Defining vision in the business world can often be a problematic issue to define. But yet, it is the most overused and least understood business theory.
For many entrepreneurs, defining vision is not as easy as it may sound. It is often defined as “Popsicle Psychology” because it is lost amongst the more “heavyweight” business issues that focus on production, logistics, infrastructure and profit. But focusing on your vision should not be overlooked or dismissed. Your vision will determine the direction and but more importantly, the core ‘purpose’ of your business.
Make no mistake. Your vision is your route map. It is your visual picture of success. It should be compelling, motivating and makes it easier to navigate the opportunities that present themselves to you each day. Sounds simple, but there is one problem – your vision is defined by your beliefs.
Your vision is your route map.
Your beliefs are subconsciously driving your every action. Your beliefs can be very empowering but left unchecked, they can be very disruptive irrespective of the strategies and policies implemented in the business. Your beliefs either support or thwart your strategic direction. More importantly your beliefs define your mindset and if used correctly can richly envision your vision of success.
Your beliefs define the income generated and even the type of people that you hire in your business. I’m talking about the type, size and ethos of your business. Think of trailblazers like Bill Gates (Microsoft); Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and the late Steve Jobs (Apple) who started very simple but truly iconic businesses based on their vision and commitment to excellence and success.
Let’s take the example of Dame Anita Roddick who started her business empire from her kitchen table. As a daughter of Italian immigrants and a natural born traveler Dame Ruddock consistently spoke out and took action against injustice across the world. According to her biography she “saw entrepreneurship as a means of survival, and firmly believed it nurtured creative thinking.”
“saw entrepreneurship as a means of survival, and firmly believed it nurtured creative thinking.”
Not only did she eventually build an empire out of this concept alone (competing against giants like of Proctor and Gamble and Revlon). Her values touched many lives across the globe and today, it is impossible to separate the values of the company from the issues that she cared most passionately about – social responsibility, respect for human rights, the environment and animal protection, and an absolute belief in Community Trade.
As a small business owner, your vision should not be taken lightly. Your vision is the blueprint for the eventual construction of the size, scope and success of your company. Your vision defines the strategy and tactics that will realise your vision if executed properly.
Big business is not for everyone. Anita Ruddock did not limit her vision because of giants in the cosmetic industry. Mary Kay created a global empire based on her desire to see more women becoming financial independent in their own rights. She found herself in a company where her managers refused to promote her used her skills to train other men for promotion. She flexed her own entrepreneurial muscle and created the global power house named Mary J Kay cosmetics.
Don’t let your beliefs keep you thinking small in business. We have countless examples of where women took lifestyle visions and created big, bold organisations.
We don’t all want to be the Alan Sugar or Martha Stewart of business because visions will differ depending upon your beliefs and values. Some of us may have a latent desire to build a multinational conglomerate (such as the Body Shop) or create a “lifestyle” business such as that envisioned by Tim Ferris and his innovative “four-hour” approach to life, work and happiness.
Your belief systems will determine the evolution of your business so ensure you can make them empower rather than disempower your decisions. There is no wrong or right vision, the choice is yours. But be sure that your irrational belief patterns about vision do not stop you from evolving in business.