Thursday, May 3, 2012

Savvy Entrepreneur: How the Big Picture Makes the Small Stuff Easier

One of the first exercises I assign to my clients is to write out the big vision of their business in the form of an ordinary, but ideal day in their life. I ask them to write out in as much detail as possible what it will look like from the time they wake up to till their head hits the pillow.

Taking the time to describe the larger vision for your business is like drawing yourself a roadmap to the future. It not only sets up goals for you to work toward, but it gives you a framework that helps guide the choices you make each day. Working on your business without having a vision of what you want it to be in 1, 2 or even 5 years is like getting in the car and driving with no destination in mind. You might have amazing experiences and visit great places, but you still won’t be any closer to where you’re going.

When I use the term vision I mean more than just having an idea of how much money you want to bring in or a clear description of your product or service. These are definitely part of the equation, but you should also be clear on your overall mission, what the business stands for, what your ideal role is, and the details of the business that you just won’t compromise on.

Your vision is the best possible future of your business, the big picture with all the details filled in. How does their work mesh with their personal life, who are you interacting with, where are you working? What types of employees do you want or do you even want any? Do you want to make everything by hand or will you manufacture multiple items or even whole lines? Does your business keep running when you take a vacation or does it shut down for a week or two?

By imagining and sketching out the big picture, the incredible dream of your creative business you’ve given yourself something to live up to and work toward. Having a clear vision allows you to take ownership of the choices that need to be made in an entirely different way. Instead of wondering if a particular project is right to take on you can measure it against your larger vision. Does it fit in? Instead of feeling beat down that sales aren’t quite what you want them to be, you look to your target market and ask how you can serve them better. A vision brings focus and clarity to what’s really important and the short-term goals become clearer when you know what it is you’re striving for.

This exercise is also one of the first in our branding e-course, Ink Yourself: Using Story to Make a Bold Impression. We’ve designed this 5-week guided e-course to help you dive deep in the big vision of your business, realize your strengths, get intimate with your ideal customer, and bring it all together into a guiding statement that makes showing off your awesomeness a breeze.

Each week you’ll receive a new lesson that you can work on at your own pace in your own time. In addition to the lessons you’ll also have access to a live forum where you can interact with the other participants getting feedback and sharing break-throughs. And we’ve scheduled a group call to encourage even more interaction and get all your questions answered. We hope you’ll make friends as well as get clear on your brand message.

The course starts May 21st and the last email will land in your inbox on June 21st, but you’ll have through the first week of July to access any of the materials you may have missed, ask questions about the lessons or receive responses to any of the work you’ve done.

Currently we’re giving away one spot in the course, details are on our blog. You have until Monday, May 7th to get your name in the drawing. However, if you don’t want to leave anything to chance, you can sign up right now!

Genevieve not only writes The Savvy Entrepreneur she is the Co-Founder of Lightbox SF where she empowers creatives to take over the world. Check out the blog or how to work with her.
If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!

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