Latest News | 30 March 2023

Helping business owners have the vision to achieve their goals

The Alternative Board (TAB)
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A tangible buzz filled the packed room at The Alternative Board Bondholders Breakfast event held earlier this year, as attendees wrote and shared their ‘personal visions’.

Even during this short 20 min exercise, some real lightbulb moments were evident. Here, TAB peer advisory board facilitators Julian Smith and Liz Horsey, talk further about the importance of having a personal vision.

Q: Julian, you’ve been working with TAB for over 12 years. Why do you believe creating a personal vision is so valuable?

JULIAN: Having a personal vision for your life is a game-changer. Most people have a vague idea about how they want their life to unfold, but it largely happens by accident. This can leave a sense of feeling unfulfilled and that life is passing you by.

To achieve a life beyond the mundane, it is essential to understand what that life looks like uniquely for you.

Every entrepreneur starts a business for a reason. They have an idea of how it will give them a certain life for themselves and their loved ones.

Often this gets lost along the way though, and creating a personal vision and personal goals helps to bring that clearly back into focus.

The company vision then drives the business to support that personal vision, and your overall goals and ambition.

Q: What do you think a good personal vision looks like, Liz?

LIZ: Every personal vision statement should be compelling and individual. It is first and foremost about you – your dreams and desires for the life you want to be living.

It should be something that lights you up, plays to your passions, interests, and strengths – that gets you excited about the future and becomes a magnet to drive you forward.

Whether that be making an impact, fixing a big problem, travelling the world, running a craft business, teaching others, rescuing animals, giving back to the community, having the space and freedom to read or paint in peace – whatever gives you a sense of purpose and inner contentment.

It can also include how you want to be feeling, your health and wellbeing goals, personal growth, who you want to be with, and where. It should cover all the important aspects of the life you are aiming for and truly value.

The business growth and development plans need to be aligned with that personal vision. The business should provide you with the ability to lead the life you desire. If it provides no significant outcome for you, why bother?

So many business owners treat business life and personal life separately. That’s just wrong.

A clear compelling personal vision provides the focus for business owners to not just concentrate on the day-to-day. It becomes their ‘why’. Their reason for owning, and investing time and energy, in their business.

Q: Do you have examples of how having a personal vision has helped your board members?

JULIAN: Absolutely! A lack of time is often the issue for business owners. Having clear personal goals to support a personal vision, aligned with accountability, gives focus, and a far better balance is struck.

This happens with all our members. Whether that be health goals, family goals, wealth goals.

Two members I have worked with created personal visions, which included clear exit plans from their businesses by the age of 55. They both achieved it, exiting as multi-millionaires, and are now living the life they dreamed of.

Another member now prioritises being home for the family in the early evenings, keeping Fridays free in order to focus on the business, and has significantly cut down on working weekends. The benefits to her and her loved ones is immeasurable.

Q: They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Can the Alternative Board help experienced business owners who are set in their ways?

LIZ: Yes, certainly. Gaining different perspectives from their business owner peers, often leads to a noticeable shift in approach by our members.

That thinking then leads to having markedly different priorities and plans, not least around focusing on actively bringing their own personal vision to life.

Q: What is your message to business owners out there struggling through alone?

JULIAN: TAB works with all types of business. Those doing really well, and those who are struggling.

The question the business owner needs to ask themselves is, if I always do what I have always done, will my results get any better?

Is it time to understand how I could benefit from shared wisdom and experience from those who are in the same boat as me? To be on the journey with others, rather than trying to go it alone.

There is no issue or challenge that can’t be aired at a peer board, and effective strategies discussed, bringing a different perspective to any problem.

Alongside this, a compelling personal vision ensures business decisions are taken within a clear framework, are aligned and more realistic.

*For more information about creating your own personal vision, or the other benefits of joining a local TAB peer advisory board, contact Julian Smith at or Liz Horsey at

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