If your thinking is sloppy, your business will be sloppy. If you are disorganized, your business will be disorganized. If you are greedy, your employees will be greedy, giving you less and less of themselves and always asking for more. Michael Gerber E-myth revisited
A vision is a picture that you hold in your mind about where you want to be in the future. You can also write that vision down in the form of a vision statement which you use to motivate you – especially when you want to give up!
Your vision statement will be used as a guideline that you base all your future strategic business decisions on and will help you focus on where you want to go. It focuses very firmly on the future, will inspire you and provide you with a criteria for making decisions about your business. It could possibly in timeless e.g. To end homelessness in America (Joe Vitale’s vision) or it could be something you know you will achieve in your lifetime (to live anywhere in the world) my vision!
Because you have a vision it will guide everything you do in your business. Let me share my vision which I have mentioned on my blogs for some time now
“My children, my partner, my laptop, living anywhere in the world and being able to open my laptop and run my business online. I earn a large monthly income from the work I do online and off. I write, speak, and run workshops in the areas of personal development and online marketing.”
Because of my vision there are a few things I am very clear about:
- I don’t want to be running a company (by that I mean having offices and a building) because I want to be free from being tied down to one particular location
- I can never go back and get a full-time job. When things were tough I thought about getting a full-time job but doing that would take my focus away from achieving this vision.
- The majority of my income will come from using the internet although I still have plans to speak and run workshops in whichever country I live in.
- I need to have a strong authority presence online, an audience of customers, readers, and listeners of my material who know, like and trust me.
- Whatever I sell online must not take up too time in customer support! (Which means I will NEVER sell software 🙂 )
After defining that vision there were seven things I was very clear on when it came to choosing the systems I use to earn a living online and that was
- I need to use blogs because I love writing, they can help me build my authority, they are the best way for people to get to know me without having to sign up for anything.
- Affiliate marketing will be one of my biggest income earners because I sell a product and earn an income but there is no other commitment after that.
- Video and audio (podcasts) will provide me with an easy way to get my message about, build my list and again help people to get to know, like and trust me.
- Information products (writing my own) can provide me with ongoing income once I am ready to produce my own.
- Writing my own books and having them published will enhance my status as an authority and provide another income source – especially through self publishing.
- Selling my own services as a coach/mentor, speaker and trainer will provide some income offline wherever I am in the world but will not be my primary source of income.
- Membership sites and continuity programs will play a part in helping me build my blog business.
There were only two mega niches I wanted to focus on and they were home based businesses (with a particular focus on using a blog/affiliate products/social media ) and personal growth/spirituality (for which I am a qualified expert/trainer)
I managed to build a vision of what my business will look like, what it will include and how it will run based on a vision that is less than 100 words in length!
Thanks to my vision my decision making and strategic planning became easier. Now I know my only focus is on the things I mentioned above, which means I am not going to teach eBay, or try and make money with it. I am not going to be an Adwords specialist or create and sell software.
It doesn’t mean that at some point in the future I couldn’t begin to look at them, but for the next five years (this is my five5 year vision from 2008-2013) blogging, building my authority/online presence, writing, affiliate products, mentoring/coaching etc are my only focus.
Plus because of my trained expertise I also know that the self improvement industry and work at home industry are the only two niches I want to belong to right now.
I came online in 2005 and it took me maxed out credit cards, leaving myself in a financial hole, making mistakes with property that killed my very decent credit rating and messing up for a few years before finally saying ENOUGH in 2008 and making a change….. and I am a trained coach!
I can confess this because I remember reading about the journey of Rich Shefren who had ran several successful businesses offline that made millions and he came online and made the same mistakes I did. He was unfocused, he followed the crowd and he believed the hype until he said ENOUGH!
So it happens to us experts but you can learn from our mistakes by not letting it happen to you and that’s why I was inspired to write this book and give it away for free despite people who read it before it was released urging me to sell it for a fee!
Here’s what normally happens
I hope that has given you a picture of how great it is to finally have a vision or focus but here is what can easily happen without one – and you may recognize yourself in this!
You come online and read about adsense – it seems simple enough and you begin to set up website after website of content that includes adsense on it and wait to make money. Because you are not actively marketing your sites very little traffic comes your way. You lose faith and change direction……
Now you are looking into eBay. You have heard a lot about it so you buy a course on it and you start looking at how to become an eBay powerseller but within 3 weeks you receive another email about how to make money with CPA (cost per action advertising) and you begin to look at that…..
Can you see how being visionless and without focus can bring you down? It happens every day, people who want to make money online have half finished products, abandoned blogs, café press sites that sell nothing and it is a shame.
When you know what your vision is. When you know what you want to achieve then you have everything you need to start succeeding online. If you are not trained in a particular expertise then you may need to try out a few different money making systems before you settle on one that you love but I urge you to give each system you try adequate time before moving on. Experience making money with it and don’t abandon it at the first hurdle because you have the belief “it doesn’t work!”
First Things First
You now need to look at vision building and creating a vision statement if you do not already have one. Remember it should always focus on the future, inspire you into action and make you feel scared but excited at the same time.
To start building your vision you need to focus on what you are good at, what your love to do, what service you can provide and then you look at what market you can bring that to and what it is that market wants. Hopefully when you look at what you can do and what the market wants there will be some link between the two which will allow you to build a business online.
Here are a few different ways you can look at vision building:
- If you are someone who is at home or employed in a job and looking to make some extra cash you may want to start with a one page overall vision of what you want to achieve and by when.
- As a solo-entrepreneur (freelancer, consultant) or expert in a particular field you may want to build your vision then have a 2-5 page plan of how you will achieve it and what you will do in the medium and short term to bring in an income.
- If you already run a business offline and you are looking at bringing those skills and expertise online you may want to add to your current vision for your offline business and include what you want to achieve by being online.
I do not know you so I can not guide you on this and you are the best advisor for what you need anyway so take a look at your current situation and make a decision on what you want to achieve based on where you are now.
Include an exit strategy if applicable
Not all of us want to work forever and in fact when building a business you may be building it with the sole purpose of selling it. Blog flipping is big business online, this includes building a blog up until it is earning money and then selling it on a site like sitepoint.com for a sum of money.
When you are able to pick a great niche, do your research and get traffic to the blog in six months you can then look at selling it. For people who are not starters and do not want to go through the process of researching a niche buying one is their next option. Plus you have done all the work at the beginning that is needed when starting a blog and saved them from having to do that.
So if selling your blog is your end goal then include an exit strategy in your business plan. You do not need to decide on that right now of course so it is not an essential part but it is something to think about.
Let’s move on now into Money Making Versus Income Building <== click the link
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