It’s coming up to the one year anniversary of my business – I know, can you believe it! Reflecting on where I was a year ago to where I am today, one of the best steps I took when I started out was to map out my business strategy, and more specifically, what I wanted my brand to be about.
I drew up a vision board.
To most people, this conjures up images of magazines, scissors, glitter, sticky tape and can appear to be a fluffy exercise. But it helped me and is one of the few activities I go back to which reminds me of why I started my business, and what I wanted to do.
A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images or text that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.
As I shared on an Instastory recently in a series I call #ConversationswithBronwynne, it forced me to answer the questions that were swirling around in my head. I was about to step out of corporate after 20 years, and even though I had all the questions, I didn’t have any answers. What I was entering into was the unknown. But writing down what I envisaged for myself helped.
These are some of the questions:
- How did I envisage a typical day to be? Freedom and sense of calm stood out.
- What was I willing to sacrifice? I sold my Jeep and bought a smaller car.
- What would I not give up, no matter what? Hairdressing appointments. LOL.
- What were my strengths and weaknesses? When I asked family & friends, I was blown away by their answers & how they viewed me.
- Who was my audience? I knew that answering this question led to, what value can I add. For me, this was the most important because it was what I would be selling in the end – solutions to problems.
I’m so analytical that I drew up my vision board using mainly words and statements. But in workshops I’ve run for clients, I’ve seen them having loads of fun in tearing out pictures from magazines that they feel best represents their emotions and brand. It’s taking their thoughts and turning them into something tangible.
The vision board is your map. A guide to steering your strategy and ensure you keep tightly focussed. In the last year, I have gone off course a few times, and then remembered why I started. The vision board has helped me build a reputation for my business as well as my entrepreneur brand. You need to do both.
It’s equally important as it helps you on the different social media platforms to ask: what is your tone of voice, do you have a style guide, how do you want people to perceive your brand?
It even helped me design my own logo.
In my head, I had chosen Conversation Station, and the play on the word “Station”, a platform (social media platform) where people come and go, a destination, that connects people. The appeal of the New York subway map with all the lines crossing over one another and each colour representing different trains, taking people to different places. It’s a year ago this month that I sat with my business coach, Liza Mann from Shift Ctrl, to design it.
But it all started on that bright yellow vision board.
If you haven’t already done something similar, jot down the questions and answer them for yourself – your business and personal brand. Are you on track or are there obstacles in the way? Shout if I can help….