What’s the most important thing?
I’ve been working with several leaders on business planning exercises recently, and a recurring theme pops up: Where do we start?
Many experts would start first with customers and their needs. If you have a wonderful idea, great, but quickly get to why anybody in the world would want to pay you for it.
And that’s a powerful starting point, but there’s an assumption hidden within it.
The assumption is that your goal is to make as much money as possible. Which actually isn’t a bad thing; you business need lots of money to survive.
But the danger might be that you haven’t connected with the REAL reason you’re in business. That sense of mission.
Here’s a simple example: Let’s suppose that you’ve decided to leave your day job and buy into a franchise hamburger shop. I can almost immediately tell you that your goal probably wasn’t to become insanely rich, because that’s actually not a great way to meet your goal.
More likely, the deeper reasons are:
- You wanted to do something different with the rest of your career
- You want to develop your leadership skills
- You’d rather “be your own boss” than “work for the man”
- You’ve been enamored with the restaurant business and want to spend more time there
- You’d like to create something you can sell to your kids or another buyer
- You want to be a more integral part of the community
Here’s what’s interesting about these deeper goals: They’re going to massively affect what kind of business build, what customers you go after, and what products you offer. Once you’re clear on that deeper foundation you might discover that a hamburger chain isn’t the best way to achieve it.
That’s why I always spend time with clients working on the personal and business goals. Which is where you find that sense of mission.
Wanting to make a difference in the world.
I’ve developed a tool which helps leaders to assess how they’re doing on these foundational elements. I’ll send you a customized report when you fill it out, giving you some feedback and ideas for where your attention might give the most powerful results. Check it out!