Conventional wisdom states that your business vision should be a statement of one to three sentences that focus on position and profits.
For example, Dupont’s vision is “[T]o be the world’s most dynamic science company, creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer and healthier life for people everywhere.”
Okay, well that’s nice. Actually, it’s a rather lovely vision. But it doesn’t make me feel anything. It doesn’t get me excited and nervous and energized. It’s just a lovely idea that I forget about almost instantly.
As a micro-business, you’ve got to own your vision—really feel it.
It should be provocative; it should provoke an emotional reaction. But before it can speak to anyone else, it must speak to you. In fact, it should get you up out of your chair and moving to the music!
You want your vision to give you a strong sense of direction and a ton of inspiration. You want it to open your eyes to the possibilities and define the difference you want to make in the world. It should get you charged up, excited and a bit freaked out.
It should make your heart sing.
Your vision is the very foundation of your business.
A strong vision that truly resonates with you keeps you moving forward and keeps you energized about your work.
When you share that vision with the world, it’s like sharing a great piece of music. It naturally attracts colleagues, partners and clients who love the sound of your music, who resonate with it and want to be a part of the ensemble that brings it to fruition.
The Jazz Quartet: Four Parts to Your Vision
Your vision consists of four parts working in concert to map out the journey from present day to the future.
Think of it as a piece of improvisational jazz.
Each instrument has a specific role to play, but the notes jump over each other, spin around and play.
There is an underlying structure to the piece, but as new instruments are introduced, the music changes and adjusts.
The four parts of your vision provides that underlying structure, while your colleagues, collaborators and clients are new instruments that improvise right by your side and help you create your opus.
Part 1: Core Purpose
The core purpose explains the reason your business exists. It is the overarching structure to the musical composition, illustrating exactly how you and your business intend to make the world a better place.
No matter how many instruments are introduced to the composition, the structure remains the same. Your core purpose stands the test of time.
As a micro-business, the values of your business are frequently the same as your own personal values.
These are the ideals, ethics and beliefs that are most important to you and you make every effort to live in accordance with these values. You can think of your values as the major chords within the musical composition.
Part 3:Big Hairy Audacious Goals
The BHAG is a long-term goal that fundamentally changes your business. Think of it as a movement in a piece of music—once the first movement comes to an end, the music changes to something else and you find that you’ve entered into another movement.
Your BHAG gives your business a clear focus for a period of time. Once you have reached your goal, a new BHAG takes shape.
Part 4: Vivid Description
What does your world look like after you have accomplished your first BHAG? A passionate, specific and vivid description will help you stay energized to reach your business goals. The vivid description is your grand masterpiece. You are the composer.
Many of us are natural dreamers, so it may be easiest to start with your vivid description.
If you’re a writer, write it out.
If you’re more visual, create a vision board.
Spend some time composing your masterpiece and don’t be afraid to play. It may not feel valuable in the moment, but these pieces can play a huge role in keeping you on track to reach your goals.
Have you worked on any of these pieces? Please feel free to share what you’ve done in the comments. And in the weeks to come, I’ll share my own process.