"Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of (wo)men."
As a business owner and entrepreneur I often feel swamped by the daily nitty-gritty of keeping customers happy, creating quality products and managing staff.
I bet you do too.
I'll even go out on a limb and guess that you spend way more than 40 hours a week simply juggling tasks and putting out fires.
With such intense pressure, it's easy to lose track of big-picture goals and focus on whatever you have to do to get by. But paying attention only to immediate tasks is a big mistake. Keep it up and you'll be stuck in exactly the same place for eternity.
Why do I say that? Simple. If you want to break out of the daily grind you have to hold, embrace and proclaim a clear vision of where you want to be. Even Google can't give you directions if you don't have an endpoint in mind.
When it comes to growing a business, the quality of that vision is very important. Don't shoot for break-even or a one-week vacation. When you dream - dream big! Think about what you really want, even if it seems impossibly far off on the horizon. A big bold dream will accelerate your success.
Articulating your dream or vision is important for two reasons.
One is the law of attraction: what you focus on - literally what you think about - is the thing that is most likely to happen. If your dreams stay small, so will your company.
Secondly, having a clear dream that you share with the world will help build your audience. Dreaming big and dreaming out loud helps attract other people who share your dream or feel empowered by it. They are your tribe; make it easy for them to find you.
Recently at a WE Connect mentor session I met an entrepreneur who reminded me about this need to have a big-picture vision that is clear and clearly articulated.
Emily Trower-Young owns and operates Em & El Organics which provides skin care products directly to consumers online. When I asked about her growth goals she gave me a sales number that was a totally reasonable start-up goal. But, if Emily ever intends to make a living through this business, her goal was nowhere near enough!
Later I learned that she loves to sail, and that her lifestyle goal is to own, maintain and sail an antique wooden sailboat. That's a $1 million-plus dream. And her product line was developed for people who sail and spend time on the ocean. Now that's exciting: a product developed from her experience and directly connected to her dream. That's the kind of mission and product that will attract diehard fans. Plus, it's a dream and a commitment that will fuel her ability to stick with it when her business isn't going so smoothly.
Your dream should do the same for you.
Your big audacious dream should attract a tribe of supporters and believers who will spread the word, shout your praises - and let you know when you're a little off track.
Your vision should also help reset your priorities when you're feeling overwhelmed or lost in a sea of minutia.
When you're ready to move beyond the daily grind in your business, start with a big, bold vision of where you want to be and where you want your company to be. Once you get that picture clear - in lush and vibrant detail - use that vision to set your quarterly or monthly goals.
Then, whenever things get tough, step back and refresh yourself by focusing on your dream and deciding on one step you can take today to get closer to that future.
Looking for more help on connecting your vision and dreams to growth strategy? Download a Growth Strategy ToolKit from CFO on Speed Dial.