Adopting a Strategic Mindset to Boost Your Business Success

It’s not good enough to just work in your business. To lay the foundation for growth (that takes many different forms, it’s not just financial), you need a mental set of skills. One of those is adopting a strategic mindset.

Sure, you need talent. Having a natural ability to excel at something is a great advantage when it comes to success. You also need to be unique. The product or service that you offer to the world has to stand apart from the rest of the products or services available in the marketplace. Being passionate and having a higher purpose, a drive for your “why” is also a factor.

Next to all of these talents and characteristics, however, real success in business comes from something that overshadows even talent or a great niche. Real success is a result of an ingrained outlook. It comes from a certain way of approaching things. Approaching your business with strategic thinking will help to define your business decisions (and make them with confidence) and redefine you from the rest.

Strategic thinking means looking forward. Always have a bigger plan in mind and never losing sight of your goals. As laid out in this article – it means:

  • Anticipating
  • Being Critical
  • Interpreting
  • Deciding
  • Aligning

Strategy Ties to Your Brand

Strategic brand thinking is tying your vision and mission to your daily business, making sure to always make decisions that reflect that vision of the future and lead you to it.

Thinking ahead, anticipating, deciding, and doing. All of these are key.

This is another way to look at being brand-led.

Getting Started Is Easy

So how do you get strategic with your thinking? Well, there are a number of ways.

Here’s an exercise to get started.

Answer the following:

1 – What is your 5-year goal?

(example: generate 5,000 signups to my “surfing” blog email list)

2 – What 3 main activities will get you to that goal?

(example: produce 1 book on cool surfing locations, start live blogging while surfing with a GoPro, giveaway contest for a surfboard – all of these tied to the Call to Action to signup for the email list to get access)

3 – Drill those 3 activities down to 3 specific tasks to make them happen.

(example: start live blogging while surfing has these tasks: buy GoPro, research live blogging software, create a content strategy, liveblog!)

Strategic thinking is the process of looking forward, and planning backward from there. The next step is doing, tracking, and measuring. Evaluating where you are and if you are reaching your strategic goals.

This is also helpful to see which steps in your process are tasks you need to do yourself or outsource smartly.

Getting Unstuck

When you find yourself losing sight of forward-thinking, try these tips to get unstuck.

Tip 1: Try a Critical Thinking Exercise

The next time you find yourself in a “crunch” and need to prepare strategic and coherent texts but don’t have significant time to do so, don’t panic. Just think K-W-I-C.

The “K” stands for the “kernel” of your remarks, the gist of your information, the essence or main point or purpose. It’s stated succinctly. You will “widen” that basic thrust in the second, or “W” step. Expound a bit on the purpose and broaden or expand on the main point contained in your intro kernel. Next the “I” emphasizes the need to “illustrate” the kernel and its widened perspective. In this third stage, you will give examples and/or specific details to support the main point. In the final step, the “C” stands for concluding your remarks with a neat summary of the contents.

Tip 2: Try an App

SimpleMind+Intuitive Mind Mapping

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This is an app that is designed for both IPad and iPhone, where you can easily organize your thoughts and map them to organize your decision-making process. Get it here

Oflow 

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This is an app that is designed for both IPad and iPhone where you can find different creative tools that can help you think outside the box or approach an idea from another perspective. Great for when you are stuck and need to refresh your mind! Get it here 

Tip 3: Watch a Video

Watch this Ted-talk to get some inspiration on how you can influence your thinking process.

This ted-talk by Julie Burstein is about 4 lessons in creativity:

  1. Letting go, to embrace imperfections to achieve more original ideas
  2. Experiences, drawing inspiration from our daily lives,
  3. overcoming our limits and weaknesses, and
  4. loss, being optimistic, and being able to turn the situation around.

The main message of the TED talk is that our experiences are at the core of our creativity, which is something to keep in mind when making decisions and engaging in strategic thinking to consider past achievements and pitfalls.

Tip 4: Become a strategic thinker by taking an online course

You can choose from many different courses at Udemy here.

Don’t get discouraged! Is strategic thinking new to you? Remember that it takes 28 repetitions before a new skill becomes part of our behavior.

 

Now it’s Your Turn to Share

What tips and tricks do you have for those of us ready to make the switch to strategically running our biz? Can you think of some ways to tie this to your brand?

Who am I? 

I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!

Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.