STRATEGY: IT'S HOW YOU WORK SMARTER
If you know me at all, you know that strategic thinking and action are the things that keep me up at night and wake me up in the morning. I was born to create strategies that work smarter for entrepreneurs, and I have spent close to a decade perfecting my process to craft a strategically-centered plan at a moment's notice.
What does it really mean to be "strategic", though?
Simply put, creating a strategy or a strategic plan allows you to think and work smarter, not harder, and who doesn't want that?
From a young age (and of no fault of our own), we have all been taught to think on a tactical or task-based level more than taking a strategic approach to getting things done. Think about it. As a child, we are told what to do from the moment we take our first breath. From there, we continue along a path of constant direction and instruction by others to do what needs to be done. This "to do" lifestyle breeds a tactical way of thinking, a life made up of checking tasks off our list until they are completed.
As a result, we start to think in a step-by-step manner instead of panning out like a wide-angle lens takes a look at the bigger picture. From an aerial view, we are able to see more and make decisions such as deciding what fewer, strategic things could be done in order to accomplish bigger tasks?
Thinking strategically answers the question, "what one thing can I do to positively influence the result of many things?"
If you ask me, thinking strategically is the key to saving our most precious resources -- time, money and travel.
THE ENTREPRENEUR ACCELERATOR MINDSET
My Entrepreneur Accelerator Series (EAS), a learning program designed to help entrepreneurs accelerate the speed of success, was created off of the 04 PILLARS TO PEAK PERFORMANCE, and strategy makes up PILLAR 02.
As you may recall from last month, PILLAR 01 of the 04 PILLARS TO PEAK PERFORMANCE focuses on setting the right goals. Once you know what your exact goals look like, you now have the chance to create a strategy (or plan) to reach those goals. The entrepreneur looking to accelerate their success understands that, like a pilot, to guarantee a successful landing you need to know what airport you are leaving from and the airport you plan to land in. From there, you create the safest and most efficient route to secure a safe and smooth landing.
To make things simple, I've bounced down my top 5 Keys to using strategy (not tactics) to accelerate your success. I think you are going to love this!
Get clear on your mission. Understanding your mission is the absolute first step to creating a strategic plan that will work for you not against you. This is your opportunity or chance to tell the world what your aim for being in business looks like. This is the chance to state your claim!
For a great article on how to craft a truly inspiring company mission statements, check out this article written on Hubspot.
A final note: take your time with your mission statement. It should be emotional and should wake you up in the morning and keep you up at night.
Be able to articulate your vision to others. Vision statements are the juice (in my mind) of your strategic plan. Vision is what entrepreneurs are made of, so take this time to show the world what your "sky is the limit" looks like.
The vision statement should illustrate and describe what you see as your big dream, and ultimately it should inspire others.
Understand what you value and believe. Your values and beliefs, and having the ability to share them with others in a clear and concise way, creates a stickiness that will bring the right buyers, customers, investors and team members to you, your business, and your organization. Values and beliefs are the culture of your business, and serve as the entry point to your business' future.
Take the time to understand your business values and beliefs as if they were a person. What would this person value? What do they believe? If your business was a person, how would they behave and how would they hold themselves? How would they walk into a room? How would your ideal client purchase and walk through life?
You must understand your ideal buyers so well that by doing so you attract them. Your ideal buyers become tomorrow's raving fans, and raving fans will always aid you in accomplishing your mission and sharing your vision with the world.
Take the time to take inventory. What does that mean?
In business, successful entrepreneurs take time to understand the climate of what is happening inside, outside and around their organization. Often referred to as the "current state", taking inventory of what your internal and external resources are will give you confidence in what to focus on next.
I like to take the time to research current trends in the market, or sociological or behavioral patterns, to guide me in making decisions that make sense. I will follow economists and observe what economic trends are present both inside and outside of my industry. Doing so will allow you to understand what to focus in on to either propel you ahead of your competition, or to protect you against the road ahead.
Create a plan and stick with it! Be consistent in your approach.
Most people get caught up in the creativity of their business, and like most entrepreneurs, when things get tough, instead of plowing through the hard times, we tend to want to just create something new.
You cannot do that - you have to hunker down and be consistent. Consistency is the most important key to accelerating your success.
Strategy -- there you have it. It doesn't have to be that hard to use to your advantage, but you must use it. Just take it one step at a time. Create a mission. Understand your mission. Be able to believe in your values so much that they attract the right people on the team. Take inventory of your assets and liabilities both inside of the business and outside of the business. And finally, remain consistent. Do what you love, day after day, night after night.
On that note, here's to your accelerated success To continue the journey, please consider joining my Entrepreneur Accelerator Series each month, either live in NYC or via Livestream. Click here for more info.