Craft a Guiding Ambition Statement
Let's talk about making your vision a reality. Here as we get started this morning. So we're gonna start off by crafting a Guiding Ambition Statement. Your Ambition Statement is why you're here. Why you matter. Why your business matters. Oh, it's coming, it's coming, this is gonna be good. (laughter) Because, in order to create a plan, achieve focus, know your priority on any given day, you have to know, why your company exists, and what you're trying to achieve. Now, maybe that sounds pretty basic. Maybe you're thinking, Tara, I've been in business for a long time, I know why it exists. I exist to pay my bills (laughs). Or maybe you exist to help people craft better brands. Or maybe you exist to help people decorate their homes. Or maybe your company exists to help people navigate life transitions. But why does your business exist on a community scale? On a societal scale? What are you contributing to the greater good? That's where we're gonna start today. Because I think every good g...
oal has to be grounded in that kind of ambition. So let's take a look at this, what this all actually entails. So your company exists in three different parts essentially. Who you are. Which is, what your company actually does. What it is that you offer. What it is the value that you bring to the market. What you're changing. So, how you help people change. What you change in individual people's lives, in organization's lives, in community's lives, what are you changing. And then finally, why you matter. What is that quite grander scale purpose behind your business. And all of those things together, are then what you contribute to the common wealth. And when I say common wealth, what I mean is the wealth that we posses as a culture, as a society, as a community. Let Umair Haque tell you a little bit more about that. And now you know I'm flipping through slides really fast here, but it's all in your workbook too (laughs). So Umair Haque wrote this book called Betterness, and in this book he envisions a better way to do business. That's what Betterness is. So, if business is all about busyness, betterness is all about being better. And I believe that one of the reasons that small business, that micro enterprise is really taking off today is because that's what all of us want too. We are intrigued, we're inspired by the idea of entrepreneurship, but beyond that we're inspired by contributing of ourselves on a much greater level. And when we actually remember that on a daily basis, when everything we do is kind of ground into those goals, when the foundation of our goals and of our planning is built on that greater purpose, that greater contribution that we want to make, that's one really good way to stay out of the weeds. We get into the weeds when we forget what we're contributing when we forget why we are really here. And we can get out of the weeds or at least start getting out of the weeds, take a few steps up when we remember what we're contributing. So in the book Betterness he says, "Your our ambition answers the elemental question "why are we here? "by painting a detailed picture of the kinds of wealth "an organization wants to add to the Common Wealth, "our communal wealth. "It's a precise, concise statement that expresses "how and organization will blow past profit "and redefine the very concept of returns." Who here likes profit? (audience laughing) Yes, I like profit too. I love money. I love money. And, I also love this idea of redefining returns. Redefining all the ways that my business can create profit. So what if, we'd stopped just looking at profit as financial returns and started looking at profit as organizational returns, knowledge returns, cultural returns, community returns. All of your businesses have that already. What we're here to do today is to draw that out and allow you to easily articulate it. So, I made you a mad lib, because who doesn't like mad libs. (audience laughing) Right?(laughs) So, this is sort of my basic mad lib for defining your ambition for kind of putting you on the path of starting to define what your business adds to the common wealth. So, this is what it looks like, very simply. We are a, type of business, that helps, ideal customer, by, value proposition, or, you know, what you're helping them change, so they can, achieve their goal. Our goal is, and that's why you matter, alright? So again, the type of business that you run and I like to be super straightforward with this, I'm not into those fancy titles and weird things that people call their businesses, I like it to be really clear. You're a coach, you're a consultant, you're a designer, your business is a design agency, your business is a consulting firm, right? Or a photography business. It doesn't have to be something fancy I love it to be straightforward 'cause we're gonna get to the fancy, right? We're going to get to that deeper purpose. Your ideal customer, everyone clear on their ideal customer? Good. That's not this class we have other classes for that (laughs). Your value proposition is simply what you are contributing for your customer, how you're changing their life, what value you're adding for them. I mean, I could show you an example of this in just a second so don't worry. And then, you need to tide up value proposition to your customer's ultimate goal. Why does that value that you're adding to their lives, matter in the bigger scheme of things. So exactly the way that we're starting off this class, talking about your vision and your goal, you need to think about what that is for your customer too. Because your value proposition only matters in terms of that larger goal, the same way your action plans only matter in terms of your larger goal. And when you can articulate that, you've really taken the first step to articulating your greater ambition. And then our goal is to, the why you matter section, is what you're actually changing on a societal level. How you're contributing beyond just producing financial returns? And how you are contributing to the greater good. So let me give you an example and this is the Ambition Statement for my company CoCommercial. We are a business association that helps digital small business owners by providing direct access to insider information and honest conversations so they can create a positive impact in their communities, families, and themselves. Our goal is to turn today's small businesses into the economic powerhouses of tomorrow. Because I believe that the economic powerhouses in our society have some of the greatest influence on what our society looks like. And I Believe that if my company helps you to take the reigns of power, to realize the power you already have and to enact your influence, we're gonna live in a better world. So that's how my business contributes to the greater good. But let me tear this down for you, okay? So, we're a business association, that's the type of business we are, that helps digital small business owners, that's our ideal customer, by providing direct access to insider information and honest conversations. That's the value proposition. So they can create a positive impact in their communities, families and themselves. That's the customer's goal. Do you guys wanna create a positive impact in your communities, families and yourselves? Yes, that's your goal, that's why you're here, right? And so, we help you achieve that goal. And then our goal is to turn today's small business owners into the economic powerhouses of tomorrow, that's why we matter. If I didn't have a goal like that, this would all be nice, but it wouldn't matter, it wouldn't have that purpose behind it. So it all make sense? Questions? Who wants to give this a try? Megan.
Oh no, I didn't know I was volunteering.
(laughs) You are volunteering. (audience laughs) Come on up (laughs).
I thought we were all... (laughs)
We might have all been, but you said yes out loud and so now you get to sit in the chair. (laughter) Anyhow, this is gonna be easy for you.
Good times. (laughter)
Alright so, I have our mad lib up here. I'm gonna bring our mad lib back up over here and I'm going to find my pen. There we go. All right. So, Megan, first of all introduce yourself to everyone and tell them about your business.
Okay, hi my name is Megan Roop and my business is Quite Adventures and we help women who are in transition, through our at-home and outdoor adventure retreats.
Excellent. So, what type of business do you want to say you are for the purposes of this?
Well that's part of the one thing I sort of get stuck on sometimes so, I definitely see myself as coach-in-retreat leader, just simple. But, we as a whole feel like we're so much more but maybe for the simplicity of this exercise just coach-in-retreat leader.
I want you to actually talk about the organization as the whole. So let's say, maybe you're a retreat and adventure company?
Okay. I could've picked something smaller for me to write. Retreat and adventure company. 'Cause we're gonna get to like the coaching aspect later on, right? So that helps who's your ideal customer?
Women in transition.
What was the by?
The by is your value proposition. So what are you changing for them?
A lot of things (laughs).
Okay. When people buy, why are they buying? What result is that they're looking for?
They want to get on the other side of what they're currently going through if that's... Most women who come to us like 99.9% are, you know, dealing with maybe leaving a job or starting a business or trying to reshift their career, or contemplating if they want to have children or not, or redesigning some aspect of their life right now if it's their marriage or just how they take care of themselves.
Okay. And how do you help them do that? What skill are you teaching them? I'm leading you a little bit 'cause I know (laughs). But you say it. You're doing it through teaching them outdoor skills, right?
Well, we teach, we do both so we have our outdoor adventures which... On those retreats we teach the outdoor skills as well as self-care practices, so that they learn how to take care of themselves on a daily basis. And then the outdoor aspect, they don't know this (laughs) but
That's what makes it so--
teaches them the resilience and the strength and how to be with discomfort, that then translates back into their daily life. And then the at-home adventures or retreats are more about the self-care, like at-home adventure aspect.
Okay To integrates. Oh, actually, we're gonna put this down here. So they can integrate resilience into their daily lives. We'll put that down there and then what is your big goal? Why do you matter? Why does Quite Adventures matter?
I was writing notes when you were saying that and started brainstorming things. So this is more about what we're changing on a societal level, correct?
What did you say for yours? There's something that--
Our goal is to turn the small business owners of today into the economic powerhouses of tomorrow.
Yeah, I felt like a resonance with that but it wasn't about, it's more about helping women uplevel themselves in like every aspect of their life.
But I was brainstorming ways to say that more articulary.
Yeah, and I wonder if there's something too that you could do there about what women who uplevel their lives contribute, like what happens when women uplevel their lives?
Yeah, our communities, our families, our relationships, every aspect of society is improved when women are at their very best.
Okay, let's say that improve families and communities through women being their very best. Obviously this is gonna need to be tweaked a little bit.
But, I think it's a really good start. So, we're a retreat and adventure company that helps women in transition by helping them navigate change and teaching outdoor skills and self-care practices, so they can integrate resilience into their daily lives. Our goal is to improve families and communities, through women being their very best. So that sound good?
That sound good to you guys? Any suggestions, improvements? Anything you're just like burning to say? No? Okay (laughs). I'm always open to suggestions. Great. Thank you.
Do you have any questions?
This is good.
Thank you. I appreciate it. All right, so, that takes us through to ups, no, one more, there we go. I would love to hear from you guys, but also from you guys out there (laughs). What your Ambition Statement is. So if you've filled in that mad lib already, what I'd love for you to do is go on Twitter or go on Instagram and tag me and let me know, and tag creativelive too, let me know what your Ambition Statement is. All you have to do is take that mad lib, that we just did, and make it work for your business. Make a post, you can use a pic to take a selfie, maybe there's a picture of something in your home office that really represents that Ambition Statement, post that on Instagram or of course, you can hit me up at Twitter. I'm @taragentile you can tag @creativelive as well and today we're using the #standoutbiz and #neweconomy. You're not gonna have room for all of that, you will on Instagram, that's why I gave them all to you (laughs). But I'd love to hear your Ambition Statement. Did any of you guys get a chance to finish the mad lib yet? Yes.
We are a full-service public relations firm that helps tech entertainment non-profiting corporate brands to foster brand affinity and target market engagement, so they can maximize their visibility and reputation. Our goal is to help brands reach their target markets and consumers.
Awesome. The only thing as I would love, that last sentence to be... Again, tapping into that kind of common wealth, common good societal difference piece, so what happens when brands when brands connect with their target markets?
They're able to help them, you know, so for example if it's non-profit, you know, if they're reaching their desired target market, if that is minority groups or battered women or whatever the case may be. It helps them to actually reach those people.
And those people are able to access their programs, or if it's a non-profit that helps out upcoming, you know, any merging businesses. Businesses are able to connect with them to give potential funding or courses etc. So, what I do helps people to be able to actually help others
So maybe the last statement could be something like, our goal is to help brands realize the change they want to make for their customers or for their market.
Does that make sense?
Yeah, 'cause I think especially with a business like yours or like mine, I think just about any B2B business, part of what we do is help other businesses get closer to their purpose, right? And to create the change they want to make. And so if you can tap in to that, that's the why you matter, alright?
Yeah, thank you. thanks for sharing your example. Anybody else? Now I know we've got to point it out really fast. Yes.
I am a designer who helps groups working towards social justice by helping them communicate clearly and creatively so they can make positive change in their communities. My goal is to use design to level up communication for people who have important messages to communicate.
Yes, I love it. Good work. Thank you
Thanks. And then you out there, I want you to post on Twitter or Instagram and let me know what that Ambition Statement is.
So you launched a business and made the leap.
Congratulations! But now you are a year or longer into being a business owner and you are HUNGRY for more.
You have put in the hard work to build your business to where it is today but big decisions about what to focus on and what opportunities to pursue, threaten to slow your progress.
You want to make the right decisions for your business and your customers so you can feel confident, focused, and accomplished as a small business owner.
Goal-setting & Planning To Grow Your Standout Business helps you make the right decisions about your ideas, opportunities, and plans so you can earn more money and save time on the path to your dream.
Whether you’re offering a service, selling online programs, or designing a product, Tara guides you step-by-step through setting the goals and creating the plans that will grow your business. By the end of the class, you’ll have a framework for knowing:
- What to focus on to grow your business without working harder
- How to know which project comes first so you’re never backtracking
- How to know you’re making the right decisions for your business so you can achieve your vision
- How to set goals you can actually achieve with the resources you currently have
Tara is a bestselling CreativeLive instructor, with a wide variety of business classes including the first step for entrepreneurs, Build a Standout Business. She is the founder of CoCommercial, the business association for digital small business owners and the author of the book Quiet Power Strategy. Tara’s work has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., and Design*Sponge. Her podcast, “Profit. Power. Pursuit.” was named one of the top women-hosted podcasts for entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur magazine.
By the end of this class, you will have a clear vision of what you are building, a clear path to build it, and a project plan to take you closer to turning your vision into reality.