With the onset of the lockdown in March and the inability to do much other than stay at home, my wife and I have watched every season of the Amazing Race. All the contestants joined the race with a strategy based upon their understanding of the rules. It was fascinating to watch contestants gather their clues, forget their strategy, then take off running or driving without having any idea where to go but just wanting to get there as fast as possible. The result was becoming frustrated and angry when they realized they were lost.
As a business owner, do you know where you are going? Part of your yearly planning process should always include taking time to stop and reassess. Now more than ever, it is critical to do so. You may have looked at your business strategy or company vision and identified needed changes. If you have, great! What about your personal vision? Do you have a personal vision? When was the last time you considered your personal vision and implemented changes that were needed?
Why a personal vision? As a business owner, everything starts with you. Your personal vision is like the front wheel of a bicycle. It points you in the direction you want to go. The rest of the bike is your business. It enables you to achieve your personal vision. Your ability to achieve your personal vision depends upon the energy that you put into moving the bicycle forward. The secret for you as a business owner is to define your personal vision and then align your business vision and the associated strategy with that personal vision. Your personal vision should always be considered when developing plans and making decisions for your business.
Formulating your Personal Vision: Think about why you started the business. Are those motivations still the same? What goals and objectives do you have for you? Your family? What are your desires in the following areas: work/life balance, financial goals, personal growth, work role, business exit strategy, humanitarian/community, etc. For example, when considering work/life balance, ask yourself – how much time do you want to work, how often do you want to work on your hobbies, how often and where do you want to travel, how much time do you want for family? The answers may require changes to the structure of your business.
When you develop your personal vision, do not consider your business but think through what you want for your ideal future. After developing your personal vision, examine your business, and make necessary changes to enable you to pursue and achieve your dreams.
Keys to a Compelling Personal Vision: Your personal vision statement should get you excited! Like business goals, your personal vision needs to be “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Based). Your vision and associated goals need to be “SMART” to enable you to monitor your progress and adjust as needed.
Your personal vision statement should always be written down. Writing it down dramatically improves your ability to achieve the goal. It will enable you to remember your vision and also enable you and others to hold you accountable to achieve it.
Are you struggling with the concept? Go back to the time when you decided to start your business, why did you do it? Like myself, you were probably excited because you had personal motivators and associated goals for starting your business – the front wheel of your bicycle. Unfortunately, the daily battles we face in running our businesses cause us to focus more on the rest of the bicycle than where we are headed. The result being frustration and disappointment.
Take time to contemplate your personal vision. Then align your business with that vision to enable you to achieve your personal dreams.