There’s been so much talk in business about your why, your purpose, your mission. All of those are great in clarifying what you want out of your work, your business, but it can be a very narrow viewpoint when it is only about what your business will do for you.
You can have a much greater vision.
You can and do affect others. How do you want that effect to land? Do you want to do good? You can, with your business.
That’s what impact is all about, having a vision not just for yourself, but also for others, for what you can contribute to making the world a better place. impact is the harmonious blend of your personal interests and your contributions to others that increases your financial performance right along with your influence.
To reimagine the purpose of your business, consider what impact you want to have with your business. Look at that impact from a high level. Condense it into a single statement so that it can serve as a beacon for your business. Here’s an example:
Left Coast Naturals is a B-corp that manufactures and distributes organic and natural foods. They operate with a triple bottom line philosophy (people, planet, and profit) and see an opportunity to have a positive impact on society with business. Their vision statement, in this case aligned with their Impact Purpose, is: “To be an inspiration to society and a force for positive change.” So even though their products are foods, and their tasks are manufacturing and distribution, their Impact Purpose is on a higher, broader, and deeper level.
For you, this can be a process of multiple iterations, so be prepared to do this work over several days or even weeks.
Once you have your Impact Purpose statement, you can start to infuse your impact throughout your company, from strategy all the way through your marketing and operations. That infusion is critical to implementing a high-minded vision in day-to-day decisions and actions.
Even if you’ve done the visioning and mission statements for your company, reimagine them in the context of impact. How do you want to contribute as a company?
Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.
One of the things that can get in the way of creativity is the practice of negative thinking. Some people just naturally tend to think more negatively than others. It doesn’t matter, though; you can turn off your negative inclinations and learn to be more positive.
Negative Thinking Is Limiting
Right now, think of some negative things for about 30 seconds. Now you’re likely finding it hard to even read this because you’re thinking about how the dishes aren’t put away, or you don’t have enough to pay that medical bill, and other things about your daily life. Plus, now that you’re thinking negatively, you’re likely not looking for solutions because eventually, the negativity turns into giving up.
Acknowledge Your Negative Thinking
The first thing to do is realize and accept that almost everyone thinks negatively sometimes. It’s okay to have a bad day. But it’s not okay to let any negative thing that happens to you inform your entire life.
Combat Negativity with Facts
When a negative thought comes to your mind, combat it with facts. There is always someone who has it worse so if you can cite those facts convincingly to yourself, you’re going to feel better – at least for yourself.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Before you go to bed each night, write down at least three things in your life that you are grateful for today. If you’re not sure what to be grateful for today, be more general such as, “I’m glad that today I managed to get through the day without going to jail.”
Surround Yourself with Positive People
The more people you can find that are generally positive and don’t focus on the negative, the more positive you’ll become. First, you’ll feel silly always trying to be negative to positive people who will point out the positives to you because that’s how they think. Secondly, their positivity rubs off onto you.
This might seem like a condescending thing to say but the truth is that when we smile with our mouths, eyes and face, it releases endorphins that make us feel better. Anytime you feel negative, think of something that makes you smile.
Take Care of Your Health
It’s hard to be positive if you’re not healthy. Even if you have health issues, taking the best care of yourself can make you feel better inside and out. Eat right, exercise, take your vitamins, and drink plenty of water and you’re going to have the energy to be more positive. This is going to almost automatically make you more creative.
A really important factor in ensuring that your audience is happy with your offers is to ensure that the user experience (UX) matches with their expectation (and maybe even wows them). User experience refers to how the customer feels when they use your website, your products, services and so forth.
The Basics of User Experience
In order to fix your user experience, you need to know what it feels like and looks like to them. One way to do that is to ask them, but another way is to go through everything as if you’re a buyer and new user every now and then to fix problems. You need to:
Know Your Audience’s Buying Cycle
Knowing the process they go through in their buying journey will be very helpful. This helps improve the type of content and information you provide them with.
Be Easy to Contact
This is a basic thing that so many people fail at. Too many people want to be anonymous or not be bothered by their customers. This is the wrong attitude to have today. You can, of course, outsource some of this, but be easy to contact and provide easy and multiple methods of doing so.
Keep Everything Simple
You’ll want to keep everything simple and easy to do. For example, don’t make your customers jump through many hoops to buy your product or service. Why should they have to click so many times to get to the good stuff? Improving your technology can help reduce the steps they have to take to improve the UX.
Focus on Delighting Them
While you have a goal of making money, your focus should be on delighting your customers and users in a way that stands out and differentiates you from others. This is the most important part of UX. If they’re not delighted, they probably won’t come back. There are too many choices today for them to waste time with any product or service that isn’t really standing out to them.
Analyze Your User’s Experience
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s important to take the time to regularly examine whether you’re living up to your UX goals or not. Let’s look at some ways you can accomplish this.
Go through the process yourself as if you’re a new customer and make notes of issues that you find. Ask someone else to do it. You can hire a virtual assistant who does not work with you to go through the process and make notes along the way. You can even hire a UX expert to help you.
Entrepreneurship is hard. It needs unswerving discipline, and confidence in yourself and your business. Lots of people lack the opportunity to enjoy it. But for the few who are determined and ready to put in the hard work, entrepreneurship is the most fulfilling job, identity and lifestyle in the world.
Let’s look at 4 daily habits of successful entrepreneurs.
1. They stick to a routine
A day has 24 hours only and as an entrepreneur, time is the most valuable thing in the world. To get the maximum potential out of every day, successful entrepreneurs follow a strict schedule.
For instance, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, schedules his whole day in five-minute blocks and he breaks up his week, where on Mondays and Thursdays he focuses on SpaceX and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays he pays attention to Tesla. He splits Fridays between both companies.
2. They read a lot
Most successful entrepreneurs make learning a regular daily habit. For instance, Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, reads 50 books a year. As an entrepreneur, you need to learn as the world is continually changing, and the most impactful entrepreneurs create their profiles by improving their knowledge.
If your background is in design and strategy, as an entrepreneur you must have engineering and computer science knowledge to contribute meaningfully to your ventures. Examine your future goals and establish what skills and capabilities may hinder you, then start learning today to be ready for those roadblocks. For engineers and designers, that obstacle may be management, finance or project planning. Yours may surprise you!
3. They exercise daily
Yes, exercise keeps your body fit and the mind sharp, and it has a great impact on an entrepreneur’s long-term achievement. The reason is that it relieves stress and helps maintain a healthy work-life balance. Many successful entrepreneurs attribute their success to exercising and keeping fit. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, increases his productivity with daily exercise.
Don’t make excuses! Fitness and mental calmness are essential for a happy lifestyle. They’re the building blocks to your productivity for days, weeks and months. Find a sport, activity, or practice suitable for you and make it habitual by being responsible.
4. They stay positive
As an entrepreneur, you’ll face many challenges, but what makes you succeed is a positive and creative mindset. Every day. Being able to see things from a positive dimension means you can see interesting and unique opportunities others can’t see.