Don't Create A Strategic Plan Until You Do This First

5 Quick Steps To Creating A High Powered Business Vision Statement

Want to guide yourself and your team to massive success in 2017? Don’t start with a strategic plan. In fact, don’t start with a plan at all.

“No plan?!” I can hear you saying, “what is this madness?!” Hold off on the judgement for a hot-minute, and sit yourself down for a short visioning exercise that, if used correctly, can help you take your business to new heights.

What IS Visioning?

I’m not asking you to go on a Ayahuasca or LSD mind-bending drug trip, but rather to take less than an hour sometime in the next few days to sit down and spend some time with yourself, imagining a new vision for your business, and yourself.

Whether you’re a founder, or an employee, visioning your life and business is one of the simplest and most powerful exercises you can do. 

A vision enables you to see into the future without any psychic powers or Tarot cards. It can help you be more innovative and creative, and bypass, just for a moment, all of the objections that you and your team create for yourselves when you ask “but HOW are we going to do that?”. Don’t worry about the “how” just yet.

Without a vision it’s impossible to align your values, understand your mission, create an effective strategic plan, or develop an aligned team and an outstanding company culture. Once you have a vision and know where you’re going, you and your team can figure out how to get there. So start. with. the. vision.

Your vision statement can be as long or as short as you like. There’s no time limit on a vision. I know founders who write five, ten and fifteen year visions, as well as at least one founder who writes daily vision statements. The important thing is not to edit while you write, to have a specific time period in mind for your vision, and to write your vision as though it’s already taken place.

Let’s begin!

Step One:

Take a breather. Step away from your desk, find a couch or a coffee shop or somewhere people won’t look at you too oddly if you close your eyes or drift off into awake-dreamland. Bring a notebook and pen with you.

Step Two: Get into the “zone”

Turn off distractions and get into the “zone”. Play some quiet music if that helps you to relax. Open up your notebook, and do four minutes of free-writing about all the things you loved in your life and business over the past year. Don’t take your pen off of your paper. Keep it positive and just keep writing, even if it’s not making much sense.

Step Three: Take yourself on a trip to the future

Set a timer for five minutes, then close your eyes, or if you’re not comfortable with that, focus your vision on something specific in front of you (not someONE in front of you in the coffee shop, we don’t want you to get arrested).

Take a deep breath, and think about a specific day. In this example we’ll vision a day that’s three years from now, but feel free to choose a different time period. Be fully in the moment, on that specific day, three years from now. With your eyes closed, picture yourself: Where are you sitting or standing? What’s happening around you? Who are you with? How do you feel? What does it smell like? What just happened before this moment?

Keeping your eyes closed, sit in that moment. Enjoy it. Think about what’s happening around you, in your business, and in your life. Don’t stress about how it all came to be, just enjoy it for what it is, appreciate how you’re feeling, enjoy this ideal vision.

Try to stay in the visioning for the entire five minutes. If you find yourself drifting back to reality, or stressing about how you’re going to achieve this vision, take a deep breath and refocus on the vision three years from now. Pay attention to the fine details. If you’re in an office with your team, what’s on the table? What colour is are the walls? What are you saying? What are people saying to you?

When the timer goes off, open your eyes and then open your notebook again.  

Step Four:

Set a two minute timer and free-write about your vision as though it’s taking place. You’ll be writing from the future, so enjoy this bit of time travel! Don’t worry about perfection, just keep your pen on the paper and write. Try to be as detailed as possible. Include sights, smells, sounds, your mood, anything you can think of. If the timer goes off and you have more to write, don’t stop.

Read through what you’ve written.

Next, read through the following prompts, and add to your notes if you feel you’ve missed anything:

  • How big is your organization?

  • Where do you and your team work?

  • What do your employees say about working with you?

  • How do you feel at work?

  • Who do you love to work with?

  • How do your clients feel when you work with them (or the users of your products?)

  • What do your clients say about you?

  • How do your clients or users find you or your product?

  • How do you love to sell your services or products?

  • What do you refuse to do at work?

  • What are your favourite workplace traditions?

  • How do you and your team measure and celebrate success?

Step Five:

Read your vision every morning for three days in a row. Edit it as necessary. After three days of reviewing your vision, share it with your team. Be open to their opinions, don’t be afraid of criticism, and provide ample opportunities for them to share.

Ta-Da! You've begun the process of defining and aligning your company's values and vision statement!

Your vision for your business and your life is the basis of everything you create. In this phase of planning don’t waste time stressing about “how” you’re going to achieve it, or how to align your team to your vision. 

Next week I’ll be talking about creating and defining authentic company values, creating a vision and values statement, and aligning your team to a common vision and core values.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to work on making my vision a reality!

Cheers,

Alexis

PS: "Define and align with your company's values & vision statement" is Step One in Dovetail's FREE Guide: 7 Steps to Build AMAZING Company Culture! Click on the button below to get your free guide today: