Why did you start the business you did? I mean there are thousands of products and services and hundreds of business models- so why did the one you started resonate with you?
How did the idea just drop into you? What was your vision? What did you see and how did you feel?
I love to revisit these questions when things don’t seem to be going very well in life or business. When there’s a cash flow issue. When things are out of stock with suppliers or deliveries are late. The times clients pay late or have to drop out of programs. And when I start to question what it is that I am actually doing here.
We’ve all done it at one time or another.
I want to see the progress, and I want to know that I am on track. But the truth is that progress isn’t always linear or predictable. There are twists and turns, and sometimes you go in an entirely different direction from where you thought you would be.
What doesn’t change is the vision. The vision you were given when you started.
Holding that vision when you are down to your last $200.00 isn’t easy. Neither is holding the vision when you can’t make a deadline, or you don’t sell any spots in your program. When you start to feel defeated or like you are doing something “wrong” it is easy to lose sight of what you were given. Where is the evidence that you are even on the right track? Am I right?
But your vision wasn’t given to you by accident. It has taken me a long time to understand this, but your vision is divine. It was given to you, and your job is to bring it to the world.
So, how do you hold the vision when things don’t seem to be working? And why is that important?
Understand firstly that your vision is unique to you.
You’re bringing something to the world that is uniquely yours. For example, I was given the vision of the Breakthrough Number and the content for the book, The Profit Accelerator for Small Business. There are thousands of other business books and business strategy approaches out there, but mine is uniquely in my voice and intended for the people who it resonates with.
Your products and services are uniquely yours. The way you deliver them. The way you serve your customers. People are destined to hear from YOU, learn from YOU, become YOUR clients and customers. Because you have YOUR unique point of view, and only YOUR voice.
I believe you aren’t reading this article by accident. You may never read another thing written by me, or you may become a client in the future. I don’t know what our interaction is meant to be. Or when. In the same way, people you meet, and those who do business with you, are not there by chance. I no longer believe in coincidences. I believe everything is just too interconnected.
And you’ve been given a unique vision to bring to the world; your gifts, and your talents. If you are an entrepreneur you are doing what 85% of the world won’t. That makes you rare also. Embrace this about yourself and holding the vision gets easier in the tough spots.
Be open to receiving the opportunities that support your vision, especially the unexpected ones
When unexpected opportunities show up, and you are open to receiving them, they can help you hold the vision when you struggle. I’m sure you can think of at least one example of the sale that seemed to come out of nowhere or the perfect referral right when you needed it. It may be that you saw something and had an idea that worked out and felt like luck.
There are also far too many stories of unbelievable things happening “at the last minute” or “at the right time” or “unpredictably” that support the overall vision for the business but maybe not in a linear or conventional way. The key here is to be open to taking action as different things are put in front of you.
Opportunities may not always show up with an obvious cause and effect. You may meet someone who gives you a direct referral, or you may meet someone who doesn’t use your product or service but interviews you for a podcast, and their listener reaches out to you. You took the action by sitting for the interview and getting your message out, supporting your vision for your business.
When these unexpected opportunities arise, and you receive the benefits from them, they are confirmations from the Universe that you are in alignment and in your purpose. As you continuously stay open to being surprised and allow these types of events to reaffirm for you that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, you will suffer less when struggles inevitably happen.
You must look for the evidence, allow the evidence to build on itself, and you must be willing to use it to help you hold the vision.
I am not by nature a trusting person. I struggle frequently to remind myself that the Universe is only working for my highest good. And I need to see the evidence, or more accurately, I want to see the evidence, that I am on the right track or to know that I’m “doing it right.”
When I was working with Emily Williams and I was struggling with the vision inside Entre Money Coach, she had me write down 100 things that had gone “right” in the previous six months. What an exercise! I couldn’t believe the list. I “only” got to 74, but it completely changed my perspective.
There was so much progress and I had so many wins. It completely confirmed the vision I was given as a business consultant. Interestingly, it didn’t confirm the brand, and I am transferring to just using my name now, but the content is the same.
Using our coffee company as an example, I let the evidence stack up as we started, and each brick helped us to keep going. For example, My first Facebook post sold 11 bags of coffee. Our Facebook group is growing every month. People are reordering our Morning Blend.
During our third month of business we went a few days without an order, we used these bits of evidence that the vision for this company was not a mistake, and we held that vision. We believed that the orders would always come in and that we were meant to start this company.
In only 5 months Convoy Road Coffee Roasters was a $50k a year company. From nothing. Now, I keep all the evidence in front of me and let it build, while I build my trust muscle by keeping track of the magic that happens too.
Keep the vision in front of you
Things happen in life and business that aren’t always favorable. In fact, sometimes they downright suck. We lost our first business back in 2013, but I always knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur. Interesting that I never saw myself with a products company, but here we are.
Holding the vision when things are down is a mixture of knowing that your vision is uniquely yours, given by the Universe and not a mistake, you are exactly where you are meant to be, and being open to letting confirmations come in and the evidence stack up on your journey.