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Getting Focused on Your Vision


Those businesses that have a vision for their future tend to create it. A vision isn’t just a plaque you put up on a wall but a rallying call that gets people excited. It’s inspires them to go “above and beyond” for not just the monetary rewards but because they are building something great!

I remember back in the early nineties I had a web development company. It was the early days of the Internet and people were only just getting online. There was one thing that I clearly understood and that the Internet was a global phenomenon.

Even though we were a tiny little startup I decided to inspire the team with a big and very audacious vision! It was, “We change the world!” Every time we published a website we could see people from all over the world going to it…..therefore, in our small way, we changed parts of the world.

The team got the message and threw themselves at building more world changing sites. I remember hiring people not for their technical expertise (there wasn’t many available then) but for their passion for the Internet. It would not be uncommon for us all to be working until the small hours of the morning on a client’s job…..we were changing the world.

Some people are almost embarrassed by their visions (or lack thereof) and this can end up building a self-defeating spiral that ultimately ends in bankruptcy. Having a vision is one of those times where you are encouraged to dream BIG. It’s getting a clear picture in your mind of what your success will be and then going after it.

Around fifteen years ago, billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk, did something completely crazy! He decided that he was going to build a company called SpaceX and use economical rockets to launch satellites into space. Most people thought he was nuts…..but he had a great vision.

A key part of his vision was building reusable rockets, something NASA had been wrestling with for years. With his tiny budget and a motley crew of scientists he dared to do the impossible. The rest is history as SpaceX is fast becoming a global satellite launching powerhouse.

Elon Musk didn’t believe in the vision of “Launching cheaper rockets”. His vision was far, far grander than that. He inspired the team at SpaceX with the vision of going to Mars. Launching satellites is only a stepping stone in a far grander plan……and he’s on track for getting to the red planet!

So why is it that with all of their money and resources that big organisations tend to fail? The answer is actually quite simple. People don’t just want a paycheck, they want to believe that what they are doing is going to make a difference.

You’ve only got to look at Apple and the lack of new innovative products released since Steve Jobs passed away. You can almost feel the company grinding to a halt. Yes, it may continue to do wonderfully financially but at what point does the lack of vision impact the bottom line? It’s only a matter of time.

Like him or hate him, Steve was a visionary. He was instrumental in transforming the music industry, computers, tablets, mobile phones, movies and watches. Since he passed away what has Apple brought out that makes you go WOW! Nothing, not a thing. Sure, we have better screens but so what. It’s all incremental improvement rather than transformational innovation.

When you look at your own businesses are you viewing them only as a way to make money or is there something more that inspires you and your team? What is your great big goal that keeps you awake at night and gets you energized each day.

Having a clear vision is what often gets you through the tough times and provides a lighthouse to guide the way when decisions become difficult.

As for me, we are still changing the world, one domain at a time.

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Tuesday, 14 July 2020
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