Do you have a business plan that is inspiring, compelling or relevant?
Do you struggle to articulate your business’s vision and how you make a difference in the world?
Steve Jobs said it best when he said that a vision starts with the customer and everything else is built around them.
A business plan is nothing more than a list of things accomplished, money made to date and some ideas of things you will do to monetize your business in the future for a banker or investor.
However, your vision is not a statement of things you want to achieve. Your vision comes from understanding the problems you solve and the difference you want to make in the world.
Profits don’t come from business plans, they come through vision. In fact, your vision will dictate your business plan if done properly.
Learn how Steve Jobs and Sam Walton built Apple and Wal Mart on vision and what their vision was and how to apply vision to your business.
Vision over Business Plan: what is vision and where does it come from?
How do you discover your vision and focus on it to grow your business instead of on a business plan?
Vision is one of those unique things that everybody out there loves to talk about… You have to have a vision. You have to have a future. You have to know where you’re going.
In fact, your vision will dictate your business plan if done properly.
What does it mean to have a vision for your company?
Let’s talk first about what vision is not before I share what it is.
What Vision is Not…
Vision is not the painting that you put on the mural that shows the future.
It’s not a list of things that you want to do (that could be part of a business plan or strategic plan).
It’s not a list of buildings that you want to purchase or a list of programs that you want to create.
It’s not a statement that says you want to grow your business to $25 million in revenue over the next 10 years.
Those things are not a vision.
They are just statements.
They are statements of what you want your business to achieve and what you want to achieve is not necessarily a vision.
What Vision is…
Vision is not a statement of things you want to achieve.
I say that because what vision ought to be tied to is the impact that you want to make in the world.
It’s the difference that you want to make in the world.
Vision is communicated through the problems you’re passionate about solving.
What is the difference that you want to make in the world?
Steve Jobs and Apple Didn’t Set Out to Become the Most Profitable Business in the World
As an example, Apple Steve Jobs didn’t set out set out to build an empire or build the biggest, most profitable business in the world.
In a matter of fact if you look over his life and read part of his biography, what you discover is that Steve Jobs didn’t care about being the wealthiest man in the world.
He didn’t care about having the wealthiest company in the world.
What he did care about was how the world was going to be changed through the use of technology and how that technology would be so easy used for the average person. He wanted to create technology that didn’t feel complicated or like it was out of the grasp of an individual. In the 1980’s personal computers didn’t exist in the mainstream yet.
Step back and think about that for a minute.
If Steve Jobs only function or purpose in life had been to make money would he have been as creative as he was?
Would he have done the things that he did?
In a matter-of-fact that’s why he got kicked out of his own company. The Board of Directors were worried about money and Steve Jobs was focused on, and worried about, creating friendly user-experiences that put technology in the hands of people that anyone could afford and easily use in the form of a personal computer.
Microsoft would eventually take over that market, but Steve Jobs was the one who initiated the whole idea of the personal computer in the hands of ordinary people.
Eventually, Jobs would create iTunes and the iPod and later the iPhone.
These devices were highly user-friendly and only required the touch of a screen to use. You could open an app that’s user-friendly and easy-to-use, and his vision was anyone would be able to access the entertainment of their choice affordably and communicate more efficiently.
He sparked the PC revolution and then he changed the music world and the telecommunications world forever and he brought them together into one device.
Some people hate the proprietary that Apple has the proprietary approval system for apps. It’s not that they don’t want to approve apps, but they want to ensure the customer experience is the best that it can be and if app uses have a bad user experience it reflects poorly on Apple.
Jobs once said:
“You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to sell it.”
More importantlyJobs saw his vision as a “digital hub for our emerging digital lifestyle.” While he didn’t explicity say what products were likely to come from Apple—Jobs would never do such a thing—he described a future very much like the one we’re living today, where iPhones, and iPads are central to our digital media experience.
What is Vision and What is the Secret to Finding It?
What is the vision that you have that you want to change the world through?
Again, if you’re communicating through a business plan then you’ve likely never gotten to the root of your vision because the tool is analytical… your vision is more feeling.
Vision is not that list of things as I mentioned earlier.
It’s not buildings.
It’s not your financial portfolio.
It’s not how many employees you have.
It’s not the size of your campus. Google’s vision was not to say we want “X” number of buildings on a huge campus and we’re going to do all of this great stuff. That was not the vision.
What is vision and where does it come from?
Vision comes down to a simple question:
“What are the problems that you’re passionate about solving and how are you going to solve them?
That’s what vision ultimately is!
We get so tied up in all of the details that we forget the big picture and vision is the biggest of pictures.
Mother Teresa’s Vision was a Vision of Legacy?
Would you say that Mother Teresa was a successful business person?
She didn’t have money and as a matter-of-fact she was as broke as they come financially.
However, she was his rich as they come in vision and purpose and fulfillment of that purpose, and she changed the world?
Mother Teresa is known around the world because she had problems that she was passionate about solving and she was hell-bent on solving those problems.
Through her passion she was passionate about solving she made a difference!
What Problems are You Passionate About Solving?
What is the difference you want to make the world?
What are the problems that you’re passionate about solving through your business?
This is really important because this is where we get confused about the difference between vision and just going out and building a business to make money and creating a business plan;, and we wonder why we struggle?
It’s okay to struggle as you find your purpose and vision.
It’s okay to not have it all today.
It’s okay to not be a multimillion dollar business today.
Its’ okay to not be a $1 trillion business or billion-dollar business because those things in and of themselves are meaningless.
What is your vision?
What are the problems you’re passionate about solving and how are those problems attracting the right people who are able, willing and ready to buy from you?
That’s the right question to ask.
If you know the problems that you’re passionate about solving you can build your business through your vision no matter what business you’re in.
In a matter-of-fact, your vision may open the doors to having more than one business.
It doesn’t matter what the business is if that business is being used to accomplish the purpose of the vision. I.e., the problems you’re passionate about solving.
It doesn’t matter what the business is because a business is a means to an end.
When we get our heads around that we begin to understand something very fundamentally different about business that we understand if we just building a business to make money.
Sam Walton’s Passion for Communities Who Didn’t Have Affordable Shopping Options
You may have heard of Sam Walton? Sam Walton was the founder of WalMart and what you may not know is how his vision blossomed even during great times of duress.
Did you know that Sam Walton was on the verge of bankruptcy for years before he was able to make Walmart successful?
What turned it around was his belief in his vision.
He had a vision to bring retail stores to every small, low income community that didn’t have a place to shop for affordable clothing or affordable goods without traveling long distances.
The concept was to sell items at the lowest cost possible in the highest volume.
That was his vision.
He wanted to make a difference in the world for hard working American’s who didn’t have a lot of money.
Sam Walton started and built Walmart to make a difference in the world by bringing affordable products to every small community that couldn’t afford to go to the big retail department stores and buy expensive clothing or expensive goods because those communities didn’t have a local, affordable store.
Just look at Bentonville Arkansas back in the day.
When Sam Walton started WalMart he would finance the building and operations of a store and then sell items at an affordable price. He would continue to finance over and over again the starting of new stores and for a number of years, he was completely upside down financially.
If you ever get a chance to study his story, he was in millions, and millions, and millions of dollars of debt before his vision finally caught and he turned it around.
Look at the empire that Walmart became just by the late 1970’s and into the 1980’s.
Forget about today, just look at the 1970’s and the 1980’s; that was the vision for Walmart.
Sam Walton wanted to make a difference in small communities and ensure that people had affordable clothing on their backs and products in their homes that they could afford that they couldn’t have otherwise been able to buy.
Sam Walton made a difference in the world and it had nothing to do with making money.
That was just the end result.
I know you have to make money in order to sustain your business and grow your business so that you don’t end up losing your business or end-up in bankruptcy.
The point is that your vision is really nothing more than “the problems that you’re passionate about solving.”
It’s not about making money.
The rest of it is just how do you go about doing it?
What most of us struggle with is that we don’t know the problems that were passionate about solving.
We have no idea.
Don Purdum’s Vision
What’s my vision?
As I look around our country, at the social fabric of our country, and at the differing generations; I see the world that we’re inheriting as one that is very scary.
However, probably not for the reasons that you think?
I look at my grandparent’s generation. My grandparent’s generation came out of the Great Depression’s and WWII. They were able to get jobs and companies at that time believed in civic responsibility.
Those companies understood the important role of taking care of their employees. That generation had jobs for life.
They had retirements in pensions?
Because they didn’t have the economic capitalism that we have today. It was it was a totally different type of capitalism. Yes, it was capitalism built on the ideas of making money but also on being socially responsible.
But, the truth is that what made America great at the turn-of-the-century was not corporate America, it was small businesses?
What made America great coming out of World War II?
It was the small business owner.
It was true then and it’s true now!
Yet, we need more small business owners.
Today, the problem is people we have been trained to think about going to college for the purpose of getting a job and going to work for a corporation who only cares about the bottom line and increased profits.
The majority of potential small business owners today don’t go to college to learn business and entrepreneurial skills; and few ever get trained by successful entrepreneurs. There are fewer successful businesses owners and entrepreneurs teaching people how to build businesses.
Instead, we’re teaching people how to get jobs.
Since the mid 1990’s what has happened to the middle class?
It has been in decline.
We hear stories all the time that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and it’s true!
Just look what happened in Baltimore over a year ago.
Up until the late 90’s it was a bustling blue-collar, middle-class community that worked in manufacturing.
According to this article: ”The city (Baltimore) lost more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs between 1950 and 1995”
Once the manufacturing jobs left, the decline started. There was no one in the urban areas to teach entrepreneurialism or show people how to start a business.
I see what’s going on in this in this in the city of Chicago and the number of people that are being murdered for no good reason. There is a feeling of desperation and hopeless and people have nothing meaningful in terms of how they’re going to survive.
Hold on though, it’s even worse than that when almost 95 million people are no longer looking for work and millions upon millions have been released from their corporate jobs since 2008. Some could be attributed to retirements as the baby boomers are getting older. Others are largely those that can’t find work.
There are nearly 95 million people in America that are not participating in the labor workforce and who don’t have an income and can’t find work.
Whatever happened to the day we said the answer to America is not getting a job, it’s starting a business that solves a problem, or meets a need, or fulfills a desire?
How do we build businesses that take and transform and make America great?
I ask because that’s the key.
We were the only country in the world that afforded entrepreneurs the opportunity to build something great and to do something special.
That’s my challenge to you today.
That’s my vision!
How do I help those who say;
“ Yes, I want to take the plunge into entrepreneurialism and make a difference in the world.”
I want to help you figure out how to find you vision.
I want to help you discover the problems that you’re passionate about solving and discover the business that you’re really in.
Then I want to show you how to create your message from that and create the strategies necessary to deploy your message, spread your passion, make a difference in the world and grow your business.
It’s not about a business plan… it’s about your vision.
Do you know the problems you’re passionate about solving?
Why are you in business?
It’s not about a business plan. That’s an old form of communicating in the business world for those looking for loans or investments.
Even that is incomplete and requires you to be able to communicate your vision and tie your vision to your financial needs.
Business growth is tied directly in proportion to your ability to communicate your vision through the problems you’re passionate about solving.
Are you ready to find that missing link to inspiring people to buy from you, loan money to you or invest in your business?
If that’s what you’re looking for today, if that’s the missing ingredient in your business, then I want an opportunity to talk with you!
I want to share with you how understanding the business that you’re really in and knowing the problems that you’re passionate about solving can be the difference in your business that you’re looking for.
Perhaps that’s the one thing that you have been missing in your business because you have been chasing all the wrong things.
If you would like to learn how to create an inspiring, compelling and relevant vision and message, please click here and schedule a one-hour, free, no-obligation meeting with me, click here or on the image below.
Do you have a thought, idea or question, you can email me or share in the comments below and let’s discuss it.