Start with the end in mind

Do you own a business? Perhaps you are thinking about starting a business? The question I get most often from people who are thinking of taking this leap of faith is, “how do I start?” The question I get most often from those in business already is, “how do I improve my business?”

Regardless if you are a current business owner or someone who has aspirations to become an entrepreneur, there is only one answer for you. Forget about the baby steps, the granular details, the ‘how’…start with the end in mind.

Ask yourself, “What legacy do I want to leave?” Another way to ask this question is, “What does my business look like when it is finally done?” Then take time to answer the question.

There are a few ways of answering the question and the best way depends on how you operate naturally. I give my clients three options: Draw a picture, write down the answers or speak your answers and record them.

When we have this clear picture of our legacy, of our business when it is finally done, only then can we take action steps to making it a reality. Here are a few of the items to consider when formulating your answer:

  • Who does my business impact?
  • What problem am I solving?
  • Why am I uniquely qualified to open this business?
  • When I am gone, what impact does the business leave on those left behind?
  • What does my business do for my family?
  • What does your business look like? Be specific. Is it in a house, a commercial building or is it a virtual business? What colors are on the walls? What does the furniture look like? How many employees do you have? Do they have a uniform? What does your business smell like…seriously get THAT specific.
  • What is a ‘day in the life of’ my business? For example: “I wake up at 7:00 am, three times a week, work out and go to the office by 9:00 am. My 10 employees are smiling. Orders are being processed and we are working on the final steps to an invention that eliminates emails. I hear the ding ding of Internet orders being fulfilled. The wall leading to my office are covered with happy letters from clients. I conduct my meetings and am out the door by 1:00 pm. I work a few hours a week and the rest of the time my days are devoted to my family.”

DREAM BIG! Use your imagination; really think about your legacy and what that business looks like when it is finally done. If you drew your vision, wrote it down or recorded it…put it in a place that you can reference it each and every day.

As you look to take steps to improve your business or start a business, measure your actions against the vision. Are your actions moving you towards the legacy?

Now that you have your legacy, the picture of your business when it is finally done, it’s time to get going:

Tips for Breaking the Rules and Launching a Business

1. Start Something. Got an idea, a million ideas, start working on it. There are no rules (well actually their are but forget about them) to getting started. Just start. I started with pictures on my walls with what I thought my business would look like when it’s finally done. I didn’t do a traditional business plan but instead, I opted for an action plan. Working full time, I came up with a few things each month I wanted to accomplish.

2. Trust your instincts. Your guts will tell you if you are on the right path or not. You were born with innate strengths, trust them!

3. Look the naysayers in the eyes and say “nanner nanner nanner I am doing this anyway”…but use your inside voice. All great ideas started with someone or many saying it could not be done. Let that be fuel to your fire.

4. Forget Fear. It has no place in your future. Come on, you’ve dealt with child birth, temper tantrums (some from kids) hot flashes, gravity, can do this. You can be a business owner.

Being an entrepreneur is about leaving a legacy, not just about making money or even building a business that can sustain itself. You can build a business and work for someone else if that is your goal. It’s about freedom, it’s about something bigger than you, it’s about building something that fuels you and feeds others.


Lisa Baker-King

Author, Consultant & Business Expert

Connecting Families-Celebrating Children-Changing Companies

Lisa Baker-King is a nationally recognized and televised author, consultant and coach who is creating a movement to break the rules and celebrating what is RIGHT about us. She is passionate about helping families; organizations and small business owners find and pursue their passions with purpose. With over 20 years coaching small business owners, families, educators and children; Lisa is certified coach, specializing in KolbeTM. Kolbe is the science of human actions, reactions and interactions. It’s the instincts that drive individual and group behaviors personally and professionally.