Entrepreneurial Vision

Every Entrepreneuer Lives off Their Vision

Archive for the tag “ideation”

What Flavor is Your Passion?

There is nothing more energizing than a good brainstorm. The thought of creating new ideas and planning them out is just absolutely invigorating. The topic doesn’t even matter, we can brainstorm about fish, paper, canyons, or the stock market. My girlfriend says I have so many ideas that she can’t even begin to keep up with me. There is something so promising about an ideation session. It’s hard for me to believe that some people don’t like brainstorming. I don’t really care because I love it. My dream is to travel the world thinking of new ideas for businesses and other organizations. My creative talents and dreams inspire me to reach for that goal everyday. 

What makes you jump out of bed in the morning? Accounting? Horseback riding perhaps? Passions coupled with goals are a powerful force. Think of it like a recipe: passion+goals=happy vocation. This combination is a common trend among happy business owners. I imagine you would like to be a happy business owner one day as well. Start finding your passion and promise yourself that you will live out that passion. No more excuses.

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Think Like an Entrepreneurial Visionary to Inspire Employees

Everyday top team members are needlessly lost. Why? Not a single person at work gave them a convincing reason why they should be there.  It didn’t matter how much money they were banking or how big their corner office was. What they wanted deep down was to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Many of these lost employees (and maybe a few of yours) went to work for an entrepreneur. A good entrepreneur knows how to communicate a vision that leaves all who hear in awe. He or she will convince a top executive to leave their job for something as simple as an idea on a napkin. People will risk their entire financial fortunes to be a part of the vision the entrepreneur has created.  If you learn to take on an entrepreneurial mindset, you too will inspire your organization from the bottom up.

Give your employees a sense of ownership- This is an absolutely essential component to engaging and inspiring employees. Many entrepreneurs have nothing but an idea. They convince valuable people they want in their company that the idea will work and whoever works for them can have a piece of the success from the idea. Many people who have gone on too long without a pay raise or are underemployed can become very attracted to this. The most common example of ownership in a company is stock options. I love stock options because workers will put their heart and soul into something they truly own. If you can offer your employees equity options proactively promote the option anyway you can. When your workers own equity, they will have a true sense of ownership which will inspire a sense of loyalty you have never seen.

Reward all ideas, good and bad. This is a fantastic way to create a culture of innovation. Most ideas fail but remember quality comes from quantity. What is important is to encourage the process of ideation just as much as the value of any ideas. Schedule regular time to allow employees to participate in small group brainstorming sessions. Give them different problems to solve related to their work so that they can have a sense of ownership in the solutions. If a group comes up with an idea that may add value, delegate them the authority to ensure it gets implemented. Have them give you regular update on the progress. Google follows this by allowing employees to spend 20% of their work time on projects of their choosing. Since the 20% rule was established, it has produced 50% of Google’s products.

Remind employees how they are making the world a better place. People don’t just want a paycheck; they want to make a difference. Create and communicate a vision of what your product does for your customer. The more mundane your offerings appear to be the more important this is. For Instance, if you sell payroll services you might get a testimony from the business manager who can now go home on time every Friday and play with her kids because her payroll is now handled by your business. This is something that should be nested in your vision and mission statement. To really get the ball rolling check out this article I wrote on creating a dynamic vision statement.

As you begin to implement these practices, remember visionaries are made not born. Read this informative article by David Frick which goes into examples of entrepreneurial visionaries and the character traits they displayed. After everything is said and done the most important trait for an entrepreneurial visionary is persistence. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, only how many time you are willing to get up. How do you inspire people you work with?

 

 

Hidden Entrepreneurial Strengths

While I have never been formally fired I have been told that I was too creative at work for my own good. Many people see this as a problem, as if I was a poor worker. The truth is I want to create something and continually innovate so that I may improve my world.

I also think people have had childhood experiences that have lead them to have an entrepreneurial personality. I was bullied in elementary school which shaped the way I saw others. I always make it a point to be inclusive as I can because I know what it is like to be left out or ridiculed. When everyone is included I open up a world of possibilities in which I leverage the strengths of everyone around me. Being bullied has also taught me to stand up to people who try to take advantage of me or other people I care about.

The most interesting trait for the college age would be entrepreneur is the fear of going solo. In college we are taught to be job takers and not job makers. We have been educated so a large company will hire us and we can start to be another cog in the wheel. If you are like me you dread at the very thought of this. At the same time we are scared to go out on our own because we feel we do not have the support of others or the talent to turn a profit. The reality is we have very little to lose because we do not have much to start with. We are usually not married, no obligations, and have nothing but time on our hands. If there is any time to be an entrepreneur it is while we are young. I think that children in elementary school should be taught about entrepreneurship as a career option. If small business is the backbone of this country why are we not promoting it from the ground up?

Many entrepreneurs I know also do not feel like they do not fit the “norm.” While many people are complacent in their jobs doing the same thing day in and day out, the entrepreneur just doesn’t feel right living this way. They often catch themselves thinking, “There must be a better way.” Consequently they are always looking for something that is better than what they have now. The entrepreneur is thankful to have a job, but she just knows she is not meant to do what everyone else does. It is almost a sense of destiny or a calling to do something great even if they don’t know what that is. I call it entrepreneurial awareness and it allows the entrepreneur to become very observant of opportunities that others easily pass over.

Why Your Company’s Vision Statement Sucks

Bland, generic, meaningless, white noise. These all describe that paragraph buried in your ancient fifty page business plan you lost. The way business strategies are created is quickly changing. Investors and other stakeholders (especially employees) are no longer interested in reading about static company strategies they don’t understand. Everyone is bombarded with information due to the web 2.0 era which is resulting in regular information overload. Your employees now need a vision they can interact with. The question is how do you make an interactive vision statement? Just condense it. Now I don’t mean cut it from a paragraph to a sentence or two. Give them something that supports your vision but they can really use. Any ideas yet? Let’s look back a few hundred years to find our solution.

Yoga and monks have been around for a very long time. Part of the reason is they know how to make their followers a part of the something larger than themselves. One way they do this is through something called a mantra. It is a chant that sums up everything they are achieving. Mantras range from a few words like “Just do it” to one syllable, “OOOhhhaaammmm.” The mantra is better than a vision statement because it is dynamic, easy to learn, easy to remember, and serves as a simple rock to guide all decisions. People also enjoy mantras because they create the opportunity to demonstrate you are a part of the culture.

Making a mantra for your company does not have to be difficult. If someone asked you, “tell me how your organization will change the world in five words or less” what would you say? When you decide on one use it casually and when others ask what it means explain to them it’s how you want to remember what this company is all about. End your meetings with the mantra, when making a sales call tell the mantra to the nearest co-worker. This is meant for your company to build an inclusive and excited culture so be excited about it. If an employee uses it and you catch it, give him positive reinforcement. This incremental innovation is an excellent way to make your company up-to-date while making a dynamic business environment.

5 Ways to Successfully Communicate Vision to Others

    Have you ever had a fantastic idea and proceeded to share it with your co-workers only to have it shot down with a lump of embarrassment? Chances are the problem was not in your idea but in how you communicated it. Many revelations never materialize simply because the creator failed to share the vision in a way that is understandable and inspiring. Here are 5 ways to increase you chances of being seen as a visionary with others.

  1. Visualize the vision you have with as much detail as possible. Not only will you have a better concept of what you would like to see but the small details are helpful when others you work with need to get real “feel” for what you are thinking.
  2. Find an analogy for your thought. This communication device allows complicated concepts and translates them into familiar terms that help make a connection. When Jesus was explaining the premise of heaven he knew many people would not understand so he used parables which are a type of analogy. If you wanted to start a prom dress rental store, you might say “our store is the Netflix of prom dresses.”
  3. Involve stakeholders in creating the vision. People are more invested in what they help make. Rather the shoving your all too brilliant idea down throats try talking with someone in a way that makes them feel like they contributed. Asking open ended questions after explain your vision is one way to do this. Examples are “how does that sound” or “what are your thoughts?”
  4. Have results for your vision you can share. Take the initiative and complete tasks that assist in showing the results of what you are thinking. This is especially helpful with ideas that are overly complicated. They may not know exactly what you have in mind but they can see the benefits that will come for themselves and the organization. Perhaps you have an idea for a ground breaking product, try getting potential customers to send you a letter of intent showing their interest in purchasing what you have visualized.
  5. Give more credit than you take. The only thing better than you enthusiastically sharing your idea is having others do it for you. When others have contributed to your concept generously give credit where credit is due. Not only will they be on board but they will be changing the culture to make the idea the norm and not the exception.

Flex Your Vision Muscles

 What have you done today to make your vision a reality? If you said nothing then one of two things are happening. The first possibility is that you do not have a vision. The second is you have not shared your vision in a way that other people believe it.

If you don’t have a vision, ask yourself why that is. Where will you be in five years? Ten? How can your compass point you in the right direction if you do not know where you are going? Let’s start with a simple excersize. Where will you be in an hour? How are you going to get there? What will it be like when you get there? Imagine the sensation of arriving to your location. It does not matter where it is. Is it cold? Imagine any smells that will be there. Don’t quit thinking about it until you have convinced yourself you have experience the sensation of your vision.

Your vision is now a reality in your paradigm. It is your destiny to be at that location and experience the sensation you had just as you imagined them. Now that you know what the end location will be like you have an idea of what need to be done to get there. What is the last step you will take before you arrive there? Imagine that just as you imagined you final destination. Then imagine the step before that and the step before. Keep creating your vision all the way to the point that you are now in your present state. You have now connected your future reality to your current reality.

You have deemed yourself the master of your own destiny. Now all you have to do is take action on the reality you have dreamed up for yourself. You know what is going to happen, just follow that plan. Will you be going to the gym? Having dinner with your family? Practice this daily. Make to envision and create your future. If you do not do this on a regular basis then you will become a product of the other forces around you. Don’t neglect your gift of free will. The ability to be self-aware and to make true what we think is what separates us from the animals. Now what was that vision? When you created it did it feel in sync with your internal compass? Do you think it contributed to fulfilling your purpose and mission in life? If not then you are wasting your time. You are putting off what you are really meant to do. Take your thought now to recreate this one hour vision until it feels congruent with your compass. For instance, perhaps you thought about play a game of basketball but your mission in life is to help the underprivileged. Combine these two create a third alternative. When you play basketball make sure they outcasts or athletic players are not the last ones picked. Do you what you love and combine it with what is important. This will take a good deal of creativity but the dividends are well worth the investment.

Hope for a Better Future

Hope for a Better Future

By: Andrew Sieg

            Chances are you already possess the most important ingredient of a person who is on their way to success. You have vision. A better future is in your reach and you know it. The feeling may not be there but that doesn’t matter. Deep down in your heart of hearts there is an absolute confidence in yourself that you can take yourself to exactly where you want to be. If you disagree, then the current paradigm you have is not congruent with your mission in life. Think about the direction your internal compass is taking you. Does it feel like the direction you should be headed? If not then you need think about your purpose in life. What gives you meaning? If nothing comes to mind then refrain the question like this; what makes you mad? My personal example is the anger I feel when perfectly capable people think they are unable to achieve certain goals they would like to accomplish. I think everyone on average has at least 60% more potential than they think themselves capable. In fact that is why I wrote this. I don’t know much about writing but I feel like when I type on this page I am traveling congruently with my internal compass. You also need to find purpose that not only you have passion for but you can also act on. What can you do that would make a difference if you took action right now? I personally consider myself a creator over an executor. I have ideas that add value and I map out how this idea will come to life and inspire other people to act on these ideas. This is no excuse however, to wait for someone else to take action on your behalf. The bottom line is if people don’t do things then they won’t get done. People will be more inspired to follow your vision if they see the results you have already. Speaking of vision, where are you going to ultimately be? How detailed can you see the future you have created for yourself? And just as importantly what are the steps you will take to get there? An excellent way to start creating vision for yourself is to think about a vacation you really want to go on. My vacation is a trip to the Caribbean. Imagine every detail that makes this vacation enjoyable. The clear blue water dancing under a sunny afternoon crashing on your ankles. The rum drinks the local bartender makes you that have a true tropical flavor. Sailing on an open ocean that screams freedom and adventure while the wind wisps through your hair. These are the thoughts that compel me to pursue my life’s mission because this is where I will end up. Your actual mission consequences might be different for you. Perhaps you look forward to the day no child will go to bed hungry. What you choose doesn’t really matter. What is important is that you have articulated a vision that compels you to take action that provides you with a better future. When this vision is articulated then it is time to take action. The first step is universal; write your goal on paper. This will give your thought a sense of tangibility and will be especially helpful if you know where you want to be but don’t know how you want to get there.

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