Are you curious about what all the fuss is about with vision boards?
I used to think – Vision boards are cute for me to hang out with my friends. But I’m an entrepreneur. I’m trying to figure out how to make some money in this business. If it ain’t about sales and revenue, I don’t have time!
Who am I?
My name is Malla Haridat. I’m a business coach and speaker and I help entrepreneurs uncover what they don’t know that they don’t know about growing successful businesses. And I want to dive into a really hot topic today. Vision boards are big at the beginning of the year. We see alot of events and conversations.
I want to throw out a couple of ideas specifically for entrepreneurs
You probably weren’t taught how you could actually apply this activity. Or how you could use what comes out of a vision board to be able to get more money for your company.I’m going to share three reasons why you want to create your vision board.
#1 – Most entrepreneurs don’t do annual plans
A vision board provides you with this great opportunity to really tap into the goals that matter to you. And let me break this down.
If you’ve been running your business for a period of time, I’m pretty sure that you’ve done some sort of reconciliation of your finances. You took all of your receipts, invoices and went to your accountant. You probably wondered- How much do I owe for taxes?
That’s a really good practice. Outside of having to deal with paying with the taxes and staying compliant, you have an opportunity to see how much money your business made and/or what your expenses are.
But most of us do is we stop at that point. We go back into the day-to-day grind. You’ve got client deliverables. You’ve got to try to find new clients. You’ve got bookkeeping. You know, I I’ve got an email right now from sam.gov and need to renew my registration online to be a woman certified business. It takes time. We get caught up in the day-to-day and we don’t do annual planning.
But, if you worked in a large company, you’d take time out to plan. Either at the end of the year or the beginning, all of their executive team would gather and do an annual plan. They’re doing this to help steer the direction for the company. It’’s an opportunity to reflect on wins. What have we learned? What goals are we going to focus on for the following year?
You may not have an entire team to be support you or brainstorm. If you do, do this activity as a team. If not, do it for yourself every year.
It’s going to take a couple of years before you can really do a comprehensive, solid annual plan. A vision board is one of the best ways to get started without getting intimidated by the complexity of the questions you might ask. It’s easy to pulling out pictures of what you want to see happen within the business. Define what matters to you. What matters to the business? What matters to your customers? Also what matters to your future customers?
Put the concepts down on a vision board. You don’t have to down and dirty with numbers, KPIs and Excel spreadsheets.
Get the habit of setting the goals. What matters for me? Find pictures or words that matter. The more you start defining and refining what those things are, the easier it will be to create comprehensive sales plans.
#2 – Start with goals before you find the pictures
The vision board typically is done without you sitting down and thinking through your goals. So before you start creating that vision board, write down all your goals.
All of them.
What do you want to see to see happen for your company. Be clear and precise.
I’ve done vision board events with my coaching clients. I often set a future timeframe and have them consider a series of questions – what do you want in this time horizon?
Even in challenging times like COVID. This is important. What are the things you really want? Crystallize them and make them plain. For example, I know you want to make more money, but what does that mean? What are the products and services that you’re offering? How much do you want to earn from selling them.?
If you are the type who works better from visuals, you can find hte pictures first and then write down the goals. Or you can write first and then find the pictures.
But make sure you do both. You want to tap into both sides of your brain. Use that creative, inspired, visionary part. And also use that analytical “show me the numbers” side.
Avoid the Madison Ave vision board!
Doing the activity this way prevents the Madison Ave vision boards that I commonly see. The events where you have a stack of magazines in front of you. You find pictures that make you happy. But typically you are select pictures that are goals that people on Madison avenue have. They may not be your goals. Instead, what matters to you? What are the things that you think that you want to do that will make a difference for your business?
- How many more customers do you want to have this year?
- What does that look like?
- Are there new products and services that you want to offer?
- Are there new ways of delivering services?
You might have had to bandaid things due to the pandemic. Now, is the time to think more sustainable. You might even generate more revenue by doing this.
Don’t worry if this activity seems time consuming. Sit down for a couple hours one weekend. Or if you are Mom like me, drop the kids off to school and spend an hour at a coffee shop. The last time that I did this with my business, I started getting very clear on the dollar amounts that I wanted to earn and how to do it.
Otherwise you’ll keep wishing and praying. Please let me earn more. But it won’t happen
#3 – Align your words with your goals
A lot of people will talk about the vision board in regards to the law of attraction. I don’t know what your principles are around spirituality or around your belief system. But if you have a visual image of what you want, you can refer to it on a regular basis.
Let me share with you what I mean by that.
For a number of years, I wanted an online group coaching program but didn’t know how I was going to do it. The opportunity opened up when COVID happened because I had a window to execute it.
Prior, I had imposter syndrome
Well, what if the technology doesn’t work this week?
Or what, if people don’t show up or they’re not interested?
What if nobody buys?
These are normal thoughts when you get ready to launch. But I’ll tell you how I bypassed them. I had pictures and visuals of what I wanted to happen with the group program. I focused a lot on what the end result was that I wanted for my clients. And I worked on a daily basis to keep my words and my actions in alignment with that picture.
You can use visuals or text images. I like both. It helped me get clear about my goals and what I wanted for my clients.
And you’ve seen this example before.
Be More Effective with Your Annual Goal around Working Out
At the first of every new year, gyms always offer discounts because they know people want to lose weight. You think you are going to work out 60 hours a day. Yes. A day. LOL But by February 2nd, everyone has stopped going.
We quit the goal.
I believe we didn’t create a strong image of what we wanted a result. A picture of what our summer body might look like. Or the doctor’s report that comes back with positive results – ie. good blood sugar levels and you can stop taking medicine.
It gets easier to work on the daily steps this way.
Another example is financial
If you are trying to save a certain amount of money for your kids college tuition or a downpayment on a home, you can use this example.
The day to day sacrifice gets easier when you have a picture. Otherwise you’ll spend $5 on coffee or take the Uber when it’s cold. We are having winter now in New York and it’s 20-30 degrees outside. No one wants to wait for public transportation.
But what if you had a picture of your future goal on the phone. My daughter getting ready for college. Or the home. In that moment, you will think twice about calling a shared ride or spending money on coffee.
But if you don’t have a visual and/or it written, you won’t stick to it. The minute a customer yells at you or someone stands too close in this social distancing age, you’ll look for ways to self soothe.
Make sure you have the reminders all over the place. Put them on your phone. Put it on your computer. Have it next to your bed so you can see it when you wake up.
You won’t stop working on them when things get hard this way.
Why you need to execute on this idea
This session today was not designed to be a super fancy – how do I write my KPIs for the year? Not at all! But it’s the perfect place to get started working on the goals for what you want to achieve within our businesses.
If you’re an entrepreneur, your job is to be the CEO. It’s not always to do the day-to-day work. You have to take time out for big picture thinking. Otherwise you’ll be forever trapped in the day-to-day never ending task list of things to do. And you won’t see those big jumps of income.
This is how companies who are self funded do it. (I don’t mean those who got venture capital or investors) They set really big goals. They did the work and they rolled up the sleeves and went after it.
Part of setting those goals is to have a visual. What does it look like? What is that feeling of joy that you’ll have when you have achieved that goal? It will inspire you to take action today.
Go ahead and work on your vision board. I can’t wait to see in the comments or hear feedback from you.