Sink Handle Episode 5

Episode # 5 - Who Are You and Where Are You Going?

Who are you?  Where do you see your business in the next 2 years? 5 years? What does your business stand for?  All of these questions (and more) are covered in this week’s episode.

We dive into establishing the Mission, Vision, and Values of your business and how they shape the future of your business.  

Topics Covered:

  • Defining your Mission, Vision, & Values 

  • What are your goals? Revenue-focused?  Time-focused?

  • Your business MVV’s within a team dynamic

Hello everyone and welcome to episode five. Last time we spoke about mindset and all the things that it takes to get your head straight, get in the game and then start thinking about what you want in your business. What kind of goals you're creating, where you want to go today. I want to keep that kind of idea going. When you're in a business and you're trying to do something here, you're going to want to know who you are and what you do and where you are going. And that is really, really important. It seems so simple. So few people actually sit down and say, this is what this business does. This is who we are. This is what we believe. And this is where we're going. It seems counterintuitive, right? Like as soon as I say, Oh, we should know who we are and what we do. Everyone's like, well, yeah, of course. But then when you really sit down to write it down, you're like, I have no idea who I am or what I'm doing or where I'm going.

So today I wanted to take a little bit of time and just talk ourselves through that. So if you were talking about this episode in business school, uh, it would be called like Mission, Vision, and Values, but it sounds very stuffy if I start with that.  I want you to just remember, we are just figuring out who we are and where we're going and what we believe in. And that is going to be such a foundation for all of the other things that come after it is a foundation in how you act, how you react to things that happen. It is a foundation for your messaging and your marketing and knowing all of this and getting this all fleshed out, makes all the other steps a lot easier. I of course just like the cobbler, the kid with no shoes, I was terrible at this until I went through the Director of Operations training and I hadn't done it either. When I went through there and I had to really like boil down what I do, all of a sudden, you sound like, “Oh, I do everything.”  And then you realize, well, no, I don't do everything. And then you start really kind of boiling down. What's going on. You need to know those things in order to go do your marketing.

Okay. So first let's talk about mission. And a lot of people say to me, Oh, I'm in business to sell a thing. So what makes you different? This can be a public statement. A lot of people will put this on their website. If you go to something like Patagonia, the outerwear company, they have a very strong mission statement. They talk about who they are as a business. And it makes the messaging so much easier to get across. What do we do? How do we do it? Why do we do it? What value do we bring to the table? And what makes you stand out from all the other people? And when someone hears this mission statement that you've written, I want their first reaction be like, Oh, of course I know who that is.

That's how detailed I want it to be. I want you to really say who you are and what you do specifically so that people can identify that. That is you. The next thing we're going to talk about vision. This is where you're going. This is your business. Going to look like down the road. What are you working toward? Because if you have no idea where you're going, what are you working on right now to get there? Right? You're just wandering around doing whatever. So if you want to get somewhere, remember we talked about big dreams and big goals and figuring out where we want to go. This is where we're going to write it down. Where are you successful? What is the big thing that you do? Where do you see this company? What does your ideal business look like? What will your business have accomplished?

Maybe it's to be the best team ever. All your employees really love working there, or maybe you donate money to charity, or maybe you just have revenue goals. Maybe you just want to make a million dollars next year. That's your big like vision for the company. Then think about other things too. What is the vision? Not just of like a simple thing, like a number or a feeling about it, but silly things that are not silly. What about your vacation goals? Do you want to take a month off and have your entire business run without you? Because that sounds pretty damn awesome to me. What about working three or four days a week instead of six or seven that you are now? Maybe it's the fact that you don't do any more of this certain work. What are those things that you want to do?

Where are those goals that you want to get to? I have revenue goals, obviously with my fake P and L on my wall, but I have very strict office hours, especially, well, alright. Before quarantine, I had really strict office hours. I walked my son to school and I'd work and then I would go and pick him up. This whole quarantine thing has kind of blown that out of the water for me. So there's been chunks of time where I'm working and then there's chunks of time where I'm with him, because I don't want to just ignore him all day when he's literally in the house with me. So obviously these things can change and you can adapt for the environment that you're in. So I have revenue goals that I want to have for this year. Then I have like, I want to be able to garden in the afternoon when I've just had a crappy day, or I just want to watch a movie with my kid once in awhile, things like that.

Um, my husband and I before quarantine,  we used to have a standing lunch date. Every Wednesday, whatever was on, it was on the calendar. No one could book a meeting with me. We would go and have lunch every Wednesday. Those were the kinds of things that we started to make decisions like this. What kind of life do we want to lead? And since it's just, I have a small business, it's me and a small team. A lot of my vision for my life is also the vision for the company because they're so intertwined. And some people with bigger businesses or bigger teams are going to have a little bit more separation there. So you can think of it more as the business vision and your vision where mine is a little bit more intertwined. But I want you to really think about where you're going.

Because once you start to have broader ideas for the next couple of years of what you want to do, then you can start to mold those into smaller goals. And we'll get to that. And I'm sure to another podcast, because I love talking about goals, but knowing where you want to go is the only way to get there because otherwise you just kind of wander around. I am famous for not being able to relax. Not like I'm not a fun person because I am, but I am not very good at sitting still, but everybody wants to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. Everyone keeps saying they've watched all of Netflix already. And I'm like, I haven't watched any TV. I don't sit still. Well, um, I've got a project, I'm doing something I'm going somewhere. So when I, this weekend, this past weekend was Memorial day weekend.

I tried to not work and not do much, just relax. And I was terrible at it. Me having no direction, it's not relaxing. So for me, if I had said, okay, I'm going to work. I'm going to go out in the garden for half the day. And then the other half of the day, I'm going to do this, right. Even if I had a plan for what kind of relaxing I would have, I would have actually relaxed. Instead I had this like weird ass. I'm not doing anything at all thing. And I just wandered around for my day for two days and I was miserable. I mean, not miserable. They're always wine, but you know what I'm saying? I didn't feel relaxed and I didn't feel accomplished. And I think a good amount of business owners actually just run their businesses that way. I'm not going to pick a goal because if I pick a goal, I'm not going to meet it.

And then I'm going to feel bad about myself. So I'm just not going to pick one. Instead of that, I'm just going to wander around doing things. And then they're never going to feel like I'm getting anywhere or I'm going to start a bunch of things. And then they're never going to get finished. That kind of thing is such a time suck. If I had, if I had literally said, I'm going to go out in the garden for four hours, I'm going to come in and watch a movie that would have been a plan that would have been down with, but having no idea what I was going to do all day really bugs me out. All right. So you're going to want to mission. You want to know who you are, what you do. The vision is where we're going, what our goals are in a broad sense, a couple of years out what we're working toward as a whole kind of macro level.

And then the values of your company are going to be, especially if you're small like me, are going to be very intertwined with your own values. It's what you believe in. This is going to be a guide to how you act or react to things that happen to your business. It's kind of who you want to work with. My moral compass. Let's say something happens in the news and how you react to that. If you have no idea what to say, because you're just trying to react to whatever you think people want you to say, you're going to get a real muddied response and it's not going to sound genuine. If you know who you are and what you want to say, people will like, okay, we get it. That's of course what she would say. So what are your core beliefs? What do you stand for?

What are you opposed to, how do you treat your customers? How we treat the environment? Are you environmentally conscious? Is that like one of your ethos, write it down, start to build out this, this kind of framework for who you are and what you want. And those values are in, come through. All of my clients know I'm honest, I'm a little too upfront sometimes, but that's really important, right? Honesty and trustworthiness are huge, huge, huge things for me because I have critical information. I'm in their bank accounts. I am looking at their books. We're talking about their inner most business workings.  trying to come up with strategy plans. I need to know what's going on in their life so that we can see are you going to be around to do these things, knowing that I can be trusted? And I'm honest, that's huge.

One of the biggest comments I get when I first started working in this business was you're not going to tell anybody about my books, right? Well, of course not. I would never, plus there's a lovely NDA in my contract. There was a whole idea there of who we are we’re stand up people, honesty. It also helps for your team to know that they have something to believe in. They know what you're made of, and they know if they want to stand with that, especially right now. I think knowing who you are can help to have your team kind of coalesce around that and really understand what the mission is here and get behind it. When you're hiring people, look at what they do, what they stand for. You can ask them their values. Do they mesh with yours? Cause if they don't, then that's going to be a really hard thing for you to do incorporate onto the team when everyone has that kind of same sense of belonging there, everyone works together a little bit.

My team is so on it, they're detail oriented. They get right back. I don't micromanage anyone. I hate that they're upfront, they're reactive. They, you know, like they tell me as soon as they see anything that there's a problem. Those are the kind of people I want to work with. If I had to chase someone down because they were lackadaisical and fairly chill and um, maybe answered me back, that would drive me nuts. But in another company where that's the culture, that would be perfect. So knowing what you want to work with and who you are is really a huge thing. When you start building a team, you can match up people much better. So I want you to go through these three things, the mission, the vision, and the values, just start writing things out. These can kind of evolve over time. And even if you've got it, I would revisit it maybe once a year.

This is the very first thing that we do at Reynolds OBM when we have someone who comes on as either in a business game plan planning session or as a one on one client, we deep dive into mission, vision values. There's a workbook. We answer all these questions and we come up with what is going on here. When you start mapping that out, things become a lot clear. And I know I am just as bad as all the rest of you who don't have this because I didn't have it for a really long time. And I'm not even sure that I really like mine now, but it's like an evolving thing. I understand why it's scary. This, the same idea as niching down, you want to sell to everyone. That means that you sell to no one. Picking something, being true to yourself, who you are, what you do, where you're going, what you believe in putting that picture together.

When you go to figure out your ideal client, who do you want to work with and who you're selling to this will all play a part there. So it's really, really important. And figuring out is so powerful. It gives you direction and purpose. So I want you to start working through these. I know you're going to say, I don't want to do it, or I don't need to do it, or it's crazy, but please. Where do you see this company? What does your ideal business look like? And what will this business have accomplished? Then the values. What do you believe in what core beliefs you have? What do you stand for? What are you opposed to, how do you want to treat your customers? What do, what do you want them to remember you for? Once you solidify all of these answers until a coherent model, your messaging is easier.

Every Facebook post becomes easier. They start to recognize these things in you, and it becomes clear why they would want to work with you. And that's what all this is about, right? This is helping someone because you have the solution to their problem, figuring out how to help them in the most clear and concise way. We'll get that solution to them faster.  Go and Google a bunch of these, just Google mission, vision statements, go Google, a company like Patagonia, like Apple, like the big ones. And you'll be able to see some examples of really good ones. And some are really hokey. Some are like a sentence and some are a paragraph. You don't need a book. As you Google these, you're going to start getting ideas. I know sometimes you just need examples to see, and I'll post some in the show notes as well.

Some good ones that I know as you work on, they're going to evolve. And then maybe in six months, like your whole thing will change. Anyway, a year ago I was all one-on-one work. And now I have a podcast and some other products and things that are going on. So the ideas may be a little bit more adjusted. And maybe they're not, maybe all of the things that I'm doing now are still on that one trajectory, that one goal for the future. It's just being done in a little bit of a different way. So I want you to guys to do this. I know it sounds like business school, 101, but most of us ignore this and it's so important. It will help you figure out how to do all the other things, the marketing and the messaging, the hiring, the team building. So please don't think I'm crazy here. I'm crazy a lot of it the time but this stuff works. All right, guys, I'll see you next week.


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