Vision

The Best Entrepreneurs Are Dreamers Who Can Match Their Vision With Reality

It's your job to think big, but you need to fit your big ideas into the framework of a successful business.
The Best Entrepreneurs Are Dreamers Who Can Match Their Vision With Reality
Image credit: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Guest Writer
6 min read
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Your job as an entrepreneur is to do what other people won't. It often feels like you have to achieve the impossible, overcoming one obstacle after another.

Most people could not do what Steve Jobs did, Elon Musk is doing and Richard Branson has done for decades. An entrepreneur's role in society is to think big and achieve the improbable, which sounds easy when you can look back on your achievements with hindsight.

Related: Envisioning Success Is Your Best First Step to Making Your Dreams a Reality

But in the beginning, when everyone thinks you're insane? No, it's not easy.

To overcome this, an entrepreneur like you needs to live in a reality distortion field. It's said that Jobs lived in one while at Apple, constantly pushing the boundaries (and asking his employees to do the same) so they could achieve impossible deadlines, features and updates.

It drives those around you insane, because they do not live in the reality distortion field you do. Within this field, anything and everything is possible. Reality is malleable, and you get to decide what can and cannot be done. I like to think it's where Norman Vincent Peale's quote came from: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

The fact that there are people striving for the impossible means that the improbable does happen. It's how progress occurs, and it's entrepreneurs like you and me who push the boundaries.

The problem is, living in a reality distortion field isn't always ideal.

Related: 10 Ways Leaders Think Differently

The double-edged sword of your reality distortion field

Entrepreneurs wear reality distortion goggles on a daily basis, seeing the world in a different light than most. I know I do, and I realize this when I share my latest idea with the rest of my team.

Earlier in the day I look in the mirror and say, Of course we can do that. This is so obvious. This is so great. Deep down I know my idea is impossible at worst and improbable at best, but I have my reality distortion goggles on and believe anything is within reach.

A few hours later when I share my idea with the team ... uncomfortable silence.

Your job as an entrepreneur is to own this uncomfortable silence.

Related: Getting Clarity on Your Big-Picture Vision

Your reality distortion field is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it's your unfair advantage, as it allows you to think big. Without those goggles, you're unable to see what comes next, and you'll never appreciate the impact you can have.

Without these goggles you play it safe, and you cannot grow to great from within your comfort zone.

Yet, wearing these goggles can destroy what you're building, because although you may live in your reality distortion field, the rest of the world does not. You become nothing but a dreamer who's unable to communicate your vision with other human beings. You become one of those people ahead of your time, and although the idea of entering folklore may sound appealing, it won't help you now, and it won't help you achieve what you need to.

This is not the point, and although the likes of Steve Jobs spent a lot of time in his reality distortion field, he knew how to take off his goggles and reconnect with reality.

Related: 6 Habits That Turn Dreams Into Reality

Reconnect with reality

The vast majority of your greatest ideas emerge from within your reality distortion field. It's where you go to create magic and do what nobody else can, but if you keep these goggles on for too long, you will ruin your business and you'll isolate yourself from everyone else.

Why? Because the rest of the world does not live in your reality distortion field.

They live in reality. They are doing and thinking what most people are doing and thinking. This means your customers, suppliers, investors, employees, family and almost everyone else you impact does not know (or see) what you know (or see).

It isn't their job to step inside your reality distortion field; it's your job to disconnect from it and reconnect with theirs. It's like you're living underwater and the time has come to swim to the surface and look at what's happening in the "real world."

Because as good as your idea/product/service/offer is, it means nothing if you don't communicate it properly, understand your finances or create the correct processes. You need to take control of your reality distortion field and know when to wear your goggles and when not to.

Lucky for you, this is easier than it sounds.

Related: Unchain Your Mind and Begin to Think Like a Visionary

How to take control of your reality distortion goggles

If you want take charge of your reality distortion goggles, you need to appreciate the six core pillars of business success. Your success doesn't come down to a good idea. There are plenty of failed businesses that had amazing ideas but couldn't align them with the needs of reality.

Real success comes down to:

  1. Marketing
  2. Sales
  3. Operations
  4. Finances
  5. Customer delivery
  6. Mindset

In your reality distortion field, you consider none of these. You're busy thinking about how you'll achieve the impossible, so timelines, budgets, resources and marketing do not matter.

But business success only happens when you meet these six pillars. So, although you'll create your best ideas within your reality distortion field, you'll only make them a reality by taking off your goggles and focusing on these six pillars.

Do this and you can live both in and out of your reality distortion field, changing the world as a result. This is how a successful entrepreneur becomes great, and this is how a great business becomes legendary.

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