A business without a vision has no soul. A business without a soul has no heart, no passion. A business without passion is a business whose demise has already been foretold.

Awakened Entrepreneurs™ are passionate leaders who build businesses that encompass the two vitally important and interrelated visions: The Vision for their Life AND the Vision for their Business. When combined, these two visions create the driving force for the strategic planning and action that support and guarantee the growth of their enterprise.

Awakened Entrepreneurs™ can easily answer the questions: What do I stand for? What is my purpose for being here? What are my core values and guiding principles? How do I express these in my daily life?

Awakened Entrepreneurs™ are life long learners of leadership. Do you have an existing business that needs a strategic tune-up? Are you considering following a passion and starting a business in 2009? Take some time to consult with a strategic business coach and be sure to address the following questions:

1. What is my personal vision? What do I stand for? How will my business be an expression of that?

2. Who are my "power partners"? Who are the best possible people I can have on my team and in my playing field? According to Jim Collings, author of Good to Great, one of the key pitfalls many leaders encounter is to first create a vision and mission and then find people to implement. Awakened Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, first get the right people on the bus, i. e. they determine who, then determine the best path by collaboratively creating the vision, mission, and the best strategic plan and systems that ensure success for their business, their clients, and employees.

3. What is my target /niche market? Who am I serving? How do I serve them? An Awakened Entrepreneur is in business for the greater good as well as for profit. They are aware that the purpose of their business is much bigger than "What's in it for me?"

4. What need is my business fulfilling? An Awakened Entrepreneur™ realizes that before developing a marketing plan that every business needs to recognize what's missing and how their product or service fulfills the need. In the case of the Awakened Entrepreneur, it is not a media fabricated need, but rather a true need that if fulfilled, will serve the greater good. Take a look at any number of the ecopreneurs and green businesses that have sprouted in the last 4 years, particularly in the areas of organic food production, clothing, and household products. Their marketing is value-based; it's education.

5. What do I do better than anyone else? How am I doing that? How do I know? This is a qualitative question that keeps the Awakened Entrepreneur accountable to their own extraordinary standards, while recognizing their uniqueness and value in the market. The answers can be as simple as "I truly LISTEN to my clients, customers, and colleagues", or as specific as "I offer more choices and the fastest turn-around on green print production in California"

6. What potential obstacles or impediments might I encounter in achieving our vision? When the road gets rough and challenges arise, Awakened Entrepreneurs™ continually ask themselves: What am I pretending not to know? Often times there is an internal limitation (rather than an external condition, i.e. the economy). Fear, ego, and lack of transparent communication among stakeholders can be negative forces against the vision.

7. Who are my mentors? Where do I get my inspiration to keep going? Forming a counsel of advisors/experts who can provide guidance and serve as a witness to your decisions, actions, and leadership is critical. There is never a crowed on the leading edge and there will be times when the lens of mentors will revitalize and help you refine your vision.

8. What are our short and long term goals? What tools and resources do we need to accomplish these goals? What individual and collective daily, weekly, and monthly actions are we committed to in order achieve extraordinary results?

9. How do I integrate the strategic plan throughout my company or organization? Be transparent in your communication with partners and employees. Allow everyone to take responsibility for the strategic plan, by contributing his or her skills and expertise in accomplishing the vision. Be sure to acknowledge your team for their efforts and accomplishments.

10. How do I reward and celebrate success? The sky here is the limit depending upon your budget and creativity. True, sincere recognition is no cost to low-cost. Recognition needs to be an on-going process within your company or organization, with weekly check-ins and quarterly "events".

A great business led by an Awakened Entrepreneur™ is one that makes a distinctive impact and delivers a superior performance, while achieving a lasting endurance and sustainable results with passion, vision, and soul.

Author's Bio: 

Sheryl R. Sever (Coach Shera) is an organizational consultant and entrepreneur's coach. A passionate, small business advocate, she writes and speaks regularly on business development, career transition, leadership, change and innovation in the workplace.

She was awarded “Most Innovative Curriculum” by the US Dept of Vocational Education for her business/career development program with JVS. She was the business trainer at CEO Women and has served on the faculty of the Creative Work/Life Transitions Program at San Francisco State University.

Sheryl has been developing and leading communications and leadership seminars and workshops for over 15 years and has trained and coached corporate, educational, and organizational leaders and solo professionals from over 40 countries on 4 different continents.

She is an expert in content marketing, and consultative sales, and has written hundreds of courseware modules and for corporate, educational, and social profit clients. She is passionate about helping her clients birth their vision and reinvent themselves, so that they can live happily and thrive in socially responsible businesses and creative careers of their choice.