Lessons Learned From Business Owners, Part II

Over the 20+years I have had the pleasure and privilege of meeting with groups of business owners, there are some lessons learned from them that come up over and over. This is the second of three weekly blogs that lists those lessons.

5. Build a clear vision of where you want to go with your business and get everyone who works with and for you on board. Having a destination substantially raises the odds that you will reach it. And, it is perfectly reasonable to update your vision as your business and personal circumstances change. Remember the four critical parts of a vision:

Leadership РLeaders commit the organization to a vision and communicate and support efforts to achieve it. 
Timeline – The vision has a clear finish line-a date.
Process РPeople make needed changes and continuously improve them 
Outcome – The desired result is so clear that stakeholders or customers can tell when they’ve done it
Criteria – A standard is defined and its achievement points to the creation of a new vision

6. Also, build a clear vision for your life outside of your company and reconcile that vision with your business vision.

7. Growing yourself can be harder than growing the business:

Learn to delegate-let your people learn and grow by doing what needs to be done.
Own the results, not the process-Part of their growth comes from using their own ideas for doing things and making them better.

See the parallels between growing the business and growing your children.