You start with a vision for something; something great or something small. It doesn’t matter really the size, but it’s your vision and you’re the one who needs to make it a reality. This sounds a little simplistic, but at its core it is very true. From this basis you find the way forward.
There have been many occasions in the past few years where I’ve found myself explaining what I do, and why it’s important (to me at least). And the responses are always varied. They range from “oh wow that’s amazing!”, to “why would someone want that?”, and everything in between. These conversations have been with friends, family, strangers, investors and many others, all bringing a different perspective from which to judge what I do with my time and vision.
This is a large part of the challenge involved in doing something different, and not everyone will share your vision for a better future. What I’ve come to realise is that’s ok, it doesn’t detract from the value of what you do, it’s just that others won’t see the value until it becomes their status quo. Not everyone needs to share the vision, because it’s yours, and if they don’t see the value, don’t waste your time trying to convince them.
People are often quick to judge and make a decision. Usually, the person who can’t see your vision has their own vision for the future which is closely aligned with the status quo of their present. There’s a famous quote from Henry Ford where he says something like, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses”.
Your vision is built from your unique set of experiences, your unique talents and your own unique view of the world around you. This is valuable regardless of others’ opinions. It stands to reason that (some) others won’t see your vision because they can’t possibly have the same set of circumstances to draw from which brought you to this point in the first place. A great example is garnering support for our water purification system. People who live in Australia don’t generally face the same challenges to find safe water to drink than those living in many other less developed countries, as we are blessed with piped water supply already treated and safe to drink. Thus, to them our technology doesn’t present the same value proposition and hence they’re not our target market.
To see and share someone else’s vision requires a lateral thinking mind which is open to possibility and understanding why things change. Without change, we don’t progress. Progress and change are two concepts which are intrinsically linked because you can’t have one without the other. You have to change to progress, and you have to progress to change.
When (not if) you find someone who ‘gets it’, you don’t need to spend a whole lot of time trying to convince them of the value of what you’re doing because they’ve already connected the dots. When they see the value as you do, then your visions are aligned, and these are the people who help you move things forward. It can be as simple as an encouraging comment or buying your tech to show support or gift to others, and as complex as joining you on the journey.
This notion of shared visions for the future is not just relevant in a business context, it’s absolutely relevant in everyday life. People need to find likeminded people who force them to level up if you want progress and change. Without it, you stagnate and don’t exercise your potential.
Ultimately your vision has value, and it’s yours. Find people who support your vision and can see its value. These are the people who help you and build you up, taking you and the vision forward to a better future.