There’s no doubt that having a vision is a necessity overall. It helps us rise to better standards, it helps attract the people (clients and partners) we’d like to work with and more often than not, a good vision that translates into results can leave the world a better place.
But many solo business owners can be swept away by their own visions and lose touch with reality. This can:
Lead to a feeling of frustration and helplessness
When we see the world in a particular way very clearly, we often get caught up with how things should be and become somewhat depressed with how things are. The gap between the two can be overwhelming. We can end up neglecting those important stepping-stones that need to be addressed to progress towards the vision.
Deter us from the most important aspects of our business
This is a hard pill for most visionaries to swallow but let’s face it; making money from selling our products/services to customers and keeping them happy is what keeps business going. Unless this crucial aspect works, we won’t have a business capable of translating our vision into a reality.
The good news is that we can still hold on to our grand ideals and have a successful business that works towards gradually materialising the vision. Here are some things to think about to keep us grounded in reality:
Want more articles like this? Check out the setting business goals section.
First and foremost, ensure your offerings add momentous value to the customer
That way, you’ll at least be noticed. Deal with the other business realities like pricing, competitive positioning, profit margins, sales & distribution as well. Then express your vision (or aspects of it) directly through your offerings.
For example, if part of your vision is to have a greener planet, then you may consider producing your product from 100% recycled material and put in place a recycling program to reuse components of previous products. You may also use this to help sell and differentiate the product. But the product must add real value to the customer’s world and work from a business perspective before you get carried away with the “nice to haves”.
Deal just as much with the short-term as you do the long-term
People often want to consider themselves in either the short-term or long-term camp. Having a foot in both camps is crucial. It is just as important to focus on the here-and-now as it is on how you’d like things to eventually look. It all goes back to the classic saying: “one step at a time”. That is, you breakdown the larger goal (i.e. the vision in this case) into very small, achievable components so you end up arriving at your destination and hopefully enjoying the journey along the way.
Keep asking questions
Is it my vision only? Do others see it the same way I do? Do others believe in or care about the same things as me? Do customers want something else altogether? Is the vision too ahead of its time?
Constantly asking these questions helps us ensure we’re not getting too carried away with something that’s meaningful to us and no one else. Sure, usually entrepreneurial types see things others don’t in the very beginning and need to persist for the vision to catch on but if others don’t eventually catch on to the “dream” then is it really worth our while pushing something that just isn’t working? Perhaps we need to change our tactics?
Obviously it’s a noble and respectable ideal to use business as more than just an entity to make money but also as a powerful vehicle to make a difference. But a business needs to be fuelled a certain way if it’s going to survive – regardless of how inspiring or noble the vision may be.