TEAM | 10 MIN READ
Your Business Starts and Ends with This One Thing
TEAM | 9 MIN READ
Your Business Starts and Ends with This One Thing
You don’t get in the car until you know where you want to go… Yet most people try to drive their business without having a “real” destination in mind.
No wonder so many entrepreneurs get caught in the “hustle”, struggling to scale from 6 to 7 figures.
It’s impossible to build a successful business until you define what success means.
Which is why having a clear Business Vision is VITAL!
Your Vision is where everything starts and ends, yet it blows my mind how many business owners I meet who think a business vision isn’t necessary (and that they’ll get to it “one day”).
Business Suicide (and a bottleneck that stops many businesses scale past six-figures).
Having a clear Business Vision allows you to:
- Create a Strong Culture …
- Build a World Class Team …
- Define and Understand Your Avatar …
- Stay Focussed on Your Core Goals …
- Develop a Profitable, Scalable Business Model …
Whereas the cost of NOT having a business vision and leaving it until “one day” keeps you stuck on the hamster-wheel working inside your business instead of “on” it.
It’s why VISION is the first thing we focus on with a new client
Your vision is what drives EVERYTHING in your business (strategy, business model, team, marketing…) so leaving it until “someday” isn’t an option.
So if you’re struggling to scale to the next level, chances are it’s because of your vision (or lack of)!
Fix This BIG Bottleneck with a Clear Business Vision!
In a study of 183 entrepreneurs — with an average revenue of $2.5 million — the growth of companies with a vision was more than double than companies without one.
This isn’t some unnecessary exercise that may or may not help…
A clear business vision is what’s helped some of the most powerful entrepreneurs build their empires:
- Elon Musk’s Vision to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Google’s Clear Vision to make ALL information universally accessible.
- Nike’s Vision to innovate for, and inspire every athlete on the planet.
A clear, vivid vision allows you to reverse engineer your entire business, literally picturing where you will be in three, five or ten years time.
You vividly fantasize about your future irrespective of your present reality, but use your current situation to project forward and consider the steps you need to take to get “there”.
It’s like creating a “movie” inside your head…
This is what Michael Phelps did, years before he won his first Olympic Medal.
He pictured himself on the podium with a gold medal around his neck. He then reversed engineered his entire race… each stroke… every possible outcome… until he had a clear “movie” in his mind.
By the time the race arrived, he had spent years playing this movie over and over…
He won the race before he began, all because he had a crystal clear vision.
This is the role your Business Vision plays…
It’s why it’s step one in our 2X Formula, and why we work with EVERY client to create their own movie.
His approach focuses on vividly visualizing where you (and your business) will be three years from now so you can build the strategy and business model to get you there.
This is how we’ll spend the rest of this article, showing you HOW to create your own Business Vision so you can scale from 6 to 7 figures…
<32>Step #1: Brainstorm Your Business Vision.
Cameron Herold talks about the power of something he calls a Vivid Vision.
Much of this is inspired from professional athletes, and how they visualize their success while training.
(playing a movie in their head like Michael Phelps did, or creating vision boards to “lock-in” their focus and determination)
Where most businesses have a ‘Vision Statement’ or ‘Mission Statement’ that reads well but has no substance, Cameron talks about how the most successful CEOs are those who can vividly visualize where they are three years from now (and then accurately communicate this with their team).
Creating a vivid vision doesn’t begin with you and your team in a meeting room, or even in your own office as you create a bunch of notes on a whiteboard.
NO! That’s how you creating a static vision statement — NOT a crystal clear, vivid business vision!
You need to step outside your box, and go somewhere that inspires you; allowing you to escape your everyday responsibilities.
- A quiet space with no distractions (ideally in nature) …
- Just YOU, a notebook and a pen …
Imagine yourself three years from now.
Literally close your eyes and transport yourself there, imagining you, your business, your situation, environment and everything else.
At this stage you’re brainstorming; no right or wrong answer.
Simply create a mindmap and think about every possible part of your business and life: marketing, operations, finance, your home, your offices…
Transport yourself to this place three years from now, and imagine what life is like (write down what you see, as though you're literally seeing and experiencing it now).
As CEO, your business vision begins with YOU.
In time you’ll bring other people into the process, but right now it’s all about you and your vision.
To help, consider questions like:
How many people are on your team?
Don’t just think about the size of your team, but the role each person plays. Do you have different departments? Are they all in the same office, or do they work across the globe?
What sort of person works with you… what do they look like, and what sort of character / personality do they have?
How would your team describe the company culture when talking to a friend?
What sort of culture do you have? When your team speaks with a friend or family member, how do they describe working for you (and the team they are part of)?
As a company, what are you known for? Who do your key stakeholders know you as…?
What are your finances like (what’s your top-line revenue)?
Get specific with this… imagine what your top-line revenue is, what sort of profit this creates, and where the money goes.
What’s your 80/20? How do you make your money, and where do you spend it?
What is the press saying about your business?
Imagine getting an alert that a journalist has featured you in the New York Times…
What do they say? When describing your company, culture and service, what are they saying?
How does the rest of your industry see you, and what are you known for?
What do your customers say about you… if they were to describe the sort of company you are, what would they tell a friend or colleague?
When your customers speak to a close friend or colleague, what do they say about you?
Are your existing customers referring you to new people, and do they happily talk about you without you asking them to?
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Think about the previous year… what are you most proud of? What have you and your team achieved that stands out?
When you talk to friends and mentors, what’s the one achievement you’re most proud (and eager) to tell them about?
What do you do better than anyone else on the planet?
When you meet someone new, what do you say your unique advantage is? Compared to the rest of your competitors, what do you do better than anyone?
What do you and your team take pride in, and what do others say you’re “the best at”?
What’s your core offer, and what sort of impact does it have on your audience?
Picture your core offer, and the impact it has on your audience. What is it? What does it look like? How does it work, and who does it help the most?
There is no right or wrong answer at this stage.
Brainstorm and take notes (record yourself on video or audio, so you can play it back), and allow your mind to wander as new ideas come spring forward.
This may take you a few hours, or may take you a weekend away in nature.
** Story: a short story about what AN did when creating 2X, and how brainstorming like this helped him
You now have a notebook full of notes, meaning you’re ready to create your business vision…
Step #2: Create Your Business Vision.
Once you return to reality, having escaped into nature and allowed your mind to wander…
You now have a lot of notes and ideas, and a somewhat clear vision of what your business will look like three years from now.
To you, it almost makes sense.
But to others, it does not!
This is what separates a CEO from an entrepreneur, because an entrepreneur is great at coming up with ideas and visions like this, but struggled to communicate it with the rest of their team and audience.
It makes sense to them, and they assume that’s enough.
But it isn’t, and it’s at this stage many good business visions die (never to see the light of day)
As CEO, you have to take these ideas and turn them into a real, clear business vision that aligns everyone in your business: your team, suppliers, audience, investors, media…
This 3-5 page document not only helps you gain clarity and take your ideas from head-to-paper, but this document becomes your initial business vision that you share with the rest of your team (in the next step).
Taking the time to create this 3-5 page document is what sets you apart from 90% of other business owners. We work with every one of our 2X clients to create this (without exception).
And the results are HUGE!
Take one of our recent clients, Mitra…
We guided her through this whole process, and helped her create a Business Vision Document using this template (see a breakdown on how to use this below).
Before she joined our 2X Program, she made $10,000 in sales over a four month period. Yet once she created a clear business vision, realigned her focus, and set relevant goals (short term and long term) to make this vision happen…
… she made $100,000 in sales within the first 30 days!
That is how powerful a business vision is, but transformational results like this only happen if you take the time to turn your vision into reality (that not only makes sense to you, but everyone in your business).
It begins by creating a 3-5 page business vision document, and this is how you can create your own …
What + Why You Do What You Do
To begin with, you need to distill your entire business vision (what you want to achieve, and WHY you want to achieve it) into one-or-two sentences.
This isn’t about creating vision statement you can put on your website, but rather concisely explaining what and why you want in an instant.
When Mitra created her, this is she focussed on:
Why I “Do what I do” is simple and clear I love transforming (healthcare) spaces from ordinary to extraordinary.
Your business vision may have a lot of layers, but you can always simplify it into a sentence or two.
A good way to build this is to complete the following:
I help [X] achieve [X] by focussing on [X].
Your Program / Offer
In 2-3 sentences, you need to explain what your core program / offer will be three years from now. Think about who you want to serve and how you want to help them, and what is the best offer to do this quickly and at scale.
Try to focus on one core offer, although if you have several tiers this is fine so long as they have a purpose.
Go into detail. Vividly explain what your program is and how it helps your audience. Think about your core offer today, and how it needs to evolve to meet your vision of the future.
During your brainstorming, you no doubt came up with a lot of ideas for products, offers and services. Now is the time to bring all these ideas together.
Leadership + Culture
Consider the culture you desire to make, and what this looks like for your company (both from within (your team), and from the outside looking in (customers, suppliers, media, etc…).
What’s your role in all this? As a leader… where do you stand within your culture?
However, leadership isn’t only about your role as a CEO. It’s about your company’s standing within your industry, and the ‘leadership’ it portrays.
For instance, Mitra’s vision for leadership largely focussed on becoming “the” market leader in the healthcare industry:
My company has transformed healthcare industry and design industry in every aspect with authenticity, innovation, passion and profitability. We have created a new culture in design and healthcare.
In 2-3 sentences, overview your own culture and leadership, both from from within the company looking out… and from the outside looking in.
In her Business Vision Document, this is how Mitra describes her customer service:
My clients and their team feel grateful to have my company helping them, as we feel grateful to play a big role in their growth.
When writing your own document, don’t just focus on what you do, but rather HOW your customers feel as part of your company.
- What memorable moments do you offer?
- When your customers speak to other people, what do they say about you?
- How do you communicate with your customers?
- What value do you offer them, other than what they pay for?
During your brainstorming, you imagined what people say about you. The question you need to answer in this section is, what is that you do to get such raving fans?
In her Business Vision Document, Mitra writes about the press often turning to her and her company as a thought leader, as well as appearing on channels such as Oprah.
In 2-3 sentences, overview what sort of media you are getting, but also what they are saying about you. Do you have to pitch them each time you launch something, or do the media consistently come to you for quotes, expert advice and exclusivity?
Your Mentors + Network
In three years time, who do you know; who do you speak to and grab dinner with?
I love how Mitra didn’t hold back in this section:
I am known as a “Connector” because of how many people I know and regularly call on and friends with Dala Lamai, Oprah, Brendon Burchard and leveraging social networks and I meet top leader, investors and innovators globally.
One of the greatest benefits of a business vision is it drives you to achieve it. So don’t ‘play it safe’. Write about who your mentors are and who you network with regularity three years from now. Talk about the impact they have on you, and the impact you have in return.
Again, don’t hold back. This is what Mitra put:
My company and I continue to be extremely profitable doing exactly what I love. My company’s revenue have grown to over 100%+ over 2018. My company makes $100,000,000 in revenue.
Every billion-dollar company started from little, and they all scaled to that level because people within believed what other people thought impossible.
For your business vision, project this. Think about the money you can earn that will impact both you and those you serve.
But don’t just focus on revenue. Highlight the profit you can make, and the impact this will have on you, your family’s and your team’s lives.
How YOU Feel
Your business vision isn’t all about your business. It’s about you, too, and the life you’re leading three years from now.
- How do you feel?
- What do you look like?
- What’s your health like?
- Where do you live?
This is what Mitra wrote:
I feel joyous, successful, vibrant and free every day. People keep telling me that I look incredibly relaxed and free and Yes, I am. I feel grateful & super lucky to be doing what I am doing and I am financially and every aspect free and I choose to work.
Think about how you would like to feel, and build your vision around this. As CEO and leader of your business, your day-to-day feelings are one of the most important things of all.
Work / Life Balance
This extends from above, as you continue to think about your role, not just within your business, but your family, network and inner self.
- How often do you work?
- How often do you get away from work?
- What do you do away from the office?
Work / life balance differs for everyone. Some people love to work 80-hour weeks. Other people don’t. Whatever your balance is, sum it up in 2-3 sentences.
Your core values represent your entire business vision.
What is that you stand for? Who are you as a culture, team and business?
Mitra broke her core values into:
- Do what you love
- Be authentic
- Deliver what you promises
- Harmony is key
At 2X, our core values are:
Your core values define who you are a business, so think about the values you want to live and die by each and every day.
HOW You Do What You Do
Finally… overview HOW you do all this.
Listing 5-10 bullet points, how do you live by these core values… maintain this culture… achieve this vision on the daily?
Here’s a few Mitra highlights in her business vision document:
- My company truly transform and helps clients, people to experience extraordinary with simple, lasting joy.
- We have lots of fun in the company and with everything we do, we laugh, we bond, we enjoy.
- We have freedom and we bring that to our experiences with our clients and anything we do
This final points refocuses you on the roadmap you need to create so you can fulfil this vision.
It takes your attention away from what and why… and turns it toward HOW YOU WILL DO IT!
Once complete, this 3-5 page document becomes the heart of your business vision. It allows you to bring other people into the process and involve your team, mentors and trusted peers.
Now, if you would like the same TEMPLATE we use with our clients at 2X (so you can build your business vision quickly and effectively) click here to download it >>
This is what we used to create our Business Vision at 2X, and it’s the template we use with all our clients.
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Step #3: Share Your Business Vision.
It is NOT your job to perfect your business vision!
It’s important it begins with you, and it’s vital you take the time to dive deep, transport yourself three years into the future, and vividly visualize what your business looks like.
It’s also important you take these ideas from your head onto paper (using that 3-5 page document).
BUT… on your own you can only achieve so much!
At this stage, you have a working document that you need to share with other people on your team (as well as trusted mentors, colleagues and peers).
Your Business Vision now makes sense to you, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to other people.
Plus, you’re too close to the whole process.
You may have missed or overlooked something.
Bring other people into the equation so you can collaborate and optimize. After all, one of the biggest benefits of a business vision is to build a gamechaging culture….
What better way to do this than to involve your team so they feel part of creating it!
- Pick a select number of trusted people and share your Business Vision Document with them…
- Ask them to share their honest feedback (and whether it compels or repels them) …
- Arrange a “Vision Meeting” with these people, and work on perfecting your vision …
- Collaborate with those on your team who will play a large role in executing this vision …
So involve your team at this stage, because once you do your business vision aligns everyone and ensure every single person pulls in the same direction.
It helps you see who should and should not be part of your world class team.
Those who don’t “get it” need to go, whereas those who do will begin to see what you see.
All that’s left to do is bring the final pieces of your business vision together…
Aim to get your business vision to 80%, and then pass it over to a writer to perfect it.
You’re too close to it, so don’t try to write / design the final version yourself.
Hire a writer who hasn’t been part of the whole process to make it crystal clear and compelling, so anyone who reads it “gets it” in an instant.
Your business vision needs to create instant emotions.
So before you publish your business vision on your website and send it out to the media, hire:
- a writer to perfect your words …
- an artist to brings it to life …
- a designer to give it style and substance …
By the time you finish, it should look like this >>
Give your business vision the finer details it deserves…
Once complete, it becomes one of the most important document in your entire business.
- You share it with new team members as you onboard them …
- It becomes part of your marketing and sales process …
- Your brand evolves from your business vision …
- You share it with customers, mentors and peers to help them see what you see …
Arguably most important of all… it directs your goals and the decisions YOU make!
I read the 2X Business Vision every morning. I listen to a recording of it each day.
It grounds me and reminds me what we’re doing, and acts as a sounding board.
- Will the decisions I make today help us get closer to our business vision?
- Will the tasks I focus on today help us edge toward or further away from our vision?
- Will the way I lead and manage the team help or hinder our business vision?
Without a business vision like this, you make scaling from 6 to 7 figures (and beyond) much harder.
You rely on hustle and grind, remaining stuck inside your business instead of working “on” it. You become one of those entrepreneurs who gets in the case each day without any clue of where you’re heading.
- You hop from opportunity to opportunity with no focus or strategy …
- Your business model remains broken…
- You stay stuck in that hamster-wheel — going around and around …
You should have created your Business Vision in the very beginning, but the next best time is RIGHT NOW! Don’t leave it for “someday” like so many people do. Don’t assume you know what your vision is, and that everyone else on your team will just “get it”.
Get to work today and follow these 3-Steps, and to help you get your Business Vision Document on-point, I’d like to share the same template we use with our clients here at 2X (for free).
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