A dream worth pursuing deserves the time investment to ensure it’s done well, and strategy helps you to move forward with clarity and intention.
I’ve spoken to many mission-driven women who are at different stages in their venture. Some have just begun, others have been at it for 5 years and many have been at it for eight, nine and ten years. The difference I’ve seen in the spectrum is that the early stage ventures always carry a ton of weight as it relates to their success because they may not see traction right away. While the more mature ventures, 5+ years, have learned that success is a gradual journey, and their outlook is much more healthy and anchored in reality. Some are financially profitable and are making a big impact in their communities, but then there are those who’ve been in the trenches for years and haven’t seen the break of day.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that has made us believe that good things come quick, which is far from the truth. Far too often we cheat ourselves from experiencing the full glory of our visions because we have false expectations of what the journey actually looks like. Don’t fall into that trap! Which leads us to our next pitfall.
Having False Expectations About What it Really Takes
Okay, so you dreamed up a big vision. Great. So now the work begins. Andy Stanley describes what it takes to pursue a vision in his book Visioneering, “even when a vision is clearly birthed in your heart, the vision alone will not provide you with the tools nor the momentum necessary to see it through to completion.”
Often times we stay on cloud nine for too long without realizing the actual work required in order to make our vision a reality. Or we forget that it will also require us to do work that we don’t necessarily like or have experience in; which by the way doesn’t mean we don’t move forward and figure it out. Not fully committing, especially to the areas we dislike, leads to less results and ultimately discouragement because we don’t see progress. The journey will require a ton of grit. If you’re serious you must fully commit, never give up and do whatever it takes, because your vision depends on it.
Not Spending Enough Time on Strategy
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Now, that is such a golden nugget that speaks to the importance of strategy. Clearly identifying your game plan will ensure you’ve thought through all the possibilities. Eliminate as many surprises as you can by researching and educating yourself before you take off.
Invest the time necessary to work on your blueprint, your map, so you can move forward confidently because you know where you’re heading. Think through the details. How will things connect and leverage each other in the future? Doing that work now will give purpose to every task you focus on in the future, no matter how small. Lastly, don’t do it alone. There are people that have been on the journey before you. Speaking with experts and mentors, building alliances, understanding your market and finding your tribe are key components to architecting a well-designed blueprint.
Lastly, I challenge you in 2017 to grasp the longevity of the journey you’re pursuing, fully commit to the mission and roll up your sleeves to figure out your strategy. It’s never too late.
You’ve Got What it Takes!