This year I have spoken at several conferences on a topic not related to women’s safety or self-defense. Instead, I have been asked to give seminars to social entrepreneurs on business and marketing. It’s not easy to change the world without a business plan, and good intentions will only take you so far. So for those in business for themselves, are thinking about starting an organization or need to improve the current state of their career, here’s a few tips for you. Thank you to our brilliant business coach, Greg Walker, for teaching us this system…it’s worked wonders.
Step 1: What is your big vision? In other words, where do you want to be in five years? You should have a Big Vision for your personal life as well as your business/career. Don’t be scared to dream big about the life you want. But here’s the catch: it has to be under 100 words. We wrote the GFB Big Vision by making a list of words that best represent what we’re trying to accomplish: (ex: Educate. Safety. Self-Defense. Global.)
Step 2. What are the mini visions? Meaning, what are smaller accomplishments that work towards the Big Vision, which can be accomplished within one year? At Girls Fight Back, we decided upon 5 Mini Visions that we can focus on in ’09 that will inch us closer to the Big Vision.
Step 3: What are the critical success factors of achieving the Mini Visions? Make a list of the things that absolutely must happen for each one to be a success.
Step 4: What action steps are required? Make a literal to-do list for each objective. Think of absolutely every tiny step that must take place. Furthermore, assign each task a due date and specify WHO is going to do it. Even if your business/organization is currently one person, get into the habit of assigning the task a due date and responsible party. Put all due dates in your calendar and set up reminders. And you must stick to the due dates to stay on schedule.
Step 5: Review often. In our office, each of us has our Big Vision and Mini Visions pasted on the walls next to our computer monitors. This way, our focus is always within sight. Subconsciously and consciously, this keeps our team on track. Reviewing the Vision Plan (Big & Minis) every month is key to staying on track.
The hardest part about vision planning is setting aside all the silly little tasks on your to-do list to carve out a significant time to adequately plan. Today we rented a meeting space away from our office, to avoid phone and e-mail disturbances. It’s critical to have uninterrupted time to dream big and plan to support the vision. Now, as the end of the year is upon us, is the perfect time to plan your vision. Start off ’09 with a bang and a clear vision about where you are, and where you want to go.