The first of the six essential traits we discuss in Entrepreneurial Leap is “visionary”. This trait is sometimes hard to understand because it’s so broad, or you simply may not be comfortable saying you are something as grand as a “visionary.” During an interview with one entrepreneur, he said humbly, “I really don’t think I’m a visionary.” This is a man who built a $40 million company from scratch. He absolutely is a Visionary.
This trait is measured by your ability to connect the dots, see the big picture, and the future. Visionary is defined as being imaginative, creative, inventive, ingenious, enterprising, and innovative. You are a dreamer. You have a sixth sense for resolving the problem you are focused on. Simply put, you have ideas.
You have the intuitive ability to know how to make money and understand how economics work at a very high level. You have common sense, business sense, and street smarts. You’re able to see around corners, and you have a future-oriented mind-set.
The Visionary Spectrum
Visionary doesn’t mean you have to be Thomas Edison or that you will invent the next iPhone. I teach entrepreneurs a tool called the “visionary spectrum,” which illustrates how much of a visionary a company needs—because not every company needs an Elon Musk. If you think about the spectrum’s high and low ends, the high end might be a high-tech company and the low end might be a property management company.
How much visionary a business needs is determined by 3 factors:
- Type of industry
- Growth aspirations
- Degree of market change or complexity a company will encounter
When you combine these three factors, you will find where your business is on the visionary spectrum. If all these factors are red-lined, you might need to be an Elon Musk. If not, that level of visionary is probably not necessary.
Hopefully you can see that “visionary” comes in all shapes and sizes. What is needed is a mind-set that keeps looking for opportunities, discarding what doesn’t fit the evolving vision, and continuing to implement improvements as necessary.
Are you visionary?
Take a few minutes right now to evaluate the needs of your new business and where they fall on the visionary spectrum.