Are you at the point where you dread showing up to your business each day? Do you feel stressed at the thought of working in your business and would rather do anything else?
If so, that’s a sign that you’ve fallen out of love with your business. But how did it happen, and what can you do to rekindle the relationship?
Today, we’re starting a new mini-series. And in this episode of the Promote Yourself to CEO podcast, you’ll learn about the two parts to re-aligning your business vision and how your definition for success provides the foundation. I’ll reveal the likely cause of your misalignment and give you a few suggestions to help you clarify your new business vision.
On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:
3:05 – Why do you get out of alignment with your business vision?
6:01 – When you hire others, what’s in it for them? There are two parts to re-creating your business vision.
7:36 – I talk about owner’s intent and how I define success in several areas of my life outside my business.
15:32 – Cultivating this has been one of the biggest things that has really shifted my feeling of alignment with my definition of success.
20:05 – Looking toward the future, what do you want your business to do for you? I’ve documented my owner’s intent and share a bit of it here.
27:03 – Things tend to get a little messy when entrepreneurs start to grow their team. What does your vision need to look like for them to get excited about being on board?
30:53 – Here are a few things you might want to consider when you create your business vision.
35:40 – I recap what can help you re-calibrate a new vision for your business, as well as the next step to take once you have it.
Mentioned in How to Re-Align Your Vision and Fall Back In Love With Your Business
- “Is Your Business Aligned With YOU?”
- The CEO Date Checklist
- 90-Day CEO Operating System
- Vivid Vision and Double Double by Cameron Herold
- Racheal on Instagram and TikTok
- Rate and review on Apple Podcasts
Have you ever fallen out of love with your business? Out of love with your business looks like feeling frustrated all the time, things are not working smoothly, and maybe you even feel like you want to just burn it all down and start again.
Well, good news for you, if you have ever felt this way, it's likely not because you need to start over from scratch, but because you're out of alignment. In this episode, we're going to talk about how you can realign your vision with your business so that you can fall back in love with it again.
Are you ready to grow from stressed-out solopreneur to competent CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook, and I've spent more than 15 years helping women entrepreneurs sustainably scale their businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.
Hey there, CEOs. Welcome back to a brand new mini-series here on Promote Yourself to CEO. This is a mini-series because I knew I couldn't cover this topic in just one episode. Not sure how many episodes will come out of this one but I wanted to talk about how do we navigate seasons where business feels hard, things aren't going as smoothly as you would like?
When business feels hard, we start to doubt ourselves, we start to doubt our abilities as entrepreneurs and small business owners, and we start to wonder is it really worth it? The worst part about this is I see from so many small business owners that reach a new level of success and instead of experiencing more ease, instead of experiencing the dream life and dream business they had really hoped for, they're more stressed out than ever before.
When you're feeling that way, you just don't love your business. You might even start to resent your business, really not look forward to showing up at your desk the next day. In this episode, I want to talk about how can we re-align your business with your vision.
This is so important because your vision is where your business is headed. It's the coordinates, the GPS coordinates we put in, the address we put in, the location we're headed. This is so crucially important for any business because if we don't know where we're headed, then anywhere will get us there. If anywhere will get us there, then often we find ourselves absolutely overwhelmed trying to do all the things, be everything to everyone.
We need to have a clear and strong vision. But why don't we find ourselves getting out of alignment with this? Well, I have a few thoughts around why this might be happening. The first thought that I have around why we find ourselves out of alignment with our vision is we've already achieved our vision.
Yeah, think about that for a second. When was the last time you actually sat down to write out a clear vision for your business, where you want to take your business, what your big-picture goals are for your business? Well, often we do that when we're first getting started and then we get into the work of running our businesses, we're growing, we're serving people, we're doing the things, and at some point, we hit those goals.
We made it happen and we don't press pause and first, celebrate, we don't celebrate very well. Secondly, don't go, “Okay, what is next?” When we don't press pause and write a new vision, create a new vision for our business, then we find ourselves floating around like we don't have direction in our business.
When you are at the point of growing your business where you have a team, if you as the CEO don't have direction that you're leading this business, guess what, your team doesn't have direction. They don't know where they're going either. It becomes a little bit like herding cats. There are things happening all over the place. There's a lot of activity, but no one's going in the same direction together.
We want to press pause if you have outgrown your vision and actually create a new vision. I think this outgrowing a vision is more likely for a lot of people than not having a vision at all. Because a lot of us start our business with some very clear goals that we have in mind.
Usually, those are more personal goals: what will this business do for me? The owner's intent of opening this business and starting this thing. When I talk to women entrepreneurs, the biggest things that they want from their business, that they want their business to do for them is they want more freedom, they want more flexibility, they want the ability to work the hours that they want to work, they want to replace their former salary or create a great take-home salary for themselves, and those are just the beginning pieces of their vision.
Often, when people come to me, they've achieved those. They've already made a lot of those things happen. They are doing the work they love, they are working with clients that they set out to work with. They have the opportunity for more freedom and flexibility if they would just let themselves have it, if they would put the systems and structure in place to have that freedom.
Often, they're making pretty good money, but they're ready to grow their business beyond just themselves. Here's the thing, if your initial vision for your business was a personal vision, when you start hiring a team, they don't care about your personal vision.
Think about if you were to go to work at a big corporation, would anybody be motivated by a vision that was all about how the CEO was going to make millions of millions of dollars, but the people who were actually doing the work inside of that business, who were actually implementing the strategy that was trickled down to them were barely making it?
The vision at this point when you are at the threshold and you're starting to go from a one-woman show to a true CEO who has a team that you are leading, your vision has to be bigger than just you. There are two parts to recasting your vision. I still believe there's a personal part because business is personal. There's a reason why we're all doing this and we still want our own outcome for being a business owner.
There are a lot of perks to being a business owner if you design your business that way to give you those perks. We do have a personal vision. I call this your owner's intent, the owner's intent of owning this business, what you personally get out of it. But your team doesn't care about that so you also need the business vision that gives direction to your team.
Let's talk about your owner's intent first. What is your owner's intent for your business? I always start here with my definition of success. What is my definition of success? I've done a whole podcast episode on definition of success so I'll just make sure we link that up in the show notes. I highly recommend going through that because I'll go through these categories more deeply in that episode.
But when I'm looking at my definition of success, I'm looking at my life and my lifestyle. I'm looking at my health and wellbeing. I'm looking at my relationships, I'm looking at creativity, and I'm looking at connection to something greater than me.
When I'm looking at all of those different areas, and I'm defining what success looks like in those different areas, you may have done this exercise with me previously, you may not have, but what you also have to consider is what has changed since you last did that exercise. What has changed since you last sat down?
Change is always happening around us. I'm experiencing this right now. This school year, my twins are in eighth grade, my youngest is in fifth grade, and it definitely has been a very distinct shift in our family, stage of our family life. A shift where the kids are becoming more and more independent where our parenting styles are going from literally telling them what to do to more coaching them so that they can learn to be more independent.
That's impacting a lot of my personal definition of success because our needs are different. Their needs are different and my needs are different. Thinking about what is changing, what has happened in your stage of life, and also what other shifts are happening around you that may be impacting your definition of success. I want you to think about those things. What changes, what stage of life, what major shifts have you experienced?
In life and lifestyle, like I just mentioned, my whole new stage in my family as of next year, we will have all preteens and teenagers, it's wild how fast this happens. I know everybody says how fast it happens, it goes in the blink of an eye, it really does. I think about my life and my lifestyle and this includes your financial success and financial goals.
A lot of my life and lifestyle has been built around being a present mom, being a present wife, being able to be fully present in my life, and building our life around that. That includes making sure I'm working the hours that I want to work. I'm only working right now about 20 to 25 hours a week. That's been pretty consistent. That works really well for me.
I make sure that I have built those work hours so that I still have time to include my self-care. Any self-care appointments that I have going to do any activities or movement exercises, that type of thing. I make sure I have time for that all in my calendar and my schedule, and I make sure I have the finances to pay for all of those things. Making sure that financially I can afford the lifestyle that I want.
Now a big chunk of our lifestyle, I mean we are very, I would say pretty modest and pretty simple in our finances and our planning on things. We really are not focused on lavish anything. We would always prefer to do experiences over having stuff. But one big shift in our lifestyle over the last couple of years as the kids have grown has been since I took my office out of the house in 2020 and got my own office in downtown Richmond, Virginia, I decided I was going to transform my old office at home, which is really like the basement at our house, into the kids’ hang out.
I invested a lot into big screen TV, getting new sofas, so that they pull out into queen-size beds so that the kids can all pile in there, all their cousins can pile in there. All their friends will want to come over and making sure that they have everything they could possibly need as like the kids hang out, teens hang out type of thing.
We added onto our home last year. We built a new deck. We're working on the landscaping. Our goal for our lifestyle in this season of life is to be able to build these experiences and memories with our kids around our home and be the place that they want to be, that they want their friends to be.
That's a lot of our lifestyle right now. Any lifestyle upgrades there were really about our living space. Everything else, we keep pretty manageable. We do travel quite a bit but we do that within a certain budget. We plan our travel and make sure that we're budgeting for that.
Under life and lifestyle, I'm very clear about what that looks like and what my priorities are there. Under my health and wellness, this is a big one. What does success look like for me? I believe you can be healthy at any size. I struggle with several different chronic illnesses. I shouldn't say struggle, I live with several chronic illnesses.
I'm not going to get into the details. I'm not asking for advice. I have a great team on this, but I do know that when you have chronic illness for a lot of us, for a lot of people who deal with chronic pain and chronic exhaustion, then one of the things that helps more than anything is proactively managing your own care.
I have my definition of success for my health and wellness is the things I can do for free. I can drink enough water, I can eat as well as I can, I watch the types of things that I eat and pay attention to what might trigger something. I move my body as much as I can. I go on a lot of walks and a lot of hikes with my family and other things that impact my health.
Having acupuncture, going to Pilates, going to the float tank. I build all of that into my definition of success for health. Those are the things that help me to show up with the energy that I want to have, with the focus and the mental clarity I want to have. The mental clarity piece is huge for me. I make sure that my definition of success is very clear around what I need in order to have that.
When it comes to my relationships, I'm thinking all the time what does success look like for that? With my husband, it looks like regular date nights. It looks like making sure every Monday morning, we have our coffee date where we sit down and plan out our week.
If you've ever heard me talk about a CEO date where Monday mornings I sit down and plan out my business, same thing with my husband. We have family time when the kids are all off to school, we sit down together, look through our week, check-in, make sure we're on the same page.
I have family meetings with the kids. We do that probably once or twice a month or as needed just to make sure everybody's on the same page. We want to make sure we have family dinners. We want to do outings together and we're always looking for different experiences that we can do. That's huge for us.
We are very much experiences over things type of family. We're always looking at is there a festival going on? Is there an exhibit at a museum? Do we want to go to DC for a day and check out the Smithsonian? We're always looking at stuff like that.
That's the definition of success for my family. It's quality time, it's experiences, and it's making sure everybody has solo time with me. Now there are other relationships that matter in my life and I will say this is something that has really shifted in the last, I would say a couple of years, I have prioritized female friendships.
I realized that the 2010s, my twins were born in 2010 all the way till 2020, I mean I was very much head down in either business mode or mom mode. I really didn't make time to cultivate friendships. This last year, a couple of years really, I've really intentionally been going out into my community, connecting with people who I think are interesting and cool, making sure that I'm putting the effort in to build those friendships.
I have to tell you, this has been one of the biggest things that has shifted my feeling of alignment with my definition of success. Maybe this is something you need to prioritize as well. A lot of the female friendships that I really, really treasure are similar to me. They're business owners, they're usually moms or caregivers. They have a lot going on.
We have very similar points of view about a lot of things. But what I really, really have loved is just that now I'm carving out time to go to coffee with these women or we're going to a day retreat together, doing things together on a regular basis, meeting each other at other events going on in the community. That has been incredible.
Sometimes I might not see everybody, but once or twice a month, [I’ll see] my different friends I'm connecting with and nurturing those relationships, but we're checking in with each other on a regular basis. That has been huge for me. That has been absolutely huge for me.
I think that's important because if your definition of success does not include relationships and not just your family, but your friends, the other people in your world, your village, if it doesn't include that, your business will surely start to feel very heavy, because it is a lot of emotional labor to run a small business and you need people who you can talk with, who you can vent to, who understand what you're going through, and can hold that space for you.
We talked about life and lifestyle, health and wellness, relationships. We can also talk about creativity. I think this is one of the biggest ones. I'll say creativity falls under active rest for me. There are a lot of different types of rest. Often when we think about rest, we are thinking about just sleeping, taking a nap, or laying there doing nothing but active rest is actually a huge important piece of the recovery process.
I find that when you do very intense work that requires a lot of deep focus like I do, if you have to stay super focused for long periods of time, your brain actually needs you to go do some sort of active recovery that is fun, that is play, that is creative to give your brain a break and actually allow you to find connections in different ways.
For me, having space for creativity means doing things like signing up for a day retreat that my friend is hosting. It could mean going to a workshop and learning something new. This past year, I picked up crochet again. I hadn't made anything and so, so long but I had two cousins who had their first babies and decided I was going to make some baby blankets. That has turned into I think I have made like four or five blankets so far this year. It is so fun and relaxing for me.
Definitely, I find myself with a notebook next to me because I'll be sitting there working on this craft project and a new idea will pop up. Creativity and play, what does your definition of success look like there? I just think this is so crucially important. We're not talking about it enough.
The final piece is connection to something greater than you. This could be spirituality. This could be religion. Honestly, a connection to something greater than you to me is more mindfulness practices and reflective time. But I have some things there that ground me back into we are all part of this human experience.
With this more holistic view of a definition of success, what I like about this is when you're starting to get those feelings of discontent, frustration, being annoyed, being resentful of whatever's going on in your business, you can look to those and figure out, “Do I have time to actually do the things in each of these different areas of my life? Am I prioritizing those things in my life? Do I have the resources to do those things, the time, energy, and money?”
Because some of those things might include being able to pay for it. That brings us back to our owner's intent. Our owner's intent is taking your definition of success, actually figuring out what resources you need in order to make that happen that you personally need—time, energy, and money—to live that definition of success and then look towards the future.
What is this business giving you not just today, but in 5 years, 10 years, or however long out you want to look? I do think that when you've been in business for a while, I've been in business for 15 years, you can look much further out because you have more perspective on what's possible.
When you're first getting started in your business, a lot of us, the reason we just say we want our business to just pay us a salary, that's the first rung on the ladder. We are learning so much and we're racing up that learning curve. We can't even see what's possible yet. It's really hard to make an owner's intent before you've hit that mark, before you're paying yourself, and getting to the point where you're really ready to ramp up your business, you're ready to bring on a team, etc.
Your owner's intent. Again, it's taking your definition of success, asking yourself, “What are the resources I need? Time, energy, and money,” and then looking out in the future what do you want this business to do for you? I have mine documented. I'll share a little bit of it here.
The first thing I want my business to do is to be able to grow while allowing me to continue prioritizing my family, my health, my relationships, my part-time retired lifestyle, where I'm working about 20 to 25 hours a week, paying myself well, hitting all of our retirement goals, putting kids through college, and all of that stuff. I want the financial pieces to cover what I wanted to cover, but I want to do it in my part-time retired lifestyle where I have plenty of time for rest, plenty of time for myself, plenty of time for my family, etc.
I also have in my owner's intent that I want to intentionally grow this business with the intent to sell or install a CEO in the future. Now this is a newer thing for me. Honestly, I really think the first 10 years of my business were me just figuring out what exactly I wanted to do.
Because now that we've pivoted towards The CEO Collective, in the last few years, I really, really deep in my bones feel like this is the thing that is the scalable business. This is the thing that can grow beyond me. Of course, it's no longer my name rachealcook.com, it's theceocollective.com.
With this intent to grow the business so that I could potentially have an exit, even if I decide not to exit, even if I decide to continue working in the business or running the business, having those options is really exciting to me. Especially given that I'm a caregiver for my parents, knowing that I can own this business and have someone else running it and maybe I could take a slightly different role, maybe I could just be in the more creative side or something else, that gives me a lot of options and it also gives me clarity.
I have a number in mind when I actually sat down with some retirement calculators and figured out you know exactly what I would want to potentially have this business be worth so that I could live our dream retirement. By the way, just Google retirement calculator, you can figure all this stuff out. It helped me come up with a number that would be a “I want my business to be worth this much.” That's what I want it to be worth if I wanted to sell it.
Knowing that helps me so much right now because now I can ask myself, “Is this how the CEO of that size business would show up? Is this how the CEO of that size business would make decisions? Is this decision going to get us to that size business?”
It actually puts a lot of constraints. Because when you have a shorter timeline, there are so many different ways you can get to that certain place but if you have a longer timeline, and it's a really big number you want your business to be valued at, it tightens things up pretty quickly.
One of the reasons why I want that option is because I am a caregiver to elderly parents and I've had to redo their entire trusts, I've had to get involved with their businesses. I've had to manage all of that. I know that I never want to put my kids in a position where they have to untangle my business in order to take care of me or my husband.
I want everything to be designed from the get-go so that if, heaven forbid, something happens to me or one of us needs care or whatever goes on in the future, it is an easy exit. It is nice and tidy.
Finally, my last part of my owner's intent is to be able to continue growing my personal net worth. This is not the only business I have. I also own a vacation rental with my dad. That is another business we started together to help offset some of their costs of aging. I'm wanting to continue adding to that portfolio, continue adding properties to that.
I have specific goals in place personally that all inform how big the business needs to be and how much money I personally want to make out of the business. I have those constraints in place to help me balance what I want right now, my definition of success right now, and where I'm headed.
I'm willing to be patient. I'm not willing to burn myself out in one year, two years, or five years when I know that I probably have 20 or 25 years working in front of me in this company. That's your definition of success and your owner's intent. That's all about what you get out of your business and making sure it feels good to you, making sure it provides you with the resources, the time, energy, and money to live your definition of success now and in the future.
Now I want to talk about and shift gears from your owner's intent and definition of success, which is more personal, to what your vision needs to look like for your business, something that your team will get behind, something that people will get excited about being a part of.
This is where I see a lot of small business owners as they start to grow their team get a little messed up here. They start focusing so much on what they're getting out of it on all the awesome upgrades they're doing in their life, on all the fancy vacations and flashy things that they're not realizing their team is watching that and going, “Great, we're working so hard just to fund their lifestyle.”
This is a major issue, not just in the world of small business, we see it play out all across all of business. There's all this talk right now about how in the corporate world, the biggest companies in the world, CEOs are just getting paid millions and millions of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, the actual employees of that business are struggling to get by.
As someone who wants to be very conscious about how I'm growing my business, and make sure that I'm growing a business that doesn't just benefit me, but also benefits my team and benefits my clients, those are the stakeholders in this business, everyone deserves to thrive, everyone deserves to feel excited, and also be able to get the resources they need in order to live their own definition of success.
Your vision for your business really needs to tell your team where you're going, where you're headed, that GPS, that they are plugging the coordinates in, and now they can create the plan for how they're going to get there. You want it to be something that they are excited about, something they can get behind, something that inspires them and motivates them, and that benefits them. Because if it doesn't benefit anyone but you, then stay being a solopreneur. Don't bring other people into it and cause harm by not creating a business where everybody benefits from it. That's just my take on that.
When you have a clear vision, what is helpful here is this vision is something that makes it so much easier for everyone to know where they're going. You're literally telling people, “This is the direction we're headed. This is the end goal that we have.” Now they have clear filters for decision-making. They can more easily say, “Does this align with where we're headed? Yes or no.”
The business strategy can be much more focused. When the business strategy is more focused, more streamlined, we're able to move faster. The team is now able to actually take ownership and take initiative. The things that we always want our team to do is to be self-managing. Guess what, they cannot be self-managing if you do not have a clear vision for them, if they don't know where they're going.
But if they do have a clear vision, they can get behind that vision, and they understand the why behind it, they can now take ownership, they can take initiatives, they can make decisions without having to bring you in, making you the bottleneck all the time. They can take action without having to bring you in.
This is one of the biggest things that holds small businesses from growing is the business owner now becomes like internal Google, they have to come to you for every single question. Now your team is empowered, they know where they're headed so they can make the decision.
It also helps them from getting distracted from too many ideas or shiny objects. Again, if we don't have that clarity of where we're headed, then anywhere will get you there. We need the clarity.
What are a few things you might want to consider in creating a vision for your business? Well, I really like Cameron Herold's book, Vivid Vision, it’s a very short read, but originally he called it The Painted Picture. He called it a painted picture exercise and it came out of his book Double Double: How To Double Your Revenue And Profit In 3 Years Or Less.
Hands down great book, one I refer to all the time. I really, really love The Painted Picture exercise because he talked about how he would go off on his own, no distractions, and sit down and actually describe a painted picture of what the business would look like in three to five years.
He would go through each different area of the business from what is it that we're doing? Who is on this team? What are we offering? What is our brand? What is our culture? What does our leadership look like? What is the impact and how do we define and measure impact? What is success to us? How do we define and measure success?
In that process, he went through each and every area of the business and described very, very clearly what the vision looked like for that company. I’ve translated this myself into a document that we use in the business. Every year, I sit down and I write out our painted picture, I write out our vision, and honestly, it doesn't change much year to year because I had a major up level in this when we launched The CEO Collective.
That was probably the biggest time I saw something bigger than just me and actually building out a team. That became now that it’s not just who I serve, what we do here, and what the brand is about, now it became what is our impact? Who is our team? What is our culture? What does our leadership look like? How do we lead? How do we operate this business? How do we actually grow a self-managing business? What is this business built on?
Describing our whole framework for how we run this business, how we operate this business, all of these things make it crystal clear to the whole team what we are here to do. It also makes it crystal clear to the whole team why they should get excited about working together towards this bigger goal.
What I love is we've outlined our definition of success and our metrics of success for each one of these areas. When we're looking at our impact, for example, our impact we have some goals here. Long term, we want to reach 100,000 women entrepreneurs, and be serving 1000 clients annually in our program. That's a long-term goal.
Again, I'm happy taking my time to get there because I want to build the right team and the right way so that we can take exceptional care of these clients. Then we share that our success is measured by our client's success. We have some specific financial benchmarks we want to see our clients hit because revenue is how businesses are graded on success.
That's one of the easiest ways we can measure whether or not what we've helped them with has moved the needle and helped them grow their business. But we're also looking at non-revenue metrics of success. For me, nothing makes me feel happier than when the team comes together and we're talking about “Did you hear so and so went on vacation for a whole week and didn't even take our laptop?” or someone sharing with us that they were able to actually go on sabbatical for a whole month so that they could really rejuvenate, rest, and restore after a pretty intense period.
Our client was able to plan and take a four-month maternity leave absolutely paid for. Those types of things are so exciting to me because that is really at the heart of our mission. We believe you can do great work, you can live an amazing life, and take great care of yourself.
We have those pieces into our vision. For each part, for our impact, what does our long-term impact look like? What do we want it to be? But also, what is our definition of success for that and what are the metrics of success for that? That helps us track whether we are on or off track.
If you decide to sit down and create a new vision, calibrate a new vision for your business, again, I'm going to just recap what I think will help, one, sit down and look at your definition of success. Look at those five categories I gave you. Again, you can go listen to the other podcast episode, there's a workbook that goes with it. Sit down and think about that.
For now, what you need right now in your definition of success and you might also want to think about in the immediate future. Maybe the next year to 18 months, what needs to change so your life is a little more aligned with your business? You need to think about what changes are happening. Is the stage of life-changing? Are you having any major shifts going on you need to account for in your definition of success and how you're making space for that in your life and in your business?
Once you have that clarity, go look at your owner's intent. What does this business need to do for you personally? Go beyond just your paycheck. Think about your time. Think about your energy. Think about what you're spending your time in your business doing. Your actual role as CEO does not mean Chief Everything Officer. What is your job description? What do you want to be doing more of? What do you want to be doing less of?
Think about long term. Depending on your timeline here, but it could be in the next five years, I want it to do this for me and be able to have this time, energy, and money from the business or it could be a much longer timeframe. I think this is really, really important. It's the “What's in it for me?” of running a small business.
Then finally, you need to think about the vision, the painted picture. You get Cameron Herold's book. Vivid Vision is like just the painted picture chapter he renamed it. Double Double was the original book. I highly recommend grabbing that. But think through what does the vision your team will get behind the direction that you are taking this business?
You want them to understand why this work matters and why growing this business is going to help us to continue to do more good. What is it that you do? What is your brand all about? What does your brand stand for? What is our impact? What is the definition of success for impact and what are the metrics of success for impact? What does our team look like? Who do we want on that team? How does our culture show up? How are we shaping that culture together? How does our leadership look?
There are probably other things you could include depending on your specific business. But when you have clarity on this, I want you to remember that the vision is not how you're going to get there. This is not where you're putting in a plan. This is not where you're breaking down and reverse engineering goals. That's coming later.
Once you have your vision, then you go do the planning. Then you go to your 90-day plan. Then you get into the 90-day CEO Operating System that we talk about so much here. But once you have that vision and values in place—and we're going to talk about values in the next episode—then you can go through and ask yourself, “Is this aligned? Is our business strategy, our current business strategy aligned with where we're going? Are our clients and community aligned with where we are going? Is our team aligned with where we are going? Is this a team that's going to get you there? Or do you need more people or do some people need to go?”
Because some people are great at certain stages but they’re not meant to continue on with you forever. Some people will grow with you. Is your marketing, your sales, and your delivery aligned with where you want to go? Or do those need to be tightened up? Do those need to be streamlined? Do you need more infrastructure in place so that you can achieve that vision? Is our customer experience, is our values, is everything that touches this business aligned with helping us achieve our vision?
Once you sit down and really ask yourself these hard questions, you have so much clarity on what needs to change in your business. Chances are, the business does not need to be burned down to the ground, it just needs more direction. When you have that direction, you’re more clearly able to say, “Yes, this works. No, this doesn’t work.”
Any gray area in the middle where it’s kind of a maybe, you want to move it to a yes. You want to ask yourself, “Is my current marketing strategy going to get me where we want to go in our vision?” If the answer is a maybe, then what do we need to do to take that marketing strategy to a yes? What needs to happen there? What needs to change?
This will help you so very much in getting realigned in your business. When you feel more aligned, your business becomes more fun. When you’ve made space for your personal definition of success, you know your owner’s intent, what you are going to get out of it, and you’ve created a vision that your whole team can get behind that other stakeholders in your business, not just you, that your team and your clients are excited about, they want to be a part of it, now it’s bigger than just you, that’s when things start to change.
That’s when you start to fall back in love because you see that energy, enthusiasm, and excitement come back. I hope this episode was helpful for you. Stay tuned. Make sure you’re subscribed. In the next episode, my dear friend, Erica Courdae is going to come back on. She’s been on the podcast a couple of times and we’re going to talk about how to realign to your values, which dovetails perfectly with this conversation.