Do you have an Entrepreneurial Compass? If not, chances are that you lose your direction at times and end up wasting time, energy, and focus bringing you back on track with your vision and your goals for your business and your life.
In Stephen Covey’s teachings he shared a story that nicely illustrates my point. Here’s my version of his story.
A group of people were deep in the rain forest.
The leader was barking out orders to several trailblazers in the front. Armed with machetes they were clearing the grown over path towards their destination. Making good progress they put their heads down and just kept going. The leader kept shouting words of encouragement to keep them on track.
“Your doing great. Keep it up.”
Then things slowed considerably. The team was frustrated and feeling down wondering if they’d ever get there. After careful analysis the leader determined that the the trailblazers were tired and their blades had dulled. So the leader instructed them to rest, refuel and hydrate, while they sharpened their machetes.
When they got going again the pace picked up. Excitement returned. Again progress was being made but the path just seemed to keep going and going and going. Finally someone spoke up and asked just how much longer it would be.
The leader stopped not knowing exactly how to answer that. Then, without saying anything, the leader climbed the tallest tree until well above the tree line. Looking far off to the left, then far off to the right the leader returned to the ground.
Looking at everyone, very dejected, the leader said “we’re in the wrong jungle.”
How often, as a business owner, have you just put your head down and got busy getting things done? How often did you make good progress, checking things off your to do list? This, by itself, could be a good thing. However, have you ever stopped to step back and reassess your progress only to discover that you were drawn well off course at some point in time? A lot of progress with win after win but towards the wrong destination.
That is a huge trap that many entrepreneurs fall into that can end up causing you to spend considerably time, energy, and focus and maybe even money to bring yourself back on track. Vital resources that could have been better used to move you closer to your vision and goals much faster had you used your Entrepreneurial Compass right from the start.
The Entrepreneurial Compass is what I call a set of tools that helps you to clearly see the direction you are heading in your business and in your life. The Entrepreneurial Compass helps you align with that vision with every challenge you face, every opportunity that comes your way, and with every important decision you must make in your business and in your life.
Imagine how much further ahead you’d be today if you could have avoided every single tangent you ended up on because of blindly pushing forward just to make progress.
Imagine how many bad choices, that seemed like great opportunities at the time, could have been avoided and how much money could have been saved.
That is the power of creating and using your Entrepreneurial Compass.
The Four Components Of Your Entrepreneurial Compass
Your Core Values – These are the values that are at the core of your being. They represent who and how you are in everything you do. Once established they do not change.
Your Personal Mission Statement – This is a brief, powerfully inspiring, broadly encompassing statement of your ideal life, how you live it every day, and how your dream business delivers the life and lifestyle you want.
Your Dream Business Mission Statement – This is a brief, powerfully inspiring, broadly encompassing statement of your dream business and why it exists.
Your 5 Year Vision – This is a highly detailed description of exactly what your business and your life will be like in 5 years time. It includes measurable goals in the important areas of your life, including your business, details of who is in your life, where and how you live and work, and it also speaks to the essence of your being. If written well, you will light up as you read it!
How To Effectively Use Your Entrepreneurial Compass
To take the time and pour your heart and soul into creating these four items simply is not enough. No! If that’s all you do and they end up in a file on your computer or in your desk then the true power of them is lost.
You will get busy. Urgencies will arise. Pressure from yourself and from many others will lead to your shifting the inspiring words of your Entrepreneurial Compass to the back of your memory banks. Soon it will be forgotten and many weeks, months, or perhaps even years later you’ll stop and wonder what happened to veer you so far off track… again!
Oops, wrong jungle!
So, in order to experience the full inspiring and motivating power of your Entrepreneurial Compass do this…
- Create some time and space to work on these and get them to a first draft state of completion. You will not likely feel your first draft is good enough. You will try to talk yourself into leaving it so you can work on it again and again until it is done right before using it. STOP. Yes, it will take some continued work over some time to really feel you’ve got it set but take that first draft and start to use it NOW. It is good enough to have a positive impact. Then work on evolving it over time.
- Print each of these items.
- Post them in a place where you will see them every day, such as your office, or a place where you need to see it most.
- Take 2 minutes every morning and read them, ideally aloud, while visualizing yourself already living them and what it will mean when you are doing so.
- Reflect on them with every important decision that you face, good and not so good. It will help you stay aligned and make decision making much easier
With these powerful pieces of your Entrepreneurial Compass in place and in use you will be able to avoid ending up in the wrong jungle.
If you find that you need support to help create your Entrepreneurial Compass or in using it to effectively stay on track in your life and in your business then contact me. Creating all four of these vital components of your Entrepreneurial Compass is integral in my Success Planning Program and my Executive and Life Coaching.