How to Leverage Your Company Vision
Last week we managed to raise a large chunk of money for my new company, the Shift Group.
Contrary to what many investors and funding experts may say, our company still doesn’t have a MVP (minimal viable product) nor did we get the money from friends and family (typically where the money comes from at an early startup stage.)
Rather, it primarily came from what many entrepreneurs do NOT hold much value in: our company’s vision.
Shift Group is an online education company for entrepreneurs, training them how to create and launch their businesses using sustainable business practices.
The money we raised is to build a gamified version of our 13 training modules (gamification = using online video games for educational purposes).
Some would label us in the EdTech space. OK, fine. Whatever.
But without our vision, we would not have gotten very far.
Our current team, quite impressive by most people’s standards, all built from our vision. Our strategic partners, the same. Our kick-ass advisors, well, you get the idea.
Vision: What your company is focusing on, designed to never be achieved.
- Microsoft’s used to be “Software controlling computers on every desk.” (they changed it because they got too close to achieving it.)
- Acupuncturist’s: “Healing humanity”
- Shift Group’s: “A sustainable planet, transformed by entrepreneurs”
Building a powerful company vision takes time. The best ones are short, easy to learn and remember.
It is designed to keep you and your team inspired and focused.
Especially in the beginning, when you get tons of ideas and opportunities to go after. Without a clear vision to help keep you focused, you can be all over the place quickly.
Three Steps to Creating Your Company Vision
- What is the purpose of your company? Why does it exist? What is the core belief you, and your team hold about what it is you do? Keep in mind a purpose is NOT to make money. Money is always a result, if you do a good job.
- What is it you would like to see happen? Through your company, that big, audacious, crazy, uninhibited goal? Think big here!
- How to describe your vision in < 10 words! To inspire people, it must be simple. It must be clean. It must make sense. These 1-page descriptions of “visions” don’t inspire anyone. Make sure yours is not like that!
NOTE 1: Not everyone will be inspired by your vision. But those who you are must likely to attract on to your team (investors, employees, partners, venders, etc.) are most likely going to be very much into what you are committed to creating.
NOTE 2: Make sure you are inspired by your vision. If not, it ain’t going to go anywhere, for sure!
NOTE 3: Company Vision Statement is different than a Mission Statement. The latter is a short, focused plan on how you intend to achieve your vision. Do not mix the two!
NOTE 4: Make sure it is personal! To better understand the importance of this, watch Simon Sinek’s TEDx Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action.
NOTE 5: Your Company Vision is not the ONLY thing you’ll need. Your ability to convince others that you are the person to achieve it is also crucial. Armed with these two components, you can do absolutely incredible things.
Once you put a great company vision together, you can see how quickly you will be able to move your company forward. You are much more likely to build an amazing team using a fraction the resources.
It becomes an inspiring call to action for everyone involved. Yes, you can move mountains, or create a sustainable planet, whichever floats your boat.
Action Steps for the Week
Answer these five questions:
- What is the purpose of your company?
- What is so important about achieving that vision?
- Why does this vision speak to you?
- Can it be broken down into a core essence?
Who cares about your vision as much as you do?