The ultimate purpose of visionary business if to transform the world, by doing what we love to do, into an ecologically sustainable environment, with peace and plenty for all God's creatures.
1. Every company needs a solid, well-written business plan that charts a clear course for the next year, and projects the vision of the business five years into the future, first in words, then in numbers. A well-written plan is your map, your visualization of the future.
2. The business plan should start with a brief, concise mission statement that is idealistic and grand.
3. Before writing the business plan, do the "ideal scene" process: Assume five years have passed, and your business has succeeded brilliantly, as well as you can possibly imagine: What would you like to be doing? What is your ideal scene? What if you could have exactly the kind of life you wanted, what would it be? Put it in writing, and compare it with others involved in your business.
4. Plan on everything in a start-up business to take twice as long and cost twice as much as you expect. Make sure you have -- or are asking for -- plenty of capital, enough to cover every imaginable contingency. And add another 15 percent on top of all projected expenses for contingencies.
5. Your plan has to be strong enough to overcome every possible hurdle and obstacle, external and internal: external problems such as lack of capital, changes in the marketplace and economy, and competition, as well as your own internal obstacles of fear, doubt, lack of self-esteem or self-respect, lack of experience and knowledge. A business plan is powerful, because it sets in motion your powerful subconscious mind. It brings the fantasy of your "ideal scene" down into concrete terms. Once you have completed it, a vital part of your work is done: Your vision of the future has been clearly drawn. Without a vision of the future, there is no future.
6. Every successful business is based on a vision. Someone has first clearly imagined the growth and development of that business, far before that growth occurred in physical reality. Keep focused on a vision of your success, and you will end up aligning the exact forces you need to bring about your success.
7. You have to have a higher purpose than making money in a business. When you have a higher purpose, you marshal all kinds of forces behind you that support you in your goal. Money is essential in business, but it is secondary. Each of us has a unique purpose for living, and unique talents and abilities to achieve that purpose. We should spend however much time is necessary to discover our purpose, and to live it. Then, and only then, are we fulfilled in life.
8. For every adversity there is an equal or greater benefit. That is a key to visionary business. Life is always filled with problems, but it is filled with opportunities as well.
9. There are no bad businesses, there are only poor managers. A good manager can take any kind of business and turn it around and make it successful. A poor manager can take any kind of business and run it into the ground. Don't dwell on pictures of failure. Keep picturing success. Spend some time in solitude, every day if you can, reviewing your goals, keeping your dreams fresh in your mind.
10. Plan your work and work your plan. Your success may take a different route than you planned. Make a clear plan, a clear path to success, but then be flexible enough to change your plans continually as new problems and obstacles and opportunities and successes arise. Your business might look totally different in five years than you imagine it will look at this time.
11. Put the interests of the corporation before your own interests, and before the interests of any owners, any employees, or anyone else. Take care of the corporation, first and foremost, and it will take care of you, and take care of all of its owners and employees and many others as well.
12. Create an employee handbook. Include generous employee benefits: vacations, wellness days, health and dental insurance, a pension plan, and profit sharing. A substantial bonus based on profits gets everyone thinking like an owner. Give away a substantial share of your profits to your employees, and the company will do so well that, in the long run, the owners will make more than if they had kept all the profits. This is win-win profit sharing. Be sure to include every employee in the profit sharing. After several years of profits, when the company has built a substantial net worth, set up an Employee Stock Option Plan that gives a substantial part of the company to the employees. Make sure every employee becomes a stockholder.
13. Only you can create your success, and only you can block your success. If your visualization of success is stronger than your doubts and fears, you will succeed. When your desire becomes an intention, 90 percent of your perceived obstacles dissolve -- and you have the inner resources to effectively handle the obstacles that remain.
14. There are two styles of management: management by crisis, and management by goals. Those caught in the management-by-crisis trap get so focused on the day-to-day problems they never have time to step back and see the big picture. Take time to support your dream with a concrete, achievable plan. Then the magic happens: All kinds of forces come into play and help you manifest your dream.
15. With ownership comes responsibility. The owners of a business have a responsibility toward the welfare of their employees and of the environment. If you can't run a business without exploiting people or polluting the planet, you should not be in that business in the first place.
16. Give a generous portion of your profits to your people and to organizations working to improve the world. If every profitable business in the world gave even just 5 percent of their profits to non-profit corporations that are working to help people and the environment, we could end starvation around the world, house the homeless, and clean up the whole planet.
17. Money is not the final measure of a person's worth -- there are far more important things: the quality of life we lead; the way we treat others, and treat our environment; the service we do for others; the amount of love and compassion we have for others; our purpose in life, and the degree to which we fulfill it; our positive contribution to others and to our planet. These things are what is truly important in life. These things are the only significant measures of a person's success.
18. It makes great business sense to follow the three rules of Pepsico's CEO: (1) love change -- we either learn to love it, or resist the inevitable; (2) learn to dance -- our working relationships should be a dance, not a struggle; (3) leave J. Edgar Hoover behind -- hire good people, clearly define their responsibility, and let them do it their own way.
19. Hire people who are passionate about their work. Learn the difference between technicians, managers, and entrepreneurs, and hire appropriate people to do what they love to do. Treat them like adults, and they will act like adults; give them responsibility, and they will be responsible.
20. Every business reflects the consciousness of the owner. It is extremely important to reflect on the events that have shaped our lives, and discover the core beliefs that we have created for ourselves because of those events. Once our negative beliefs are identified, they can be let go of, because they are not true -- they are simply self-fulfilling; they become true if we believe them. Far better to nurture the positive beliefs that support the creative genius within each of us. You are capable of anything; there are no limits to what you can accomplish -- if you believe it to be true.
21. The more you give, the more you receive -- and not just financially. You receive even more important things: satisfaction, fulfillment, joy, and love.
22. The words of Christ are still brilliant today, and should be remembered: Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened unto you.... Judge not, lest you be judged. ... Love your enemies.... Turn the other cheek.... The Kingdom of Heaven is within.
23. It's invaluable to have some kind of understanding of a higher power, to help turn life's problems into opportunities, to help you have a life well-lived. Alcoholics Anonymous sums it up simply and clearly for millions of people, and could be helpful for millions more: I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand God.... I seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God, as I understand God, praying only for knowledge of God's will and the power to carry it out. The most important thing for us, in order to be able to create the kind of life experience we dream of creating, is to reflect upon what we believe God to be, and to find something to turn to for guidance and inspiration. Turn everything over to God, and let God work out the details. Keep asking what God's will is, and you will be guided in your business and your life to do exactly the right thing for you.
24. Keep learning about the business, from everyone and everything you can. Keep reinventing your business: It is a never-ending process. Celebrate your own success, and the success of others as well. Competition in any negative way and animosity don't even have to exist in your world. Follow your bliss: Do what you love to do, work with passion, live with passion, and you will create a visionary business, in your own absolutely unique way.
25. With enough money and understanding and creativity, every major problem the world now faces can be solved. And money is infinitely available, if we know how to manifest it. So all we lack is understanding and creativity: All we lack is vision. One person's vision can change the world -- that has been proven in the past. Far more than one of us are now inspiring a New Renaissance around the world, an era of peace and prosperity for all. The ultimate purpose of visionary business is not to make money, it is to transform the world, by doing what we love to do, and what we're here to do, whatever that is.
Visionary Business: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Success
by Marc Allen.
About the Author
Marc Allen writes from his own experience as founder and president of a successful visionary business. Twenty years ago, he co-founded New World Library (with Shakti Gawain). He has guided the company from a small start-up operation with no capital to a major contributor in the independent publishing world.