Is Vision Really Critical?
Is Vision Really Critical?
Transcription of episode
[00:00:00] Oli: Hi there, everyone. This is Oli Bilson and I am with Mr. Trent Chapman. Hello Trent.
Trent: Hey, Oli, how are you doing?
Oli: And also Mr. Ryan Chapman, hello Ryan.
Ryan: Hey, it's a pleasure to be here!
Trent: We're brothers.
Oli: That's...that's good to know.
Trent: Yeah, it's good to know.
Oli: It just wasn't a coincidence that you have the same last name.
So we're here right now in Phoenix, Arizona after I just spoke at the Keap Infusionsoft Partner Conference. It was very exciting. How did you think my session went?
Ryan: Your session went well. It's too bad you didn't join my session, I also spoke at the Keap Partner Conference.
Trent: Yeah. Ryan's went well as well. I went to both, I saw both. I give you both a score of 10 out of 10. It was amazing.
Ryan: That's nice. Thank you, Trent. Well, Oli's was actually really, really good, which wasn't a surprise.
Oli: Well, I wasn't trying to deposition you by promoting myself as the only person in this little group that was speaking.
Trent: I do not speak, by the way. This [00:01:00] is Trent, and I didn't get to speak.
Oli: Yeah, but we are de-positioning Trent right now.
Anyway, we can follow on some of the things that we've been speaking about in the following, in the previous episodes about the four pillars of building a Next Level Business and, specifically, about converting your traditional business into a next-level business.
Ryan: What do you mean by by converting a business into a "Next Level Business"?
It's interesting because I was just making a comment in a Facebook group just before we started. Someone was making the point about Infusionsoft in particular just that it's really not for single person businesses.
I was like, absolutely! There's a whole host of people are very content to just have a business that makes enough to pay the bills. Essentially, they just want their own job, they want to be their own boss, but they really don't want to grow a business.
[00:02:00] So, is that what you're getting at with Next Level Business?
Oli: Yeah, so I think it's an interesting distinction. Because you're right, we all make an assumption that every business owner wants to actually grow.
Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.
Some people even tell you that they want to grow, but are actually scared of growing. That's actually another thing.
Ryan: I think it's scared, or they just don't know what to do. That's where the framework that we're going to be talking about that you've laid out in your business as you're helping other business owners is so important.
Oli: Well, it's belief. And when I say that, you're totally right in what you're saying because they may not know. So they have an opportunity to grow their business, at least they see that, but they don't have the capabilities.
There's this imbalance between their opportunity versus their capability. [00:03:00] That's what can often frustrate a lot of business owners and it can mean that they stall and they stagnate and they plateau, and they can never really get to the next level.
Trent: When you say capabilities, you're not saying that they're limited in the capabilities, it's their current capabilities that's limiting them.
Oli: Yeah, their current capabilities are delivering the results that they're getting right now, but really they need to level up those capabilities to match their opportunity and when they do that they can expect their business to grow a lot faster and being done in a way that allows them to actually grow, but without actually working more.
That's something a lot of people don't really stress enough.
Everybody can be busy and all the activity doesn't equal accomplishment. You can also find it where you can actually accomplish a lot, but everything is tied [00:04:00] to you.
That's the problem.
Ryan: Yeah. Well, what's interesting too is that, in my session (and you were still traveling in from Austin where you were speaking to digital marketer), what I brought up is that, there's gonna be things you don't know how to do. But there's something inside of you that saying, I got to learn how to do that because that needs to be done in order for the business to go to the next level.
I said, when you're looking for someone to help you, you got to be careful because there are the talkers and dreamers, these are the people that tell a good story, they sell the good bit, but they actually haven't done the thing that they're talking about.
And then there's the people who are Achievers. Some of those are eloquent, but many of them may not be. You want to look for the people that have actually done the thing that you're hoping to learn how to do versus the people who talk about the thing that you're wanting to do.
Being able to discern between those two is really important.
That's one of the reasons why I really appreciate Oli because [00:05:00] Oli has actually done this.
You've grown several businesses and you've grown several of those so that they can operate without your daily interaction, which is what it means to really create a next-level business.
Well, this created an interesting conversation last night as we were talking in the lobby. We'd finished our speaking and all that jazz and we were talking.
I was saying, "No, I think you have to teach people first the Phone Funnel Framework."
And he said, "No, they got to learn step one, which is vision." And I actually got converted to that.
Why don't you share maybe a little bit about that. Trent, you were listening in on that, what are some of your thoughts on that as well?
Oli: So I think a lot of people do get sucked into the sales and marketing first. That's what they gravitate towards because they think that's going to get them the results that they want. That's going to be the business that they want, that they dream of at some point in the future, but there's some challenges with going into that, and I'll explain that in just a few moments.
But, we first have [00:06:00] to slow down to speed up.
What I mean by that is we need to set a clear vision for what success looks like for the business.
Really, the sales and marketing is a strategy with a bunch of different tactics, but first we need to define what the actual strategy is. Therefore, we need to really evaluate, where do we want to... or, first, not necessarily where we want to be, but why do we even exist as a business?
And even though that's quite an obvious thing to say, some people have forgotten the reason why they got into their business in the first place and what value they bring to the marketplace.
Ryan: So when you say that, are you talking about just functionally-
Trent: Yeah, the service or the product.
Ryan: Why is that even necessary? Or are you going even a deeper level to like, what are we actually doing for our customer?
Because there's the mechanics of it, and getting real clear on the mechanics is really important.
But I feel like there's also that other [00:07:00] level of-
Trent: Real benefits.
Ryan: What is it that we're really trying to bring to the market with our solution? And not all of them are super deep, but I feel like there's still that component. So, what are you talking about?
Oli: Yeah, so I think it does stand deeper than that, because really it's the purpose. The purpose of why we're doing what we're doing.
And the thing with purpose is, it's never achievable. It's just the reason why we do what we do.
Ryan: Do you feel like this usually some sort of origin story almost?
Oli: It can be because it can sometimes be that you've got a skill or a specialism that's solving a particular problem and that's the reason why you started your business, because you're able to help people in some way, shape, or form and, in turn, they pay you for solving those problems room.
But really, people do get confused with what is part of vision.
First of all vision isn't necessarily about a hot marketing [00:08:00] tip or tactic to go and make money. And of course, as I've mentioned, everybody gravitates towards that to begin with.
So, first of all, we just need to figure out, why the hell are we in business in the first place?
For us, Next Level Business, it's to empower entrepreneurs to build successful businesses so they can live life on their terms.
Now we can never, ever achieve that, but that's the point. It's the reason why we do what we do.
Trent: It's your direction, where you're going.
Ryan: When you say never, ever achieve that, you mean for everybody.
Ryan: Some will achieve it, obviously, because I hear that goal and say, yeah, that's doable, but it's not doable 100% for everyone that comes in your door, so to speak.
Trent: Or even in your business.
Ryan: But it's a guide for us to also make decisions on.
Because once we know that, we've got a good understanding for who we're helping and the value we're bringing and the difference that we're making.
Ryan: So is part of this vision [00:09:00] pillar, because this is the first of four pillars in your Next Level Business process, is part of that your core values as well?
The things that like, "Okay, we'll never ever do this. We always strive to do that."
Ryan: So it's a series of these rules that you kind of set up inside of the business that are like, this is what we are and if somebody joins the business, that's got to be.consistent with who they are or they just won't stay in the business.
Oli: Yeah. So-
Ryan: And that's as a customer as well as an employee, right?
Oli: Both, yeah. So they're both internal and external.
Values are a really big part of the fabric of the business and often they stem from you as the entrepreneur, as a business owner. Because you want to bring in people to your business where there's an alignment with those values, and you should hire and fire to those values.
Once we've established why we exist, then we need to think of, what are we about in terms of [00:10:00] our values?
And then we can start thinking about, well, where are we going as a business? And that's where we get to a mission.
Trent: When you say, as far as the vision, though, for me when I think about that mission or vision, I'm also thinking about, as a business owner what am I creating for myself?
I don't want to create a job, necessarily. I'm a person that wants to create more autonomy and freedom.
So what part of your planning is that included as far as, what's the outcome I'm going for in creating this business?
I don't think anyone creates a business just so they could be busy and have a job. They're obviously doing it for the profit and for lifestyle and for maybe autonomy, so how does that fit in?
Ryan: It's a subset of those positions.
Trent: Yeah, because that's obviously got to be part of your plan, otherwise, you'll create a business you don't like.
So where does that fall into your vision or mission?
Oli: Well, I think you have to detach almost, you as the founding individual with the business.
And this is really interesting, because most people stick in the [00:11:00] operator model. And the operator mode or model is, you are your business and the business is you.
That's a very dangerous place to be. You may start there, but there is an evolution of your development that's also often intrinsically linked to your success as a business when you move from being mere operator to CEO or leader of your business.
Ryan: Is it appropriate for this conversation to talk more about that, or should we do it another time?
Oli: Yeah, I think we probably should dig into finishing Vision and why it's important.
Ryan: Let's keep that for another episode, but I think that's an important conversation.
When we've established why we exist, we understand what we stand for as a business and what we stand against as a business, as far as variants are concerned, both of those are important.
We then need to know, okay, where are we heading? What does success look like for our business?
Ryan: Is this when you start getting into more numbers?
Oli: Yeah. So this is more things that are [00:12:00] tangible, achievable, something that we can asses for.
Ryan: Like a revenue or a profit. margin?
Oli: Yeah, so we're like, we're gonna help this number of people in this given time period to be able to get our desired end result for the market, for example.
And by doing that, now we've got something that's very clear of what success looks like to us as a business. How many people-
Ryan: That's interesting, because in terms of our planning, we're thinking, we'll set goals in terms of revenue, we kind of know what our margins are so we'll try and keep those, but then when it comes to actual execution plans, that translates into people, how we affect them.
So we don't make goals on people in our particular business, we make revenue goals.
We understand that that means we got to affect people in a positive way in order to reach those, so when it actually comes rubber hits the road, that's where we start talking more about people.
But for your business, you guys actually set people goals?
[00:13:00] Oli: Yeah, so we-
Ryan: Is that like, you have an abstraction that that means so much value to the company?
Oli: Yeah, it's really important to tie people and responsibilities, well, responsibilities to people and roles.
Ryan: Oh, okay, you're talking about in the company.
Oli: In the company.
Ryan: It sounded like when you were saying your people goal, you were talking about people who were going to help.
Oli: Sure, absolutely.
That's really more about, so the number of people that you're helping is the number of customers that you're bringing through in a given time period.
Ryan: And are you thinking, it's part of your whole vision thing though, also this hard number of money?
Oli: I think it's an important leading metric to know that most businesses, and probably most people who are listening to this, are probably somewhere in the realm of zero.
Meaning they're kind of getting started, maybe they're beneath, $5,000 a month or so, right up to probably seven figures or more. They're not into an 8-figure [00:14:00] business. I think it's fair to say most people are in a small business that are listening to this.
Therefore, revenue and sales are important to the business.
And there's lots of things that drive those numbers and in order to help people, you've got to be able to sell. You've got to get your product or service in the hands of those people.
Ryan: It kind of sounds like what you're saying, the reason why we wouldn't start with the hardcore, rubber hits the road, Phone Funnel Framework is, pillar one is, you've got to know first, here's the direction we're going, here's what we're actually solving.
The more clear you are on your purpose and what you're doing in the marketplace, then the easier it's going to be to actually properly implement something like the sales process of the Phone Funnel Framework.
But, if you don't have that real clarity on, here's what we are, here's what we're about, here's what we do for people, then it can be really easy to start getting in these circular arguments, so to speak, of what you're doing in the rubber hits the road area and get lost.
When you [00:15:00] make a lot of decisions based upon your North Star, your Polaris star, if you wanna call it.
Your North Star is what you're heading towards and you're going to make a lot of decisions on who you hire, what you need to do in terms of sales numbers, how are you going to achieve it based upon all that?
So, the decision making process you make in the business are really related to that mission.
Ryan: I think that's probably part of the reason I was trying to kick off Vision to a later point, too, is because I assumed this was going to take a lot of time.
But really, you're drawing it out of yourself, so it shouldn't take an exceptionally long period of time to figure out vision.
But it's important because you need to understand that the business isn't just you. A business isn't a business if it just to revolves around you.
And to just talk to what Trent just mentioned about, a business that he wants to create, which is more about freedom and autonomy and the [00:16:00] lifestyle that you get as an effect of creating a successful business, you need to understand what the makeup of that business looks like.
Jim Collins has good way of putting this.
You've got a bus, and you've got a destination.
You've got seats on the bus and you got to put people in the right seats. You put people in seats, you've got to make sure they're in the right seats. And then you also may be in a business where you've got people on the bus in the wrong seats and you need to rearrange them, or they just need to get off the bus.
Ryan: But all that is predetermined by the destination of where the bus is going to.
Oli: Yeah, absolutely.
Ryan: And the rules of that bus.
Ryan: So that's why you're saying you've got to establish those first.
Oli: Yeah, because otherwise you're in the constant loop of sales and marketing, which will get you to a point, but you can never really celebrate success along the way.
The journey is not going to be a comfortable one.
I've been there, where were hyper successful in our growth [00:17:00] over a very short period of time, but that's not always sustainable.
You don't always bring people along for the journey to continue to support the growth of the business, and often, a lot of people have heard this expression of, what got you to where you are is not going to get you to the next level.
That's about those capabilities again, what capabilities you need.
So that's why vision is absolutely paramount and foundational to, really, I believe, most people start talking about it when they're in, maybe they cracked the first hundred thousand or a few hundred thousands, and they're thinking, how do I get to seven figures?
Well, that's fine, but it's actually applicable to virtually any business to get really clear on where are you going?
Ryan: Trent, have you seen, though, that when people are new to business that sometimes their vision is immature?
Trent: Oh, yeah, that's definitely going to be the case if they're new to business, [00:18:00] but I've seen that even people that thought they had clarity, and this is maybe something to talk about too.
They thought they had clarity in their vision, and it slightly changes as their business matures, which I think is okay.
To Oli's point, I think it's better to have something to start with that changes versus having nothing.
Your marketing message, your sales message will be much clearer If you have a clear vision.
Ryan: What have you seen people do that are mistakes when they're new?
Trent: It might just be unrealistic expectations of what their solution can do.
Maybe they're over selling and over-promising, and so I think they have a vision of they're going to create this thing that's going to change the world, when the reality is, it may not have that big of an impact.
They kind of get. Excited and I think that everyone's going to want their product and it's easy to sell, and so you get a little emotional about versus being realistic.
Ryan: Yeah, I think that's a common confusion, is to think that Vision means outcome. Vision doesn't equal outcome, and [00:19:00] vision doesn't necessarily have to be, I'm going to change the world.
It can be much lower on the hierarchy and needs than "change the world" and still be very successful.
I mean, if you even look at a company that most people probably wouldn't be thinking too much about, I guess if you look at something like McDonald's.
Terrible food, I don't think anybody would disagree with that, but yet very successful. And it isn't really in the food business, maybe, as much as the real estate business, and yet makes a ton of money.
Their vision probably is just, give people inexpensive food and provide a great way for franchisees to make some money and for them to collect great locations for real estate, I don't know.
But their vision can't be to the change the world, and that's fine.
It doesn't have to be, necessarily.
Oli: No, and I think that a lot of people associate [00:20:00] vision with things that large companies like that and corporations, that's what they do.
They do strategic planning. They do all of these mission statements and all this woo-woo kind of stuff.
And that's fine for bigger brands, but we've got to think of, as a small business, how do we know whether we're on track for really achieving our goals? How do we really measure that?
I think without putting some level of thought into vision, we're not able to really understand what we then also need to actually go ahead and do.
What investments do we need to make? Both in tools, resources, people, to be able to do it?
Because we know one thing, that if we are to achieve something that we have not achieved before, meaning you haven't gone and done this before, you're moving into uncharted territory.
And uncharted territory [00:21:00] breeds a lot of turbulence in that process because you're out of your comfort zone.
Because if it was everything that you've done before, if we'd have lived another life and we'd have creating a business that was wildly successful in the past, you'd be able to glean from that experience and know to help direct you.
But what Vision allows us to do is really start to stall out for what we're really trying to achieve and then we make a commitment, and that commitment is what drives us as business owners and entrepreneurs to be able to get there and actually do something that's meaningful.
Ryan: I feel like a clear vision also allows you to do one of most important things you can do as an entrepreneur, which is say no.
One of the mistakes I see a lot of entrepreneurs make is they don't know how to say no.
The main reason I don't know how to say no is they don't know what will bring them closer to the desired outcome or further away.
So, when you have a clear vision, even though, to Trent's point, it may [00:22:00] mature as you go along, a clear vision allows you to say no to things and yes to things.
Having some sort of way to be able to judge, "Okay, is this right for me right now? Is this going to get me closer to achieving the mission that we have is a business or is it going to pull me further away?"
It's really important because that's where a lot of the mistakes that we'll make as business owners occur, is our inability to say no to the right things at the right time and to not say yes to the wrong things at the wrong time.
Oli: And nobody is short of any creativity.
I think anybody listening to this would agree.
You're not short of ideas. There's lots of things you could do, but probably only so many things that you should focus on at any given time.
Then the question comes of, okay, I subscribe to that. What should I focus on?
And then that comes right back around to vision.
Ryan: Yeah. Trent, any closing thoughts before we wrap up this edition?
Trent: You guys said it very well, I've learned a lot just [00:23:00] listening to Oli's perspective on vision, getting a new take on it.
Ryan: Thanks, Trent.
Trent: I've heard your take on it several times, Ryan. We talk more often.
Ryan: Okay, fair enough.
Trent: I had not heard Oli's take, as of yet.
Ryan: What's the second pillar will cover in the next episode?
Oli: So, in the next pillar, we're going to talk about building a growth team.
Ryan: Ooh. That's going to be important. That's why, actually, a lot of people stall out, they're like, I don't want to manage people.
It usually comes down to, they're such a pain in the butt, I don't want to deal with them. But that locks you into a job instead of becoming a business owner.
Trent: That's where you get to challenge those beliefs. That will be an interesting conversation.
Ryan: Yeah. I'm looking forward to it.
All right, thanks for joining us on this episode. We'll catch you on the next one.
Keep moving forward.