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In business it is quite easy to fall into a common mindset trap…

I call it the Strategic Mindset Trap.

What do I mean?

The Strategic Mindset Trap

Being strategic is not a bad thing. As a kind of mindset or initial focus for your business, it is deadly.

Having a strategic mindset is when you look at everything through the lens of “how can I maneuver my business to make money based on what the market will pay for?”

Everything is based on the following distinctions:

  1. How can I make money?
  2. What are people paying for now?
  3. What do they need?
  4. How can my business add more services to take advantage of what people will pay for?

So, what is wrong with that?

Nothing. It is just in the wrong order.

The right questions and focus have been neglected if you start with strategy before this…

Vision Comes First

Why are you in business?

What excites you?

What will get you out of bed early in the morning and keep you up late?

What difference do you want to make for others?

If you are only in business to make money, you will not be able to sustain your focus for the long-term.

Here are some examples of a vision statement –

“To give our clients the tools, system and support to create an extraordinary business.”

“To empower entrepreneurs to make better, faster decisions to help their businesses and families prosper.”

“To help small businesses grow by providing automated and reliable accounting services.”

Do you see how the focus is entirely on being a contribution to others?

Boring Strategy Statements

“We will do 5,000 tax returns this season (subtext – so we can make a lot of money and take a few months off work).”

Maybe the business is passionate about doing 5,000 tax returns, if yes, it should be stated as something about the people the business has the privilege to serve.

“We love to legally save taxes for our clients, so they have more money in their pocket.”

Shiny Object Syndrome

Strategic thinking leads to shiny object syndrome.

When a businessperson is thinking strategically, they tend to look at every new idea that passes their desk as an opportunity to…do what? make money of course.

When you have a burning why for your life and your business, you get focused.

What fits your why, you grab. What does not fit you say no to.

When do people get the most strategic in their business?

A Business in Trouble

What I have seen in my coaching of hundreds of businesses is that when a business is in financial distress, they slip into strategic thinking.

They are desperate for a way out of their cash-flow woes.

Every shiny object becomes an answer to their dilemma!

And the problem is this – it will not last.

Without a burning why, you cannot sustain a strategic focus.

Money is never a long-term motivator – for you, nor your Team.

The best thing to do when having cash-flow woes is to revert to your why.

What to Do Next?

Once you have your why, re-focus on your service/product deliveries and create something unique. Package it in a unique way so you stand out from the others.

Find out what problem your why solves.

Price your product and service in a way that relates to the value you bring to your customers and clients.

In Summary

Here are some questions to help develop your why statement…

  1. What do I love to do? What am I passionate about?
  2. What impact do I want to make in our customers/clients’ lives?
  3. What problem does my business solve?
  4. How can I package my services/products in a unique way that excites me, my Team, and our customers/clients?
  5. What are people willing to pay for?
  6. What am I good at, or willing to get good at?

Even if you have a well-established business, these questions can help you get re-focused on what really matters…. making a difference for others.

Lastly, I am sure you noticed that strategic thinking is all about you, and visionary thinking is all about making a difference for others.

Thanks for reading…