So… you have a vision for your creative business.
A vision that…
…so you can build the creative business of YOUR dreams, not someone else’s!
And while these visions spark your creativity and light you up, you’re left wondering…
“HOW am I supposed to bring this from an idea into reality?”
As Gloria Steinem once said, “Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
This is why carving out time for vision setting, tapping into your imagination, and using tools like vision boards to explore the possibilities for your creative business are so essential!
But dreaming about your goals, and living them are two very different things that require entirely different actions.
In this blog, we’ll explore the two specific plans you can put in place to help facilitate your success and take your ambitious aspirations from lofty ideas to tangible results.
The vision you have for your business, as beautiful as it may be, just isn’t enough!
I don’t say this to be harsh. It’s simply the truth!
A vision isn’t about what you do in your business. Instead, it’s about what you aspire to be.
This is why a vision without any follow-up, can easily fall flat!
For example, the big vision I have for my own creative business is,
“To prove to myself and others that pursuing a creative career path is possible and profitable.”
While this is a beautiful vision, I need to regularly ask myself what this looks and feels like in my life and business, both on a micro and a macro level.
That’s because how our vision manifests itself can evolve and change over time.
To bring your vision to fruition, you need to know what working towards this vision looks like on a daily basis, as well as how the overarching structure of your business can support this aspiration.
COO Tip: Not clear on your business vision just yet? Learn all about how to get clear on your business vision here and then use this past blog post to support that work with your very own vision board!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
With your vision clear in your mind’s eye, it’s time to start putting a plan of action in place. I actually like to think of it as two complementary plans that will reinforce your efforts and goals twofold.
Plan #1: The Logistics Plan & Plan #2: The Business Plan
Let’s explore both of these plans and how they work together to support you as you accomplish your goals and take your business to the next level.
First, it’s important to get clear on how you are going to approach the vision you have for your creative business.
This is where your Logistics Plan comes into play.
A logistics plan is how you plan to execute the every day tasks that need to happen in order to fulfill that big vision you have in mind. This plan will help you take a big goal and break it into bite-size, daily actions you can do on a regular basis to stay on track. It makes your lofty vision more tangible, concrete, and realistic.
Each of us is different and will need to put unique supports in place to help us successfully work toward and achieve our goals.
As with anything in this creative business world, you have to figure out what works for YOU.
When you understand how you work best, you can avoid leaving success to your whims. Your logistics plan will help you leverage your strengths and anticipate your challenges so you can more readily commit and take action each and every day.
The good news is, there are tons of resources and strategies available to help you as you bring your vision to life.
While exploring these options, keep in mind there are no hard and fast rules. What works for one creative entrepreneur may not work for you.
Don’t get caught up in the “should” trap and doing things just because everyone else seems to be going through those same motions.
I suggest you start by exploring these resources and see what feels most helpful.
Give yourself permission to be selective here!
Support comes in all shapes and sizes! You may find that you lean on all or some of these resources at different times throughout your entrepreneurial journey. In your business, support may look like…
When we bring others into the process, lean on their guidance and wisdom, and tap into accountability, we are so much more likely to achieve our big business vision.
Another actionable way to regularly prioritize your business vision is to use time-blocking strategies to help you manage your time more effectively and purposefully.
Feel free to try out one of these options at a time to see what feels most helpful to you! I’ve shared them in the order I would recommend, but if CEO Time stands out to you right now, you absolutely do not need to do a Time Audit first.
You’re the boss– you set the “rules!”
The second plan you’ll want to put in place is more holistic: the business plan. Now, don’t freak out! Business plans don’t have to be stuffy corporate documents.
There are so many different types of business plans! You don’t always need an MBA-worthy business plan for your creative business. In fact, sometimes you need something entirely different and more creative!
Plus, your business plan can shift depending on your current season of business and how you need to use it! For example, the business plan you create to pitch investors will naturally look VERY different than the one you’re using to help you figure out or adjust your marketing strategy when a new offer rolls out. Taking it even further, that business plan will differ from the one you would share with your team to get everyone excited and on the same page as you set your vision for next year and beyond!
Regardless, you need a business plan that fits your business’s current stage and your goals.
You can think of your business plan as a tool that you’ll develop, to act as a blueprint for the business you are building. But unlike a blueprint, it’s a living document, meant to grow, change, and flex as you, your business, your needs, and the market evolve. It adapts to support your vision and goals while making sure you have all the key pieces you need for your business to thrive. Ultimately you’ll have a solid foundation you can build upon.
Here are some helpful resources you can lean on as you create and implement a solid business plan for your creative vision.
Getting clear on your Ideal Client Avatar (ICA) is one of the most important pieces of any business plan.
In this exercise, you’ll get inside the head of the “perfect” person for your offers, services, or products.
When you merge your vision with the demographics, goals, challenges, and hopes of your ideal client, you can bridge the gap between ideas and reality.
COO Tip: I created a 3-part series all about what an ICA is, why it’s a critical tool for any business, how to define yours, and creative ways to bring your ICA to life!
Armed with your inspired vision, a plan to help hold you accountable and keep you progressing forward, as well as a clear business plan that makes sense for your unique business needs, you’re ready to bring those big ideas, plans, dreams, and goals to life!
If you don’t yet have a vision in place, start here. I’ll walk you through the 4-step vision-casting process so you can define what success means to you, create your mission statement and identify your brand’s core values as you look toward the future and all the potential your creative business has in store!
Then you can continue forward as you build out your logistics plan and your business plan to transform your dreams into reality!