What is a vision statement? It is a clearly stated desired outcome for the future of your business. It’s what you think your company will be like in one, two, five, ten, or however many years down the road. A clear vision statement makes each business day a bit easier. Many different challenges and obstacles will arise, but a clear vision will allow you to prioritize that which will lead you to your goal. And this clear vision is another item wealthy Americans have in common. Your vision statement gives you the correct direction to take at any given moment and having that focus and direction empowers you and your business to take the right steps.
A vision statement consists of 3 steps: why you are doing this business, how you will get there, and where your final destination is.
As you are determining your final destination, understanding ‘why’ this is your final destination is important. Are you building a business so you can create a legacy for your family? Or fulfill a lifelong passion or dream? When you’re ‘why’ is greater than any obstacle you come across, you will find the power to overcome any obstacles that get in your way.
Your actions and vision must match. If they do not, then the business will not perform. I remember speaking to a gentleman who was trying to make the transition from job to real estate investor. He’d been looking into becoming an investor for a couple of years but never really got going. I asked him what he wanted to get out of being a real estate investor; how he wanted to be living his life 7 years from now. He told his vision: to sit on the beach in Hawaii, sipping fancy drinks all day, and cashing in ‘mailbox’ money without the hassles of having to manage anyone.
I asked him what real estate strategy he was going to use. He told me he was a handy craftsman, and as such, he wanted to be a fix and flipper. Specifically, he had about $100k in the bank, and he wanted to use it to buy a house at a discount, repair himself, sell for a profit, and live off the income.
Vision: lay in paradise living off of passive income
Course of action: build a business around himself, where he has to do all the work, and leads to transactional income, not passive income.
Results: 2 years and hadn’t even submitted an offer.
His strategy was in no way related to what his ultimate passion was. No wonder he hadn’t taken action in 2 years!
When assessing what it is that you want to achieve out of the career of being an investor, you will need to assess what you currently have to offer. There are four main reasons why people fail in real estate: lack of knowledge, time, money/credit, or an abundance of fear. Of those four, which do you have plenty of and which will become an obstacle?
For example, a new investor may not have much money, credit, or knowledge, and they may be scared to take action. But they may have a lot of spare time. If time is a premium for the individual, then they may be able to connect with someone who has a job, money, credit, and knowledge but doesn’t have the time to find real estate bargains. Understanding one’s own advantages and how that fits in with others can help determine what strategy they should focus to getting into this endeavor.
The second item you will need to consider is what do you like doing? For me, I enjoy money. But I don’t enjoy the labor that goes along with earning money. Most of my adult, professional life has been spent as a manager, leading others to do the dirty work for me.
Would performing fix and flips be a good idea for someone like me? A hammer in the hand of a craftsman is a true work of art. A hammer in my hand is a weapon of mass destruction! How should someone like me proceed in Real Estate?
I absolutely look for opportunities to create transactions that do involve repairs, such as fix and flips and short sales. Why would I be involved in a business that is built around a skill set that I lack? Because I am highly skilled in the art of dialing a phone and delegating these tasks to someone more qualified than I.
Seriously, a fix and flip, rehab, or short sale repair is not a task I have any interest in performing myself. Rather, I look at a fix and flip as an opportunity to analyze the property in its current state, create a plan, acquire capital for the project, monitor performance, and sell for a profit. This process fits in with my goal of creating profitable transactions without performing manual labor! Plus, if I’m not physically involved, I am able to perform, or manage, multiple projects at one time. And, realistically, I could do this from a beach in Hawaii, provided I can get phone and internet service.
Many new investors make the mistake of believing owning a business is doing all of the work themselves, and this fatal assumption causes many investors back into the workforce.
Millionaire Quote: The Fatal Assumption is: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does technical work. The reason this assumption is fatal is because it is not true. The technical work of a business and a business that does technical work are two different things. – Michael Gerber, The E-Myth.
There’s real power in writing down a vision statement. Something about the act of putting your vision or goals to paper that turns an intangible idea into a reality. Remember, it’s important to have thoroughly evaluated your strengths, weaknesses, goals, values, inclinations and resources before you develop a vision statement. The statement should contain:
• Your ‘WHY’ for being in business
• Your ‘SACRIFICES’; the actions you’ll take to create the reality embodied in your vision
• Your ‘DESTINATION’; the outcome you desire
Put a lot of time an effort into your vision statement because it will (or should) guide every business decision you make. And don’t fall into the trap of creating the kind of fluff too often found in corporate brochures – words and phrases that sound great, but that lack any true meaning. Be specific and brief.
A formula that might help you get started if you’re stuck is:
I use my __________ and __________ to ___________________________.
For example, “I use my analytical, managerial, & sales skills, and passion for financial freedom to create a profitable real estate business that I can manage from anywhere.”
That brief statement is easy to understand, it has real meaning, and it’s specific. For me, this statement reminds me that I don’t have to know how to lay carpet or install cabinets. I choose to create a business that establishes processes and systems to accomplish these tasks. My role is to not only manage them, but to manage them from afar!
This statement works for me, but will not work for other people. The trick is not to duplicate others statements, but to invent your own! Consider all possibilities. Now create your vision statement.