“Start with the end in mind”
says Stephen Covey, in his landmark 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.
Meanwhile, Fast Company co-founder Alan Webber advocates that entrepreneurs should:
“Answer the final question first”
Two highly successful visionary guys with a consistent key message – but what does this mean for you as an entrepreneur aiming to build your business or startup?
Think back to those other entrepreneurs, bosses, managers or speakers who inspired you – what did they have in common? It is normally the uncanny ability to paint a consistently clear picture of a better future. A better place that, if everyone worked and pulled together as a team, you would reach. In a nutshell, they had vision.
All of these visionary entrepreneurs and business leaders have invested the time to think long-term about their business strategy. To be clear on the intended end game. To achieve this, they will have wrestled with BIG questions like:
- why are we here as a business – is it to maximise profits, solve a world / local problem, have a good time (or a combination)?
- do we want to grow the business into a global organisation or do we want to stay small?
- why would customers buy from us? Are we the best in class, different from the rest or defining a whole new market?
- are we building a business to sell (if so, over what preferred time duration?) or are we building a life-style business?
BIG questions demanding BIG answers.
The sooner you are clear on exactly why you are in business the easier it will be for you to make the right strategic decisions for the future and inspire others to help you build your business. If all of this is still a little fuzzy in your own mind, I recommend you get yourself out of the office for a strategy blitz to consider the BIG Qs or just go lie on a beach and think, dream and paint a vivid picture in your mind of what success in your business will look and feel like – see the end game. Have a vision.
You’ll then know and recognise it when you get there…
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