What is your vision for your business? Where do you see it being, in one, five, ten years? We all start our businesses with an IDEA of what our life will be like as an entrepreneur.
WHERE IS YOUR BUSINESS HEADED?
If you left paid employment to establish and run your own home-based business, before you took that step you first envisioned what it would be like to work from home. Perhaps you thought of the convenience of not having to commute to and from the office every day; the comfort of working within your own environment; the flexibility of setting your own hours; the rewards of being home with your children. This vision was obviously compelling enough to MOTIVATE you to do whatever it took to break the bonds of corporate servitude and set you on a path of self-determination and independence. Congratulations. You are officially an entrepreneur. Now what? What are you envisioning now for the FUTURE of your business? Just as your vision of working from home motivated and propelled you towards your objective, so too will the vision you have for what comes next propel you towards ever bigger and greater achievements.
HOW VISIONS WORK
Visions, or dreams, are what your subconscious acts upon to CREATE your reality. Visions can be both positive and negative. If you envision yourself in ten years time as a supremely successful businessperson (and you must also visualize all of the trappings of success so that "success", whatever that means for you, is a tangible, clearly defined thing), and you believe in the deepest part of your being that you will be successful, then your mind will SUBCONSCIOUSLY seek out ways to bring that vision to life. Equally, if you envision yourself in ten years time doing pretty much what you're doing now, then you can be pretty confident that that's EXACTLY where you will end up.
SEEING THE FUTURE
So, ask yourself, where do I want to be in ten years? What do I need to DO within the next five years to bring me closer to my vision? What do I need to do within the next year to bring me closer to where I need to be in five years if I am to achieve my ten year vision? What do I need to do within the next six months, one month, one week, today, NOW?
WHERE TO BEGIN?
This, of course, is classic GOAL-SETTING process. You've heard, over and over again, that you need to set goals in your life. To fail to set and achieve goals is to fail to achieve anything. The focus of this article though is on the crucial importance vision plays in the future success of your business. It is only when you have a vision in mind that you can even have the STARTING point you need to begin to think about setting the goals that will get you there.
So, how do you go about constructing a vision that is COMPELLING enough to continue to motivate you through the inevitable ups and downs of the lifecycle of a business, that gets you up and moving every morning, that continually CHALLENGES you to find new and better ways of doing things? You may be saying at this point, well, I know I want to work from home and make enough money to live the kind of life I want. But have you really sat down and thought, long and hard, about exactly what kind of life you do want?
GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
What LIMITATIONS do you place on your own thinking? Do you believe there is a limit to the amount of wealth you can create for yourself within the next ten years? Do you think in terms of $100,000 a year? If so, why not $500,000 a year? Why not $1,000,000? What if the sky was the limit? What if you had a completely blank page with no limits? What if you could create, from scratch, exactly the life you would choose if it was yours simply for the taking? Think about that. You can have ANYTHING you want!
HASHING OUT THE DETAILS
Make a list. Want $10,000,000 in the bank? Write it down. Want a happy marriage? Write that down too. Want a PhD? Add that to the list. Want to donate $500,000 to your favorite charity? That goes on the list. Go through every area of your life and write down the highest AMBITION you can think of for each area.
PUTTING YOUR IDEAS TO WORK
When you have finished your life plan, and this may take you several days or even weeks, brainstorm for ideas how you can LEVERAGE your business to bring you closer to your vision. (You will, of course, also need to think about non-business ways for those objectives that have nothing to do with your business.)
YOUR QUICKEST PATH
If one of your goals is to make $1,000,000 a year, then obviously you need to think about how you can generate more income from your business. Write down as many ideas as you can think of for the next five minutes. Then prioritize them on EFFICIENCY principles. What will give you the best return for your efforts bearing in mind your overall vision? Express them as objectives. Within what timeframe could you reasonably expect to achieve this objective? What steps do you need to take between now and then to achieve your objective? These are your SUB-GOALS. Write them down and allocate achievement dates next to them. Do this with all of the elements that make up your vision.
BACK FROM THE END RESULT
Now take your list of objectives and sub-goals and work them back in time. If one of your objectives is to be independently wealthy in ten years time, one of your major sub-goals may be to take your company public within five years. What STEPS do you have to take between now and then to be in a position to float your business in five years time?
CREATING A TIME LINE
Work all of your objectives back like this. You should end up with five-year goals, one-year goals, six-month goals, one-month goals, one-week goals and, finally, a daily to-do list. Once you have mapped out a plan for your vision to this level of detail, you will find that literally every task you perform in your day to day life is geared toward the ATTAINMENT of your vision.
YOU CAN DO IT!
You WILL achieve your vision. It is inevitable. Our lives are a function of our deepest beliefs about ourselves and our world. The key to "success" and "happiness" in life is to create a positive vision of what that means to you. A word of caution, though. Make sure your vision is truly what you WANT because you will get it. As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical ideas, resources and strategies for your home-based or online business. Visit her website at www.ahbbo.com.
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