As my great Irish friend John Heenan says: "If you don't have a vision for your own life, you become part of someone else's vision for theirs." Without clarity of purpose, we don't own our business, it owns us - we're employees of ourselves.
Everything we do comes from a belief system, whether intentionally or subconsciously. Do you guide your biz or does it rule you? Who's really in charge?
Some see this as the soft side of business, the part you can ignore because you can't track how much money you make directly back to it. "Stop playing office and start making the donuts," would be a typical response. But that response would only come from someone who is willing to become part of someone else's vision for their life, and doesn't want to make more money in less time.
Making money is not an empowering vision. Want to make more money? Get a reason to do it, then have some principles on which you run your business. We talked about they "Why?" (vision) in business a couple weeks ago. This is more about the values that lead us to "How" we run our business.
Like rails that guide a train, your business principles are the core strategy to having a business that knows where it is going and how it is going to get there. If you think you can just make donuts and not know why or what your business stands for in the process, you're going to miss out on building a business that you own vs. a business that owns you.
Here's our guiding principles:
The 7 Guiding Principles of The Crankset Group:
1. Make more money in less time
(don't work harder, not really even smarter, just more effectively)
2. Focus on our lifetime goals, not just on growing our business
(a BHAG will keep us going, but "grow the business" is a lifeless idea. So is retirement.)
3. Work ON your business, not just IN it.
(The key to growth - perfecting as we go by strategic planning, not just production.)
4. Get off the treadmill, own the business instead of the business owning us.
(The purpose of our business is to create a lifestyle for ourselves and our family.)
5. Highest and best use of your time.
(Yield per Hour - stop doing things others could do; do what only I can do.)
6. Make decisions on where you want to be, not where you are.
(Clarity of Purpose leads to Hope which leads to Risk. Take good risks to grow.)
7. Bad plans carried out violently many times yield good results. Do something.
(Stop planning. Implement now and perfect as you go. Speed of Execution rules.)
What are the guiding principles of your business?
You've got values and beliefs that are the foundation of everything you do and those values and beliefs are running the show. You might as well write them down and see if you agree with who/what is actually in charge. If not, change them and take control of your vision...
...so you can make more money in less time, get off the treadmill, and get back to the passion that brought you into business in the first place, in order to build a mature business in support of your lifetime goals. (Just had to get my guiding principles in there one more time). ?
Author of the #1 Business Book of 2010, Making Money is Killing Your Business