I frequently tell my teams that in order to get somewhere, they have to have a vision. But it’s a lot more complex than that. Where does a dream end, and a vision begin?
We can all have a dream and a goal to strive for. As children, we are encouraged to dream about the future. What do you want to be when you grow up? and parents take great pleasure from the responses: astronaut, ballet dancer, and so on. But rarely do we tell our children exactly what it takes to get there i.e. a lifetime of training, hard work, dedication and relentless practice, then the understanding of how to achieve these goals.
Most entrepreneurs don’t just see the vision, they see every step they need to take to get there, too, and often the multiple paths they could take at the same time. My team frequently hear me talk about Plans A, B and C because I always ensure they are multiple options at their disposal. Reassessment is an important skill to deploy along the way. Has something changed? How do we outsmart the opposition? Is there something new to consider? Then we need to be agile and flexible as we change the course, not to mention have the strength and honesty to admit that we are altering our plan midway through.
To be an entrepreneur is to manage the unpredictability of the world, to be commercially agile and commercially flexible. But being an entrepreneur is also about being well-informed and well-connected. The entrepreneurial spirit demands constant learning and the assimilation of knowledge. It requires contacts and networking. It also requires the sharing of ideas and collaboration.
A good friend of mine, an amazing entrepreneur who is always willing to share his knowledge and ideas, once said to me, I share my ideas for making money with everyone, but only you pay attention. I understand his frustration because as entrepreneurs, we do think differently to other people. We see things that are not so obvious to others. We make connections others don’t, and we create the rules that will govern the businesses of the future.