You may have a good idea. You may have good business skills. But to be a great entrepreneur, you need to have a vision for your company. If you’re not certain about your company’s goals or values, or if you feel like it could be clearer, don’t fret. And even if your business is already established, it’s not too late to reﬁne your vision.
The key elements of an entrepreneurial spirit include more than just innovation and creativity. Being an entrepreneur requires you to be a great leader of both people and your own vision.
Forget about the money
Well, for a moment. A company’s success cannot be solely deﬁned by its proﬁts. To be sustainable, a business needs more than net positive cash ﬂow: It needs compelling values and a leader who can put those values into action. What is your vision for your business’s place in the world? What problem do you want to solve for your customers? How do you want your employees to feel? Answering these questions, then putting those into practice are crucial to building and maintaining a business that lasts through all the inevitable ups and downs.
Establish clear goals
Too many business owners neglect the important process of goal-setting. Your business goal should encompass more than “make money and get rich.” Identify speciﬁc benchmarks you can hit.
Do you want to have net positive cash ﬂow in two years? Have a team of 10 employees in three years? Setting these milestones is a way to create discipline in yourself, while being able to lead others. As the saying goes, the blind can’t lead the blind. Your team needs someone with a clear and exciting vision for the future.
When people ask you where you’re going, they’ll feel much more conﬁdent in your business if you have a well-drawn roadmap. Be cool That doesn’t mean wearing sunglasses and Hawaiian shirts all the time (although if you’d like to, that’s ﬁne). One of the most important characteristics of a leader is their ability to remain level-headed during difﬁcult times.
Your vision must surpass the challenges of the daily hustle. It must be consistent and compelling, operating at a higher level than your company’s ups and downs. You must also be cool in how you communicate with your team. You may hear of “leaders” who “run a tight ship” or “whip their employees into shape,” but that management style isn’t really leadership.
A leader is inspiring and supportive, rather than imposing and critical. To make your business sustainable, treat your team with respect and let your vision do the talking.
Becoming a leader
Start by creating a vision board. Whether on paper, a digital document, or an actual board, write out phrases, quotes, or numbers that describe your business goals. Post any images that symbolize your company as well. Take your time with this process. Then, map out your goals for the next 10 years.
Most people set goals for one year from now, ﬁve years from now, and 10 years from now, but you can use whatever schedule you’d like. Next, establish milestones for each year. Throughout this process, keep your vision in mind, and you’ll ﬁnd that your goals and vision will start to align. Being a leader is two-fold: It’s the ability to both inspire others into action and develop your own vision with self-discipline.
Entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges: ﬁnancing hurdles, saturated markets, and the daily challenges of launching a business, to name a few. Leadership ability is essential to the entrepreneurial spirit.