Did you start your business with the end in mind? For a variety of reasons, many of us do not start with the end in mind. Instead, our focus is on the “doing” of our business, rather than what we want the business to “be.” In case you’re wondering, the phrase “begin with the end in mind” is the second habit from Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The point is, most of us rarely have a wonderfully formed vision for our business when we start out, but that doesn’t mean we get to skip that step. To get the results you want from your business, you will need clarity of vision.
Vision is something seen for the future. It is an internal view of the way you want things to be, and it involves anticipation, foresight, perception, conception and desire. It is your vision that pulls you forward (how powerful is that!) and creates excitement, ownership and inspiration toward your goals, which are the steps along the way toward the vision.
The strength of your vision determines your actions and how you allocate your time. If the vision is weak or doesn’t extend beyond getting to the end of the workweek, your actions will reflect that. Without that compelling view of the future, you will find yourself doing things that bring near-term satisfaction—the ability to redirect your energies to long term or more difficult projects that would move you toward you vision, just isn’t there.
Contrast that with a strong vision, which provides the ability to look beyond immediate gratification and ask, what one thing can I do that will move me in the direction of my vision? It might not get crossed off the list today (a source of satisfaction and distraction for many) however you will have taken one step forward to making your vision a reality.
If you want to delve deeper, check out First Things First by Stephen R. Covey. His chapter on the passion of vision will help you get to the level of understanding you need to create a compelling vision. Here’s a link to my review of this book.
Barbara Stewart, CFP®
Coach to financial advisers
Owner and founder