As business owners, we tend to run a thousand miles per minute. So how does one stay focused on the big-picture vision and avoid getting tripped up by the day-to-day? In this post, we’ll explore what it looks like to be led by your vision, and why your business — and the people you’re here to serve — need you to start with “why”.
As an impact-driven leader, working toward a big-picture vision is your most important role: a challenge when, as a small business boss, you might find yourself caught up in the menial tasks that take more energy and focus than you’d like.
Your WHY is the audacious vision that keeps you motivated to run your business and serve up the transformation only you can, to those you’re here to help — aka, your Aligned Client.
In the fight to stay focused on our vision, Simon Sinek recently suggested calling ourselves “CVOs”: Chief Vision Officers, as opposed to the “CEO” title. So often we think of the WHAT and the WHO of our business, we forget to tap into the potential of what’s possible for us, our team, and the people we serve.
Your Vision Is Your Roadmap
If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek (whom we so lovingly call, “the Harry Potter bae of the business world”), then you’ve likely heard him speak about starting with WHY.
In a TED Talk that set the world on fire — and is one of the Top 3 most viewed today — Sinek flips the script on business communication and says to cast your vision first, before describing what you do, in order to rally more people behind you.
But speaking out your vision isn’t only effective in rallying Aligned Client to follow; it’s also necessary to scale your business. Being driven by your purpose when the going gets tough keeps you strong and steady when the temptation to give up threatens to roar.
To avoid Burnoutville: Population, Too Many and continue building the world you long to see, consider the 3 Why’s that drive us:
The 3 Types of Vision
- The Personal Impact “Why” (your purpose in terms of how you, personally, are affected). Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur because you don’t like working for someone else, or because you crave more freedom/flexibility. These are strong reasons to do what you do, but are not often strong enough to keep you going when the going gets tough; nor is it encompassing enough to rally others behind your vision.
- The Loved Ones “Why” (why you do what you do, for those around you). As women and empathetic leaders, we are communal beings who often put others first. Many mothers, for instance, leave their 9-5’s for more flexibility and presence with their kids. This reasoning is strong — and oftentimes, what drives many main characters in the movies (see: Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell) — but in order to sweep up your audience, your “why” must speak to more than just your inner circle.
- The Community Footprint “Why” (the transformation you create amongst a group of people). As an impact-driven leader, understanding how what you do brings transformation to the people you are here to serve can be very motivating. It is in these moments we can separate ourselves from our ego (which I like to refer to as the whiny toddler that throws a tantrum at the slightest inconvenience) in remembrance of all we’re running toward.
It is in this third level you’ll rally the most people behind you, turning your message into a movement and making the change, and money, you are here for.
Tap Into Your Vision + Create Your Dream Team
So I invite you to take a moment to pause and listen to what I call the “Dream Team” visualization.
Ask yourself who is there standing on the other side telling you the transformation you’ve helped create for them. This very person is a part of your WHY because it is this person (along with many others) that will take part in your ripple of impact.
So grab a pen and paper, and revel in these next 4 minutes of visualization before journaling out what you saw.
Your Vision Sets You Apart
The hard truth is there are MANY companies doing the exact same thing as you. Both services and products can be replicated.
What sets you apart is the intention and purpose behind your Brand. Your story and your WHY is the magic sauce of your business that cannot be replicated or replaced.
By sharing your WHY, you have the advantage. It’s your WHY that allows your audience to connect with you and go after a shared vision, together.
A Final Word For you, Visionary.
When the day-to-day begins to bog you down, take a minute to recalibrate your WHY. Remember the many people whose lives will be changed because of your special gifts. And also, remember how YOU personally come alive in the work only you can do.
My friend, the world is waiting for you to unleash your impact through the meaningful work you do. As you move forward, let your vision guide you forward and serve as the springboard to a Brand that lasts, with massive impact.