After a few google searches, reading some book reviews and one of my monthly mastermind sessions, I decided to pay a visit to the www.flyingsolo.com.au portal. It's an online community of almost 110,000 people in business and especially for those who are doing it on their own. Here I stumbled across a fantastic article by Jayne Tancred, a copywriter and marketing coach. I found some gems in her article and an amazing framework for developing a vision.
Many people head straight to goal setting. You will have seen all the posts asking have you got your goals for the new year etc. From where I sit, goals are about what you do - the tasks or the real work in your business. Vision comes before this, it's a mental picture of intention, direction, dreams and wishes. It is so important to get this sorted for your business before you start beavering away at the doing. I know because I spent years working on my goals at the beginning of the new year and then working hard day to day (and often on other people's projects that benefited them rather than me or my cause!)
"Goals encourage me to knuckle down and work hard, my vision makes my spirit soar, pulling me towards it in a way that feels light and uplifting."
"Goals speak to your head, but your vision calls to your heart."
As I reflect on my reading and also my business life over the last 18 years, I recognise that a VISION + GOALS are both so very necessary to drive a successful business. And yes I can think of times in my past in our business, when we were full steam ahead with a focus on goals, tasks and the doing while not really having an overarching vision! There is a real comfort in knowing that everything you are doing in your business is in the direction of your ultimate vision or why! A vision is necessary to stretch us and to lay out a compelling direction for our business.
Jayne Tancred writes about the value of "the power of working towards a dream" and "the importance of having a vision to keep us on track and ensure that we don't shrink away from our dreams and vision." Jayne has developed the following framework to "help create , connect with and act on a vision for business that's powerful, compelling and bursting with possibility." It's the acronym ALIVE.
A - Aspirational
L - Love - based
I - Impactful
V - Vivid and
E - Energising.
And here they are in detail, as explained by Jayne Tancred.
"ASPIRATIONAL - In order to be enticing and compelling, I find that my vision needs to invoke a bit of stretch. You'll know you've got it right when you recognise that achieving your vision is going to require you to grow in some way. For example, my vision pushes me to step up and become comfortable on a larger stage.
LOVE - BASED - Your vision should fill you with joy and make your heart sing at the idea of creating something that you love. It might also trigger other positive emotions, like pride, gratitude and a sense of satisfaction. Any aspects of your vision that don't elicit these kinds of heart - felt responses or trigger negative emotions of any kind have no place in your vision, and warrant a rethink.
IMPACTFUL - One of my favourite practices is to incorporate aspects of my vision in my daily meditation, and I've noticed that when I do, one of the most powerfully motivating ways to do that is to focus on the impact that my vision - brought - to - life has on others. Even if you're not into meditation, try this for yourself by getting quiet for a moment and tuning into the impact your vision will have on your loved ones, your team, or customers, your industry or even the planet.
VIVID - When imagining your vision, have fun dialling up the brightness, clarity and other sensual elements of the images or movies that run through your mind. Be sure to include yourself in those images. This practice helps you become more connected to what you're trying to crate, increasing the potency of your dream and your ability to touch it and taste it.
ENERGISING - A compelling vision is one that gives you a delicious, turbo-charged desire to take action. If you vision doesn't get you excited and make you want to get moving, you may need to delve a bit deeper and access your hearts true desire. When you've hit the nail on the head though, tapping into the energy of your vision can be just what it takes to get you fired up and focussed on executing the steps it will take to get you where you want to go."
Keep your vision front and centre.
Your business vision is not a one hit wonder. It's not something that you do and then celebrate ticking it off your 'to do' list. Pin it up, revisit it often, talk about it in team meetings, add to it and keep working towards its achievement.
There is something very satisfying in being able to stretch yourself to achieve. A vision helps you to kiss good bye to playing small and step into your true success.
A key question to ask yourself is Do I have a vision for myself / my business? And What do i or Could I achieve with one - or both?