Kick-butt Business Plan with ACT
I talked about how drawing from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can help small business owners identify and connect to their values, which is the imperative first step in developing a successful and sustainable business plan and strategy. You can review this in Creative Processes To Build A Business; Part I, For those of you who missed the blog or are unfamiliar with the ACT approach see below:
The ACT Approach:
- It is empirically-based form of psychology
- Uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies
- Helps people be present with what is and
- Guides people to taking committed action toward what’s important
- Enhances psychological flexibility
ACT fosters living in alignment with your values and moves you toward what is most important to your life domains:
With ACT you know you are empowered at any given time to freely choose to be engaged in values guided behavior. When vision and mission are intimately connected to your values you have the opportunity to be your genuine self.
Those of you who know me know that I’m passionate about ACT. I use this psychologically flexible approach when working with people who come in for therapy and people who want coaching. ACT is a modality that works well with changing the relationship we have with unnecessary suffering. With ACT you will learn, discover, uncover, grow and move toward what matters most to you. I also draw from the principles of ACT every day to stay connected and fulfilled in my personal life, as well as used the ACT approach to build a successful private therapy and coaching practice. In the business world ACT’s psychological flexibility skills translate into business agility.
In Part II
In part II of the kick-off to 2018 small business planning blog series, it’s time to take the next step with ACT on creating a business vision and mission, both of which are best birthed from your values. Visit Part I if you want to review values clarification.
From your values comes your vision, which is the overarching hope that you have for your business, for yourself and for the clients and/or customers you serve. As a therapist and coach, I often ask clients if they had a magic wand, what would their ideal outcome in any given situation be. It’s no different when creating a vision. If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for in terms of your business and its stakeholders—the people you serve internally and externally?
Prime the Pump
Four questions to ask yourself to prime the pump include:
- Do you care about building relationships?
- Is it important that you conduct your business sustainably (both environmentally and/or in terms of growth)?
- Maybe social justice, providing counsel or balancing work and life is important to you.
- Or perhaps you have an amazing service or product that you want to share and make a good living so you can adequately support yourself and your family.
Again, this all comes down to values, which flow from your passions.When developing my small business plan and strategy, I engaged in this same process. Over a few months of percolation, I came up with this:
My vision is to offer cutting-edge therapy and coaching services and products that are accessible and sustainable to individuals, communities and societies desiring to create rich, meaningful lives with integrity, balance and vitality.
I also took this practice a step further (and I encourage you to do the same) to create a personal vision. Creating work-life balance is important to me, and I wanted to ensure that my personal and professional visions were complimentary.
My personal vision for myself is to work toward world peace for all of humanity.
Yeah, I like lofty visions! As a therapist and a coach who is passionate about being of service to people, my professional and personal visions are in sync. While I may not see world peace tomorrow, I know that the services I provide allow for people to experience the opportunity to get better at feeling. Note: I did not say feel better, but better at feeling. When people get better at feeling, they are more apt to make choices in alignment with their values, feel better about themselves and take better care of themselves, their family, their community and the world. My commitment to the vision of world peace is achieved one person at a time, beginning with me.
Once you are clear on your values, making a vision board can help you formulate your vision into a clear statement. Life Coach Karyn Greenstreet does a great job of describing how to construct a vision board with intention in her Self-Employed Success blog, Vision Boards Open Your Mind to Possibilities.
Turning Vision Into Mission
Once you are clear on both your values and vision, it’s time to turn your business vision into mission. Your mission statement details how you will turn your vision into action, another key component of ACT. Expressed succinctly, what actions are you willing to commit to doing to achieve your vision for your business, yourself and the people you serve? For me, both personally and professionally, I will achieve my vision (world peace) through 1) love, 2) tolerance, 3) compassion and 4) forgiveness one person at a time—again, starting with me.
Your mission statement will come from your heart, be embedded with your values and clearly state the manner in which your vision will come into fruition. Hence, your vision is an overarching aspiration and your mission is how you plan to carry out your vision. Check out the first mission statement I wrote for my private practice business.
To connect people to their values and passions through effective practices and programs which are proven to work. To provide the best available knowledge and skills needed by people so they can be free to choose behaviors that are effective at moving them forward.
Vision And Mission Tie the Knot
We now pronounce you, Vision & Mission, The Guiding Philosophy for smooth sailing, turbulent waters, and heavy lifting. With an anchor for holding you steady until the storm passes and a North Star to guide you toward your desired destination on your journey. Your vision and mission are important to articulate.
Your business vision and mission create the strategic foundation of your business and will inform every part of your professional life:
√ Your finances
√ You Web presence
√ Your marketing strategies
√ Client engagement
√ Professional relationships
√ Training Needs
√ Personnel Needs
Your vision and mission is how people get to know who you are, like who you are, develop trust in you and call you to maybe hire you. Essentially, developing a business that is in alignment with your values, vision and mission is what creates and sustains your reputation, which, as we all know, can make or break a business. The added benefit of crafting a vision and mission statement from your values is that it allows for authenticity to be present in all aspects of your business.
The development of any successful business begins with getting and being clear on who you are and how you want to (and do) show up in the world. And, this process can take time. It took me four months to come up with my business vision and mission statement and to name my business. Tools I used to facilitate the processes were vision boards and mind maps
At this stage in your business plan and strategy process, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section
- What worked and what didn’t and how it went.
- Did it come easy or did you struggle?
- What methods did you use to help you find clarity in writing your vision and mission statements?
If you have crafted a vision and or a mission statement, please share them here. If you want to test drive your vision and or mission statement, please post and ask for input/feedback. Also, feel free to include your website if you have your vision and or mission posted.
More to come
And, stay tuned for the third and final post on the 2018 business planning blog series. In Part III, we’ll cover how your vision and mission form a philosophy that leads to building sustainable professional relationships.