Creating Your Vision – Time to Break It Down

Now that you have defined the area of your life you want to focus on and the time frame that you want to accomplish it in, it is time to get down to some details.

I find it helpful to look at the various aspects of my life as opposed to the data in my life.  My life’s data consists of things like income, number of vacation days, where I live, how long I have been working, etc.

When moving ahead in constructing your vision, ask yourself the following questions to help you to see what is important to you, what you want to carry forward, what you want to leave behind, and what you want to create anew.

Define What’s Working

Take some time to realize those aspects of your life that are working for you now.  What brings you joy?  What excites you and inspires you to put effort and energy into actions around that part of your life?
  • List what is working.
  • Describe why it works for you and why it works now.
  • Describe how you feel when this part of your life is engaged.
  • How important is this part of your life?
  • Will this aspect of your life work for you in the future?
  • Do you want to take what is working and bring it with you into the future?

 Define What is not Working

Take some time to identify those aspects of your life that are not working for you now.  What feels like drudgery?  What do you put off?
  • List those things that you would like to not have in your life.
  • Describe why they don’t work for you.
  • Is a future life possible without this aspect of your life?
  • How important is this piece of your life?
  • What effect does this part of your life have on other parts of your life?
  • For those parts that are important, create a statement that describes your future life without this negative aspect.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATake your time with this exercise.  You may have to contemplate this over several days or even longer.  Be aware of how you feel and how you are affected as things happen in your day to day life.  Give it a try, play with it, and observe your level of joy and enthusiasm while considering various parts of your life to come.

Imperfect Action

Imperfect Action is better than No Action!

What is that all about?  If you are a business owner, you know what it is like to get stuck, not moving forward, looking for everything to be in place before you take action.  You may say, “When I have that Sales Script down pat, I will start to make sales calls.”  Or “When I have my 12 month program completely written, I will try to sell it.”  Or “When I have the perfect business card, I will go networking.”

We are waiting for our action to be perfect before we show it to the public.  There are some things that this may be valid for, but in many cases, we learn so much from our imperfect action.  We learn where to make adjustments to the Sales Script.  We get practice delivering the Sales Pitch.  We learn which tweaks will help us to feel more authentic in our sales.

Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?”  If you have a Sales Conversation and it is not perfect, what is the worst that can happen?  You may feel a bit foolish or awkward.  You may not get the sale (this time).  What is the best that can happen?  You actually are successful with the sale and you are now moving forward.

Take a look and see where you are not taking action.  What are you waiting for?  If it is important, then get on it.  If ‘good enough’ is ‘good enough’ for now, then get into action, even if is not perfect.  Get started, and get your business moving!

What happens when the going gets tough?

When it is late in the day and you are still working on finishing a client report, revising your website or maybe even cleaning the floors of your retail shop what is it that keeps you going and focused?  Some people can stay motivated by the money, but there are lots of ways to bring in money (and you don’t necessarily have to wash floors).  What is it about the business that you have chosen to dedicate yourself to that gives you that spark of delight?

It is my contention that if you can clearly define the difference that you are trying to make in the world, then you will always know your motivation.  If you can articulate the purpose of your business and how you ultimately want to be able to help people, even if in a small way, then you will have a successful and long lasting business.

Let’s be honest, owning your own business is not always delightful and rosy.  There are times when you wonder what the heck you were thinking when you decided to take it all on yourself.  Even if you can afford to hire others to do some of the work that you do not enjoy, there will always be some challenge within the business.  This is not a bad thing, it just is the way it goes.  The question is, “How will you handle it?”

When you know your purpose, it will always be there to support you.  Sometimes just remembering it will put that smile on your face as you make that last phone call of the day. Many times, your purpose will be your guidepost.  It will help you to make decisions by answering the question, “Will this help us to further our purpose?”  Your purpose will be what binds your team together.  It will help you to make hiring decisions… and also firing decisions.  And yes, your purpose will help you to remember the smile that you put on your customers’ faces as you mop that last square foot of the store.

Don’t under estimate the value and power of having a clearly articulated business purpose.  I have found it to be an essential building block to the foundation of a successful business.

Are You Fully Committed?

Attention Small Business Owners:  Have you found yourself looking at the ‘Help Wanted’ Ads?  Have you seen something in there that you say, “Oh, I could do that, part-time.  I could then have a guaranteed income and possibly even benefits.”  You think, that you can work part- time to take the stress off of the cash flow situation AND you can still build your business.  You say that when the business is sustaining itself, you will quit your part-time job.

I think that it is pretty common for a new business owner to look for a place of safety.  The magnitude of the responsibility for your business can sometimes over power you.  You begin to want it to be easier, more secure.  You want to live your passion and fulfill your purpose, but in the dark of night, you just want it all to be someone else’s problem.

The small business that succeeds has an owner that does not apply for that part-time job. They wake up the next morning and know they really want to dedicate their energy to living their passion in their own way.  They realize that another job will take away their focus.  It will distract them from doing what they need to do to have a thriving business. Having that extra (although small) income takes away some of their incentive to get their business profitable.

Even if you are enthusiastic and confident about your new business venture, fear can still creep in.  Fear of ‘the economy’.  Fear of not being a business expert.  Fear of people not liking what you have to offer.  Thinking that others will find out that you are not ‘an expert’ (even though you clearly are one).   When you are a solopreneur, these kind of fears come to you and you have no one else to help you to get out of the rut of fear.

If you find yourself with that part-time job AND trying to run your business, I encourage you to get a plan.  Develop a plan to get your business profitable so that you can quit depending on the other job.  It will clearly mean that you will work way more than 40 hours a week to get there.  If you are truly committed to your business and what it brings to the world you will succeed.  You will be happier and more enthusiastic about making a living every day.

Have you had the wave of fear lay doubts upon you?  What is your story?