Creating a Compelling Vision for The Future

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When I was 27 years old, I was newly married and had uprooted myself from Atlanta, Georgia to Milan, Italy. I was in one of the fashion capitals of the world that boasted amazing architecture; two things I loved and had interest in, and I felt rudderless. Unable to find my thing. That one item that helps us define our purpose in life upon which I could build a foundation. I was teaching English and without realizing it, I began to build a skill. I honed my listening skills and realized not too long later that everything we do in our life is preparing us for something in the future. I didn’t know it then, but I was putting things in place to create a compelling vision for my future, and though it’s one of the hardest parts of business planning, in my opinion, I soon found my purpose.

My purpose is to increase consciousness on earth by guiding GenX women and their families to have more joy, people, and abundance in their lives. That is my vision, but it hasn’t been smooth, and it hasn’t been easy; the entrepreneurial roller coaster is real. So, where do you begin?

 

Design and Define Your Vision

Beckie is an athlete and solopreneur who’d been trying to figure out her purpose for years, and just as our purpose exercise was getting underway, she realized her purpose, her mission, was to ‘be a guiding force for women looking to find their inner athlete’ and to help them understand it’s not one’s physical ability, but a mindset. 

And that is so much a part of being a high performing entrepreneur. Mindset. Vision. She guides these women in creating their vision boards not from external sources like magazines, but simply crayons and white paper. There goes that inner child again. It’s okay to let him or her out. In fact, I invite you to do so. 

Shelle’s vision is to help you reimagine the possible by awakening the desire in people to transform and develop their innate talents to impact the world. As CEO of a retained search firm, her clients are a bit different and looking for more than a body in a seat but a person whose values and goals are aligned with those of the organization.

If you have trouble putting your purpose succinctly, take a page from a NASA Janitor’s handbook.

 

The Janitor and President Kennedy

Have you heard the story of what the Janitor said to President Kennedy? JFK was visiting NASA and saw a man with a broom. “What do you do here?” he asked. The janitor replied, “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.” 

We are creative beings who can and should imagine what we want from our businesses and our lives. This is where you determine your purpose, that of your business, and your team, and tweak it until it fits and supports what you want to do and why you want to do it. Knowing this can act as your North Star, something to guide you and remind you of the direction you’re going not only when things are going well, but more importantly, when they’re not. 

A well-defined strategic plan reminds you of these four things. 

  1. Why you started your business.
  2. Who you’re serving. Call it your customer avatar, your target audience, the person, and people you want to help with your business.
  3. What the values of your business are which are often connected to your core values.
  4. What your big dream goal is or what we’ll call your Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

 

Strategic Niche

Not to sound too corporate-y, but your strategic niche is who you serve. It’s your audience. Your target client.

Get specific. Give your avatar a name. Speak to her or him and find out where they live, what is their life like, what are their dreams, their challenges. How can what you do help them? 

The strategic niche of Vixen Gathering, for example, is GenX female entrepreneurs who want to live a high-performance lifestyle. So, what does it mean to be GenX? What might our ideal client be facing?

There are a variety of monikers that have been attached including the sandwich generation because these women are caring for their parents and their children. They may be doing this on their own or with a partner. It’s likely they have degrees, but not always. Do they live in the city or the suburbs? Drill down until you know your client as well as you know yourself. 

Okay, so ours his GenX female entrepreneurs, but the rest of it is high performing. What does that mean for our avatar? It means a woman who wants to be sustainably successful in all areas of life, not just work.

We’ve tweaked our strategic niche a bit to include families because it can help you grow together and learn things about each other. You can support one another. Enter instant support system. Remember rudderless me in Italy? I had the veneer of a support system, but not the foundation.

 

View from the Top or Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)

Not unlike the movie of the same name, this is also known as your Big Hairy Audacious Goal. The one where you think, I could never do that, could I? And why couldn’t you? The child who had big dreams of becoming a dancer or a concert pianist or an architect or a fashion designer, you name it, you can do it. Let your inner child out and dream. Dream big.

Revisit the child within you and remember what it was you wanted when you set out into the world whether it was college or the school of life. Who shut down your dream? Why did you let go of it? Is it something you still want? Can you still envision it? Does it seem impossible? Good. So much the better. You never know until you try, right? You’ve been flexing those core value muscles and mastering critical skills. You’ve got this. Whatever it is, go for it. 

 

Critical Skills and Core Values

One of the things I talk about in my coaching program is mastering the skills and concepts such as setting boundaries, confidence management, determining your core values, owning your worth, and raising your money mindset. These are all important muscles to flex on your journey to a compelling vision for your future, and we’ll round things out with some practical tips. 

Once your foundation is in place and you own the moment, you are that much further ahead and can focus on business planning. This is what we cover at the end of the 90 days – a deep dive into business planning and goal setting.

 

4 Tips and Takeaways

Be vulnerable. 

Whether you’re a solopreneur, have a team, or are beginning to build one, reach out and share your vision and your big hairy audacious goal. 

If you already have a team, are they on board with what you’ve written? Do you need to tweak it? Get feedback from your team or someone you trust if you’re flying solo. Does what you’ve written make sense? What questions do you need to answer?

Once you’re done, put it away, and revisit it first thing in the morning. Has anything changed? This is your why. Spend some time on it – a day, two days, a week. Really think about it, tweak it, if you need to, and remember, this is a living document. It will change as you change.

 

Write Down What You Want

There is a connection when handwriting. Write down what you want. Create a vision board with childlike abandon. Use crayons. 

 

Give Yourself Permission to Dream

Who or what did you want to be when you grew up? Remember the joy of the possibilities. My wish for you is to feel that again. Dream big. Write it down. What would be the most amazing awesome thing to happen to you? Right now. Where do you see yourself? On a stage? In a bookstore? Madison Square Garden? 

Don’t think about it. Just close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Let your mind wander and drift. I usually start my sessions with meditative practice and it’s a fantastic way to get you centered, so your head is clear. Let the creative juices flow. 

 

Share Your Core Values with the World

Put it on your website, your social media, in your newsletter, tell a friend or colleague or family member in real life. Encourage the world to dream again.

 

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