After asking around a bit, I’m pretty much convinced that most people don’t really know what it is.
I’m also pretty sure that a lot of small business owners and independents secretly believe it’s not necessary. That it belongs in big corporate boardrooms and gets developed on expensive corporate retreats … and that it ultimately doesn’t amount to much but a lot of hot air and hand-waving.
If you’ve spent time as a corporate employee, or if you’ve been reading the business news over the last few years, I can hardly blame you for thinking that way. Hey, up until fairly recently, I’d’ve agreed with you.
But then I began realizing something.
I began realizing that my ability to make clear decisions about (for instance) what speaking engagements to accept, and which ones to turn down … about what networking events to attend, and which I can safely skip … about who’s a good referral partner and who might not be …
All those decisions – decisions I used to wrestle with – became instantly clear when I looked at them strategically.
I began noticing that my work with clients – defining their services, helping them find crystal clarity about who their best clients are – is really strategic work, and that it results in their being able to make better decisions as well. And – as they’ve repeatedly told me – results in greater focus on what they really want to do, and significantly more confidence about the true value of their work.
The dictionary defines strategy as “a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.”
I say it goes a LOT farther than that.
I say it’s the foundation and guiding principle of my business. It’s what I need to understand in order to make clear decisions about what projects to take on, which clients to work with, and who I want to connect with.
Knowing my strategy means I have certainty and confidence. I know what I need to know to be successful.
Instead of being dry and dusty, strategy provides my business with vitality, purpose, direction – and most of all, with ease.
And that makes strategy a whole lot sexier than I ever expected.
What about you?