You’ve been in business for a while and you’re making consistent sales. Maybe not as many sales as you’d like, but you can safely say that money is coming in.

So you work. Hard. That includes long hours, and saying yes to projects you probably wouldn’t do if your income was more consistent.

This is a fairly common part of business growth: working for the sake of working so you can continue to grow. It’s actually a good way to learn more about yourself and your business and to hone your services and offerings to be more clear and streamlined.

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Like I talked about last week, you want to make sure your business is on the right track. But it’s more than just realigning to your mission and making sure your website is clear. Yes, those are important. But if growth and true sustainability are on your dream board, you need to be strategic too.

You know I’m a big believer in the strategic map. Having my own year mapped out is what keeps me pushing forward, because I always know what’s coming next–what I need to be creating, promoting, talking about or even putting to rest. It’s what keeps my clients on track too. If it’s not on the map, it’s not a priority.

But beyond that, it’s up to you to make the hard decisions and to have that CEO vision that propels you forward, even on the bad days.

You know your mission. That’s what you’re working on today. But what is your vision? Where do you see your business in five or ten years? And what do you need to do in order to get there?

As the CEO, you need to cast a vision and be so deeply connected to it that you will fight for it. When you face doubt and rejection. When you feel like progress isn’t happening. When your launch flops or you lose a key team member. When things aren’t going the direction you want, you need to be able to fight to get it back on track.

Once you know what that vision is, you need to create the path to get there.

If your current strategic map isn’t going to lead you to the right place, then you’ll always feel like you’re in a state of not knowing what to do next. Your plan won’t be sustainable because your business won’t move in the right direction.

Your vision is the beginning of making sense of the strategy in your business. Your vision declares the objectives of your business as a whole. It tells you what your business will look like in the future so you can make the right decisions about projects you take on and services you offer.

Know where it is you want to go and name it. Write this vision down where you will see it daily.

Then determine which strategic objectives you need to focus on to help you realize that vision. Identify smaller accomplishments you’ll need under your belt as you move forward. Having smaller benchmarks on the way to your vision will help you feel a sense of success so you’re motivated to continue moving forward. Plus, you’ll know that you’re making an impact with every step.

Then break down those benchmarks into smaller action steps that you’ll take each quarter, month or week on your way.

Yes, you need strategic objectives but first you need to make sure you know what your vision is and have a plan to get there. That vision is the strategic glue that holds your business on track.

Need help identifying what that big vision is? Grab my mission, vision, values guide!

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