This week I figured I would talk a little bit about the first step in the strategic planning process – defining your passion. A while back I wrote a posted titled Why So Many Small Business Owners are Unhappy where I made an observation of why small business owners get dissatisfied by life and business.
I speak with small business owners all the time. Frequently, they’ve been in business 5, 10, 20 years or even longer. It amazes me how many of them have forgotten why they got business in the first place!
While making money seems to be the day-to-day goal, it wasn’t the vision when got into business. The business was just a vehicle to get them there.
Unfortunately, over time most of us get focused on the day-to-day. We forget the primary goal. However it’s this primary goal that drove you at first to have some level of success. Guess what, it can help you again, you just need remember and get more clarity on it so you reconnect again.
For some finding that passion again is easy. It is as easy as just getting away and thinking about why you got into business in the first place.
For others it takes a little more digging. You’ve got to ask some deep and probing questions that get at the heart of really drives you.
When you find the passion you find the fuel you need to drive you to accomplish the hard and seemingly impossible things that get in your way of taking your business to self-sustainability.
Here are some of the questions that I ask up front that help small-business owners get more focused on their passion:
1. What is the one thing that you’re most proud of in your life?
2. What is the one thing that you’re most proud of in your life overall? In the past year?
3. What legacy do you want to leave for your family, community, or industry?
Once you understand the answers to these questions asking the questions like:
4. How could you use your business to help you get there?
5.What objectives do you need to accomplish next in order to achieve these goals.
If you ask questions 4 and 5, keeping the first three questions in mind, you’ll notice your answers are very different. This is only one benefit of finding your passion. It provides direction to everything that you do. Can you see how your day-to-day decisions become different based on using what you learned from questions 1-3? This is the power of passion!
Now, communicate what you’ve learned with your team. It gives them a far better point of reference as well. Before you know it everyone decisions begin pulling in the same direction. Achieving your goals seems almost effortless.
To get a more refined method of defining and aligning your passion check out the Personal and Business Goals Assessment. These are the same tools that we use in our coaching as the first step in the SPARC strategic planning process.
If you need a little bit more help feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to helping you find your passion.