This seems like a silly question for a business owner, but I learned the hard way that it is a necessary one.
I remember the day I decided to start my first business. One morning I woke up and knew it was time to do something about my dream of being a business owner. Quitting my part-time job, I started gathering the products and contacts I needed. I knew I wanted to sell locally-made products, but I didn’t know how or what types of products. Contacting any local artist I could find, I ended up with a collection of a wide variety of handcrafted products. I set up a focus group in my home and we tasted, tested, and examined different products ranging from chocolate and salsa to pottery and wood bowls, leather, art, and jewelry. There wasn’t much congruity other than they were all made in Colorado.
For starting out in my first venture, I think the lack of a focus was ok – in the beginning. I was testing out the waters and discovering what I wanted. However, in order to grow and be effective, I needed a clear idea of my direction, a more defined niche, my business vision.
Problem is, I never asked myself what I saw for my business. In other words, what did I want to build?
Article: Who are you doing business for?
BUILDING IS BUILDING
Whether we are building a house, a skyscraper, a piece of art, a machine, anything…it all requires a vision, a plan.
When architects plan a highway or a building, they actually have an image of what it will look like. That image can be a drawing on a paper or an actual model to scale. In the same way, storytellers have an image in their mind of the people and places and activities in their narrative. They simply convert what they see in their mind and breath life into it.
So why would it be any different for a business?
No one would start construction on a highway without first knowing what is was going to look like. The best artists see the images they want to create in their mind before they create it. As I was preparing to write this post, I was reminded of Michelangelo, the famous painter and sculptor.
Michelangelo stated it perfectly when he said,
“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and in action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”
Michelangelo didn’t see a block of stone, he saw the finished product and then removed everything that did not belong.
ENVISIONING THE FINISHED PROJECT
Such a perspective is applicable in every area of life, including our businesses.
- How would your business change if you took 5 minutes every day to “see” your business.
- What would you see?
- What changes would need to be made to accomplish your vision?
For my first business, it was hard to make decisions and move forward because I didn’t have a vision of the finished product. In other words, I was “winging” it because I didn’t know where I was going. I learned a lot of great lessons in the process, but eventually, it cost me my business because all I could see was a block. I’d chip here and there, but I wasn’t quite sure what I was creating. In the end, I created a nondescript mess.
The good news is that no matter where you are in your business, it is not too late to stop and envision what you want your business to look like.
KEEP YOUR BUSINESS VISION IN FRONT OF YOU
I enjoy listening to various people who are further in their success journey than I am, and one of my favorites is Terri Savelle Foy. One of the tips she repeats often is to keep your business vision in front of your eyes. She does this through a vision board and by reviewing her goals every day. Zig Ziglar also was a big proponent on reviewing your goals every day while writing out daily tasks.
Personally, I have found taking 5 minutes every day to picture in my mind what I see my business looking like improves my focus and time management immensely. Those few minutes to “see” my business provides direction and I know what needs “chiseling” in order to create the vision in my mind. I have started doing this for every area of my life.
Ultimately, it’s a time to be quiet and focus on the basics. It is saving me time and money otherwise lost. Instead of randomly throwing darts and seeing where they stick, I am helping myself see the masterpiece hidden in the rock.
So, what do YOU see?
- How would your business change if you took 5 minutes a day to “see” your vision.
- What would you see?
- What changes need to be made?
- Once you see in your mind where you want to go and what you want your business to look like, write it down.
- Review your vision daily.