3 Key Points in this Episode:
- The dream the leader is pursuing is fundamental to business success.
- The dream itself may not need to evolve but how you achieve the dream will most definitely need to evolve.
- How you evolve over time will dictate the level of success you will have.
Episode 118: I believe that leaders need to have a dream that transcends their own personal desires and is squarely focused on changing the world of the customer the business is designed to serve.
This dream becomes the cornerstone upon which everything else is built upon. In many ways, this concept is fundamental to long term success in business but is also just the starting point.
Once a business has a leader in place that is pursuing a dream the business can really start to develop. But once the business starts to develop the dream may need to evolve to fulfill its design of changing the world for its customer.
That is what episode 118 is all about.
To build a better business I believe that leadership is the foundation.
That leadership is largely comprised of developing and pursuing big dreams of making a real difference in the lives of the stakeholders in that business and the community it is a part of.
If this is the focus of the leader and the business from the very beginning, then the dream itself will be significant enough that it should not need to change for a very long time, if ever.
For example, Michael E. Gerber has had the same dream for over 40-years. His dream is to transform the state of small business worldwide. But when you think of Michael E. Gerber’s career you will see that what has evolved is not the dream but how he has fulfilled that dream.
Listen to episode 64 of the podcast and you will hear in Michael’s own words exactly how his career unfolded.
For the purpose of today’s conversation, I will summarize his career.
Michael and his business partner Thomas created the business coaching industry in 1977 when they started the Michael Thomas Corporation which later evolved into E-Myth Worldwide.
Michael has written dozens of books starting with the now famous E-Myth Revisited book which became an expansive series and he also wrote other books like Awakening the Entrepreneur Within and Beyond the E-Myth.
Now Michael has launched Radical U, the only trade school for entrepreneurs. Radical U is Michael’s final herculean effort to fulfill his dream of transforming the state of small business worldwide. He is 83 after all.
What is your dream?
The dream of your business is fundamental to your success and it must be significant enough to make a difference in the world – at least the world of the customer you serve.
On my journey, I started pursuing my dream of helping business owners by helping 6 entrepreneurs launch their own businesses while I was operating my contracting business.
Since selling my contracting business in 2016 my dream and how I am pursuing it has evolved. I have coached and consulted with many more business owners and have lost count how many people I have helped start a business the right way from the beginning.
I wanted to expand how many people I could help and in late 2016 I started a BLOG called Influence Revenue. This blog was moved to jamieirvine.ca in 2017 and is now under my personal brand.
Then I launched a course called The Blueprint of a Great Business when I was a guest on Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas. You can listen to that interview by going to episode 1 of this podcast. I later turned that course into my book of the same title.
Next, on March 25, 2018, I launched my podcast called The Jamie Irvine Podcast for Entrepreneurs. That evolved into what you are listening to today, the Build a Better Business podcast.
It took me time to work out the language that describes my dream. It took time to explore different methods of communication and platforms to distribute my message.
This is exactly how I recommend you evolve your dream.
You must start somewhere. You must put it together and take it apart and put it back together again until you get it right.
It is great that I can now say to you:
“My name is Jamie Irvine and I am the host of the Build a Better Business Podcast and my dream is to teach business leaders how to build a better business in three specific ways; by being a leader with a dream and employing managers that lead and employees that care.”
It took time for that to evolve and in the months and years to come, I will continue to change and adapt in my pursuit of that dream.
The dream must come into clear view.
You get clarity when you articulate how you will fulfill that dream. Once you have that figured out you go to work, and you discover that some of your plans for fulfilling your dream work and some don’t. As you uncover what doesn’t work you adjust and the way you fulfill your dream evolves.
There really isn’t any other way to go about it. It takes time, commitment, and discipline which is why so few business leaders have a legitimate dream.
When I ask business leaders what their dream is, I get basically two answers which can be summed up this way:
“Grow in sales” and “serve our customers.”
You can see how those answers are lacking specificity, commitment, and vision.
What if you discover that not only how you pursue your dream but your dream itself needs to evolve?
I’ll talk about that after we hear from our sponsors.
This episode is sponsored by:
Our friends at Screen to Fit by Profile have provided me with 10 free personality profile assessments. These profiles are valued at over $400.00.
If you would like to know exactly what kind of personality profile you have or if you would like to screen an employee to find out where they are best suited within your business, please go to jamieirvine.ca/profile. The first 10 people who sign up will receive a free profile assessment and everyone will receive valuable information about this personality profile assessment including access to 7 videos not available to the general public.
How to Evolve the Dream for Your Business
We are back from our break, the question we need to answer is; what do you do if you discover that not only how you pursue your dream but your dream itself needs to evolve?
As in my personal story, you don’t always get the dream right the first time.
The best way to evolve your dream is by including your customers, employees, and even other partners like suppliers, lenders, and investors in the conversation.
The input that you should be the most interested in though is the customers.
The business you are trying to create or develop is going to succeed or fail based on how many customers you can acquire and how well you fill their needs and wants.
The entire business must be focused on serving this ideal customer.
All your systems should be designed with the customer’s needs and wants clearly in mind. Even systems that don’t directly involve the customer should be designed so that the person that the system does impact is better prepared to serve the customer.
So, let’s use We Care Contracting to illustrate the way that you should evolve your dream over time.
When We Care Contracting was started in 1998 the sole proprietor had a dream of building a large renovation business. The idea was that this business was going to be different than other contracting businesses that often took advantage of people who were not well informed.
The dream was to build a better business that employed people who cared about the customer and were honest and had integrity.
Not a bad dream but the owner knew she could do better.
The next iteration of the dream came when the owner decided to systemize the business and she understood that she needed to give her employees something to aim for that transcended her own personal aspirations.
She understood that her employees needed to care about something that was meaningful to them, not just to her.
The team at We Care Contracting helped the owner develop a new dream. The dream was to help their customers fall in love with their homes all over again. The idea was that by renovating people’s homes and doing things the right way the first-time people would fall in love with their homes and home is where the heart is.
Again, this evolution of the dream was not bad but as the years went on the entire team saw that there was a segment of their customers that were particularly vulnerable, and they started to talk about how We Care Contracting could be part of the solution.
After consulting with their customers, their suppliers, and the medical community the team at We Care Contracting developed the current iteration of the dream for the business.
At We Care Contracting the dream now is to transform the homes of elderly people to ensure that they can be at home safely and for as long as possible.
The research is clear that elderly people who can live independently at home for longer periods of time are healthier, happy and live longer.
You don’t have to push anyone at We Care Contracting to do their jobs, they are absolutely committed to changing the world for this vulnerable segment of the population.
The reality is that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither will your business. Some people create a dream in their mind for their business and 40-years later they are still working on it. I have always been jealous of the kids who at 10-years old are like, “I’m going to be a doctor” and they grow up and become a doctor.
That wasn’t me. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I was a kid and I am now closing in on 40-years old and I feel like my dream is just starting to come into clear view but there are some fuzzy areas that need to be clarified.
My advice to all you dreamers and greatness seekers out there is this:
“Set your sights on the best version of the dream you can come up with and start working toward that. You have to have a direction, something to aim at, and in time you will adjust your aim as needed.”
As Reid Hoffman said, “starting a business is like being a pilot who jumps off a cliff and assembles the plane on the way down.”
This brings episode 118 to a conclusion.
On Tuesday, I am going to introduce you to Lukas Resheke. Lukas and I talked about how to find and apply the right message in your marketing.
Talk to you on Tuesday.
This podcast sponsored by:
If you are hiring a new employee, I highly recommend that you use the Screen2Fit recruitment platform by Pro.File.
I use FreeeUp to find high-quality freelancers to help me run my business and you should as well.
Every business needs a website and I have used Gerrit and Trackstar Web Design since 2012 and so should you.
I use Process Street to create systems in my business and I highly recommend that you use Process Street as well.
Thank you for listening and I look forward to talking with you soon.