You’ve made it! You’re an entrepreneur with one heck of a business idea. However, the more time that you spend on perfecting your business, the more you notice that your idea just isn’t perfect. So, like any true-blue entrepreneur, you go back to the drawing board—tweaking your business model here, adding new products there, modifying your strategies this way and strengthening your branding that way. Before you know it, your business takes on a whole new identity and a whole new vision. And no matter what you do, you’re just not satisfied or successful with it. What now?
Usually when this happens, it’s time to clarify your vision. An entrepreneur’s vision keeps the business focused. The vision (a combination of ideas, strategies and goals) lays the foundation for your decision-making, your calculated risks and your chances of reaching profitability. When your vision becomes clouded, you become irrational, make premature decisions and ultimately put the longevity and success of your business at risk.
It can be hard not to be swayed and tempted by trends, new ventures and unbelievable opportunities, especially if you’re experiencing lackluster sales and unfruitful marketing. However, if you can clarify your vision and do the things you need to do to keep your business on track, you’ll eventually be able to make room for new ideas and pursue them individually.
If you’ve struggled with committing to one business idea or if you’re tempted to venture into something new before the dust settles on your current ideas, here are some things to consider to clarify your entrepreneurial vision:
Answer the tough questions
What is it that you really want to do? How will you do it? How will it benefit your consumers? How will it benefit you? These are the core questions that make up your vision. Spend time honing in on the answers and not settling with quick responses that sound good, but don’t have value. You’ll come to realize that it takes time, patience, thoughtfulness and great planning to really answer these questions. It takes even more to execute them with precision and purpose. Speaking of execution—
Execute your vision intentionally
Some entrepreneurs get distracted by bigger ideas and easier routes, so they don’t execute their existing ideas with intention. Essentially, they don’t take all of the necessary actions to see their ideas come to life the way that they’re intended to. When a vision has been muted due to distractions, lack of interest and lack of passion, the vision suffers and so does the business. Be very clear and intentional about how you want your business to perform and what you want to happen. That way, you can make note of anything that’s standing in the way of what you want and take the proper steps to fix it.
Avoid analysis paralysis
Have you ever over-analyzed something in your business so much that you a) can’t make a decision, b) make the wrong decision or c) want to bail on the business because it’s just easier to cut the strings than to fix things. If this is you, then chances are you’re suffering from analysis paralysis. When you can’t figure out a situation, instead of analyzing it to death or jumping ship, turn to trusted advisors, revisit your business plan (because you do have one, right?) or step away for a few moments. Getting back to the root of your vision should alleviate so many of those pesky complications.
Doubt plays a significant role in whether entrepreneurs finish what they start. If you doubt your vision and doubt the process, you ultimately doubt your likelihood of success. Every business experiences setbacks and challenges. The ones that defeat them do so because of a clear vision and a can-do attitude. Keep moving through your business—even if things slow down or become a tad more complicated. Stay committed to your idea and make modifications based on what the market demands—not because you don’t believe in yourself or your idea.
Balance your ideas and expectations
You got into business because you had a great idea that you think will make a lot of money and create a big splash. Then a few months or years into the business, you’re barely breaking even and instead of a splash, you’ve only managed to make a drop. That’s okay. Not every business comes off the ropes swinging. If you become disappointed that you weren’t immediately the “next big thing”, then you’ll struggle with clarifying your vision and strategically moving towards bigger goals. Balance your current situation with your long-term goals. Just because you aren’t where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there soon.
Stick to it
Repeat after me: Vision. Action. Commitment. You need to clarify your vision for your business, act on It and commit to it—regardless of what’s going on around you and regardless of how business is looking now. You’ll have slow sales months. You’ll have unruly customers. You’ll have everything that every other business experiences on their route to success (and most still experience it although they have highly successful business models). It’s just the way business is. However, if you don’t complete every part of this process (vision, action, commitment) you won’t get far with much of anything.
Revise—but only when necessary
Change is good—but only when change is going to improve a situation or introduce a better solution. If you’re changing your vision simply because you’re bored with it or impatient, you’re creating an awful habit that won’t lead to a finished result or successful reward. Adjust your business when it’s necessary (because you haven’t made money or you’re losing money despite all of your strategic efforts). Other than that, just keep going and enjoying the rollercoaster of a ride called entrepreneurship.