So what do we mean when we say “vision?” And how can we tell when it’s big enough?
Vision is the ability to see what others cannot see. It’s the ability to see a better life, a better solution, a better world, and how you can contribute to that with your business.
Entrepreneurs with a clear and well-articulated vision have a distinct advantage over other business owners.
As an entrepreneur, a strong enough vision will guide you forward, like a lighthouse in the distance. A compelling and exciting vision makes you excited to get out of bed every morning. It creates a contagious energy and enthusiasm for the work at hand, as well as hope for the future. This helps attract the best clients, talent, and resources to the business, which in turn helps move your vision forward.
Creating a compelling vision comes easier for some people than others, but I believe anyone can learn the skills to dream bigger. To create a bigger vision.
In my experience, even the most “visionary” entrepreneurs are underestimating how much they can achieve. That is why coaches and mentors play such an important role in an entrepreneur’s development.
There may be several reasons for this, including our human nature to feel self-doubt. It’s also easy to fall into the trap of developing a vision based on where we are now, and not on what’s possible and where we could be. We may also let other people’s beliefs determine what we think is possible.
We’re often afraid of thinking big. But fear is part of the job description for an entrepreneur; it’s something you must accept and learn to overcome.
It’s really easy to think you have a big vision when subconsciously you’re playing it safe.
So, how do you know if your vision is big enough?
Here are five indicators that your vision is too small:
1. It Isn’t Crystal Clear
When you envision where you want to go with your business, is it so clear that you can see it and feel it? If not, it likely requires further development.
A common mistake I often see is an entrepreneur with broad and unclear goals. Things like “I want to sell my services to as many people as possible.” This broad goal is too vague to really be a vision, and it certainly doesn’t create excitement. In this scenario, I would encourage the individual to look within, and ask these questions:
- What would the ultimate success look like in my business?
- What kind of impact would I make?
- How would it feel?
- How would my customers feel?
- What kind of results would my customers get?
- How would my life look? What would my ideal day look like?
- How could I create a bigger impact for my customers? For the world? For myself and my family?
- What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
2. It’s Not Significantly Better Than Where You Are Now
Another common mistake I see entrepreneurs make is creating a vision that is just a *little bit* better than where they are now. It may feel “safe” or “realistic”, but it doesn’t create excitement. If it feels comfortable, it’s not big enough.
When I see entrepreneurs with this type of vision, generally there are fear or mindset issues that may need to be addressed. Entrepreneurs might fear failure, but they may also fear success if it isn’t defined clearly. Too much success might mean working longer hours, more stress, more employees, or more headaches in their minds. Those things are all possible of course, but can be managed and mitigated with a good plan and strategies.
Entrepreneurs sometimes limit themselves with safe goals for their business. They may not believe they’re worthy of success, or doubt their abilities, or feel like a fraud. These beliefs hold entrepreneurs back by limiting how big they dream.
3. You Know Exactly How to Get There
If you know exactly how you will achieve your vision, your vision probably isn’t big enough. Visionary entrepreneurs see farther into the future and more of what’s possible. Generally, though, they do not see all of the steps to get there. This big vision inspires them and others to move forward because the possibility is so much better than where they are now. They know that if they had to think in detail about how to get there, they wouldn’t set their imagination free from its “realistic” limitations.
To prevent a big vision from becoming unwieldy or overwhelming, it’s important to define the first step and create a plan to get that first step completed. As you move toward the vision, you continue to build and develop the next steps on the journey.
4. It Isn’t Compelling or Exciting
If you don’t feel excited about your vision, how can you expect others to get behind it? If this is the case, ask yourself this: why am I not excited?
Some of the potential reasons are:
- It doesn’t create an impact. A truly impactful vision creates excitement for getting out of bed in the morning. It inspires us and those around us. If that’s not the case, you may need to re-evaluate your vision. How could you make an even greater impact?
- It’s poorly articulated. This is a common challenge for many visionary entrepreneurs. They may have a clear picture in their minds of where they want to go, but have difficulty putting it into words that others can understand. This is also an area where a good coach or mentor can help bring the vision to life for you and your team.
- It’s not your vision. Still another possibility is that your vision isn’t aligned with your core values and your purpose. If you’ve created a big vision but it “just doesn’t feel right”, or you dread working toward it, it may be because it’s not your vision. It’s easy to infuse another’s expectations into our vision. We often think about what we “should do.” When that’s the case, the vision isn’t inspiring and it’s unlikely to lead you to success.
5. It Doesn’t Scare You (At Least a Little)
Big visions can be scary. In fact, they should be. I often warn clients that they may feel a “vision hangover” after they develop their bold and exciting vision. This is just fear creeping in, and it’s a sign that you’re on the right track. To grow and actually achieve great things, we all need to continually move to the edge of our comfort zones and beyond. This process is uncomfortable at times but it’s necessary.
The most successful entrepreneurs learn effective ways to manage fear and stress so they can move beyond them. They also know that each time they move beyond fear, they are stronger. The fear never goes away, no matter how much success you create. The secret is learning to recognizing and accept fear as a normal part of growth, and finding the most effective ways to move through it.
Once you have your big, compelling vision, the next step is creating a plan and taking action. We’ll address those topics in upcoming blog posts.
If you feel like you’re struggling to create a vision for your business, or you want to create more clarity or a plan around it, I can help. Let’s talk. Schedule your free 30-minute Strategy Session today!
Now It’s Your Turn
How did your vision fare? Is it big enough, or are there ways you could dream even bigger about what’s possible? Share your thoughts in the comments below: