Vision to Reality: Stop Working, Start Living – Curtis L. Jenkins
Many entrepreneurs believe that to grow their businesses, they must work harder and harder. They overlook the importance of the team, the financials, and a solid plan that must be executed and adjusted on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
They don’t understand the concept of working “on the business” because they are too often working – harder and harder – “in the business,” creating another job for themselves instead of rising to leadership and orchestrating a well-run business.
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Project management executive, Curtis L. Jenkins, drew upon his 20-plus years of experience to write Vision to Reality: Stop Working, Start Living to help entrepreneurs realize their vision for their business and “clear the fog” for everyone involved to get on board with executing the vision.
Organize for success
The process of organizing for success begins with stating your goals and articulating the vision for the company. The vision must be stated in a manner that is understandable for everyone. The second part of organizing for success is organizing financials.
True Visionaries can see themselves in the future, accomplishing goals with the organization. They can then leverage the RFE and walk through the milestones.
Develop a plan of assessment
There are tools and techniques that can be used to help with long-term planning and unforeseen changes, as well as to analyze where you currently are. For the long-term, using scenario planning is my preferred method for determining the impact and predictability of an uncertain future.
My guide for a plan of assessment is to perform a risk assessment with a STEEP model. There should also be a section for goals not yet met, current challenges, and any setbacks that have occurred since the last assessment. Finally, it should contain ideas for how to address the setbacks in positive, growth-oriented ways.
Organize the team
As part of the process, entrepreneurs must develop strong relationships with their team members and organize their team to handle any additional work that comes from growth. It is also wise to have a pool of potential talent to draw from when the need arises.
You need to think about all the relationships you have through the lens of figuring out what is in it for them and how you can help them.
Change management and communication
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is a great starting point from which entrepreneurs can strategically plan touchpoints in the form of calls, emails, and even mailers.
Creating a vision of sales opportunities in this way also creates excitement among your employees as they see each opportunity by its value. Communication and listening are also key with your employees, especially when introducing change.
Mental preparation for implementation
If you can’t decide the best path for moving forward in mental preparedness for implementation, you should work with someone—be it a mentor, consultant, or another guide—who you trust to help you with this issue.
Mental preparation for implementation starts with understanding what Tim Ferris so eloquently explained: if you want to have a great quality of life, you need to put together a great team—be it physical or virtual.
The Realization Framework Experience (RFE)
The RFE requires a full-on behavior shift that focuses entrepreneurs’ attention on themselves and key people to gain the growth and achievement they desire. Through the RFE methodology, entrepreneurs take the necessary steps forward to accomplish their vision successfully.
First, visualize, then evaluate. Then calculate and forecast what’s needed and how much is needed to get to the future. Clarify this future with a solid plan and then realize the future with daily, weekly, and monthly actions.
Do it anyway!
If the methodology doesn’t feel right because it’s new, do it anyway!
When you perform the exercises of the RFE—daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly—you learn new habits, change old ways of working, and develop planning methods to avoid cognitive dissonance behaviors like confirmation bias and status quo bias.
The first million is the hardest
Why? Because the systems and team members they put in place have allowed them to grow and make money. And they also learned as they worked through those systems.
Your first step is to review your vision and articulate it clearly for yourself. Once you can clarify your vision, you can begin to work on articulating this vision to everyone involved.
Vision to roadmap
It is imperative that entrepreneurs map out a clear vision of what they want their reality to be. As the leader, you must run meetings and guide your team on a daily basis. To communicate and guide your team to success, you must develop a strong rapport with your team. This translates into serving customers and clients successfully.
Each entrepreneur must design a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly planning sheet with elements that fit their business model. The elements on the planning sheet should be communicated well and should be clear to both you and your employees.
Planning must include deliberate daily meetings with staff, sales and operations planning, meetings with the board of directors, and meetings with key divisions of your team (sales team, operations team, etc.)
Three Key Areas
Three key areas for entrepreneurs to focus on: developing relationships with customers and employees, understanding business from a financial perspective, and strengthening their vision through knowledge and communication.
To build muscle and prevent backsliding, entrepreneurs should focus on habits, measurements, and accountability. Knowing their numbers can help them confidently ask for what they deserve and avoid compromising their principles.
Finally, the realization framework experience is an ongoing process of engagement and communication between the company’s leadership, advisors, employees, customers, and suppliers to turn the vision into reality.