Paying Homage to a Visionary
Earlier this week, music icon David Bowie died. The news and social media have rightfully been running all kinds of stories and tributes to him, and he was indeed influential in my life as well. Beginning in high school, I sang in bands but it wasn’t until a few years later I came in to my own as a vocalist. I distinctly remember it was in the middle of our cover of Bowie’s “Suffragette City”.
I was wearing these ridiculous all chrome glasses. Even the lenses were chrome so no one could see my eyes. We’re doing the song and I feel someone removing them from my face. That’s when I realized I’d had my eyes closed and was no longer seeing the crowd. I was just completely in to the song. I had zero thought nor care as to whether anyone was enjoying it or not. It simply didn’t matter because I was completely immersed in it…until that fan took off my glasses and momentarily brought me back to Earth.
It forever changed how I approached things. Fully immersing myself, not caring about what critics had to say.
People often mistook Bowie’s eyes for being of two different colors, but actually, they were the same color. One eye, however, was permanently dilated due to an injury from a punch to the face when he was a kid. This made it appear that his eyes were of two different colors, but it was just an optical illusion (every pun intended). Bowie actually used this distinct look to his advantage, recognizing that it gave him a certain visual mystique.
I think of it as giving him a unique view as a visionary, because whether you like his music and art or not, he was undeniably a visionary.
That’s a long lead in to this blog, but it felt right to pay some homage to one of the great artists of our time. Now let’s get down to the business of YOUR vision.
A Vision without a Plan
A company with a vision but no identifiable business plan is like a classic car without an engine. Sure, it’s beautiful to look at and sit in, and you can even imagine how fast it will go while racing down the highway, but once you turn that key to start the ignition, you’ll find that you are going nowhere pretty fast.
Without the building blocks to make it move, a car is really just a pretty hunk of metal.
This is how a lot of businesses start out: a vision is created, goals are set and the company decides on how to define success in their industry. This is a great start, but once the initial planning is over, too many businesses fail within the first few years. This is because defining success and formulating a plan to achieve that success are two very different things.
Make a Vision, Then Make a Business Plan
Your vision is what you want to achieve in your industry. Do you want to focus on innovation, customer service or quality products? Ask yourself how you want your company to be defined in the industry and what you want to do for your clients? This is your vision.
Your business plan is how you intend to achieve this vision.
Every company needs direction. Even the most talented team of experts needs direction, and you are just the person to lead that team.
Create a Strategic Plan
One of the things that the Business is ART book talks about is the one page strategic plan. This is a simple way to articulate and define the business objectives that you need to meet in order to achieve your vision.
Don’t know how to create a one page strategic plan? You’re in luck, there is a downloadable version of the template located in the “Freebies” section of this website. You can use this to plan, organize and track the progress that you are making on your business objectives.
Speaking of Tracking
How do you know if you are on the right path to achieving your vision? You track your performance results, of course.
Every business leader knows the benefits of tracking the company’s performance metrics. Without this crucial step in the process, you will never know in what areas you need to improve and where you should be staying the course.
The Next Steps
Achieving a vision is not a straight path, but a winding journey with many twists and turns. You have to be able to learn your industry and what it takes to run your business successfully. These lessons can be learned over time, and many of them are contained within the Business is ART book.
For more information, or to download the free templates, go to the Resources section of the website.