It seems obvious that having a clear vision for your business would be important. After all, if you can’t explain where you want to go, how are you going to get there?
Slowly and indirectly, that’s how.
It took us a long time to articulate a clear vision for Far Reach. The premise was there from the beginning, but it was often hidden under layers of other, more “businessy” things. Or it was stated as part of a broader, more mainstream mission.
As fledgling entrepreneurs, we thought we needed to do things "by the book." We wrote a business plan and had a mission statement that we really believed in. Even so, it took 10 years of experimentation—10 years of trial and error and learning—to get to the point where we could articulate clearly what had been there the whole time.
The key to bringing clarity to it, for me, was when I heard Simon Sinek talk about how a good vision is something you can see in your mind's eye.
He demonstrated his point using a brilliant quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in which King said,
"...one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."
That is a vision I can picture in my mind. I know what it looks like and how it would feel. It was when I heard that that I realized what had been missing from our vision for all those years. Thank you, Simon!
Many hours of thinking and many drafts later, we were finally able to describe our vision in a way that each member of our team could see in their mind's eye.
Everyone at Far Reach looks forward to work each day and, at the end of the day, feels fulfilled.
They can describe it and what it looks and feels like. So, even though the premise was there from our very first business plan, it's now the undeniable driver of how we do things. It’s woven into everything from hiring and onboarding to who we work with and how we work with them.
Not the end of the story
I'll be honest—it didn’t resonate with everyone right away. Some thought it was selfish and ignored the ultimate beneficiaries of the work we do: our clients. To address these concerns, we took it a step further and identified how we intend to fulfill our vision.
Create a workplace that values team happiness as the driving force behind exceptional work and our customers’ success.
Boom! Done! Right? Uh, not so fast…
Even with this, there was concern about using the word "happiness" so explicitly because it can be seen as superficial, temporary, and dependent on things being easy and fun all the time. We could have called it joy, which some people think of as a deeper, more meaningful contentment. In the end, we decided it's ok to define happiness for ourselves.
It turns out that, for us, happiness is learning and sharing. It's helping each other and continuously improving. It's getting stuff done. It's doing great work with clients we love working with and who love working with us. It's developing relationships, not just completing transactions. It's making a positive difference.
I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me.
We're All Winners
In describing the key to Whole Foods’ success, John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO said:
“Management’s job at Whole Foods is to make sure that we hire good people, that they are well trained, and that they flourish in the workplace, because we found that when people are really happy in their jobs, they provide much higher degrees of service to the customers. Happy team members result in happy customers. Happy customers do more business with you. They become advocates for your enterprise, which results in happy investors. That is a win, win, win, win strategy.”
This quote sums up the essence of our vision. We believe a happy, fulfilled team doing meaningful work ultimately benefits our clients and we work hard every day to make this vision a reality.
If you work with us, I hope you feel this way, too.
If our vision resonates with you and you would like to know more about what we do and how we do it, reach out.