I tell my clients all the time that it takes 3 things to grow and maintain a small business. Being a visionary for yourself and your business is one of the three traits. You might not see yourself as a visionary, but you are. To see yourself as a business owner rather than someone who works for pay is to have a vision. The problem is, to build and maintain your business over the long haul, you have to flesh out that vision with a lot more detail. You have to see and feel a full vision for yourself that is so strong you are drawn to it, are willing to change your life to have it. Your vision for yourself has to be strong enough to sustain you, get family and friends behind you, and serve as the focal point for those who work with you in your business. That's a lot of vision – a strong vision – and you are that vision keeper.
How do you tap into your visionary self? Here are a few ways:
- Create vision boards for yourself and your business.
- Journal all your thoughts and dreams about your business.
- Write stories describing how you want your life and your business to be (write them in the present tense for more visionary impact).
- Share your vision with others (speaking it aloud helps to create a fuller vision).
- Reserve regular quiet times and personal retreat times for yourself so that you can hear and see your visions clearly.
- Surround yourself with objects that inspire you – music you love, fresh flowers, favorite pictures, art you love.
I do all of these things. In the last few years I've gotten clear that I need the quiet times so that my visions can be seen, felt, and heard. For me, early morning quiet time is fertile time for visionary work. So are personal retreats. And now that spring has come to my part of the world, it's a great time for you to be thinking of a personal retreat. Your mind is probably already turning to vacation. Vacations are a good thing, but a visionary vacation can be even better!
One way to boost your visionary energy is to give yourself a change of environment. Here are 5 steps to ramping up your skills as a visionary.
- Pick a place you like to go, clear your calendar for 3 days, and get going. Alone is best, but with someone is OK so long as there's space for alone time built in.
- Pack up visionary materials – a journal, colored pens, your computer if you work best that way, a camera, a comfortable folding chair, whatever you need to be comfortable and record your visions.
- Take along at least one new book you've bought but not yet read (business or fiction, it doesn't matter).
- Give yourself 3 full days, no cheating with travel on days 1 and 3.
- Set an intention to rest, eat well, and do whatever you like to let your mind wander (visions come into open minds).
Maybe you didn't realize that being self-employed means becoming a strong visionary. Maybe you don't think of yourself as a visionary. You are, and the more you train your inner visionary eye the stronger you'll feel as a small business owner. The word recreate, taken apart, is re-create. Your business owner status makes it necessary to rest and re-create your vision from time to time. You'll be clearer, those who work with you will see, feel, and work more productively toward your vision, and those around you will better understand why you so much want to work for yourself.
The visionary you – who knew? Spring clean your visionary self and watch your business grow.