In my last post I discussed the fact that long hours throughout the life of a business are required for the owner to make the business a success.  To reiterate if you do not have the commitment to this sacrifice remain or revert to someone else’s valuable employee for you cannot be successful as an entrepreneur.

The writer of Proverbs 29:18 says “without vision the people perish”.  The writer is talking about following the vision, law and leadership of God here but the verse serves to make another point, and this one about business.  Vision is a critical key to success.

What I mean by vision is not necessarily a great idea, a new and revolutionary product or even a unique way of delivering goods or services to customers.  While those are all helpful, and may be part of the recipe for success in some cases what I mean by vision, and what I think is critical, is the ability to dream, plan and commit to a future bigger than today.

The successful entrepreneur sees her future in fairly specific ways.  She sees a picture of what success looks like and can quantify and communicate the parameters that define “success”.  Everyone has heard the expression “fail to plan, plan to fail” but I’m not talking about planning here.  Yes, it’s important.  But much, much more important is seeing the end result, dreaming the dream and defining what success will look like.

Most people who begin businesses don’t do this.  In the end most are not really “successful” either.  In his book “The E-Myth” Michael Gerber seeks to explain the difference between the entrepreneur and the business owner.  He makes a strong case that they are not the same.  Most people, according to Gerber, start a business as a means of controlling a “job” and the business serves to provide the “job” to the owner in the way he wants it.  But the business only grows so far.  It only grows to the point that the owner’s desire for a stable, well paying “job” need it to.

Entrepreneurs build businesses bigger than themselves and which take on their own lives.

Whether you are interested in building a job, or a business, you need to understand what you are about from the beginning.  You need to have a vision of what success for you, and for the business looks like.

Without it you will fail.

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