Is your business vision too long, too short, or 2020?

Is Your Business Vision Too LongI’m sure that other people will have picked up on the perfect vision theme hidden in plain sight in this year’s numbers. The idea of 20:20 vision comes from the optometrists’ Snellen chart and describes someone who has perfect eyesight – although, in the UK, we tend to use the 6:6 measurement instead. Ironically, however, if you have 20:16 or 20:15 vision you have even sharper eyesight than 20:20, but let’s not split eyelashes over the details here.

Either side of perfect vision is what optometrists describe as long-sighted or short-sighted, and extremes of these conditions will require a person to wear glasses or contact lenses or, as is increasingly common nowadays, to have corrective laser surgery. So, what is your business vision like? Too long, too short or perfect?

Short-sighted business owners are …

As business owners, we are forever being encouraged to work ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ the business. It is advice given so often and so confidently that it has almost lost its potency to some. Others simply don’t believe these wise words or, if they do, the penny still hasn’t dropped that it would change their lives to apply it to themselves.

These are what I would call short-sighted business owners – those who cannot see that the busy work they do today (in their business) is not taking them towards their dreams. This probably also has something to do with the fact that they haven’t looked up for years to see what direction they are heading in.

If your vision only stretches as far as what you need to do ‘in the day’ you could be going in the wrong direction, standing in a big hole, going around in circles or even travelling backwards – how would you know?

Long-sighted business owners are …

Then there are those who are obsessed with thinking big, imagining bright, shiny horizons, or spending days or weeks in their office planning the perfect strategy – but ultimately never actually making a start. These are the business owners who are so frightened that they might make a mistake that they never actually do anything. Instead, they just plan, tweak the plan, reread the plan, scrap the plan, write a new plan, and start the cycle all over again, never satisfied or confident enough in its perfection to ever press ‘go’.

Another breed of long-sighted business owner is the one who starts lots of projects but never finishes anything off. In doing this they tend to waste time, effort and energy in one direction and neglect other opportunities because of their misdirected singlemindedness.

20:20 vision for business owners

The true visionaries who make a success of their ventures are those who find the perfect balance between big-picture planning and daily doing. Their business plans look a bit like this:

  • Retirement or exit plan
  • 3-year or 5-year plan
  • This year’s targets and plan
  • Quarterly targets and plans
  • Monthly targets
  • What do I need to do today to get me where want to be?

It really isn’t that difficult. You can do work ‘in’ your business today – if it is the right thing for you to do as the business owner and someone else at a lower cost couldn’t do it – but only if you are also moving it forward. And the real key is that all of the plans and targets listed above should be regularly checked, tested and reviewed as you go.

Let me know if you have a 20:20 vision for 2020 and beyond.

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