“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese proverb
It is important to have tactics in business, but tactics without integrity will have you flying blind. Focus on your product or service and how to get it to market will get you started, but having a vision and knowing what you stand for will help you create a sustainable and thriving business.
Before you do anything, ask yourself: “What is my vision and what do I strive to be as an organization?” You will find the answer to that question in your heart where the ethical foundation for everything you do is created. Once you know what you stand for, you will be a prosperous organization. The companies with a vision have a 15-20% better margin and results than ones without it. While people can learn a lot just by sitting and talking for an hour, we can’t do that with companies. Our companies project our vision through our essence and not through our product.
“The foundation starts with your vision, then your strategies and tactics. If the bottom part isn’t working then none of it is going to work.” – Fred Cary
You don’t want to be an opportunistic organization that jumps in every single chance to earn money, whether or not it is a good fit for your business. You have to see if what you’re doing is aligned with your long-term goals and what you want to be as an organization.
Think about how you want your kids to see you as a business owner. Create the vision from your ethical center. You will always be more triumphant than if you just take shortcuts and accept any opportunity you encounter on your way. Think about your child sitting next to you as you’re cutting deals and deciding which way to go because that’s what guarantees you will have the best opportunity for success.
From your vision, you will build out your mission, what you strive to be, and what are the things you are going to do to get there. A clear mission will provide you with sound strategies such as which market to join and how to launch your product or service, etc. Then use the strategies to build tactics because they are all connected. If the tactics don’t align with your vision and mission then it is not the tactic to use. There are no tactics without a vision. Think about what you want to be five years from now and start working on it today.
Ethical Foundation → Vision → Mission → Strategies → Tactics
A lot of people go straight to strategies and tactics without getting the top levels clear. The next thing they know, they are flying blind without a direction. And you don’t want that, do you?
Start with WHY then work outward and not the other way around. Deliver a powerful message and you will build a base of loyal advocates. People who will talk to their friends about you, your company, and things you offer because when you have a new product or service out on the market – they will be the first to buy it.
“People are not buying products. They’re buying YOU. What you stand for. They’re buying the belief system that you’ve created to enable your relationship with a customer to turn into a Love Fest.” – Fred Cary
Many entrepreneurs think this is not important for them, but even if you have one small consumer product. If you don’t have the foundation around it then it becomes just another product that can be easily replaced. Your vision doesn’t have to change the world, it just needs to be sincere, ethical and honest. This will influence people to choose you over someone else whose vision doesn’t mean much to them. You don’t want to sell. You want people who want to buy.
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