Episode 14: Vision, Mission & Core Values, with Colin Sprake
ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Welcome, everyone. It’s Colin Sprake here with with myself, Colin Sprake, and I am talking around business today. Really getting you into thinking a little bit differently has been awesome. Now, we have those sessions just devoted to mindsets and getting you on the right page, doing the right thing. We’ve had some really amazing guests on the show as well.
Today’s episode, and I want you to really think about this, is about probably the most disliked, four-letter word for most business owners, and that’s the word plan. So, today, I’m going to rock and roll you and get you thinking about how to put a really effective plan together. I want you to think about this in absolute detail. I am going to get you to hit it right on the head, get going, and get you grow your business. Because here’s what I want to share with you today. It just fascinates me how many business owners do not have a plan for their business and they wonder why they’re not getting ahead. Well, guess what, like I said on the previous episodes around mindset, what you focus on expands.
So if you have no plan and you keep on saying, “I just want to survive today,” guess what happens? You survive today. You just think about, I just want to pay my bills right now, and guess what, you’ll just pay your bills because what you put out there is what you receive back in every area of your life. And I want you to think about this in absolute detail because it’s the same thing with your plan. When you put goals out there for 12 months or 24 months out from now, and you write them down and you set those goals, the universe conspires to make them happen for you. When you put nothing out there, how do you know where you’re going in your business?
Very simply put, a business without a plan, without direction, without goals, is like going on vacation without a destination. Imagine going on vacation or you’re sitting next to your honey at home and your honey says to you, “Where are we going on vacation?” And you say, “Vacation.” She’ll say, “Colin, that’s so ridiculous.” That’s most business owners. Their honey says again, “Honey, where are we going on vacation?” And you say, “Vacation.” It is so ridiculous and I want you to really get thinking about this today because when you have a business and your honey says to you, “What are you doing this week?” And you say, “Business,” and then, “What are you doing next week?” “Business.” “Where are you going?” “I have no idea.” That does not help you get to where you need to be.
So let’s get to discussing your plan today. I’m a big fan of a five-year vision and a 12-month plan. You should write that down. A five-year vision and a 12-month plan. Now, I want to really get you thinking about this. I want to get you to answer some really key questions to get you thinking of where you are going and what you are doing before I even get near your vision, mission, and core values. I want to talk a lot about that. I’ve spoken about that on a previous episode around the 12 heartbeats because the 12 beats have really built an eight-figure business for me and now I’m well on to a nine-figure business. Those 12 beats, I’m going to talk about today, and one of them is building an exceptional culture. I cannot stress to you how important culture is.
However, there are essential questions you need to answer first, and I’m going to go through them with you so you can think them through in some way or form for your business. I have people go onto my online academy and go through some of these questions, and it just gets them thinking of where they’re going, what they’re doing, and what they want to be when they’re growing a business. So this is a big five-year vision with a 12-month plan. Let’s get into this today.
I call these the essential questions to really figure out with what you want to do and where you want to go. So the first question is, why does your business exist? Why does your business exist? What’s the reason why your business exists? What are you doing? What do you want to do for people? What do you want to achieve? So why does your business exist?
Sometimes you might think my business is completely disrupting my market space. That’s awesome, but you have to understand why. If you ask me why my business exists, my business exists to support and grow entrepreneurs and to change the business world completely. Because for me, there are so many business owners, 94 percent of business owners go bankrupt within their first two years of being in business. I think that’s a horrific statistic.
So the reason why I created Make Your Mark, was my business exists so I can help the small business owner, like many of you listening to this just get ahead. Small business now, believe it or not, is less than 50 million dollars in revenue a year. Some of you are probably thinking, that’s crazy. You’re probably thinking that I’m nowhere near that. That’s okay. But you need to figure out, why does your business exist? Very simply put, what is your purpose? My purpose in my business is to change, believe this or not, to change the divorce rate in the world. The number one reason why businesses go bankrupt, the majority reason, is money.
Why do most relationships fail? Money. Fix the business, you fix the relationship and you fix the money situation. That’s the most important thing for me, so I am devoted to helping over a million business owners a year and that of their families and their friends. When a business goes out of business, it doesn’t just impact the owner, it impacts the family of that owner directly, and also the indirect family. Plus all their employees, their family members, their kids, and everything else. So for me, every time a business goes out of business, I say typically 30 to 40 people are impacted by a failing business, which I think is completely sad.
So that first question that you need to answer, why does your business exist? What is really your purpose on this planet? There are so many people who don’t think about this. The best companies in the world were started with a purpose and then they monetize. I want you to get that. The best companies were started with a purpose, and then they monetize. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, all started with a purpose and then they monetize. So many business owners are focused on how do I make more money? How do I make more money? How do I go and get more money?
What about serving people? How do I serve more people? How do I live on purpose and the money comes anyway? So make sure you answer that question, why does your business exist?
The second question is, what do you do as a business? So what do you do as a business? All the different pieces that you do as a business that need to be done. So, what do I do as a business owner? I do seminars, I do workshops, I do retreats, I do groups, accountability groups, all different levels, to assist the business owner to get ahead. So, the second question is, what do you do as a business?
The third question I want you to answer is, how do you do it? How do you do it? So, for me, if I go back to the what do you do, the second question, what I do is I help business owners grow a business to that next level, to get the results they’re looking for to achieve what they’ve never achieved before in order to actually do things they’ve never done, in order to get results they’ve never had.
How I do that is through a very set system of live courses, live events, live accountability groups, and an online academy. All combined together, they help that person achieve the results I’m looking for them to achieve. So, the second question is, what do you do in your business? And the third one is, how do you do it?
The fourth question I want you to answer today, for whom are you doing it? So, for whom are you going to do it? I cannot stress how important that is. For whom are you gonna to do this? Think about that, because most people don’t know who their clients are. If someone has a heartbeat, it doesn’t mean they’re your client, they’re a potential client.
But you want to get really clear on who your market is. So people said to me, Colin, you do different verticals in terms of different markets, different industries? No, I do a horizontal. My horizontal are typically, in my business, for whom do I do it? Startup business owners that have a very good idea of what they want to do in their business, through to about 1 million dollars in revenue are who I do business for, whether it’s a product-based company or a service-based company. I know for who I am doing it. I am very clear on that, and once you know that, you know where to hang out.
The final question is, what do you want to be? Now, I want you to think about that. What do you want to be? I want to be the number one entrepreneur trainer in the world. I want to have changed the lives of so many people, their families, and their financial situations so families stay together, grow together, and be prosperous together. So, let me go through these five questions again and I want you to write them down and answer all five of them.
Why does your business exist? What do you do as a business? How do you do it in your business? For whom are you doing it? You need to get very, very focused on that. What do you want to be? Now what do you want to be, you want it to be big picture of where you’re going and what you are doing. So I want you to think about this because these five questions, once you answer them in detail, help you get very clear on your vision and your mission for your business.
I’m gonna walk you through your vision and your mission until you really get clear on this. So you remember what I said earlier. You need to have this big five-year vision for your business. So, that question really answers the question that you answered at the end, what do you want to be? So, your vision statement and mission statements are very different from one another. A vision statement spells out goals at a high level and should coincide with the founder’s goal for the business. Simply put, the vision should state what the founder ultimately envisions a business to be in terms of growth, values, employees, contributions to society and the like, therefore self-reflection by the founder is vital if a meaningful vision is to be developed.
So, remember your vision is what you want to be. I want to be the number one entrepreneurial trainer of the world going out and changing the lives of entrepreneurs and that of their families. That’s my big, grandiose vision. In your business, your big vision might be to be the number one chiropractor in your city or to be the number one financial planner in your state or province. Whatever it might be, whatever your big picture is, what do you want to be? Get very, very clear on that. That’s your vision.
Then comes your mission. So really why do you exist? That’s answering that question for you. So the mission statement should be a concise statement of business strategy, and it should be developed from the customer’s perspective and fit with the vision for the business. The mission should answer three questions. What do we do? How do we do it? And for whom do we do it?
Really get clear on what your mission is because your mission is a step by step process of fulfilling your vision. Your vision is the big picture, this big grandiose picture, and your mission of why do you exist fulfills a step by step. All the different things you’ll do in order to achieve your vision. Please do not get these confused. So many people say do your mission and then your vision. No, no, no, no, no. You, as the business owner, you do your vision first, you get this big picture of where you want to be and where you’re going as a business, and then you look at your mission. What are those pieces that, in the terms of business strategy and development that you need to put together that fits with your vision and help in terms with helping you fulfill your vision? I cannot state this enough. It fascinates me how many people don’t really get this right.
I’m gonna share with you my vision at Make Your Mark for our company. The big grandiose picture for Make Your Mark is to be the number one entrepreneur in the world and chosen authority and understanding and adding soul and heart into business and to dramatically impact this access ride of business through influential relationship building so that it improves the financial viability, longevity and sustainability of businesses to enhance a life of the business owner their family, and the community that support them. That’s my big vision. Now my mission is this step by step process of fulfilling my vision.
Think about this, go back to those three questions in writing a mission. Why do you exist? What do we do? How do we do it? And for whom do we do it? I want you to get really, really clear on that.
So our mission at Make Your Mark is to create dynamic easy to follow systems, courses seminars, groups and processes for business owners and entrepreneurs that create a powerful learning environment both in personal growth and business education to sustain and grow the business owner, their staff, their families, and their business to outrageous levels of success.
You see how it works. The mission fulfills on the vision. And I want you to get that. People don’t really get clear on this. You need vision and then once you got that big picture your mission helps fulfill the vision of the company.
Once you’ve got your vision and mission done, you want to be sharing your vision and mission with everybody. You wanna share it with employees, prospective employees with your vendors. You want to be sharing it your customers. Why? Because your customers want to know that you’re growing your business. Your customers want to know what your big picture is and how you’re going to be a leader in your industry.
Your employees want to know that, your vendors want to know how they could support you as you grow your business. So once you’ve got your vision and your mission complied, then you put them up and you share them with everybody. Share them with your family, share them with your friends so they can support you on your journey to where you want to be in terms of fulfilling your vision of the company. I trust that makes sense for you as you go through. So I’d like you to get your vision and your mission really well done, and well laid out.
If you go to mymsuccess.com, my main website, under one of the tabs you’ll find our vision, mission core values, what have you. Make sure that you look at those and use them as templates to really assist you with getting ahead as well.
Now, I want to get onto one of my favorite topics, which is really the culture of your business and the culture of business so your vision and mission are drawn up by the founder of the company. If you are the founder and you are listening to this, then you draw up the vision and the mission. When it comes to core values, core values are a little bit different. I’m going to share with you how to structure core values and why core values are so important.
Core values represent the core priorities in the organization’s culture, including what drives members priorities and how they truly act in the organization. Core values are increasingly important and strategic planning, they often drive their intent and direction for organic planners. Developing a value statement can be quick culture specific. You may use methods ranging from highly analytical and rational to highly creative and divergent. My goal for you is to create your core values. Consider your values of your customers, your shareholders, your employees, and the community as a whole.
For me at Make Your Mark, I’m all about creating amazing core values and wanting to get you to think about the core values in your business. Think about what you do every single day, and remember core values are core to who you are today. These aren’t something you want to live in the future because that really doesn’t represent who your company is today. Core values are the most important thing I believe you can have in a company because it creates such an incredible culture.
The easiest way to think this through is to write this down, what are really your core values. You might say, Colin, I’m not sure what my core values are. I’m going to give you a question that might help you with this. One question that might get you thinking it through is, what really irritates you about people? And when you think through that question of what really irritates you about people, you might say, oh I get irritated by people that aren’t on time. So maybe you have a core value around time or a core value of respect, okay so you have people that don’t show up on time as disrespectful so you might have a core value around respect that’s so important to you. You might have something else that irritates you about people is people that never return your phone calls, well maybe that’s another one of respect as well.
So, I want you to think about this, what irritates you about people? Let me give you something to give you a chuckle. Here’s what happens. I see most people get really stuck in this, you go out, you hire somebody who is really, really good at what they do. They have the right skill set, the right talents, to do the job that you’re looking for them to do. They’re doing exceptional job, but they really, really irritate you and the other people in the company. They irritate them within the organization, and of course, what happens? You start to lose really good people. Why? Because that person, even though they’re very good and have the skill set, don’t have your company’s core values.
At Make Your Mark, my company, I hire on core values. I have a very set process for hiring on core values, and during that process, that one key question comes up. I ask the person being interviewed; what really irritates you about people? Then I see if they’re in line with my core values.
Here’s what I’d like you to do in turn with your core values. Start to write down what other core values are important to you. You’re going to write out individual words for now, and maybe combine them a little bit later into little mini-statements or what have you for each core value. I’m going to share with you the core values at Make Your Mark. Our core values are the following; community of trust, respect the individual, unconditional gratitude, commitment to excellence, open to possibility, and integrity. Those are our six core values, and you never should go over seven core values. It’s really important to keep it to seven or less. We have six core values.
Once you’ve got your core values laid out, you then need to define your core values. What I mean by define it is put a definition to what a core value means within your organization. If you don’t put a definition to each core value, people will start to develop their own definitions.
Let’s give you an example. Let’s say there were 10 people on your team. If you have the core value of integrity and you ask them what does integrity mean to them, they’ll probably give you 10 very different definitions. They may be very similar in some ways as well. Of course, integrity’s integrity, so what you need to do is first get your core values laid out.
Once you’ve got your core values, actually start to define each of the core values. If community of trust is one our core values, define it. Like I said before, the definition of community of trust is knowing we are doing the right things for one another all the time. So that’s what it means to us — knowing we are doing the right things for one another all the time.
Remember, your core values are something you put on your website. Share them with your clients, and share them with your staff. The reason being, you want people to be in alignment with your core values. You hire, you fire, you interview, and you review according to core values. I can tell you, I’ve worked with so many companies, and what fascinates me is how many companies say, “Colin, this person is so good at what they do. I love them. They’re awesome!” Yes, they’re really good at what they do, but they irritate the other people. In fact, really good people that have your culture, core values, and are good at their job will start to leave your company because of that one person that does not have your core values. They become a cancer to your organization, and that can cost you an absolute fortune.
Here’s the question that you’ll probably chuckle about. How many times have you ever worked with somebody, maybe in your work career prior to becoming a business owner, that is super good at what they do but they irritate the snot out of you? You’re probably laughing right now because those kind of people don’t have your core values. They are really good at what they do, but you cannot keep them in your company because great people will leave because of those people because they don’t share your core values. It’s really, really important.
So, for all of my core values, I like to define each one of them. Integrity is one of our core values at Make Your Mark, and integrity means doing the right things at the right time all the time. If you go and speak to any one of our team members at Make Your Mark and say, “Give us your core values,” they’ll give you all six core values and they will give you the definition for each core value because a definition is what we want that word to mean or want that definition to be for each of our core values not open to interpretation, in any way or form.
When you get your core values done, that will run the culture of your company. The challenging part I see with so many business owners comes after they get their core values done. Let’s go right back to the beginning of this episode. You get your vision done in terms of the big picture of your company, which are the step by step processes of fulfilling your vision, then you go and get your core values done, you get these done beautifully, you get the definitions of each one done and you go put them up on a wall and you put them up in your boardroom or whatever you might do, do it and you don’t live to them.
Remember, core values are for everybody. Core values are for your vendors, your customers, and your team as a whole. That creates an amazing culture with everybody, with all the people involved in making your business successful. When I shared my vision with our vendors, they get so excited, and then I shared our core values with them, especially with a new vendor that’s coming on board, and they know what our core values are. If that vendor does not do the right thing, is not on time with our staff, and doesn’t do what we expect them to do in terms of what they promised they are going to do for us, they lack integrity and we don’t work with those vendors.
You might say that’s really tough, but no, it’s not tough. Life is too short to work with people that really irritate you whether they’re an employee, a vendor, or a customer. We have the core value of respect the individual. That really simply means respect people and their property for the individuals that they are. We are all about respecting one another, so if we have a client that phones the office that is highly disrespectful to one of our team — maybe they phone in and use profanities or are disgusting to one of our team members at the office — we will phone that client. Some of those listening to us are a client of Make Your Mark, and this is how we live by this. If that someone phones us and is disgusting to us, we get on the phone and we’d say to them, that behavior is inappropriate. If that client continues to be disrespectful or out of integrity and at the end of the day does not hold community with us, we let that client go. We don’t need to have clients that don’t have our core values.
For you and your business, you’ll get really clear on this. In fact, you might have clients right now that you think you might need to fire. I can tell you, many of us have clients that over time we’ve got really clear on our core values and guess what, we only attract clients that have our core values. When you have clients that really irritate you, it’s too short. Life is way too short to work with clients. Yes, they might have money that you want, but if they don’t have the core values, it is so difficult to work with them. All that happens is it becomes confrontational between you. I want you to think about this today.
When you’re finished here — remember all about knowledge is potential power, implementation is power — I want you to get very clear on your vision for your business, I want you to get very clear on your mission. Your mission is how you fulfill your vision and get really clear of your core values. When you’ve done that, and I want you to get this done as soon as you can. Get your core values and all your definitions and your vision and your mission done.
Oh, sorry, I nearly forgot to say one thing. Your core values, if you are individual, by yourself in your business and you’re just a founder, then you do the core values by yourself. As you grow a business, if you have an executive team right now in your business, and you sit here and you’re going, wow, Colin, I’ve never ever done core values in my company, then you need to get your core values done. You can do it with your senior executive team.
Sit down, and take a day out of your calendar going through getting your maximum of seven core values of what is important to you. Get the core values done so you can drive what happens in your team as well because once you get your senior executives on board, you start to get amazing results, culturally, because your senior execs will only hire certain people to fill your culture as well.
In fact, I had a client here in Canada, and one of his core values was “will sweep floors.” I was like, “What does that core value mean?: It means no one is more fancy than anyone else in the office. it doesn’t matter if you’re CEO or the person with the broom sweeping floors, everyone will do whatever it takes to make the company successful. There’s no “I don’t do that, that’s not my job.” When things are busy and things are stressful and things need to get done, it doesn’t matter who you are, you will sweep floors if it comes down to that. That’s of their core values.
Your core values are what is meaningful to you to run a very successful company. So, your vision and mission are done by yourself as the founder, your core values done by yourself to start with if you’re by yourself in your business and then eventually done with your senior team. You can revise your core values once your senior team joins you and you start growing your business, but the most important part is your core values will dictate the culture of your company. Remember, you need to hire, fire, review, and interview according to the core values of your company.
So I trust you found this super, super awesome today! Get your vision done, your mission done, and your core values done, and I promise you’ll never look back. When people join your company, share your vision, your mission, your core values with them. Whether they join you as an employee, join you as a vendor, or join you as a customer, remember to live these every single second of the day. When you start to get very clear on this, you start to create an amazing culture within your business. The more amazing the culture is within your business, the quicker your business grows, and guess what? You start to attract really awesome people. In fact, you’ll have a line up of people wanting to work for you, and you’ll have a line up of people wanting to buy your products and services because you have a certain culture that attracts only certain people.
So, please, if you found amazing benefits from listening to this podcast, please make sure you review the podcast as well as write us a review and give us a rating as well, a really favorable review and a really favorable rating. I know that this stuff is sometimes the basic stuff. It is that four letter word, that most people don’t like, the plan of putting together your vision, your mission, and your core values. I want to talk about the actual plan itself coming up in the future where we really get you to work out your entire plan of how you’re gonna take your mission now, and break it down into a plan in order to achieve the vision that you so dearly deserve and that you so want within your business. I thank you for listening, be awesome, I’ll see you on an episode really soon. Make sure you give us a favorable rating and a favorable review. Thank you so much, and keep building your business, be at the top, keep implementing, and I’ll see you very, very soon. Bye!
– Episode 6: Marketing – Avatar – Who Are You Targeting?, with Colin Sprake
– Episode 7: Mentorship is Critical in Your Business, with Stephen Woessner
– Episode 13: Employees, with Glen Grant