CONVERTING DREAMS TO VISION.
I am an entrepreneur who had this light burning inside of me for over 10 years before I was brave enough to venture into business. The were many reasons that kept me away from starting and fear is the one that stands out the most. This is the fear of failing, fear of not being good enough, fear of judging your dream and fear of not having enough clientele.
I eventually had the courage to start, like most entrepreneurs experienced massive challenges that are often not taught at universities. I have to confidently say the last five years have been the best I have ever had in my whole adult life. I found my niche in business, suddenly being an entrepreneur feels like a passion and not like a job, waking up everyday you know you are driven by passion.
I started a entrepreneurship series based on my experience and conversations I have had with fellow entrepreneurs and those who aspire to start their own businesses. These sessions were compiled into a series called “Dreams to Vision” and the first session talk of the same topic.
The first session I hosted looked into an understanding that a vision provides a sense of purpose and direction for the business. Your vision will help you define your short and long-term goals and guide the decisions you make along the way. “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved”. Entrepreneurship is important as it has the ability to improve standards of living and create wealth, not only for the entrepreneurs, but also for other related businesses, thus forming part of an Eco-system.
Certain Key Principles that drive an Entrepreneur:
- Self-Motivation – You will get many No’s your vision had to keep driving you
- Understand What You Offer – You need to know your market better than anyone else
- Take Risks – Understand that you will win some and lose some
- Know How to Network – Business is all about the quality of service and relationships
- Basic Money Management Skills and Knowledge – What you make is for the business
- Flexibility – Be willing to adapt to market changes be adaptable
- Passion – This is what should sustain you in the good and bad moments
- Faith – Have an Oasis where you can draw from
- Have a vision – Develop a Vision Board
- You cannot be all – Find the right team to help shape your dream into a business
- Find like-minded people – The people you communicate with daily can have a huge influence on your way of thinking.
- Be ruthless with your goals – Use time wisely invest two – four hours minimum to your business daily.
Other topics I covered included Brand Presence & Marketing Importance, marketing strategies, pricing strategy and how it compares to your competitors. The last session investigated a financing strategy as an integral component to an organisation’s strategic plan.
As an entrepreneur I have used the above strategies to grow my own business, I do not claim to know it all but I wanted to create a platform where as entrepreneurs we could share best practices as well as challenges we experience along the way. With that below please find below my first blog for Leadership 2020 on Dreams to Vision.
CONVERTING DREAMS TO VISION:
It is key to make yourself valuable, so when you start thinking of a business concept it needs to either answer a need or create a need in the targeted market. The value needs to be so strong that people should pay for your worth. You need to ask yourself “If people think of me what comes to mind?”
With a Vision, challenges become mere hurdles, this is because you driven by a plan (strategy), a fire in you refuses to die. Your vision will dictate the company you keep, it will choose your priorities, you will choose where you spend your time and energy.
Your vision is constantly evolving as such, you need to constantly regroup and evaluate your vision. I am a firm believer that you cannot do what you cannot measure, set a map (strategy) of where you are going, set targets and timelines, for if you don’t it remains a just a dream. Without a vision or plan you waste time chasing time, chasing projects, chasing money, you lack focus.
A vision will help you identify yourself, it becomes your source of motivation, always keep you vision simple and clear what we call an elevator pitch (If you met an investor in an elevator going one floor up, will you be able to sell your business) if possible reduce it to one sentence. Once you gave the elevator pitch, it will be easy to convert that into a business plan.
Key steps to follow:
Get clear about it. Dreams are too vague. That’s why they often sound impossible. Instead, be specific. Break the big dream down into goals. (write your goals down)
Break it down into smaller steps. Now that you have the ‘what’ and ‘how’, turn it into a process where you’ll be able to see progress.
Calculate. Everything can be turned into numbers, as entrepreneurs we make the mistake of calculating profits without adding the expenses and we wonder why we fail to break-even or have positive cash flows. Add to your expenses even the petrol, taxi fair, airtime, etc.
Find like-minded people. The people you communicate with daily can have a huge influence on your way of thinking. So choose wisely who you spend your time with.
Be ruthless with your goals. Do it Daily (You have 24 hours in a day – sleep 8 hours – work 8 hours – waste 8 hours). It not only brings contentment, but also gets you closer and closer to your goals.
Have a vision. Getting familiar with details about the lifestyle you want to lead (Have a vision board).
Your dream needs to scare you, it needs to wake you up at four a.m in the morning, you find yourself talking and thinking about it for the most part of your day. It will not be a smooth sailor, the are many barrios to entry, the will be many bottlenecks, you will be discouraged by even your own family….It is all controlled by the mind, focus, planning and keep on pushing and know it is on the way. What you are about to birth is so big it will disrupt the market you are targeting. What is key is that you believe in yourself, that is the only time anyone will believe in you.In closing Sir Richard Branson says: “An entrepreneur is an innovator, a job creator, a game-changer, a business leader, a disruptor, an adventurer.”
– Nandi Marubelela