Building A Vision That Works
When we launched GymFuse in 2014 we created a vision, wrote it on a sheet of A4 and pinned it up at home. This included where we wanted the business to be in 12 months time. Why did we do it? We’d read an article that said it was a good idea, durr.
The whole exercise was invariably pointless. A 12 month vision is great, but how do we reflect this in our daily activities when the lofty vision seems too far away? Answer: add strategies and weekly tasks. Breaking down the vision, especially when working backwards from month 12 time period gives you a framework under which to operate. By no means are you creating a step-by-step plan, this would be far too rigid and ultimately, counter intuitive.
Running a business or starting a brand can be time and energy consuming, so much so that it seems far more productive to finish those emails or social media posts that have a clear tangible outcome, rather than spending half a day creating a vision. Inevitably something undesirable happens when you employ this philosophy, we’ll call it drift.
Drift is the feeling of waking up one day and having the feeling of, ‘oh crap, how did I get here?’ Putting yourself and product out into the world will mean a new, unfamiliar amount of attention and opinion. You will be pushed, poked and tempted to venture off into new markets, new products and new ideas almost everyday. There is only one tried and tested method to avoiding these temptations, visioning.
Say NO to drift.
After a long discussion about GymFuse in late 2017, we realised we’d become a victim of drift. With this in mind, last month we sat down after thoroughly studying the importance of visioning and decided to really carve out something tangible and thoughtful. We were lucky enough to be accepted onto the Natwest Entrepreneurial Spark programme in Birmingham and our mentor Harinder portrayed the usefulness of this exercise to us in a clear and relatable light. The words ‘vision’, ‘mission’, ‘objectives’ and ’tasks’ are all a bit confusion overlapping and debated in academic circles. Below are the terms we used and how we applied them.
Definitions that we have found most useful:
Vision – lofty, dreamy, long-term and ambitious
Mission – practical, pragmatic, mid-term and objective focused
Objectives – measurable, specific and progress orientated
Tasks – clear, short-term and executable
Words are incredibly powerful, especially when written with a degree of specificity and detail. Some pretty cool things have started happening since completing this exercise. We’ve been able to reduce decision making time, by semi-automatically knowing if something fits with in our vision we can say ‘HELL YES’ or ‘no’ almost instinctively.
Here is an overview of the positive changes we’ve noticed:
You say no to offers or invitations that you may otherwise be tempted by.
Reduce decision fatigue, does this move me toward my vision? If not, see above.
The road may change but the destination is the same. You’re still able to be agile day to day.
A reason to keep going during a dark day. When things are going against you, take a read.
- There is always a point of reference.
We hope this isn’t another one of those annoying posts that tell you building a vision is a good thing to do but fails to portray why this is so. Good luck, get started and always feel free to comment or email us if we can be of assistance.
Final note: Nietzche once said ‘never trust a thought or idea that isn’t born whilst walking in the open air’. Head outside to do this exercise and turn all technology off :).