Are you hiding behind your vision?
Utilizing your vision the right way - so that you can ignite your wildest dreams
September 20, 2023, Dina-Marie Weineck
Sometimes, a visionary’s greatest blindspot is their very vision. A big enough vision is meant to inspire and guide action. But it takes humility and intentionality to also allow the vision to reveal your pitfalls and weaknesses along the way, instead of using the vision to cover up that very path to success. Below, I’ll share pitfalls to look out for and three distinct ways in which your vision can truly ignite your wildest dreams.
I wish I didn’t know who needs to hear this. But I do. And it pains me to see entrepreneurs hide behind their vision to their own detriment. Your vision has an innate and unique power to guide your actions. But there is also a danger for you to try and lead from behind the vision, hiding your failures, perceived inadequacies, and areas of growth behind the grander of the vision.
While any of my private clients will tell you how big of an advocate I am for leading from a strong vision, they will also tell you that I have a huge bias for action. And for staying present in the moment. And for acknowledging what you don’t know. Because that’s all we’ve got: knowledge of the present moment and control over our actions. So read along to hear how to use a vision … and how not to use it.
First things, first. What is a vision in the first place and what is it good for.
A vision is a north star. A vision is basically a depiction of reality in its most alive form, denoting a point in the future, told in the present.
I often ask my clients what their most fulfilled version of life looks like. Who is there? What do you feel? How do you interact with your customers, your friends, family, your partner? What has left your life (thoughts, situations, people)? How do you spend your day? Who will be on your team and what is your team culture like? Who will you serve and how?
A vision also includes financial goals. Often, I’ll draw out what my clients will spend the money on – their team, investments, travels, etc. What does your rich life look like?
A vision is crucial. With a strong vision in place, daily decisions become easy: Does this move me towards or away from my vision? You can draw immense wisdom from your vision. For your team (or your vendors and contractors), a vision empowers them to make decisions of their own. It helps them see the bigger picture and how their personal vision can connect with yours.
Now, I sometimes see visionaries make the mistake of blatantly behaving as if their vision had already been realized, even though they have not built the infrastructure nor the resources to sustain it.
BEWARE of danger! This is how NOT to use your vision.
A vision without action is just a dream. You’re required to build, believe, and remind yourself and everyone around you of the vision constantly. AND you’re required to take daily action to realize the vision. Every day, your bias should be towards taking action in the present, not dreaming about the future.
Just because you have a vision, doesn’t mean you get to act as if you’re living the vision. You actually don’t know who your ideal customer is until you’ve worked with the wrong customer. You don’t know what your most aligned client acquisition process looks like until you’ve taken a lot of wrong turns.
Frankly, your team can’t make any of these mistakes for you. You’ve got to make them yourself. No team can build YOUR business for you. You have to put the pieces together yourself. Your first 3 to 5 years as a founder require you to stay close to the ground. You have to develop and employ your product and customer relations process yourself. You’ve got to be humble with your team and about what you do and do not know. You’ve got to invest in acquiring knowledge of your own before hiring a team that is knowledgeable in their field of expertise.
I’ve witnessed founders push aside best practices only to land themselves in big trouble. It sounds inspired, even inspirational, in the moment: “I’ll do it my way.” Sadly, what’s often behind such a statement is a deep sense of insecurity and inadequacy.
If you see yourself in these paragraphs, please remember that you’re on the right path! You’ve simply been carried away by your own dreams a bit and it’s time to course-direct. My wish for you is to find the courage to work on and unthread your old thought patterns and create new actions that are truly sustainable. Your task is to get honest with yourself. You may even choose to enroll the support of a coach, or a confidante. But you’ve got to take the first step and that is to lay it all out in earnest. If you’re not being honest with yourself, nobody can.
Dear reader, if you’ve read this far, I want to take a moment to acknowledge you. You’re clearly committed to continuing to grow yourself and your business. You’re being brave and I see you!
Let’s go ahead and talk about how a vision* can truly fuel your actions:
*Please read till the end where I will share two really amazing resources with you.
Are you ready? Here it comes:
You want to combine a nimble and humble day-to-day strategy with an inspiring vision.
A vision without humility will lead to failure.
Read this again. And again. Okay, move on for three concrete steps:
First and foremost, you need to carry both a long-term vision and an annual plan. This makes your leadership both inspiring and actionable. What do you want to have achieved 12 months from now? Whereas your vision may be aspirational, your plan must be attainable.
Read Michael Hyatt’s “Your best year ever”.
Second of all, get clear on and honest about what you don’t know. Then go learn it. Then go implement it. Don’t hire for it the second you bring in some money. Leave hiring and delegating to when your business can sustainably support a large retainer or even full-time team member.
Your resource for this step is going to look different based on your industry and vision. That said, I do believe a coach can help you gain insight into what’s holding you back most quickly. Message me if you’d like help finding the right coach for your situation.
Third of all, get clear on what is required of YOU to attain the vision. Once the vision is set, I ask my clients this question: “Who are you required to become in order to embody that vision?” So much of this work takes place in reflection and introspection which, AGAIN, requires radical honesty. Beyond that, your vision typically requires you to start by building up capital. Don’t worry about your brand colors and merchandize ideas when you’ve got no time- nor financial resources to make them happen just yet. Your focus must be on growing your inner and financial resources.
Read Samantha Garcia’s “Regenerative Business”
Let the vision guide you. Don’t try and hide beyond the vision.
Which step are you going to commit to, today? Let me know.
P.S. Next week I’ll share another crucial piece in this and that is how to utilize a private coach the right way. It can get easy for new entrepreneurs and founders to become so self-aware and feel so vulnerable to the ups and downs startups inevitably bring, they get shy about enrolling coaching support or even utilizing the coaching support they’ve hired. Please don’t make that mistake. Keep an eye out for my newsletter next week about what to do when the tide gets rough.