direction. Again back to the realistic dream. Because you modify it or pivot, however dramatically, doesn't mean it was wrong, just not right for the time or conditions...or you.
No matter what, you need a vision because, ultimately it will define success, both for your business and for you. Have a vision, or as Yogi says, "...you will probably end up somewhere else!"
"The Entrepreneur's Yoda" knows these things. He's been there. May success be with you!
Have you developed a vision for your business? How has it helped? Share it with us. It can help another entrepreneur.
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