Many business owners have dutifully written their vision and mission statements, working hard to craft statements with impact and importance. But what happens to those statements? When was the last time you read yours and really took it to heart? Losing track of your vision is like taking a detour that may never get you to your desired destination. To achieve your dream, you must hold it in your head and heart at all times.
It struck me some time ago that since most entrepreneurs are visionaries, a written statement may not always resonate with them. When I ask new clients about their mission and vision statements, many of them, a) don't know what their vision is, or b) can't articulate it and haven't looked at their statements in 'ages.' I believe this is because the written statement is almost meaningless to them.
Visionaries see things that are invisible to most people; ideas far beyond the 'norm' that sing with creativity and thirst to be born. How could you ever put something like that effectively into words? Sure, it's great to have written statements in your formal business plan for others to see, but what about having a vision statement that resonates with YOU?
Follow these simple steps to take your vision to the next level:
Define the REAL vision – We're all in business to make money. But often entrepreneurs have a higher purpose in mind when they launch their business: they want to help others, have a community or global impact or help the environment for example. Certainly this isn't true for everyone, but don't negate the importance of your higher purpose if you have one.
Connect with the picture - You've heard that a picture speaks a thousand words. Images bring our imaginations to life, therefore our ideas to fruition. Think of a creative way to put your vision and mission into images and keep it in front of you as often as possible. If you're artistic, you might draw your business vision on poster paper or a foam-core board. Gluing photographs on a paper or poster board works well too. Some people use a computer program to create a collage of images. Select visuals that have the power to raise your energy and optimism to the highest levels.
When you're selecting or creating your images and items for your board, remember all aspects of the big picture. Too often the rewards connected to our goals get lost in the passion and dream of carrying out our mission. Give yourself permission to include meaningful symbols of the rewards you seek; money, travel, fame, respect, or whatever is important to you.
Step into your vision as if it 'is.' Take two or three minutes a day to study and reconnect with your vision. Still your mind and gaze at your images, allowing your body and mind to feel and live your success! When you do this, you will eventually begin to act and think differently and people will connect with you at a higher level. You will find opportunities revealing themselves more often and your doubts (if you have them) will begin to dissipate.
Notice that successful people are like people magnets. That is because no one and nothing can squelch their vision and dreams. They believe with all their heart and soul. Doing so is the first step to achieving success in your life and business!
Share your stories with us. What keeps you connected to your vision?
MARLA TABAKA is a small-business adviser who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness. @MarlaTabaka