TT#004 - Why Vision Founder Fit comes before Product Market Fit...Mar 29, 2022
Most business coaches will advise early-stage entrepreneurs to establish product-market fit (PMF) as a first step in building their business.
PMF is when you have a clearly articulated offer to sell and a clearly defined market that wants to buy it. PMF is established by putting a hypothesis out to market, testing it, measuring the response, and adjusting the offer (or market) to improve the PMF.
It's a great way of using data to ensure you have the right offer for the right market.
It makes sense for most entrepreneurs to start there, unless you are the product, as many of us solopreneurs are.
In that case, you need to establish Vision-Founder fit (VFF) first.
What is VFF? It's when your personal vision for your life is in complete alignment with the business you are building. It's when what you want to achieve with your business is congruent with who you are as a person.
And here's why it's so important to establish VFF before you establish PMF as a solopreneur:
PMF is a reactive process. You are adapting what you are selling and who you are selling it to based on the preferences of the market.
VFF is a proactive process. You put clear boundaries around what you are building and why you are building it based on your preferences.
When you skip the process of establishing VFF, it's easy to end up building a business you don't want to work in. Because it's not uncommon for the market to want products and services you don't want to offer.
I know, because I've done it, and I see it all the time with clients.
Chasing cash and what the market responds to often leads to:
- Being overworked and underpaid.
- Doing shallow work you don't love.
- And perpetual pivots to the business.
The solution is to get clear on your vision for your life and business first and use that as the filter for what you say yes or no to in your business.
Want to get started establishing VFF? Here's how.
Step 1: Align your work with your energy to establish boundaries.
The first thing to do when you're establishing VFF is to understand yourself, your preferences, and what helps you deliver your best work.
The way we do this with clients is to reflect deeply on two statements:
- I feel alive when...
- I feel trapped when...
Evaluate the different areas of your life, such as relationships, work, fitness, travel, and more, when you're reflecting on this and go to town listing each.
You'll start honing in on what gives you energy and what zaps it. And this helps create boundaries to avoid taking on a lot of work that you don't actually love doing, which is a recipe for long-term unhappiness.
Step 2: Clarify your personal vision.
What do you want your life to look like in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?
15-20 years from now, what do you want to be doing in terms of activities, travel, and hobbies? What's important for you to have in terms of assets? And what do you want to be known for?
What do you want your money to look like? What about your schedule?
This is how you clarify what you want your finish line to look like. And a finish line is necessary to create the optimal route to get there.
Step 3: Determine what needs to be true of the business for that to happen.
Having a clear picture of what you want from life makes it easier to design a business that helps you achieve those goals.
If you want a business that gives you the freedom to take off 6 months out of the year, you're going to build a very different business than one that allows you to buy a sports team.
So, knowing what you want the business to help you attain, you can start to answer questions like:
- Are you building an income stream or a business?
- Are you aiming for $1 million in revenue, or $100 million?
- Do you want to have a team, or remain a solopreneur?
- And more...
This is business building by design, not default. This is how you end up with a successful business and a successful life. It's a process I went through, and it dramatically changed the trajectory for me personally and professionally.
Remember, the point is not to figure out HOW to make this happen. The point is to simply get the vision in place. The blueprints and foundations follow.
I’m on a mission to help 10,000 Solopreneurs & Executive Freelancers discover and enjoy a new lifestyle by creating income they deserve from wherever they choose doing work they love.
For a limited time, I'm offering a free audit of your client acquisition system and will personally help you clarify what’s working, what isn’t, and what to focus on right now to start winning your best clients - on demand.