With the number of people moving out of their comfort zones into their own free spaces, I’ve had to answer this question to many new kids on the block. What should drive decisions?
Vision or Passion? Is there a bigger strength in Gut or Glory?
Having lived my entire life on passion and passion alone, it is now that vision is raising its hood at me and saying – ‘C’mon baby! Get that niggling thought out and water it! Let it grow into something larger than you, than the organization you represent and the causes you stand for‘.
Robin Sharma, best known for his book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, puts it aptly: “Never lose that sparkle in your eye, the fire in your belly and the steel in your character“
That’s passion. The one thing that makes you feel like you’re doing something worthwhile in your life.
BUT, What if your dream was up for sale? What will you do? Sell it or keep the passion running?
The Zuck-Bezos example
Ten years ago, Yahoo had approached Mark Zuckerberg to buy Facebook for $1 billion. He declined as he felt that Yahoo was undervaluing the business and they did not have a definite idea about the future. That was when Facebook was two years old and Zuckerberg 22 years old. It takes an extraordinary amount of foresight and vision to be able to do what he did. Today it is one of the most profitable companies in the world and its revenue is over $17 billion.
This brings us to another question. Should we be content with what we have achieved or should we do a Bezosian number?
Jeff Bezos was a fairly successful investment banker at D.E. Shaw & Co. where he nurtured dreams of setting up his own online firm as the WWW was growing exponentially at 2,300% a month. He set up what was initially an online bookstore called Amazon.com. But, he wasn’t content on just being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the Everything Store. The rest as they say is history.
“Our vision is to be the world’s most consumer-centric company, where customers can come to find anything they want to buy online”, said Jeff Bezos.
Indeed, vision is one of the most important qualities that investors look for in entrepreneurs. But, can that be the only fuel?
What about passion? It’s not a dream. Neither is it a hobby.
Passion is being all out crazy about that one single thing. The place where you go all out, no matter the distance or the cost. Passion is what passion does. And what is happening around us today is that we’re surrounded by a cartful of people dragging their lives around things they’re not passionate about. Why would you want to do that to yourself? That one life you have, you will throw away meandering?
Vision provides the blueprint.
This is where mentors come in. And provide vision. The motivation and inspiration to keep going. It is what this country, our industry, our homes and our kids need. The blueprint of where they can be if they applied themselves all out to what drives them.
Bezos and Zuckerberg are but two instances of what visionaries can look like. There are more:
Walt Disney — Fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination
Oprah Winfrey — Fired from her job as a TV reporter because she was ‘unfit for TV’
Steven Speilberg — Rejected from film school three times.
Michael Jordan – Removed from his high school basketball team.
K. Rowling – Fired as secretary for daydreaming about a pre-teen wizard at her job
You know what ties them all together? Their vision, their unflinching belief in themselves and lots of hard work. Passion alone won’t help you. You need to be patient and persistent when you fall into bad times. You will need a roadmap to get out of that rigmarole and for that you need to have the courage to think beyond and aim for the stars.
I wish you vision in 2017. May each of us see the light at the other end of the tunnel.