Episode 381: How I Found The Courage To Create A Bigger Vision For My Business

Episode 381 - How I Found The Courage To Create A Bigger Vision For My Business

A big vision creates a solid foundation for your business, and impacts your business’s long-term growth. It helps you become clear about your business, in ways that are aligned with your values.

But one of the ways perfectionism manifests for us in business is in goal setting and dreaming big for your business. This can often feel confronting and unsafe for perfectionists, and in today’s episode, I chat about why and how I changed that for myself.

If you have trouble setting a clear and specific vision for your business, tune in to hear my journey to becoming someone who is not only committed to my long-term business plans, but willing to share them publicly. This episode will help you open yourself up to a bigger vision for your business.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode381.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Why I’ve struggled with creating a big vision for the business until 2022
  • How setting a big business goal creates a solid foundation for both your business AND personal growth
  • Why perfectionists hold themselves back from committing to their business plans
  • My journey to creating a big vision for my business (and what that vision is)

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Perfectionism often holds us back from dreaming big in our business. In today’s episode, I chat about why and how I changed that for myself. If you have trouble setting a clear and specific vision for your business, this episode is for you.



Hi, and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project, a podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release that perfectionism handbrake so they can get out of that way, and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the Power Planning Course and Perfectionist Getting Shit Done, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business, you can follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject.

Sam Laura Brown

In a few recent episodes, I have been talking about creating a bigger vision for the business and the impact this has had. And I really want to do an episode on this specifically, because I think it’s such an important thing for perfectionist to be considering. Because often, the way that our perfectionism will manifest in business, one of those ways, is as it relates to goal setting, and being a visionary and allowing ourselves to dream big, and to feel safe in dreaming big. And that’s something that I didn’t feel emotionally safe to do, until very recently. So I just want to share a bit of that experience with you, as well as how it’s looked for me over the years, and that I’ve still been able to grow the business significantly, to have big goals and all of that kind of thing.

But it really has been an evolution to get to a point where I have that emotional safety and security, to dream big to actually set a big vision for the business, to be that be something that I talk about publicly and that I share with others, and that I am committed to 100% not just like, oh, wouldn’t it be great if XYZ like, actually just been so committed to it being willing to have that as a decision filter for the business that we are thinking about our growth goal for the year, yes, but we’re also thinking about our bigger goals that we have, and making decisions more so based on that. And so yeah, I just want to chat about it.

Because it might be something that you’re experiencing, that you either when it comes to goal setting or even on a yearly basis, you have trouble with setting big goals for yourself, and maybe the Growth Goal process, you can learn this in the power planning course, we also talk about it inside PGSD. But the power planning course covers everything you need to get started with your growth goal, that when it comes to that, that might be something that is confronting for you, or brings up a lot for you. Because you’ve tended to just be going with the flow and like this mindset of you know, I’ll get what I get, and I won’t get upset sort of thing.

And just being scared to actually say, This is what I think I’m capable of achieving. I’ll talk about that a bit more in this episode. But that’s something that really has come up for me that it wasn’t so much even this fear of disappointment or letting myself down. Probably in the early years, that was a bigger thing that was there. But it was really like not wanting to appear to be unintelligent or unrealistic. And to actually just say, “Here’s my goal”. And I really believe I’m capable of achieving this and being scared of being laughed at for that or have people think like, Who does she think she is.

So if you can relate to any of that. And if you have trouble setting a clear and specific big vision for your business, or even for the year, or whatever that looks like for you, then I really encourage you to listen to this episode in entirety and just be hearing about what my journey has been like because I think it will open up something for you and help you create some emotional safety around it so that you can do that. Because it is so important.

As I mentioned, having that bigger vision for your business is what will really help you make solid, long term decisions, and have those decisions help you also meet some of your short term goals. But really be able to build a business that is in alignment with who you want to be what you want to do the contribution that you want your business to make.

Rather than kind of being just focused on the next big milestone that’s coming up and reaching out. I’ll talk about that a bit more in a second as well. But it’s really going to help you create such a solid foundation for your business to grow. And also ask for your personal growth as well. It will require more of you personally, in the best way not in a way where it’s going to be taking time away from friends and family or your health or anything like that.

But it is going to really require you to step into that next version of yourself in a way that you don’t need to do when you set realistic goals. Goals that you can already achieve that even though that might be tempting and appealing. And recently I saw something online that was saying about like you know if you’re a perfectionist, if you’re someone that puts a lot of pressure on yourself, like your work is to just not set goals, and to take the pressure of yourself by not setting goals.

And I can see where that’s coming from. But in my experience and working with hundreds of perfectionist at this point and coaching them that even though we want to say like, okay, maybe my work is just just not have a goal at all, that actually having a bigger goal for yourself, but learning how to achieve it in a way where you’re not putting pressure on yourself and hustling and all of that, like having the goal, be the tool to help you unlearn those things is so much better and more effective than setting a goal so small, that it lets those perfectionist beliefs and tendencies just kind of be there but be unnoticed.

We want to actually do the work on them, and change the way we see ourselves change our relationship with ourselves so that we can have big goals. And we can pursue them in a way that really does feel good to us. Rather than it being this like, well, you should just not set any goals at all.

And so that is another reason that I really believe in the growth goal and having it be something that does require you to grow in order to achieve it, that a lot of times we set goals that we don’t have to grow in order to get there. And we might need to make, you know, a few new habits or different things, but we don’t need to create significant growth. But when that goal is that bit bigger, it really brings things to the surface that don’t come up when we have a realistic goal. And that really helps us do the work on our perfectionism. And that’s what we do with the help of power planning. And also inside PGSD we really go into that.

So with this, as I mentioned, I have struggled with creating a big vision for the business basically since the day I started my business. So in 2013, I started my business as a blog. And for me, I had come from listening to podcasts. That was how I found out about blogging and all of that I just happened to be listening to business podcasts because I was listening to psychology once because I just wanted something other than radio ads to listen to, on my way to and from work. And they the podcast app offered up to me, I think like the TED talks, one I was listening to.

And then based on that all these business podcasts, which I’m so grateful for whatever algorithm that was, because I wouldn’t be in business. Without that I don’t believe I would be maybe I would have found my way here somehow. But I just listened to those podcasts. I surrounded myself all day every day with all these stories of entrepreneurs building online businesses. And they created so much possibility for me that I started my own business as a blog. And I really I’ve talked about this so much before but I had so much like this is really what had me recognizing or starting to recognize that there was something going on here like that I was smart, I was intelligent enough.

But yet, I was doing all these things that were getting in my own way and sabotaging my success. And I was so scared to tell anyone about the blog. And I didn’t tell anyone about it for ages and I was posting things and editing them after they’re already posted. And working in spurts of motivation. Like I’d post something every day for a week. And I had not post for a few months and things like that, like all of that was going on. And so at that time, when I started, I don’t think I had like any kind of financial goals.

I didn’t even know what I was going to be selling like, there was just no concept of that initially. But because of those podcasts I listened to that I did have the idea the possibility that I could potentially have this blog, this business be something that would eventually support me full time. At the time I was a university student, I have a degree in law and a degree in commerce majoring in Finance as well, which I graduated from in 2015.

Because at that time, I was a university student and that was the path that I was on like that corporate track. And I had this idea from the people podcasting is one of the reasons I love podcasting because of how much of an impact it’s had on my life. But I had this idea in my head of being full time in my business, but it really just felt like I didn’t know exactly what that would look like. I didn’t even know how I was gonna get there. It’s felt so far away, it felt just so unrealistic, but also very possible at the same time.

Maybe you can relate to that when you have a goal and it feels like unrealistic but completely possible. And you’re kind of in the doubt about it and in full belief at the same time. So I had a lot of that going on. And I was really just thinking about initially those first few years not even like making money because I didn’t have any kind of expertise so to speak that I could think about even making money from I’ve only just gotten into the world of personal development and always been interested in it.

I hadn’t really been introduced to it fully. So I’d only just gotten into that I was sharing bits and pieces from other people’s blogs, and YouTube channels. And I thought this was interesting. I thought that was interesting, but not really having my own viewpoint on things yet. And so it took me a little while to learn more about that, about personal development and really, really develop my own approach to it and things like that, which is something I’m still working on. I think it’s the fun of it, that that’s a lifelong thing. But all of this to say that, in the beginning, it just felt so scary to have any kind of financial goal around things. And I had this idea of being full time in the business. But that was so vague.

And I just remember I had this idea, like, I wish I really want to be full time in my business. By the time I graduate from uni, as I mentioned, that was mid 2015 that I graduated. So it’s like I have a couple of years to get my business to a point, it could support me full time. But because I wasn’t doing goal setting, I definitely didn’t know about like, planning properly as a perfectionist. I hadn’t figured that out yet, I barely figured out I was a perfectionist. So come the time that I’m graduating, and I still haven’t made a single dollar in my business. So I just continue down the corporate path.

But I had this idea that it could actually be possible for me. And then to not go fully into my story. And I show that in different episodes on the podcast. And there’s one actually I did if you are in that kind of transition of wanting to go full time in your business, I think it’s episode 125 called full time. Also called something to full time entrepreneurship. Anyway, I go through my journey there. So I won’t rehash it all here. But I eventually offered a course saw that started making some money. And I was able to start thinking about letting myself dream about being able to go actually go full time in the business.

For me that ended up that I actually went back to a part time job that I had not the exact job I’d had before but a similar job, so that I had more time for the business. And I went through the whole realization that full time didn’t mean I was getting more done. But anyway, that’s for another day. But I was able to then, with that, like I let myself think about how maybe I could actually now making some money, I could actually think about having my business be the thing that would support me rather than it just being this pipe dream.

And I was able to start taking steps towards that. At the same time, I’m very much focused on the milestones of making 10k per month, which was like the next major milestone I had in my head. But like from day one, the 10 came on design I’d heard about and had on a pedestal, just part of the reason to me to get there because I had on a pedestal meaning I was holding it apart from myself and not allowing myself to identify with it. Anyway, so had the 10k month and then beyond that the 100k year.

And then beyond that the 100k month, and then beyond that, the million dollar a year and so on and so on. But I was just basically working off, like, I have these milestones, the first of which is really though kind of blended together in a way. But having a 10k month in my mind meant like, I’ll be able to go full time in my business. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that just having 110 K month isn’t enough to go full time if someone has a risk tolerance, I do, which is I wanted to be able to have consistent income coming in not just like a month of 10k, and the next month would be 2k, or whatever that is, I wanted recurring income.

So I did end up going full time in my business in July 2019. And I had that recurring income, and all of that kind of thing. But again, I was just kind of working on yearly goals or like the next major milestone. So whether that was full time in the business or the 10k month, which for me to come before that, or the 100k year, which came around the same time that I was actually already making more than 100,000 a year when I went full time in my business.

And there’s a whole lot of reasons for that just being so scared of leaving with then having to go back and looking like a failure and whatever. And then really just thinking about okay, now that I’ve had 100k year, I want to have 100k month, and now that I have actually done that multiple times, then it’s still been like a lot of times what I can do, it’s okay, I want to have a million dollar revenue year.

And so what has been going on during that process, basically 10 years, is me being scared to vocalize even to myself where I wanted the business to go longer term like thinking about five years 10 years and not just being like I want to be full time or making X amount of money, though that’s still relevant and I’ll talk about that in a bit. But really just having this idea like when I had heard people talking about like, this is how many people I want to impact or, you know, this is what I want us to do that I think I had a lot of times shamed myself for not being able to think in that way, like not giving myself permission to think in that way.

And then feeling like, maybe I’m selfish, or maybe, whatever, like, there’s something wrong with me that I’m not able, like, maybe it means I don’t actually have good intentions with the business, which I know for sure I do. But you know, how we question ourselves, or we’re just like, you know, like all these other people, I see. Like, I want to impact this many people and do all these things. I just couldn’t get myself there. And I made it. I made myself wrong before that, which wasn’t helpful. And it wasn’t intentional. I did, everyone else is doing it.

But it’s only really been in 2022, when I actually really found the courage to have a bigger vision. I’ll talk about a few things that helped with that specifically, in this episode. But it was only when I really started to do that, that I recognize how much fear I had had around creating a bigger vision for myself and why that was happening. And so as I mentioned, I think a big part of it was not so much the fear of disappointment, and like letting myself down and not achieving it. But this fear of being perceived by myself and by others, as being unintelligent, or unrealistic or unreasonable.

This kind of this has basically been some of my biggest work throughout the entire journey of my business, is that like, at every level, I’ve had to do the work on untying myself wise from being perceived as smart or intelligent, or reasonable or responsible, whatever you want to call it, like all these different words for it, that I’ve really felt like I am, maybe I’m not the smartest person in every room, I definitely don’t think I am. But I do have this self image that I am someone who is intelligent, and it has felt very scary to put myself in situations where that might be proven to be untrue.

Especially because it was done with well, intentions, but like the academic environment that I grew up in, and just I think, like society in general, that if you do get good results on tests and things, even if you did it last minute, and you didn’t put in a full effort and pull out an all nighter or whatever, that you get praised for that result. And I’ll look You must be so smart. And I feel like I’ve talked about this before, but I feel like subconsciously part of the reason I even chose to study law, like I was interested in it and finance to but also like, that was a smart person thing to study.

And so it just like kind of fed into this self image I have of like, I liked it, even though I’d never actually admit that to myself, even when I would say I’m doing a law degree and people be like, Oh, you must be so smart that like, it’s embarrassing, even now to say that. But I think unconsciously, that was something that was really going on that I had a lot of my self worth tied to appearing to be smart or being smart. And so that really informed so many decisions that I made. And it meant that it was really scary to do things that might be inconsistent with being a smart person, or that might put that self image or that identity that I have under threat.

So who does she think she is? The heads in the cloud. Like that was the kind of thing that I was really scared of not even like other people saying necessarily, but I was thinking those thoughts about myself. So of course, when we do that we project it onto others and think they’re gonna think that so just as a side note, if you are scared of what other people think, and there are certain specific things you’re scared they’re think it’s because you’re thinking those things yourself. So really uncovering for myself in 2022 that I had just been scared or like felt unsafe around dreaming big.

But a couple of things really happened to help me open myself up to that. The first thing that kind of started laying the foundation for this. So in 2022 I was in Stacey Boehman’s mastermind and exercise that she has everyone do is a three year plan. And this is basically creating a goal for yourself or in three years from now our revenue will be XYZ, in three years from now our revenue will be a certain amount. And then you think about okay, if that’s where we’re going, then what changes need to happen in order for us to get there.

And that helps you identify things you need to start working on now because we tend to underestimate how soon we need to make those changes. So just even thinking about the business in a longer timeframe, then yearly increments was really beneficial. Even though when I first did that exercise, I definitely wasn’t fully committed to the three year plan that I had created in terms of revenue, and I just kind of did the exercise and it was helpful but I, I wasn’t all in on it.

But I then ended up redoing it later on in the year. So in October, and it was really helpful and also helped me notice that with that it would be so beneficial for me to have an even bigger than that vision and that like a 10 year vision, and that I didn’t need to be scared of having that big vision anymore. And I really want to credit with this as well, Brooke Castillo who, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you know that I love and adore her and I’m still such a big fan of her work. And she I think in 2018, maybe 2019, 2017 even started talking about her vision for her business.

Which was $100 million in revenue in a 12 month period. And that being I don’t know exactly what year it is, but like 10 years from the time that she said it, and that was the goal she was working towards, and just hearing her repetitively talk about this vision. And like not being shy about it and not apologizing for it, or all of that just like be like, this is the vision that I have. I think that has been really huge and allowing me to have a big vision for myself than I have witnessed someone else.

Even though I don’t know her personally, I have witnessed her, setting that vision, working towards that fulfilling on the steps along the way, making massive progress towards that. And that has created so much possibility for myself. And this is why I do talk about numbers on this podcast in terms of revenue and things like that, like it just it has created so much possibility for myself.

And so I’m grateful to Brooke and to Stacey and to everyone who I’ve ever listened to on a podcast or in any other format. But podcasting is my favorite, because they have created so much possibility for me. So anyway, with this three year plan exercise, I just started to dabble in, okay, like less actually think a bit longer time than a year. And in terms of what really got me to actually be like, I need a big vision for the business. It was when it came to identifying that I wanted to hire my first full time employee. And Leila Hormozi, who is a genius when it comes to operations and hiring and all that kind of thing. And you can look her up online.

But I think it was in a YouTube video, maybe it actually it was probably in a podcast interview of her being interviewed, that she was talking about having a vision and mission and values, which isn’t groundbreaking, we hear this a lot when it comes to having goals for your business and like the different things like you need to have the values etc. But she was talking about when it came to hiring, if you want to hire “A” players, that you need to have a vision that their vision for their career can fit inside of.

And that if you don’t have a big enough vision, then those “A” players, those top performers, aren’t going to be attracted to you or your business, because they have bigger plans for themselves. And they are seeking out an environment where they can grow, where they can evolve, and where they can see like my vision can be housed, so to speak within the vision that this business has like this, this business is going to be able to support my growth not just for the next year or two but much longer time. And so that was really what gave me the kick in the ass so to speak, to actually have a bigger vision for the business, a more long term vision.

And to really have that be something that not is that we could aspire towards. But that we are committed to that we talk about in our business that we make decisions against that we use as a tool for that. It’s not just like, okay, you know, I have this little planning session with myself, I set this big vision and then it’s never spoken about, but it actually becomes a part of the company culture that this is what we are working towards. A part of our identity, not in an unhealthy way, but in a sense of like, we’re fully committed to it. This is what we’re working towards.

This is the kind of business we are. We’re operating at this level from now, not just like when we get there, but you have to start operating that way now. In alignment with that in order to eventually get there when you when the time comes. So that really was the instigator for me to actually be like, Okay, I can’t just be like, I can’t expect to attract someone into my business, the kind of person that I want. And I’m here like, cool, our goal for this year is a million dollars, and what’s beyond that, I can’t really tell you, I needed to have it be bigger than that.

So I also noticed as well, that not having a vision meant that it was harder to tell whether the people who are currently on my team were a good fit or not for the business. That because I wasn’t clear about where we were going, that I couldn’t be clearer about where my time was best spent not fully, and that I couldn’t also be clear about each team member’s contribution to that and whether they were going to be with us on that journey and whether I could see them be part of the team, when it’s much like further along, so to speak when we’re closer to that vision that I have for the business and it meant that it was hard to just really decipher.

Who is best on the team, not as in who’s better than anyone else, but like, who the best fit is for the team, and what that team needs to look like. And who actually might have been a great fit for the business when we first started, but now they’re no longer in alignment with the business. So the vision, like I just noticed how not having that vision made it really hard to figure out who to hire, it made it really hard to figure out who to keep on the team, and all those kinds of things.

So in terms of the vision, and the mission, so the mission is getting entrepreneurs, perfectionist entrepreneurs out of their own way. And really with that by being an example of a growth mindset by us as a company, as a business, and also myself personally, and everyone who works in the business, being an example of a growth mindset. But it really been about getting perfectionist entrepreneurs out of their own way that is the mission that we serve.

And I’m so passionate about that mission. And I could go into a whole spiel about it. But just through my own experience with perfectionism, and noticing how much that held me back in business, even though I was smart and capable, and I was making some progress, and all of that. But the more that I’ve released my perfectionism, the more my business has grown, the more I’ve enjoyed growing my business as well. And that by us helping perfectionist entrepreneurs get out of their own way. I really believe businesses change the world.

And so every perfectionist entrepreneur, we get out of their own way, like unlocks this whole next level of contribution and impact that that entrepreneur and that business is going to make that like I couldn’t be the person to build that kind of business or make an impact in that kind of way. But that person who could has their perfectionism handbrake stopping them from doing that fully. And by me, helping them with their perfectionism that they can actually make the full contribution they want to me like that. For me, is why we do what we do, and is the way that we change the world through like helping you get out of your own way.

So you can change the world in your own way. And like doing that, then not just with a handful of people or a few 100 people, but having that be a much larger number. And in terms of the vision, because I mean, Brooke Castillo recommended, I was going through her entrepreneurial management course, and she talked about having your vision be in terms of the vision of the company, I might be butchering this a bit, but the vision of the company and having it be in terms of revenue, rather than it being in terms of helping a certain number of people have that kind of thing.

Obviously, there’s so many different approaches, but I just decided instead of overthinking all the things like I’m gonna go with that approach. And that feels in alignment with me to do that. Because I know from experience that having financial goals has required so much personal growth, and is what has allowed me to really do so much work on perfectionism and really have this business that is successful, and also having a successful personal life as well.

And not just being one or the other. And that money goals is just I have found if approached in a certain way, like we do, it’s a growth call, it’s such a great tool for personal growth. It’s not just about making money for the sake of making money. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you’re making money in a way that’s in alignment with your values, and what you believe in, and is in the highest good of everyone involved.

So the vision for the business is that have 50 million Australian dollars in revenue in the year 2031. I chose that year because that’s the year I turn 40. And then a 5 million Australian dollar revenue year in 2025. So we also have within that like how Growth Goal for 2023 is a million Australian dollars in revenue. And it’s not too particular either about okay, like how much we need to do in 2024. And whatever it’s making decisions now in alignment with say, for example, hiring the marketing manager and that kind of thing, like I could see my marketing skills on getting us to 5 million, maybe just, they’re not getting us to 50 million.

And so I have done my bit on the marketing side, I will still be involved in that. But it’s now time to hand over the reins and like to put my energy into training someone up, not in terms of their marketing skills necessarily, but in terms of empowering them in the business and handing things over to them to delegating fully, etc. So that they can begin building out that marketing side. Eventually they will have a marketing team under them that they lead. And yeah, I could just see when I had that vision like okay, I know exactly where I need to stop spending my time.

But when I was just doing the yearly goal, I still think that’s so important. But when I was just doing the helical Also, it meant that it was really challenging to see like, what should my next hire be, and things like that. So that is essentially the story of how I found the courage to create a bigger vision for my business and how I really overcame the fears that I had around creating the bigger vision. Hence, why I talk about courage because courage is taking action in the face of fear. And that when I did set that bigger vision, it did feel scary, it did feel like a leap to step into that.

And at the same time, it kind of felt like coming home, as cliche as that sounds, to actually be like, oh, like, just the relief of, it’s not about just chasing the next milestone, but I actually have this bigger contribution I want to make and I can actually vocalize that and acknowledge that and work towards that, and bring a whole team along with me as we pursue that. So hope does open up some things for you just had you doing some reflection. And yeah, it’s just it’s been so beneficial for me. So anyway, with all that said, I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.


If you want to make sure that the hard work you’re putting into your business isn’t a waste of effort, then I invite you to check out the power planning course. It’ll teach you had to plan properly as a perfectionist with power planning so that you can get out of your own way in your business. And so that every hour you put into your business gets doubles the return. You can find out more and sign up today at samlaurabrown.com/powerplanning.

Author: Sam Brown