Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with with Asa Leveaux (@MrLeveaux),Chief Strategy & Revenue Officer Leveaux Group, Inc. Asa is fiercely committed to guiding entrepreneurs to achieve result-based transformations. He has over a decade of organizational experience working with amazing clients, customers, employees and decision makers while guiding them to achieve remarkable success. His mission and commitments are to take you from your level of bull$#!t and give you the tools and resources that will support you on your journey to blissful success. For more information, please visit http://www.geniusacademy.co/.
SmallBizLady: What is the purpose of your vision board?
Asa Leveaux: The purpose of your vision board is to provide an in-color goal. You use it to depict your dreams to yourself and others. The purpose is to give you a road map for the next year. Your next year doesn’t have to start on January 1 either. The only thing that you need to start a new year is a new mindset. You want to be able to come back to the images to gain action steps and motivation.
SmallBizLady: What are the four pillars of business?
Asa Leveaux: To understand the pillars of business is important because you need to know the mechanics of what makes it successful and where opportunities exist. The first pillar of business is sales where you make your money. The next pillar of business is finance, which deals with how you infuse your business with money. The pillar of marketing is how you inform others about your products and or services. The operations are the systemic ways in which you provide products and or services. These pillars will assist you in keeping the structure of your business well maintained and organized.
SmallBizLady: What’s the first step in making your vision a reality?
Asa Leveaux: The first step is to get crystal clear about whom you serve. When you are clear then it becomes virtually effortless to write the book, start the business, grow your practice or know what to say in your advertising. This is important because if you are speaking to everyone then you are really speaking to no one. It helps to understand your target audience to form your language. To get clear, focus on what keeps your client/customer up at night and whom they follow on social media.
SmallBizLady: Should you quit your job to pursue your dream?
Asa Leveaux: There are many happy parallepreneurs. This is someone who works for a company while they are also building a business. Don’t feel sucked into the “quit your job” trap due to the abundance of social media CEOs. You can actually like the work that you do and have the desire and skill to be an entrepreneur. You could see your job as an investor rather than a thorn in your side. To do this write down how healthy your business would be without the monthly influx of cash from your investor.
SmallBizLady: What is a step that most people forget to take after a vision board?
Asa Leveaux: Many individuals forget to define what success looks like for them. When you gain clarity on success other people in your industry become less important. Comparison is the thief of all joy and if you aren’t clear about your success you will find yourself comparing against another person. To define success for you, write down what made you step forward with your dream. Another step that you can take to define what success looks like for you is to tell someone close to you what your end goal is that pertains to your endeavor.
SmallBizLady: Once you define success, what is next?
Asa Leveaux: Once you define the success you must deal with the negativity in your mind. You may already know how to pursue your vision, but if you don’t think you are worthy, you will fail each time. You can try to tell yourself as often as you like that a positive mindset isn’t important, but your productivity begs to differ. The negativity often comes from something that has happened in your past. Take a moment to remember the different negative statements that have been said about you that you still believe.
SmallBizLady: How can one maximize their current vision board that is complete?
Asa Leveaux: If you have already completed your vision board and now want to go beyond what is on the poster board, there are action steps that you can take. Take each image on your poster board and create an action board. For each image write down 12 steps that you would need to take in order to make that image a reality. For instance, if you have a car on the board, a few action steps would be to save $2,000 and pay off the two accounts that have been sent to collections.
SmallBizLady: What is the key to going beyond the vision board in 2016?
Asa Leveaux: The key to going beyond the vision board is the same as in life: accountability. Whatever gets measured gets done. Whether it is to shut someone up or to look good in front of a group, accountability works. You can set up your own accountability program for 2016 by finding an accountability partner. Another option for you is to outsource the accountability to a firm that specializes in this endeavor.
SmallBizLady: What is your definition of accountability?
Asa Leveaux: There are many definitions to accountability. Once you go online to search for a meaning of the word you will be inundated by the possibilities. I had to create a definition that worked for me in an effort to not view accountability as a bad word. Accountability is when you combine your intention, implementation and integrity. To create your own definition of accountability recognize the benefits that you gain as a result of it working.
SmallBizLady: What should someone do if their vision is not clear?
Asa Leveaux: If your vision is not clear don’t feel like you are alone because there are even people in business who don’t have clear visions. One way for you to get clear is for you to get quiet. The beautiful thing about being quiet is that there isn’t a time limit to do it or an expectation. It is possible that you may find your vision from within, by connecting to a divine source or also by allowing your thoughts to roam without any interruption from you.
SmallBizLady: What is evidence of going beyond the vision board?
Asa Leveaux: There are signs when individuals have gone beyond their vision board. One piece of evidence is that they are clear about their BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front). A BLUF replaces an elevator pitch because it gets to the reason why anyone should care why you are in the room. What this means is that they can effortlessly tell you who they are meant to serve in the world with a high degree of specificity as well as the results that they offer. The BLUF can be done in business as well as your personal life.
SmallBizLady: If this is overwhelming, what should someone do?
Asa Leveaux: Going beyond your vision board may seem overwhelming, but it does not have to remain that way. The last thing anyone wants is for you to be comfortable in your confusion. Usually you are overwhelmed because you don’t have a plan to go forward. If you feel that this is a lot to take in, create a schedule for the next week or month so that you can go beyond your vision board with a high level of grace and ease.
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter. Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.