Vistage - Is It Worth It?
My business coach, Eric McGrath of Driven for Life, kept telling me... "Sam, you NEED to set time aside each week to work ON your business rather than IN it."
I'd heard that time and time and time again but it is so hard to do when new leads are coming in, projects need management and my team needs me.
A couple months ago I realized that it had been a few months since I'd sat down and really concentrated on the next steps for Website Muscle and so I called Eric. To my surprise, he told me that he had recently joined a new group and through it, his business has been transformed. He now had a clarification and vision that he didn't have before, plus he is continuing to take his business forward each month!
Needless to say, I was equal parts happy for him and equal parts curious for my own business. He said the group was called Vistage. It's a worldwide organization with local chapters everywhere. Basically, he said that his chapter has around 15 business owners / CEO's and once a month, they get together and work ON their business. Now, that was music to my ears! If you're a business owner or CEO, most likely you don't have a lot of people in your life that can truly help you cast a vision for the future and that are fully invested in helping you to achieve that goal.
[quote]Work on Your Business with CEOs, Executives and Owners Just Like You[/quote]
I immediately called the group leader and asked if I would be a good fit to join their group and after an hour interview process, he decided that I would be a great addition to the group.
Check out their website here: www.vistage.com.
What's the value? Is it worth it?
The first Vistage meeting was great, although a little overwhelming. Each person there was in a completely different business and most of them have become incredibly successful. The biggest value to me that our group has is that they talk "straight" with each other. Our leader told me that if I joined, I would have to be open to constructive criticism and our group didn't disappoint! Haha!
This group is definitely not a "therapy session"... rather, this group has a "let's fix it" mentality.
Each meeting, we have the opportunity to tell the group about one issue or problem that we are dealing with and then the group has 3 steps to help:
- Ask clarifying questions
- Determine what the "real" problem is
- Offer suggestions on how to solve it
It's amazing to see this at work, because many times, the problem that the business owner initially describes is NOT the issue that they really have. Through asking questions and the back and forth, we can determine the real problem. Once that has been defined, we then go around the room and offer suggestions. During this time, the person must be silent and just listen and take notes. There is a lot of "straight talk" during this time and it is very well received by all, since we all took the time to really help to diagnose the problem.
In the end, I am very excited about the group and couldn't recommend Vistage more highly! Through my years at Website Muscle, I've only worked with a handful of small businesses that have taken the steps to build a business and became the CEO, rather than Mr. Do It All. Those clients have found more success, more freedom, opened multiple locations, hired more people, etc.
The transition from working IN your business to working ON your business is incredibly difficult, because it requires a completely different skill set. You have to think differently and work differently and you need others to help to take you there. Thankfully, the issues that a CEO faces are very similar from industry to industry and that's why the Vistage model is so successful. Even though I run a website design and online marketing company... I am facing the same issues as the Solar Panel company in the group.
If you are considering joining Vistage, I recommend finding a group and meeting with their leader - the Chair. He or she will help you determine if your business is a good fit for that group and/or what you need to do in order to be a good fit.