I was at the peak of frustration. And my mastermind group could tell.
They told me that regardless of how frustrated I was getting I should stick with the process for at least a year before deciding whether it was working.
I could see the wisdom in that. But I didn’t feel any less frustrated. And none of that changed until I finally went on break.
That’s where I began to embrace the wisdom of taking a vision first approach to entrepreneurship.
Blazing a Trail
The reason any of us get into freelancing, business, or some other unconventional profession is because we had an idea. And that idea actively excited us to the point where not acting on it seemed foolish.
Yet, when it comes time to make decisions regarding our business, we often take an entirely different approach, forgetting our roots and forsaking the foundation it was built upon.
When we started the business, we started excited about the possibilities, ignoring all good sense and conflicting guidance. We went ahead with the idea regardless of what anyone else said.
But at some point, it became about something entirely different. It became about money.
Money First, Vision Second?
Business is nothing more than a system for generating revenue.
I once heard that statement at a networking event, and at the time, it seemed profound.
True, business is supposed to be a system. And it is supposed to generate revenue. And if possible, it should be just that simple.
But missing within that formula is so much humanity, and living, and adventure, and even fulfillment. I have never heard anyone say they don’t want those things, yet focus inordinately on results they’re not getting.
Forbes contributor Chrissy Scivicque says:
Career fulfillment can change your reality.
I’ve tried putting money first in my business. And that led me to working ridiculous hours with diminishing returns.
You would think the opposite to be true – that working harder and longer would lead to greater results in business. My experience has been anything but.
In like manner, so much of business is counter intuitive.
Waiting for the Money…
At one point, business was about vision. For you and for me.
We saw a possibility to create something for ourselves and for others. We saw a win-win, or maybe even a win-win-win.
And decisions were made based on that vision, to advance it as quickly as possible.
But at some point, old programming kicked in. And suddenly, we stopped making leaps of faith and instead started waiting for the money to come in.
“I can’t launch that initiative without the money.”
“I’m waiting for the money to come in so I can put more into advertising.”
“I’m saving up to buy that app that’s going to be a game-changer.”
And this can stifle growth. But we do it anyway because it seems like the sensible way. The right way. The accepted way.
We forgot the foundation our business was built upon, which had cast all “good sense” aside in favor of a vision of the future that gripped and compelled us.
What About Your Heart?
When we started our businesses, we did not see our future with our heads. We saw it with our hearts. We felt it.
But at some point, decision making became about head knowledge. Reacting to circumstances instead of being proactive in making our visions a reality.
As transformational comedian Kyle Cease often says, we should lead by our hearts instead of our heads, because our hearts have better ideas than we could ever come up with using our heads.
The problem is we often get impatient and don’t meditate or sit with ourselves long enough to sense what our heart is trying to say to us.
So, instead of creating from a space of clarity and possibility, we create from a space of unresolved pain, addiction, trauma, and more.
So, How Can I Take a Vision First Approach?
As suggested in the book Reality transurfing. Steps I-V by Vadim Zeland (affiliate link), we must put vision first. If we follow our vision first and foremost, the money will follow.
This isn’t necessarily easy or simple. Because fear gets in the way.
We might look at our bank accounts and say to ourselves, “no, it’s just too risky to follow my heart.”
We might consider what we’ve accomplished to this point and say, “that would be great, but I’m just not good enough.”
It didn’t stop us when we started our business. But now that we’ve made our way down that path and have repeatedly been beaten down by challenges and disappointments, we’ve begun to lose faith in ourselves.
But that’s all it is. And that’s good news, because we can interrupt that flow and get back on the path of faith.
Oftentimes, that’s where we must begin if we are serious about putting vision first. Because we will usually find ourselves in a cycle of frustration or disappointment.
Interrupting the flow can be as simple as taking two weeks off to reflect. This worked for me.
Then, it’s a matter of finding what makes you excited to be in business again. The ideas that come to you may seem wild or crazy. They may even seem impossible.
But if you prioritize those ideas, you will find yourself putting vision first once more.
Vision First Approach, Final Thoughts
Taking a vision first approach to your business isn’t necessarily easy. Because it often involves throwing caution to the wind.
But you must remember that this is exactly how you got started. You cast aside what others might call good sense and took a chance on yourself anyway.
Beyond that, it’s a matter of recognizing the patterns as they arise. Every commitment is followed by a challenge. If you resist, it’s game over. Back to square one. If you embrace it, you will move passed it and find yourself standing at your destination.
But as I often say, the meat is the journey, so you’d better enjoy the journey!
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
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