You probably feel like you have infinite jobs in your business. You’re called upon to be good at marketing, sales, finance, and a whole host of other things that you’re probably not even interested in — not to mention your actual industry.
And yet, I posit that there is one job that trumps all others — that without this one job properly handled, nothing else can really work.
Now this will sound a bit strange because it’s so abstract. As business owners we tend to be very concrete: we want the exact steps to reach any outcome.
So it’ll be easy at first glance to dismiss what I’m about to say. But I invite you to truly give it some thought anyway and see how it resonates.
Your Most Important Job Is…
All right, so let’s quit beating around the bush. What’s the most important job in your business?
It’s to first know, and then to persistently hold, the vision for your business.
If you take a look around this site, you know we’re obsessed about vision here at Possible Promise.
That’s because I truly believe that without a clear and powerful vision, your business will fail.
Your vision is the seed that gives life to all other aspects of your business. Without this vision, your business has no purpose or direction. You might have plenty of ideas, but without a cohesive vision holding them all together, they aren’t worth anything.
I’m not just talking about some business plan you threw together for investors, either. You might not even currently have any idea how your vision will be accomplished.
In brief, your vision is your why. It should be your true, deep-down answer to the question, “Why did you start your business?”
Most business owners didn’t just start their business to make money. They had a deeper “why” — some impact they wanted to make upon the world, or some change they wanted to bring to a particular industry.
I’ll tell you my “why” for starting Possible Promise Financial. It’s because I love finance and I know a lot of people don’t, and I believe that every business needs good, accurate financials guiding them.
I actually originally started Possible Promise in 2020 targeted only towards individuals. However I believe in business so much and the power of the vision behind every business — I want to be part of supporting that vision and helping that business to succeed in ways I’m good at, that very likely the business owner doesn’t have the expertise to do themselves.
Here’s the thing: the vision has to be yours. With just about any other job in your business, you can (and probably should) outsource it to someone who is an expert in that area.
But with your vision, you are the only one who can come up with it, and then guide every part of your business in alignment with that vision. The vision is the GPS for your business: it lets you know whether you are on track or not.
All Great Businesses Have Had Strong Visions
According to Chief Content Officer and co-CEO of Netflix Ted Sarandos, Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings knew he wanted to stream content online as early as 1999.
They didn’t actually launch that service until early 2007 — it took 8 years to make that vision a reality. However, it’s clear that even from the very early days, Hastings had a clear vision for Netflix that would guide them into becoming what they are today.
Check out this quote from the above-linked article that cements exactly what I’m saying here:
“But Hastings, in Sarandos’ view, came into the marketplace with the coveted asset that money can’t buy: vision.”
And that’s exactly my point.
Let’s contrast that against Blockbuster, who turned down the opportunity to purchase Netflix for $50m multiple times in the early 2000s.
Blockbuster suffered from a lack of vision. It’s estimated that 70% of their profits came from late fees. Do you think this was in the original vision for the company?
No. This only results from reacting to the problem instead of setting a clear vision for the future as Netflix had. As a result, they failed and filed for bankruptcy in 2010.
Where would Netflix be without the clear vision that drove them forward?
To me, it’s pretty easy to imagine that they could have stuck with what worked: sending DVDs through the mail. As Blockbuster did, they could have refused to adapt and innovate, and just enjoyed their profits from the successful DVD business.
Except that it wouldn’t have been that way forever. Just as Blockbuster suffered from lack of vision which caused them to react to changing customer demand, Netflix would have had to make reactionary changes to their business as fewer customers wanted to order DVDs. They would have had to put in policies that hurt their customers, like Blockbuster’s late fees. Someone else would have come along and innovated instead, and they would have been left in the dust.
Which brings me to my next important point.
It’s OK If Your Vision Changes Over Time
In the first part of this post, I compared your vision to a seed. Like a seed, it will grow and adapt over time.
You’re always going to have that core “why”. But as the business makes contact with the real world, you may realize that you are inspired to take it in a different direction than you previously expected.
I mentioned earlier that Possible Promise was initially meant to only be targeted towards individuals, but later I added a focus on working with businesses as well.
The core “why” hadn’t really changed. It was all still based on a passion for finance and the desire to help others to let their money serve them.
But it did clearly adapt, and that’s OK.
A vision is not static. It will grow and adapt with your business, while very likely still remaining true to the essence of the original vision.
Netflix went from sending DVDs through the mail, to now being the largest online streaming service, and one of the largest producers of original content. Even though Hastings had an inkling of what it might become from early on, I doubt he could ever have imagined the extent of its growth, or could have foreseen everything it has become today.
Similarly, Amazon was originally just an online book seller, and while Bezos always had the vision of being the “everything store”, I also doubt he could have foreseen everything it has become today.
Things change. It’s inevitable. The market is dynamic and conditions are always shifting. So don’t worry if over time your vision changes as well.
You Don’t Have to Know the “How”
Some visions are simple, like the one here at Possible Promise Financial. My only aim is to get out there and help businesses to be more successful. There’s nothing too complicated in that.
Other visions can be more far-reaching though, such as Netflix’s vision to become an online streaming service, or Amazon’s vision to be the “everything store”.
Sometimes you might not know how exactly you can bring your vision about. Thats OK. Don’t weigh it down with practical step-by-step goals for now. They will come later.
Most visionaries have no idea how their vision will come about right from the start. Think of Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb, or the Wright brothers inventing the airplane. They knew what they wanted, but not how it could actually happen, or even really if it was actually possible.
And that’s OK, because a visionary doesn’t ask reality for permission before being inspired to their vision. They don’t ask whether this is possible: it’s simply what they’re driven to and they go after it with all they have.
That doesn’t mean the steps aren’t important. But you aren’t inspired to something because you know the steps to getting there. Often, you’ll have no idea, and it’ll require further exploration and research to figure that out.
But in this beginning stage, we want to give the vision the freedom to unfold, and an undue focus on the “how” can stifle it. For now, operate under the assumption that anything is possible — that there are no limits.
Your Vision Should Shape Every Aspect of Your Business
Now that your vision is in place, it’s important that it has an influence on every part of your business.
Your marketing, branding, interaction with customers, employees you hire, all should be shaped by this vision.
I mention vision so much on Possible Promise because I want to work with business owners who have vision. That, in a sense, is part of my “why”. I find it much more inspiring to work with those who have vision, than with those who do not. So, my vision influences how I shaped our marketing message.
Even your employees and contractors should be aligned with your vision. If they aren’t, your business risks being inconsistent in your interaction with others. Do you want an employee who just sees the job you offer them as a way to make money, or do you want one who is aligned with your vision and will do their best to carry it out?
I think one of the most important areas to be influenced by your vision is in your finances. Your bookkeeper should 100% be in support of your vision. Would you rather someone handling your books who just sees them as a list of transactions to be categorized?
To me, your books tell a story about your business. They tell a story about where you’ve been — but more importantly about where you are now and where you hope to be. If I’m plugged into your vision, then I can support you in pursuing it more effectively.
In all these areas, you should ask yourself regularly “Is this aspect of my business in alignment with my vision?” That may mean noticing your marketing is a bit off-target and adjusting it. Or noticing some part of your website doesn’t clearly communicate your vision and fixing it. It could even mean noticing an employee or contractor who isn’t aligned with your vision and having a discussion with them to see if you can get them on-board.
At first you should check in on this more regularly — maybe even on a monthly basis. After a while, you’re more confident that everything is on track with your vision and can check in less frequently — say every quarter.
But there should never be a point at which you assume everything is aligned with your vision and so never bother to ask that most important question. Otherwise you risk losing your sense of purpose and direction and becoming aimless as a business.
And I think it goes without saying, too, that all major decisions should be run through the filter of your vision. You can ask yourself, “Does this decision bring me closer to or further away from my vision?”
If you keep all this in mind, you’re far more likely to have a business that is not only fiscally successful, but also successful in achieving the vision you set out for it. It will support you not only on a financial level, but inspire and fulfill you on a personal level, too. And when you are personally fulfilled by your business, you’re far more likely to guide it into even greater success in the future. It’s a wonderful, positive cycle that leads to more profits and more satisfaction at running a thriving business.
If you’re looking for a bookkeeper to support you in your vision, get in touch. Just click the button below to schedule a free consultation and we can see how we can partner with your business in achieving your vision.Schedule a Free Consultation