Being an Entrepreneur means keeping your internal motivation going in spite of external results. It means having a single-minded focus and determination to create what others might say is impossible. In my seven years as an entrepreneur, I have had many ups and downs in my business. The two key things that keep fuel on my fire, day in and day out, are clearly understanding my purpose, my big why, and my vision.
As a Life and Business Coach for Entrepreneurs leading SMEs, I don’t encounter many that have taken the time to uncover and articulate a purpose or vision statement as they already feel it viscerally and know it better than the back of their hand. So, why bother with the fluffy stuff, let’s get into action, right? My experience in doing this work is massive breakthroughs even if the business and leader were already doing well by other’s standards.
‘People don’t care what you do, they care why you do it. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t get up in front of nearly a quarter million people and say, “I have a plan”. He said, “I have a dream”.’ – Simon Sinek
The power of knowing your personal and business purpose, the big why, is like having the magic thread that ties everything together and gives it much deeper meaning. It is an inspirational alignment of daily actions and a litmus test for making key decisions and staying on track – something Entrepreneurs can struggle with ie. Shiny object syndrome or ADD. Your vision statement is the aspirational scope of your dream – where are you going out there on the horizon and who are you becoming? This is crucial to support forward movement on a tough day and keeps you focused, but away from ‘action for the sake of action’. When your vision, your dream, is big enough to scare the pants off you, and emotionally engaging because you want it so badly you can taste it, you are on the mark.
Your vision is the motivation you put behind your purpose to drive your passion. Martin Luther King Jr had a vision of creating equality for everyone in a peaceful way and that was enough to keep him going and engage the world to follow him. Mission statements are built from purpose and vision statements. When they are done right, from the right brain, you will know yours intrinsically like your name and it evokes the equivalent of a passionate soapbox rant. Mission statements written entirely from the left-brain are logically dry like eating cardboard and no one ever remembers them, rendering them completely useless as the paper they are printed on. Leave the left-brain to handle the strategy and goals of your business. Purpose and vision are right-brained activities and once you have them they don’t change.
They are the two crucial parts of Entrepreneurship with power to go the distance and stand up to even the most daunting of challenges and low times. In celebration of entrepreneurs and BDC Small Business Week, the Business Development Bank of Canada released an infographic with some startling statistics about the state of small business and our contribution to the economy. Do you recognize your business in there?
The Business Development Bank of Canada is the only bank exclusively dedicated to entrepreneurs. From over 100 offices across the country, BDC helps more than 28,000 small and medium-sized businesses reach their full potential by providing financing, subordinate financing, venture capital and consulting services (www.bdc.ca) This infograph was brought to you by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the BDC. For additional smallbiz tips and advice, visit bdc.ca or follow BDC on Facebook and Twitter.