Many business owners plan to grow their business in a monetary way. Here’s the thing: mapping out your business on the basis of a vision will help you smash your financial goals and achieve even greater things. The chances are you opened a business to support the life you want to lead, not the other way around. That’s why smart entrepreneurs vision cast, transforming their ideals into measurable action. If you’re new to this type of strategic planning, keep reading to discover five principles you need to structure your inspiration.
Vision Casting: Your Secret Weapon for Success
Vision casting is about designing a company that promises security, joy, flexibility, and freedom at a certain point in time. It’s the equivalent to creating a vision board for what entrepreneurship can do for you (and your family, and the world) years down the road. It sets you up for happiness by replacing reasonable goals with awesome aspirations.
If you’re in your late 20s and diving into entrepreneurship, you might vision cast to increase revenue and the headcount on your team in five years. In your 40s, you might vision cast 10-15 years out — think restructuring your business to support a larger retirement fund. Parents can vision cast to equally divide your time between your company and your children.
Before you dive into vision casting, ask yourself…
From what year do I want to reverse engineer?
You’ve identified where you are in the business lifecycle. Next, map out where your company is going and when. The trick is to reverse engineer your business from the destination point you choose. Whether you decide on a five year, 10-year, or 20+ year plan, the end goal must be meaningful to you and your organization.
For inspiration, think about businesses that push you to try harder. Envy is an unlikely source of your true passions and desires; it clarifies what you really want, and what you might be too afraid to try for. Consider what inspires you as a leader. If you manage a team, identify how their strengths and passions underpin your goals. Your vision might be as direct as increasing annual income or as complex as expanding to a national organization.
Do I have a clear, detailed image of my vision?
Vision casting borrows from the Law of Attraction, another powerful manifestation tactic used by strategic entrepreneurs. The Law of Attraction operates on a simple but magical principle: know exactly what you want down to the very last detail, and don’t be afraid to chase after it.
Draft a highly detailed image of your best life in five (or 15, or 20) years. For instance, what might your mornings look like? Sleeping until 9 a.m., or getting up bright and early to make breakfast for the kids? How much ‘me’ time is sufficient to balance out your work week? Do you want to break free from the solopreneur grind, or do you thrive on hyperproductivity?
What steps should I take to make my dream a reality?
After you develop a concrete vision for your business goals, figure out what you need to reach the finish line. Think setting OKRs that foster big picture gains.
In other words, drafting a timeline for your vision chunks big goals into less daunting, bite-sized milestones. To double revenue at the 3-year mark, determine how much you need to make around the 1.5 year-mark. To celebrate your retirement in 10 years, fast forward five years — around how much should you have saved to reach that goal?
5 Steps to Maximize Vision Casting
Making the vision casting method work for you is a little strategic communication, a little ‘fake it till you make it.’ If you know that you want to own a two million dollar company in 10 years, start acting and thinking like you make six figures — today. Reevaluate your approach to lead generation, the prospects you target, and how your self-worth shows up in your business. Repeating the following five steps will infuse your life with vision casting magic.
Know your core values and purpose. Running a purpose-driven business fleshes out your marketing strategy and helps guide your business in the right direction. Your clarity of purpose is your company’s north star. The “Why?” that drives your business must inform all your decisions, particularly the vision you cast.
Communicate your vision every single day. Talking about your vision and repeating positive affirmations underscores confidence. Generate movement and alignment by sharing your vision with your team. Discuss your achievements, no matter how small they may be; brainstorm about what you could have done better.
Pack your corner with likeminded people. Being an entrepreneur is like being a unicorn — you’re rare and better understood by people who think like you do. Who you have around will propel you or deter you from achieving success. The ideal employee not only fulfills their job description, but also drives the organization toward reaching important milestones on your vision casting timeline.
If you run a team, make them into visionary leaders. Great leaders aren’t afraid to speak up. Empower your staff to share their ideas for the team and the future of your organization. Push them to develop an entrepreneurial mindset: collaborative, creative, innovative, and willing to take healthy risks. If you run a large company, mentor your underrepresented staff members.
Think ahead for your succession plan. Even if your company is relatively young, it’s never too soon to think about passing on the torch. If you don’t have someone to take over in the next 10 years, outline the kind of leader you need and want. Decide how soon you will integrate them into your company and when you will train them. The goal is to not only teach your successor to lead, but to develop the same enthusiasm for building your brand.
The number one benefit of vision casting: it enables you to make decisions not from where you are now, but from where you want to be. It keeps you inspired and motivated, even on days when you would rather trade in all your responsibilities for a simpler, 9-to-5 gig. It swaps out fear for the future with excitement for what comes next on your journey. In short, it takes you back to why you became an entrepreneur in the first place!
What do you want to achieve in 2021 and beyond? Tell us in the comments section below, or compare your vision with other entrepreneurs in our twice-weekly discussions on branding and marketing strategies.