Which is more critical to success – vision or action? Do you remember when you first started your business or career choice? Most likely, you had a clear vision of what your future would hold by pursuing that path. Undoubtedly you were excited and energized by the possibilities, but it did not stop there, did it? Rather than sitting around dreaming of what might be, you took action. With no doubts, fears, foreseeable obstacles, or any negative thoughts holding you back, you pressed on. And progress was made – yes? Along the way, though, the vision probably became less clear as it was clouded by challenges and obstacles – especially from people who do not share that same vision. As a result, your actions may have become less deliberate and you probably had the feeling you were spinning wheels as you were simply just trying to get through each day. Losing sight of our original vision, we lose our drive and motivation to press on and our actions are often pointless. This leads to disappointment and even failure.
However, if you stay focused on your vision and take action by focusing on what will get you closer to it, then you will achieve and even exceed your dreams. Heed help with that? I work with people just like you holding them accountable for staying focused. Because, in the words of Joel Barker:
“Vision without action is simply a dream. Action without vision is passing time. Vision with action can change the world.”
With each Quarterly Planning Session, I am reminded of the value of planning. I am also reminded of the positive impact planning has not only on businesses, but more importantly on the people doing the planning. Much of our angst and worry comes from seemingly having too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Prioritization consists of tasks swirling around in our minds – all urging us as if to say, “Pick me! I’m the most important! Pick me!”
Prioritization is the key to planning. We have simple, effective ways to help you prioritize tasks and action steps that will carry out your strategies.
I’ve been told that planning is overrated or even a waste of time! Why plan when life just gets in the way and our plans are thrown off anyway? Or, my plans never seem to work out. Sound familiar? Well, is it the planning that is at fault here or the execution of the plan that needs some attention?
Planning is good as it sets the path for progress and growth. Without planning, we are simply being reactive versus proactive – letting things just happen instead of taking control to make sure that what we want to happen, will happen. In business, we must learn to roll with the punches – dealing with necessary distractions, ignoring the unnecessary distractions, and getting back on track as quickly as possible. Instead we often allow distractions to derail us. Yes, I said “allow”! It is our choice how much emphasis is placed on situations, circumstances, people, and setbacks. The more emphasis we place on these distractions, the less likely we are to reach our goals.
I encourage you to be flexible enough to place an appropriate amount of time in dealing with distractions yet focused enough to get back on plan quickly. You’ll find your plans will work out much better if you do.
A client of mine recently went through some challenging times. Declining sales, personnel issues, and owner health issues took their toll and threatened to dash the dreams of the owner. Sound at all familiar?
Last October, I posted a blog dealing with holding on to your dreams. When we first start a business or a job, we are full of optimism and excitement. In our minds, nothing could stop us! Then…life happens. Challenges and issues such as those mentioned above begin to cloud that vision as slowly it begins to fade as hope also wanes.
Well, I’m happy to report that my client’s business has rebounded and they have regained their vision! But had they really ever lost it? Did it just die and go away? No. It was there all the time. They just lost sight of it for a while and, when began to experience some positive growth, the vision magically appeared again. You see, it was never lost. The vision was always there – they simply couldn’t see it.
The first topic of our new “Business Builders” program will address vision and the importance of having a clear vision of what you want your business to look like in three, five, ten years from now. I encourage you to sign up via our webpage to attend an in-depth look and discussion with other business owners about the value of maintaining a clear vision for your business.
Do you find it difficult to say,”No”? If so, you probably also often wish you hadn’t said, “Yes”; spending much time, thought, and wringing-of-hands lamenting the fact that you couldn’t or didn’t say, “No”.
As you work on becoming more comfortable with managing your time better by being able to say, “No”, I encourage you to embrace your “Yes” response. Take ownership of and responsibility for following through with that commitment with a smile – no regrets or second-guessing.