“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day
dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”
This is a famous quote from Nelson Mandela that really emphasizes how important it is for your business to have a clear vision that you can act upon. It also emphasizes how, if you do things the correct way, you can use your small business as a way to change the world. And hopefully this allows you to create wealth for you and your family along the way.
Before you can create an effective vision for your business, though, you must first decide what your overall purpose is for starting a business. Is it because you want to make a lot of money? Do you want to create jobs for people? Do you want to help other people in the world? Do you want to change the world? In order for your small business to succeed, your business vision has to be aligned with your overall purpose in life.
This is a concept that you don’t hear often in business schools or universities, but it is an important one. I have met and consulted to a lot of business owners who were miserable in life because their small businesses didn’t align with their overall purpose in life. It’s a very important first step when deciding how to start a small business.
Here’s an example that will help illustrate this point. One of our small business clients had started a very successful home remodeling and construction business in the United States. He started small, but he provided great service, unique designs, high quality, and superior reliability to customers, which is unusual in this particular type of business. As a result, the business quickly grew to include close to 20 employees and contractors. He had so much demand for his business’s services that he could barely keep up with demand. The business generated millions of US dollars per year and was allowing him to provide a nice lifestyle for he and his family.
This sounds like a perfect situation, doesn’t it? But actually, it was not perfect for him. As time went on, his company’s quality and reliability started to slip, customers stopped hiring him, vendors started charging him more and more, and eventually he had to file for bankruptcy and close down the business.
You might be wondering: “how could this have possibly happened to such a successful business?” The reason is that his business vision was not aligned with his overall purpose. Actually, he didn’t have a business vision at all, so it was impossible for it to be aligned wit his purpose.
When I asked him what went wrong in his business, he described how tired and burned out he got with his business. Employees were becoming more difficult, his operations were in a state of chaos, he couldn’t keep track of his money, and customers were grew impatient with his business. This all resulted in declining sales, lost profits, and negative cashflow.
He also described to me how he didn’t want or expect all of the challenges of running his business. He didn’t want the hassle of managing employees or keeping track of the complicated finances of a growing business. He just wanted to design and build things. It’s what he was good at. He wasn’t good at managing people or money or angry customers.
Clearly, his purpose in life and his business vision were not clearly aligned, which led to his unhappiness and his eventual business failure. If he had achieved alignment between these two things, he probably would not have failed. Perhaps he would have been happier and more successful if he kept his company small or grew at a slower pace. Perhaps if he had been prepared for the challenges of growing a business, he might have been able to persevere through the difficulties and not found it to be so stressful. This is a reason why getting the right small business training is so important to your success, and why having a clear purpose and vision is so important.
What is the vision and purpose for your small business? This is one of the many topics we cover in our online training program. Click here to learn more about our online small business training and mentoring program.