Creating a Vision that Compels…

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By Guest Contributor, Silvia Johnson
There are 8 critical components to define when building a thriving business. Four of the components are all about you and four are all about your customer or whom I like to call “who”. When you know “you” and “who”, creating a thriving business that supports the lifestyle you want to create, becomes easy.

One of the most crucial of the 8 components, that often gets pushed aside, is your vision. I find that most often, my clients end up creating a vision, reminiscent of the visions seen in the corporate world. Short catch phrases that once had meaning and now only hang in a frame on the conference room wall. With this kind of conditioning, visions created by my clients, are often flat and unexciting. This is not the kind of vision that will compel you forward during the times when you face obstacles in your business. It is not the kind of vision that will help you get out of bed and into your home office to create the marketing campaign or make the follow up sales call.

In order to create a vision that truly compels, it needs to come from the heart and include your most secret desires of the life and business you want to create. When you take the time to really explore, what’s possible for you and what you want, the end product will be inspiring and uplifting and the motivation you need to stay on track.

So you may be wondering, how do I create such a vision? Below is a tool that I use with my clients to help them create their compelling visions, schedule time on your calendar and give it a try!

Designing the Vision Activity:

Directions: Complete the following Lifestyle Business Vision by pulling from your wildest dreams. The only rule here is that you must be selfish. Don’t worry about how you will get there, but really consider what you would be doing, seeing, being, enjoying, etc. at that time.

The following questions and guides are here to help you make as complete an experience for your long term vision. You do not need to answer every single question; however I highly recommend you try.
Imagine that I had a magic wand and could grant you any life you truly wanted it is 5-10 years from now and you are living that magnificent life…
What are you doing?
Who are you with?
Do you still have your business?
How is it doing?
How much money are you bringing in?
What is a typical day look like for you?
What does the average month or year include for you?
What fun things are you indulging in?
Where are you living?
Are you traveling and if so where?
What else is happening for you?

Once you have an idea of what your life will be like, write a narrative of your life based on your answers as if you were living it at this time. Include any money goals, who you’re with, location of where you are at, etc. that are part of this vision. The narrative you create will then become your compelling vision, the reason you are spending your time, effort and energy on your business and yourself today.

 About Silvia: Silvia Johnson has over 10 years experience in the area of personal and business transformation. Having a knack for modeling success and an ability to walk others through the steps to achieve their own goals, she has transformed hundreds of lives and businesses on an international scale. Her background is mostly as an executive coach and organizational consultant in Fortune 100 companies. Silvia holds a degree in Psychology for the University of California, Davis and is a Master NLP Practitioner and Coach.

Who… Muah???

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I was so honored, flattered and frankly, flabbergasted when the gals who publish the Talented Twenty Something’s blog decided to feature me this month!

Here’s what came of it….

Jessica Krewson, 28

Jessica Krewson

Owner of designKREW, Los Angeles, CA

How was designKREW born?

I was working as an Art Director at an independent magazine and I kept having all these ideas and I would present them and they wouldn’t be heard.  Being that the job was in the publishing industry, I had a hunch that the company wasn’t going to last very much longer. I jumped ship even though I had zero clients, zero money and ZERO clue what I wanted to do.  I actually call it my “zero moment.” I said to myself, I have two options; I can freelance for a while and just see or I can try to hunt down another job. Trying to hunt down another job did not seem like fun and I am a firm believer if you think you can do something to better yourself then you better go and do it. So that’s what I decided to do. Organically, a client fell into my lap and I started doing work for that person…and then another one… and then another one … and then all of the sudden designKREW was just happening without me realizing it.  It confirmed for me that I had made the right decision.  And I went for it…jumped all the way in.

How did you make the leap to starting your own business? (Did you have any financial backers or did you just start small on your own?

Really, it’s that I met the right people at the right time and it evolved from there.  No financial backers.  It was savings and credit cards and a HUGE leap of faith in the beginning.  I actually spent most of my savings to hire a business coach to get me started.  That was my way of putting faith and investment into what I was creating.

What have been your biggest learning’s since starting designKREW?

You can’t do it alone – no matter what stage you’re at in the process of building a business!  Even if it’s in the beginning when you have no budget, make sure you surround yourself with motivating people who can support and guide you.  That way when you are ready to throw in the towel or are feeling overwhelmed (which will happen many, many times), they’ll step in and cheer you on.  Just don’t make the mistake of thinking you should (or even can) be doing everything or you’ll burn out and you’ll lose your passion. And now that I have had the experience of a solid, beautiful team both in business and in my personal life…I’ll never go back!

You have quite an amazing and talented KREW of employees.  How did you find such great people?

Step One is I’m really clear on what I want as well as what my expectations are and I try to communicate that as clearly as possible.  Step Two is I don’t settle. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, fire quickly and hire slowly.  Be really clear on what it is you want out of your team and then communicate that as clearly as possible.  Do as many interviews as you have to for as long as you need, to get the right candidate in place. Also make sure they aren’t just like you, you need people who will fill in your weak points versus want to be doing what you’re already a natural at.

How do you market yourself?  Do you find your own clients, or do they come to you?

Our clients come to us for the most part. I’d say our clientele is 98% referral and it’s something I’m really proud of. To have the clients that we work with be so thrilled that they can’t wait to tell other people about us is a great testimony to designKREW as an agency.  I don’t know that it was always that way as I did a lot of networking in the beginning.  We’ve always put the focus on creating relationships rather than clients, and I truly believe that is a huge component to our success.

Words of wisdom for other entrepreneurs who are looking to make the jump from on-the-side freelance to full-time business owner?

There are a few guidelines I put in place right from the get-go and I’m happy to share:

Get Guidance!  Don’t try to do it on your own.  Either find a mentor who is doing what you want to do or get a business consultant ASAP.  Really interview them before you work with them and make sure they are a right fit for you.

Dive In! Don’t feel like you have to have the full blown-out plan to make the leap into starting your business.  You actually don’t have to have all the pieces together to start because you don’t know what you don’t know yet. The business environment is changing so quickly anyways – a 5 year plan is ridiculous. I say have a guideline and be flexible.

Trust your Gut!  Trusting my instincts has been one of the most successful and rewarding experiences of running designKREW.  Always trust your own instincts about your own passion project.  There is no greater authority on the matter. The caveat to that is FIRST make sure you are in touch with your instincts, however you need to do that.  Make it a practice to get in touch with your intuition – you inner-guidance system – and then always trust that.

You’ve Struck Gold!  Once you land a client, you’ve struck gold. Truly.  The effort it takes to conjure up a new client is to high compared to the effort it takes to retain one you already have.  So make customer service even MORE important than the product you put out.

What’s the Endgame?  Can’t remember where I heard it but you got to begin with the end in mind. Make sure you’re doing something that motivates you and moving toward something you want…REAL BAD.  Whatever your “WHY” whatever your vision is, hold it close to you and revisit it Every. Single. Day. because when the cinnamon hits the fan you got to remember what you’re doing it all for! My staff and I bust out our own personal vision boards and visualize for 5 minutes every morning.