As an entrepreneur, it’s your ability to enroll great people in the pursuit of a common cause or goal that will enable you to build a team to execute that vision.
And while things like your personal values, your leadership qualities, reputation, integrity, charisma and people skills will all be useful, it is the size and clarity of your vision that will be most responsible for your ability to attract team members, investors, supporters and customers to your business.
When you’re creating anything new, there is no guarantee that it will work – especially if you’re pioneering a new product, service or category that has not previously existed.
So in the early stages of your business life cycle (pre startup or startup), when people join your team it’s not the product, service or business they are buying in to. Because there probably is no product, service or business at that stage. It’s your vision of the resulting product, service or business they are buying in to.
Bill Gates’ vision was a PC in every household. Richard Branson’s vision was a fun and value-for-money alternative to products and services offered by monopolistic incumbent suppliers. Stephen Tindall’s vision was a place where all Kiwis got a bargain. Peter Jackson’s vision was the greatest movie reproduction of the Lord Of The Rings ever made. Sam Morgan’s vision was an alternative to eBay just for New Zealanders.
None of these were guaranteed outcomes in their infancy. Yet they attracted the support of some of the smartest and brightest talent – people who could have chosen any number of other businesses or ventures to support. Not only that but the size of their vision also scared off those who were not ready for the challenge. (Hint: If the response you’re getting to your vision is “You’re dreaming!” then you’re probably on the right track.)
The other reason you need a big vision is because anyone with a bigger vision is unlikely to come and work with you. They will be too enamored with the execution of their own vision to want to come and work for someone else’s.
As an entrepreneur, your vision of the future is the greatest asset you have. So make sure it’s a good one.
Richard Liew is an Auckland-based entrepreneur and founder and CEO at Espire Media. He blogs at richardliew.co.nz drawing on previous startup experience across a range of industries including media, software, recruitment, and learning and development