2021 Women in Business Grant winner, Jessica Ritchie, is a brand and strategic marketing expert, public speaker and author who helps businesses to make their mark by having a clear business vision.
She recently joined us at the Brisbane Business Hub to share her multi-award-winning ‘Make Your Mark’ program, and teach attendees how to create impact and leverage their brands through the power of story.
Jessica’s session at the Hub focused on helping attendees to create clarity, connection and communication in business, career and life.
For those who couldn’t attend, here are Jessica’s 12 steps to creating your business vision.
Creating your business vision
As a business founder or leader, having a strong sense of self is important to anchor yourself to.
“When working with high performing women in business, I’m seeing a trend of putting ourselves last,” Jessica says.
“You have to discover who you are within yourself, so that you can lean on and trust in the decisions you make when things are tough.”
2. Self worth
Jessica says it’s important to acknowledge your value and the value of your business to ensure you are offering accurate rates and prices.
This is not something that can just be ‘set and forget’, but instead needs to be reevaluated as your experience – and value – grows, as well as the economy changes.
“A lot of small business owners can fall into the trap of undervaluing themselves and their businesses,” Jessica says, “and as such they’re giving away a lot for free under the guise of gaining experience or exposure.
“It can be difficult to put a dollar figure on your worth, but not having the confidence to value yourself and relying on your kindness, does not give your business or yourself what you deserve.”
3. Vision board
Having a vision for your business is the first step to getting your business from where it is today to where it can be in the future. Jessica says you need to give yourself permission to dream and know your WHY before you can give yourself permission to grow.
“The incredible thing about our brains is that they are really malleable and they can rewire themselves,” Jessica says. “This remarkable ability is known as neural plasticity and it allows us to train our brains for success. Visualisation is one of the most powerful and efficient ways that we can do this.
“A visualisation tool I like to use is a vision board. In the process of creating a vision board you can increase your clarity and focus, reduce stress and doubt, and provide actions that you can use to work towards your vision.
“While the focus can be on business, you also need to think about yourself. Unless you are the best version of yourself, your business can ultimately fall over. Your personal needs and visions being met will fuel both your professional and personal life and help you to motor your business.”
4. Unique gifts
Your business inherently benefits from the unique set of skills and experiences that you bring to the table.
“Do you know what makes you unique?” Jessica asks. “Do you know what makes you stand out from your competition in business? You need to unwrap your unique gifts so that they can be used to better your business.
“It can be hard to self-reflect and identify these, but they are important to know and utilise.”
Jessica suggests starting by asking those around you, who know you best, what your unique gifts are and what it is that makes you different in your industry.
Fears can come in a range of shapes and sizes, and can be masked in worries about what others might think of you, self-doubt, or the inability to make decisions.
“You need to understand and unshackle from your fears,” Jessica says. “Fears are what hold us back from gaining clarity and making our mark on the world.
“Bringing awareness to your fears and understanding how valid (or non valid they are) allows you to let go of your fears so that you can move forward with more ease, joy and flow.”
Jessica says beliefs are a choice – you have total control over the beliefs you choose to have in your life.
“Take the time to identify your beliefs,” she says. “What beliefs are not serving you for your best and highest good? Are these beliefs telling you the truth?
“Let go of any beliefs that are causing you harm and focus on creating beliefs that will support your business vision.”
Imposter syndrome can make you doubt your skills, talents, accomplishments and unique gifts, and it can come with the fear of constantly waiting to be ‘found out’ as a fraud by those around you.
“Instead of listening to your inner imposter, turn it into a composer. We all have the ability to be composer of our own songs which gives us power” Jessica says.
“Most of us have imposter syndrome come knocking on our door, but it is important to remember that imposters tell us things that aren’t necessarily true and hold us back from our vision.”
As the saying goes, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. Comparison can stop you from appreciating what you have and stealing the satisfaction you can feel from your own life.
“Don’t dare to compare,” Jessica says. “This rings true for comparing yourself to others both in business and in personal life.
“If you’re busy comparing and rubbernecking, all you’re going to get is a sore neck.
“Run your own race. Pave your own path. Stop that comparison.”
Values are standards of behaviour that you consider to be important. They shape your decisions and what you consider to be right or wrong.
Jessica says businesses should have their own set values that are focused on helping to steer management and employees in the right direction.
“Values are your guiding light, what you hold true,” Jessica says. “They help you to say yes to things that are purposeful and no to things that don’t serve you.
“Your values ensure you are heading in the right direction, towards your vision.”
Listening to your gut feeling when making business and life decisions can help you to make difficult choices, especially when you don’t have a lot of facts available to you. It helps you to take ownership of your decisions and be OK with the outcomes no matter what.
“This gut feeling is your intuition, or your inner guru talking to you,” Jessica says.
“If you don’t trust your intuition, you can lose everything. You need to be your own inner guru – all you have to do is listen.”
Integrity is a highly valued trait to have, and will help you and your business to build trust and loyalty with your customers and stakeholders. Businesses rely on having strong reputations, and integrity is a key building block to gaining this.
“Even when the eyes can’t see, you need to be choosing integrity at all times,” Jessica says.
All these steps need to act in harmony to create your business vision.
“Congruence can influence,” Jessica says. “When you are congruent, you are bringing it all together, being consistent and influencing those around you.
“When you act with congruence, you know you are doing what you say you’re going to do, you’re paving your own path and you’re making your mark.”