I have yet to meet a business owner who doesn’t say they want to take their business to the next level and make money in the process. To help them achieve their goals, I’ve developed a 7-step method to help business owners visualize and implement the future they want, and it all begins with Step 1: clarity of direction. Click on the link at the end of this post to view other episodes in this series. You can read Step 1, or click to listen.
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Clarity of direction is knowing where you want to be in the future—where you want your business to be and where you want your personal life to be. The first step in any journey is deciding where you want to go. When I board an airplane, I know my destination—in fact, the destination guides the boarding process.
Your business and personal life are no different. You need to set a vision for the future and describe it to yourself. Write it down. Be specific. What will it look like? This is clarity of direction.
Charting a Course
In the story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice is looking for a way out of Wonderland. When she comes to a crossroad, she turns to the Cheshire Cat sitting there and says, “Which way ought should I go?” And the Cheshire Cat tells her that it depends on where she wants to be. Alice says she doesn’t know, and the Cheshire Cat, smiling, says, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Without a clear direction, you’ll be just like Alice. It doesn’t matter which road you take if you don’t know where we want to go. But of course it’s unlikely you will end up where you want to be. Surprisingly, few business owners take the time to set a destination for their business (or for their personal life). How can you define success if you don’t know exactly what you want the future to look like?
Not only do you need to know where you want to go, you have to know where you are currently if you are going to get from A to B. A is your current state, and B is your destination or desired future. To chart a course, you must be truthful about where you are. No pretending. No denial. If you took a 30,000-foot view of your business and your personal life, how would you describe it? That’s your current state. Understanding that is a critical part of charting a course to the future.
Once you’ve identified your current state as well as where you want to go, then you want to go out five years from now and describe what that is going to look like for you in your business and your personal life. How many employees do you want to have? How much money do you want to make? How big of a business do you want? How many weeks of vacation do you want to take? Describe it in writing but stick to about six or seven items. Then work backwards from that.
If you want to be at this particular future state in five years, where do you need to be three years from now? Write that down as well. Use the same six or seven items and describe what each looks like in three years. Then work backwards again: Where do you want to be a year from now? If you need to be at a certain point in three years, where do you need to be a year from now?
Don’t allow your “small” business to make you small-minded. You didn’t start your business by thinking small, and you didn’t get into business just to do okay. Give yourself permission to dream big. Do it, and then write it down, because once you do, your subconscious mind goes to work to start to make those things happen.
I suggest to my clients that they read these five-year, three-year, and one-year visions every day. Doing so is a powerful tool for creating the future you want and putting your subconscious mind to work for you.
Clarity of direction is the all-important first step (of seven) in growing your business and making more money. When you’re ready to take the next step in your business’s growth, call Gary at 503-312-3145 for more information.
Click to view other episodes:
Seven Steps to Accelerated Business Growth Series