“You don’t want to be that guy, Mike.” This is the opening sentence in the book, “The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field” by Mike Michalowicz.
“What guy?” Mike asked.
“That old guy with only one nut left…hanging out of his shorts. The guy who works like a dog for fifty years and then ends up sitting in a rusty lawn chair, half-dead, with drool dripping down his chin.”
You have to know where you’re going if you’re going to get there
O.K., that’s some pretty vivid imagery! And if you are going to grow an extraordinary business it’s the perfect place to start. With your ultimate vision.
I’m guessing that the vision of the guy in the rusty lawn chair isn’t anyone’s ultimate goal. But it brings up a good point. You have to know where you’re going if you’re going to get there.
Soooo many entrepreneurs start their business with an IDEA. You have an idea for a product, or you have a skill that you can turn into a service. You might have family and friends that encourage you – “you should turn that idea into a business” they say. You might even create a plan and make projections. But very few start with a true vision.
Start with the end in mind
If you are wondering why you need a vision, I’m going to tell you! Have you ever heard the expression “start with the end in mind?” Those who do this have the direction, purpose and stick-to-itiveness to create something extraordinary and achieve their dreams. Perhaps it goes without saying, you need to know what the dream is if you are going to achieve it!
I recently saw an interview with Tyra Banks and her mother. When Tyra was at the height of her modeling career, her mother said those words, “start with the end in mind,” to her. Tyra credits her current success to this idea of accepting that you will not stay in the same place in your career (or business) indefinitely, and that you must decide where you are headed and make a plan to get there. Today Tyra is a successful TV personality, actress, businesswoman, producer and author.
If you are a pumpkin farmer, and you want to grow a giant award winning pumpkin, you need to first have a vision of that pumpkin. You don’t grow a giant pumpkin by accident. You don’t just toss a bunch of seeds on the ground and wake up one morning to a giant pumpkin. You start with knowing what you want to grow, and envisioning not only the end result, but what it will be like when you achieve it.
The first step in Pumpkin Planning Your Business is to write down your vision of where you are headed. Writing something down is very powerful. It ingrains it in your brain. It makes it more real. It also gives you the ability to go back and read it any time.
I recently participated in a Vision Boarding activity with a group of entrepreneurs. Vision boarding is a visual representation of your vision. Some in the group had already done the exercise the year before, and shared their boards with us. I was amazed at how many had already achieved many of the items on their boards. One participant shared with me that while he didn’t expect much from the exercise, it triggered a new way of looking at things in his brain, and he suddenly became very clear about a major decision in his business.
Know WHY you do what you do
Your vision should be about your ultimate vision for your business. It should also be your ultimate vision for your life. What will your life be like when you achieve this ultimate vision? How will you be spending your time? What will you be feeling? I’m guessing none of you envision ending up like “one-nut guy.”
Once you have written your vision, ask yourself “why?” Why did you start this business and not a different one? What is the purpose, the motivation behind your business? If you know why you do what you do, you will not only keep yourself moving forward, but you will attract the clients, customers and employees who really resonate with your “why.”
There is a lot of research to support the idea that emotion is the key to motivation. Write a vision that makes you FEEL something powerful. Excitement, happiness, fulfillment, purpose. Any emotion that resonates with you. If you can feel it, then this vision will keep you going when the going gets tough, and you know there will be times when the going gets tough. Your vision and the “why” behind your vision is what makes it worth it.
Carve out the time
I know what a lot of you are thinking right now. Sounds like a great idea, but I don’t have time for that. My “to-do” list is a mile long. I’ll get to it when I have time. If those are the words you are hearing in your head, then I encourage you to take a step TODAY towards living your dream, and schedule an hour this week to write down your vision. I promise you won’t be sorry you did.
If you haven’t already joined our FREE Facebook Community, Pumpkin Planners Rock, please head on over there now and request to join. Once you join, introduce yourself and summarize your vision for us so we all know where you’re headed! As we move through this series, we will give you feedback, tips and share what we’ve learned over the last 5 years about using the Pumpkin Plan strategies to grow an extraordinary business.