You started your business for you. You started your business so you could share your unique gifts with the world. And while that is all well and good, it isn’t enough. Your passion has guided you here but purposeful planning is what will make you flourish.
I know saying that you ‘should’ do anything is a quick way to disengage you but give me a moment. I am going to take the chance and suggest that there are a few things you ‘should’ take the time to determine if you want to grow a strong, authentic business.
Establish a Destination: “…plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Prof. Michael Yanakiev
You don’t have to create a business plan, you don’t even have to write anything down but you do need to know where you are now and were you are headed. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.
Take the time to create a clear vision of what your ideal business looks like. Determine what you want to achieve, however simple or complex. Identify where you are now, where you want to go and how you are going to get there.
Think of it as your business roadmap. It will help you to take the right steps in the right direction, without seeking constant reassurance. The first goal will not be the final one. The point is to always be proceeding towards a final destination.
Determine Your Purpose: “If it acts like a duck (all the time), it’s a duck. Doesn’t matter if the duck thinks it’s a dog, it’s still a duck as far as the rest of us are concerned.” – Seth Godin
You may as well find out now that you are duck instead of wasting time and money trying to pass yourself off as a dog. After all, an authentic identity is based upon what you do, not what you say you are.
You have unique strengths as a human and your business should be built upon them. What sets you apart as a human is what will make your business indispensable to your customers. So be sure to identify and claim them. Use them to your advantage.
1. What sets me apart? Why should people work with me over all other options, including doing nothing?
Here’s a hint. You set your business apart by being authentic, by stating clearly your purpose and not wavering from it. The position you take in life and in business is determined by your:
- Values and beliefs – what is important to you?
- Truthfulness and integrity – do you say what you mean and mean what you say?
- Empathy – how deeply do you understand the pain of your customers?
- Passion – what do you love?
2. Who is my ideal client? Who is it that you dream of working with?
Remember this business is for you. And while money is necessary to sustain any business, you will not find your pot of gold by working with anyone and everyone. Focus is need. There is a niche out there that seeks all that makes you unique. Identify and focus on them. Don’t waste your time or money on clients who aren’t a good fit – set boundaries now.
Why Your Destination and Purpose ‘Should’ Matter
You can’t make a difference or be authentic if you don’t stand up for what you believe in. Establishing a business destination and purpose creates a clear view of the way you want your business and the world to be.
Just remember only you have to power to stick with your views. Your authenticity rests on what you do, not on what you say.