Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Take Your Dream From Concept to Company

Every aspiring entrepreneur maintains a vision of what professional success looks and feels like for them. However, as tangible as it may be in mind, transforming that concept into reality presents challenges. “Essentially a vision is long term, or a fast-forward look at where you want to be,” says Dee Marshall, life coach and founder of Raise The Bar, a Newark, New Jersey-based coaching and consulting practice. “In order to make the vision a reality you have to begin with organizing your thoughts,” Marshall says. She recommends utilizing a vision board—images, pictures and affirmations of your dreams and desires compiled in a central location such as on a poster board or in a book—to help organize your thoughts into a visual concept. With pictures, words, and even actual objects, goals such as those you may have you’re your business can be literally brought to life. But what do you do after you’ve created the vision board and are ready to put action towards those aspirations?

Here, Marshall offers six ways to get your business off the ground: Put it on paper. Create a one page outline that includes a mission statement, vision statement and objectives. “If you can’t come up with a one-pager, then it could be an indication you are not ready for entrepreneurship,” warns Marshall. But even that shouldn’t deter you, because it is common to have difficulty writing down objectives and goals initially. It can also be a driving force when obtaining goals becomes challenging.

Apply SMART guidelines.

Specific: Vagueness leaves room for error. Being as precise as possible limits the chances of confusion in implementing your goals and objectives.

Measurable: Pursue goals that will offer you the ability to, at any point in the process, evaluate your effectiveness in actualizing them successfully.

Action-oriented: Shape your objectives around actions that will bring you closer to fulfilling your vision.

Results driven: Goals and objectives you focus on should provide concrete tangible outcomes.

Time bound: Attach and stick to a realistic deadline.

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