THE BIGGEST HURDLE business owners are facing across the world right now
Your first reaction to this statement might be one of frustration, or non-acceptance. You might believe there is no way that a lack of vision is the root cause of so many businesses failing to achieve all they are capable, and that money, investment, staff, competition are all far greater problems, and I’ll agree and acknowledge ALL of these can be significant (sometimes critical) hurdles within a business. However, there is NOTHING that will stifle the growth of both ambition and ability, strangle enthusiasm and entrepreneurship, kill hopes and dreams more significantly than a lack of clarity in WHY are you doing what you’re doing.
Of all the years I’ve been either associated with business, from very young observing my father running his own business, to either buying, acquiring or setting up 4 of my own businesses, and more recently still, coaching hundreds of Business owners and Entrepreneurs (Business Owner Vs Entrepreneur) in the significant and sustainable growth of both them and their businesses, I have never been so frequently confronted with the problem – a lack of clarity in the business vision!
I’ve often been heard referencing the exceptional work Dr. Simon Sinek produced in his work on START WITH WHY, in which he clearly identifies how “2 guys called Steve, went from working out of their parents garage, to becoming partners in the largest and most successful electronics company in modern history – Apple”
However, to TRULY understand the impact of a clear WHY statement, we must first go back to the whole concept of employee / employer Versus Business Owner / Entrepreneur concept.
Throughout history, we have observed every day throughout our lives, a status quo of people getting up 5 times a week at a set time, and heading to ‘the office’ where they have worked a 35, 37.5, 40+ hour week (often M-F, 9-5) in return for an income they have received either weekly or monthly on which their lifestyle often reflects the value of this return (we are creates of habit and predominantly live within our means)
Recently studies have shown the average family within the UK is currently slightly over £13K in debt on unsecured finance, (and this does not include secured debt such as mortgage) suggesting that we don’t always live within our means, but within ‘extended means’ recognising interest rates as a ‘fact of life’ and something we have to accept!
Furthermore, of all the people I have ever asked (several hundred if not a few thousand by now) regarding their hopes and aspirations for the future, they have always referred to “trying to achieve X by the time I’m Y”
“I’d love to become debt free by the time I’m 50”
“I’d love to afford to retire by the time I’m 55″
“I’d love to be able to buy a holiday home in the next 10 years”
And this is fundamentally where the problem begins!…
I know these are both often overly quoted however at the risk of cliché
The moment we even think the word TRY, it automatically offers failure as an option! Whilst many quote Henry Ford having said:
“The man who said I can,
and the man who said I can’t;
will undoubtedly BOTH be right”
It was actually Confucius (550BC) who is first recorded as having made the exclamation, continuing “For the man who said I can will find a way, whilst the man who said I can’t has already found an excuse” It has LONG been accepted that achieving involves doing, and as soon as doing is either different, or scary, or unknown, it creates doubt, from which evolves fear, and thus prevents the absolute application of.
It is only when we acknowledge FEAR is a non-useful human created emotion. You see, FEAR (often considered an acronym for Failure Expected And Realised) does not exist. We become FEARFUL of circumstances that have not even occurred, yet based our reaction on the presumption they might, and so create this as a reality – to prove ourselves right!
In my book – The Road2Utopia (and how to take a shortcut) we address in much more detail how to unpick this unhelpful psychological phenonium we have created within our subconscious in order to remap our mind to ask WHAT is possible? and then to understand how to ensure this occurs quickly and not (before I die!!!)
So, how do I find clarity?…
Firstly, you’ve got to determine WHAT DO YOU WANT? This is not FROM the business, or FOR the business, its what do YOU want? Want from life? And please, do not stop at the first few achievable things. [See interview with David Hyner as to why SMART objectives – Aren’t]
I want you to…
CLICK HERE to create what YOU want to achieve in life, be creative, have fun, be daring and bold, start thinking back to those days when you first started school and the conversations you had in the playground of being a pop star or an astronaut! I want this list to be exhaustive and audacious it’s got to empty your head of ALL those dreams, ambitions, goals and aspirations. Have some fun with it, maybe even come back to it more than once, but don’t stop adding to it until the sheet is FULL and your head empty!
Then we’ve got to find some kind of ‘road map’ as to order of priority of these thoughts, as to what you’re going to achieve first, and what we can afford to put off for now! (It’s often that this means we are going to work through the list from top to bottom, and regardless of what I’ve ASKED you to do, your list began with the achievable and conventional, and has become more creative as the need to fill the page increased!
The 2nd thing you need to do is…
ONLY NOW, can we come back to the business, and ask the question CAN your current business enable you to achieve these?
You see, the first thing we have to determine is:
IS your current business capable of delivering what you need to enable you to achieve what YOU want to achieve? So many business owners have created a SELF EMPLOYED job for themselves, rather than becoming an entrepreneur and creating an income stream regardless of their role within the business! This is HIGHLY important, so let me repeat it:
“So many business owners have created a SELF EMPLOYED job for themselves, rather than becoming an entrepreneur and creating an income stream regardless of their role within the business!”
I can guarantee, NOWHERE on your DREAMS and DESIRES list does it say CEO of a multinational business, responsible for worldwide operations, employing thousands of people. Yet, this is likely to be the size of business required (within its current format) to achieve the level of income you require to achieve EVERYTHING on that list (if you’ve been bold and ambitious enough).
“The lack of congruency between your current business format and what YOU want to achieve in life is preventing you and your business from success!”
But what has this got to do with my Business Vision?
Short answer: EVERYTHING!
I wear glasses, I have done since my late twenties, and not wanting to receive lazer surgery, shall do for the rest of my life. Every 6 months or so, I visit my optician for sight test to ensure my glasses are Fit For Purpose. Despite how much I’ve spent on frames, if my vision has changed, I donate my frames to the charity bin, and start again with a new pair, new lenses for ABSOLUTE CLARITY OF VISION.
My Current pair of vary-focal, with reactive polaroid lenses, in a light weight, highly durable titanium frames. We sat down for quote a while, I answered a series of questions both regarding my lifestyle and what I uses my glasses for, and then we chose the appropriate frames and lenses to meet my requirements.
Similarly, every year, I spend time reviewing what I want to achieve in the next 12 months as milestones towards what I want to achieve in LIFE. I then review my business, to examine if its FIT FOR PURPOSE or if we need to tweak / amend it to ensure everything we do meets MY requirements from it. It is only by having LAZER clarity on MY vision that I can analyse with sufficient detail every aspect of my business to ensure IT is capable of helping me to achieve what I want to achieve.
Finally, I’ve already mentioned WE ARE CREATURES OF HABIT. We rarely like change, and even more cautious of the unknown. It was Zig Ziglar who is quoted of having said:
“Success is achieved by learning to become comfortable at being uncomfortable”
Therefore, in order to achieve the most audacious goals on your list, you also need to create a reason for doing so beyond yourself. You’ve got to create a reason for doing so beyond ‘Because I want to” if you want to create an extraordinary life, you’ve also got to have an extraordinary reason for doing so – Something that creates a desire to achieve far greater than the fear of not achieving. Something which push you to do more than you thought yourself capable, something that feeds the ambition and drive you on through uncertainty, through apprehension through hesitation.
I sincerely hope this has helped you understand WHY you need to have a WHY, and how to go about ensuring your business is FIT FOR PURPOSE. I challenge you to start writing that LIFE GOALS list right now, and email a copy to Iwantto@addazero.co.uk that we may help hold you to account in beginning to achieve them.
If you would rather chat through your WHY… Book a complimentary call by simply clicking HERE to access my diary so you can determine when best suits YOU.