To Thine Ownself Be True

On this blog we offer a lot of advice and tips for small business and entrepreneurial startups. We give you a lot of options of things to do and consider.

At the end of most of these, we say something that we believe is so critical we’ve decided to write an entire blog about it.

KNOW YOURSELF AND YOUR ORGANIZATION

There are a lot of choices to make as a business owner. And a lot of these choices don’t have a right or wrong answer … unless your question is should I file taxes, to which the answer is yes. Always yes. Your business advisor can give you guidance and perspective, but at the end of the day, the decision is yours.

So how do you decide? Know yourself and your business. You know why you got into business in the first place. You know what your hopes and your dreams were when you started your entrepreneurial journey.

SCORE talks about two things that are vital to startups, but often misunderstood and confused: vision and values.

  • Values are “part of your business DNA” (meaning they don’t change). Ask yourself why your business exists at all and what it stands for.
  • Vision is “future-focused” as you look at where you want to grow to and what you want to accomplish over the next 10, 15 or 20 years. This is why we harp on you to do a business plan (forgot about this one? Here’s your refresh). While your vision can change and shift, it’s important to have a solid understanding of at least what direction you’d like to head.

We believe that vision and values are both part of knowing yourself and your organization. These things are uniquely yours and will help define your entrepreneurial and business journey. By holding tightly to your values and casting forth your vision, you will be better equipped to answer the questions that come your way and embrace feedback, all while maintaining the integrity of your organization.

“Take more advice. Mix people’s views into a cup. Stir them around. Think about the motives or experiences of those offering advice. Think about whom you trust based on past advice. Think about your own situation and overlay it against the frameworks that others offer … But in the end follow your own gut. That’s why you’re a founder.” (source)

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