Having a vision for our business is essential.
It helps guide us and allows us to really target our business and its message to the right audience. It’s something we can build on and grow into.
But we don’t need to have a clear vision to start a business.
And we don’t need to have a single passion or vision either. Many of us are stuck in trying to identify our passion before moving forward. We are spinning with ideas but lost in how to decide if they are the right ideas for us.
I see women tossing between this strategy and that philosophy. I watch as women try this and try that while not really making any forward movement. Rather, many find themselves packing on self-doubt, confusion, frustration and feeling overwhelmed.
It’s common for business owners to get stuck in questions like:
- What’s my niche?
- What’s my business name?
- What colors should I use in my branding?
- How do I market my services?
We compare where we are in our business with others (who may have been in business for far longer.) We fall into the trap of thinking we need to have it all figured out and struggle because we don’t.
If this is you, I want you to know that YOU GOT THIS!
I blame marketing and social media for the disconnect. There’s so much more to owning a business than finding your niche, identifying your ideal client and marketing consistently.
In reality, when we focus on our vision all of these answers start to fall into place.
Stephen Covey has said, “Begin with the end in mind.” I agree, but I would also add, “and determine the type of trip you want to have.”
Begin with the end in mind and determine the type of trip you want to have.
The “end” for a business owner, I believe, is the lifestyle we want to live. When we know what we want our life to look like, we can focus on the relationships we want to have with our clients. How long of a relationship do we want? How often do we want to be in contact with them?
Then we can look at how our lifestyle and ideal client relationship fit with one another. What does it look like to live our ideal lifestyle and work with our ideal clients? Do the two integrate seamlessly? Will you need to make some adjustments? (And if you do, I recommend adjusting the client relationship to fit your lifestyle.)
So why would we want to take the time to hone our vision, when all we want to do is work with clients? Because it allows us to avoid challenges, let-downs and the creation of self-doubt and self-criticism when things don’t look like what we imagined. All of these lead to a loss of passion, enthusiasm and drive for creating our dream. This is what could happen:
Attracting the Wrong Client
When we don’t have a clear vision of who we want to work with, we’ll attract clients who we later realize aren’t ideal for us or our business. When this happens, we tend to mold our businesses around these clients. But this can lead to a loss of passion, enthusiasm and drive for creating our dream.
We Look Like and Feel Like a Fraud
Without a clear vision, we tend to jump ship and switch gears too often, rather than focusing on what we love and do best. If you’re a dog groomer, then switch to blogger and then business coach over the course of six months, you likely never spent time to really get clarity. Many entrepreneurs have multiple passions, a vast array of experiences and a ton of skills. But, we hone our vision as we’re building our business and expand once we’re secure in what we do.
Our Schedule Doesn’t Work for Us
Gaining clarity in how we want to work and live allows us to create a schedule that works for us. Without it, we begin scheduling clients when they want to be scheduled, rather than setting up a schedule that works for us. We start to resent our clients for taking us away from other priorities in our lives. We also feel drained, overwhelmed and frustrated.
We Have More Self-Doubt Than Success
Lack of clarity breeds self-doubt. We’re unfocused and unprepared to make decisions because we don’t really know what we need. We start to get distracted by what others think we need or what others are doing in their businesses. Soon, our business isn’t “us” and doesn’t provide the fulfillment and joy we once hoped it would.
I hope you’ll take some time to really think about your vision. Brainstorm and write it out. Create that ideal schedule so you can plan out vacation and administrative days without your clients dictating when those days will be. And think about who that ideal client will be so you know which opportunities to jump at and which to pass on.