In this post we'll talk about your long-term vision, how to set your business goals and why it is so important to do so.
Goals are important, but a necessary step before defining business goals is defining a long term vision statement for your business.
And don’t get confused between vision statement and mission statement – they sound similar but they’re not the same.
While a mission statement defines why your business exists, a vision statement answers where you see your business going in the long term.
Now, if you’ve never done this before I highly recommend you schedule 2-3 hours to sit down, plan and think about this.
And if you’re thinking – “me? I’m just a freelancer… I don’t need a long term vision” – then think again.
I believe that successful freelancers are ones who pursue a long term vision. That long-term vision allows them to make the right choices and decisions throughout their freelance career.
Long Term Vision Statement
If you follow my advice and take the time to think about your long term business vision, I recommend doing it away from your office and work environment.
Go outside, sit in a café, or head over to your local library.
Also, don’t take a computer with you. Just grab a pen and paper. No distractions! These 2-3 hours should be dedicated ONLY to yourself and your strategic business development.
Start your time by reflecting on the past – where you started your business and where you are now. What did you accomplish? What things worked well, what things didn't work as you thought they would?
And finally, write down a list of your core values.
Define your long-term vision
Here are a few questions that can help you get started with defining your long term vision:
What do you currently specialize in?
- Where do you see your business 5-10 years from now?
- What is your ultimate business goal?
- Why do you do what you do?
Here is what I would answer:
- I specialize in creating explainer and promotional videos for startups, businesses of any size, or individuals who are passionate about using video in their marketing toolkit. I also teach freelancers & entrepreneurs how to grow their online business.
- In five years I want my business to be evenly balanced between working with clients, selling digital products, and teaching other freelancers how to grow their business.
- Ultimate goal: Keep doing things I’m passionate about, while helping others succeed. My ultimate goal is to be able to spend more time with my family and provide them with a comfortable life, while not having to worry about money.
- I do what I do because I’m passionate about helping others succeed, and I really enjoy the creative aspect of the process.
Money Money Money…
While we’re on the subject of long term business vision, I’ll also say this – my business goal has never been (and will never be) to become super rich or have more money than I can count.
For me, it’s always been about making enough money so that I won’t need to think about money. Which is an entirely different approach.
I want to keep my focus on creating and working on things I enjoy and am passionate about. I believe that if I do that, money will work its way in.
Money has never been and will never be the reason for why I do things.
Goals & Objectives
Creating business goals will help you stay focused and productive throughout the year.
So once you have a long term vision in place, the next step is defining goals and objectives for the year.
And remember, when you define your business goals for the year, the common thread should be:
Does this goal or objective help bring me closer to achieving my long term vision?
Freelancers who don’t have a long term vision will find it harder to stay focused on their ultimate goal and make the right business decisions throughout their career.
Therefore, if you don’t have a long term business vision, schedule 2-3 hours dedicated entirely to thinking about this. It’s an investment that can make a world of difference to the future of your career.
Next, keeping in mind your long term vision – define actionable, clear and realistic goals for the new year.
And finally, work hard to achieve your goals.