Vision plus hustle doesn’t equal results.
Every day I see business owners with lofty visions and hardcore hustle fail to get traction and reach their goals. They’ve got big ideas and aspirations and they’re putting in lots of hours, but growth is stalled.
If that sounds familiar, you’re in good company. This problem is something that micro, small, large, and even enterprise businesses run into.
Nilofer Merchant, in her book The New How, defines this problems as an “Air Sandwich.” She writes:
An Air Sandwich is, in effect, a strategy that has clear vision and future direction on the top layer, day-to-day action on the bottom, and virtually nothing in the middle — no meaty key decisions that connect the two layers, no rich chewy center filling to align the new direction with new actions within the company.
In your business, this likely manifests as feeling out of touch exactly how your hustle translates into results. You feel a little (or a lot) fuzzy about what you should be focusing on and what really counts. You spend quite a bit of time seeing what “works” but what works doesn’t seem replicable, sustainable, or capable of building true momentum.
To solve your sandwich problem, you need to commit.
Strategy, as I explain in my newest book, is all about making decisions. And decisions require you to say “yes” to one thing, and “no” to something else. They require you to commit to a direction and plan of action.
Between vision and hustle are the strategic decisions you make about What You Want to Create and How You Want to Connect with customers. These are things you try willy nilly, they’re things you commit to, lean in to. They guide your day-to-day action and bring your business closer to its goals.
If you’re feeling like your business has a sandwich problem, ask yourself where you’ve been avoiding commitment.
Where are your opportunities to make key decisions about how to reach your goals, not just what you need to do on a daily basis to stay afloat?
And what’s been keeping you from making a commitment to a more productive direction?