Anything ever created was first a thought or a vision in someone’s mind. This should give you tremendous hope and excitement. It does for me. Every time I think about this statement I realize that anything can be created if it can be clearly seen in my mind. The first car, plane, chair, clothing, or food you name it, it was a vision before it was a reality. Every single day someone is thinking about something that does not yet exist and they are trying to figure out a way to fill a need or void in any give space.
For instance, there have been taxi cabs for many years but in 2009, Travis Kalanick decided that there was a better way. That people could have an app on their phone which could provide them safe transportation nearly anywhere in the world and for a lot less than it cost to hail a cab, and a lot more reliable I might add. Travis, with no cars, no employees created an app that made him a billionaire in a few short years. It’s important to note that 2009 was one of the worst financial crashes to ever occur. So you could say it wasn’t the best time to start a business, but it started as a vision first.
There is never a right time to do anything, only a vision, then a desire, then a list of steps to accomplish the end result, the clearly defined vision.
This is why I stress the importance of knowing what your business will look like when it’s done. I know this can be a little hard to visualize because a business is not really something quite as tangible like a car or house. So you need to break your business down into parts and picture how those parts will run without you. The more clear this becomes the easier and faster you will be able to build your ideal company. So in this post I am going to help you break your business down into a series of parts which will make up the whole. You will define how you want those parts to look when its finished and then you will have a blueprint of your ideal business. I can’t give you the blueprint to your ideal business because this has to be your vision but I can tell you the parts so you can fill in the rest.
Every company breaks down into 3 key areas:
- Accounting and finance
- Sales and marketing
Every activity will fall somewhere under these three categories. As a company grows the company will break down ever further, for instance accounting and finance might break into 2 separate parts. Accounting might break into multiple parts for instance accounts receivable, accounts payable, human resources. It isn’t as important how they breakdown but for you to understand that you need to see yourself overseeing all of the positions and not operating or working in them. This is about vision and not about creating systems, I like to have you paint a picture in your mind of people meeting with you on a monthly basis and discussing reports that they have created to show you the progress on how they are doing following your instructions. A baseball coach can look at the stats that are prepared by the team’s score keeper. The coach simply trains the players to do what the coach desires and the players make plays, get the hits and score the runs, the coach oversees the progress and focuses on areas of improvements. You want to see yourself in this manner when visualizing your business when it’s done. I use this statement a lot, “what your business looks like when it’s done”. A business is never really done, when I say “done” I mean up and running by itself, without you working for it. You will likely make small tweaks for as long as you own it but your goal with your vision is what it looks like when you have used your business to achieve your life goals which in my case means location freedom, time freedom and money freedom. Your goals might be different but they need to be clear and part of your vision when your business is “done”.
Visualization is extremely important because like I said earlier, all things ever created are first a vision before they were ever made. When the vision becomes clear you can begin to put the steps into place that it will take to achieve the vision. Much like crossing off the 7 days of doing the dishes you will be crossing off the necessary steps of achieving the end result of your desired vision when it comes to your business. Again, I am unable to describe for you you’re ideal business but certainly everyone wants more time and money. Let me describe how mine looks to me. Time freedom means a 3 day or less work week for me and as much vacation as I choose to take. I’m not the type of person who needs to be fully retired, I love to work and love what I do. What I do for work is what I love to do. I love to coach others and help them succeed. I do this by writing, teaching and speaking. These are the things I love to do and I do not see it as work. So to me my business when it’s done is a business where I only do these three things. Am I there yet? No. But I know what it looks like and am crossing off the activities that it takes until I am.
The next step is money freedom. To me money freedom is place where there is a constant flow of income, no debt and an abundance of cash to purchase more cash flowing assets. Am I there yet? No. But I clearly know what it looks like and I am heading that direction taking the daily steps to get there.
What does location freedom look like to me? Where I can perform my business duties from anywhere in the world. This one is a little more tricky because it requires that my duties be solely dependent on me and my schedule. Does this mean that I don’t ever have to be at the office? Of course not but I don’t have to be there all the time like my employees.
So to have this type of freedom it requires me to have the following in place:
Systems to implement, monitor, measure and oversee Accounting with 3rd party oversight (auditing performed by an outside accounting firm)
Systems to implement, monitor, measure and oversee accounts receivable and accounts payable with 3rd party oversight
Systems to implement, monitor, measure and oversee Finance with 3rd party oversight (auditing performed by an outside accounting firm)
Systems to implement, monitor, measure and oversee marketing, including lead generation, web, print, video production, events
Systems to implement, monitor, measure and oversee sales
Systems to implement, monitor, measure and oversee operations including shipping, receiving and customer service.
It’s your’ and my job as the owner to oversee and measure performance of all of the above.
Of course I can write an entire book if I had laid out all of the systems, processes and people that need to be in place once the business is done but knowing this means on a regular basis you are working on creating these systems to implement, monitor, measure and oversee. Once created you move to the next one etc.
Do you see the difference here? This is how a business is built, it has nothing to do with you working every single day the rest of your life as an employee to your business. Once you create the systems you will either hire someone in house to perform the work or you will outsource it. The more of this you can automate each process the more valuable and scalable your business will become. The more your business can do without you the more someone else would want to own it and that my friend is why you are here.
To your lifelong prosperity,