Dear entrepreneur: Are you running in the right direction?
Did you know? Only a small percentage of entrepreneurs stay successful beyond three years. Most entrepreneurs stumble into entrepreneurship as a means of escape: either from a boss, the red tape, or the 9–5 culture (or all of these). This action of running away from something means they are following an ‘away-from strategy’ – without even realising it. Unfortunately, this strategy is only a motivator in the short-term and will lose momentum in the long run.
If this is you – don’t worry!
Your entrepreneurial dream isn’t doomed to fail; it may just mean that you need to take a much- needed rest before changing direction and establishing some razor-sharp focus. What sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest – especially the great ones – isn’t some magical x factor or something gifted only to the select few.
It’s VISION! (excuse the caps but I’m talking about big, bold visions, not ‘I want to pay my bills at the end of the month’ vision).
Think about it when you’re doing those typical entrepreneurial things like taking risks:
To have courage, you need to know what you are being courageous for. Similarly, to be motivated, you need to know what it is that you are putting 1000s of hours into mastering… and why.
Without a clear vision to focus on, the daily stresses and strains of being the boss will simply become too overwhelming, the excitement of building something from the bottom-up too daunting, and the safety of a permanent job more and more appealing.
The big picture
Entrepreneurs who foster a vision and spend a good amount of time determining what they DO want, inspire a compelling ‘towards strategy’, which is inherently more positive than an ‘away from’ strategy, leaving people feeling more motivated for longer periods.
But great leaders do more than just envision an exciting future. They help their team see the ‘big picture’ and the essential role each individual can plays in it. They inspire a shared vision. This is why most people tend to follow leaders who are future-focused.
“So, how do I inspire a shared vision, Tricia?” I hear you ask. Well, start with these four tips:
1. Schedule time for yourself to think about the past, the present, and how both inform the future you hope to see for your organisation.
2. Ask others what they see for the future.
4. Attend our super helpful Envisioning Workshop. Our 3-hour Envisioning Workshop enables entrepreneurs to lead his/her team using a towards strategy.
Lastly, fight the fear (especially if you look away from your vision and towards the news headlines, economic woes, and political turmoil). Rather focus on defining a clear, positive path for the future – one that reignites that spark you had when you quit the rat race and went on your own to change the world for the better.