The Role of the Visionary Is to Say, 'We're in the Wrong Jungle!'

A simple change in thinking can help you successfully navigate business hurdles during and after the pandemic.

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By Andrea Albright

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The number of businesses that have shuttered since the start of Covid-19 is shocking. Of course, no one could've predicted a global pandemic, but entrepreneurs and business owners must be prepared to overcome even the most difficult challenges. According to Michael Gerber's book, The E-Myth, 80% of businesses fail within the first five years. Why aren't we, as a society, doing more to support entrepreneurs, the backbone of our economy? And, as entrepreneurs, how can we keep from succumbing to these horrible statistics of failure whether delivered courtesy of a global pandemic or by any other obstacle that comes our way?

As an entrepreneur myself, I've created authority brands and businesses in some of the most competitive industries for nearly 20 years. I've seen thousands of entrepreneurs fail, and it's heartbreaking to watch their dreams go up in smoke. As a publisher, I also have the unique vantage point of learning the secrets of some of the most cutting-edge thought leaders alive today. They all share certain ways of thinking that allow them to last for the long haul, regardless of what hurdles the shifting tides reveal. Those who've survived the tests of time possess something critical: a visionary mindset. What is that exactly? It's the deep awareness of a visionary capacity that propels people forward, even in dire circumstances, to better the world around them.

That said, the visionary's path can often feel more akin to a ruthless battle of resilience, resourcefulness and redirection. Even at the start, it's challenging to break from the shackles of conformity when everyone tells you how excellent you are at following the status quo. Still, there are some of us who find ourselves on the other side of this equation, constantly questioning the ways things are and wondering how we can improve. The status quo isn't black or white it's a grayscale with massive room for expansion.

Related: Are You A Visionary, an Executor or a Processor? Why Your Company Needs All 3 To Succeed.

The benefits

When you're a visionary, you see a path into the next realm, where all conformity fades away. And it gives you two options: You can pretend you don't see the possibilities or you can embrace them, taking that leap into the unknown. Either way, you must face the fact that you'll never be satisfied with the status quo. Seeing beyond can be both a blessing and a curse depending on how you perceive it.

As a visionary, you can visualize how humanity is meant to evolve and what insight and talents you're meant to share to help us all get there. How you share these gifts is the conundrum. You'll find yourself constantly challenged to either believe in your vision or acquiesce to conformity, where at least you'll feel safe.

That is, until a global pandemic disrupts the very essence of safety and security, leading you to realize that society's status quo was merely an illusion all along. As the visionary, you're the one who can see beyond. The more you embrace and accept this gift as part of who you are, the easier it'll be for you to see the plethora of possibilities available to you.

Related: 4 Tips for Harnessing the Tension That Comes When a Visionary Hires an Integrator

How to get there

To emerge as a visionary is to remember who you are. You must remember what you are here to create, and how. It takes courage, and you'll often feel alone in this space. That is, until you discover how to share your vision with others. Your willingness to embrace self-awareness is where your true power lies. You must be willing to dive into the expanse of possibility and swim into consciousness, where Rumi says, "You realize you are not a drop in the ocean, but the entire ocean in a single drop." Being a long-term entrepreneur requires a broad perspective, one that expands beyond the shoreline.

Visionaries are the adventurers, the risk-taking warriors and often the ones labeled "crazy." None of that matters. Embrace your visionary self. The world needs you. You've been granted this rare insight to share with and contribute to the world. You can forge a fresh path, offering others the ability to cross over from their own status quo into the realm of possibility with confidence and clarity all because you did it first.

When Steven Covey says, "The role of the visionary is to see beyond the jungle and to see where the jungle is changing," you must say, "We're in the wrong jungle!" Leave the jungle. Plant new trees along your destined path. Your visionary capacity enables you to see beyond the horizon, where the land and sea come together like a seamless vertical siren, drawing you near without ever revealing the edge. The edge, too, is an illusion; with every edge you arrive at, you'll see more ahead. The perpetual next edge is where the visionary comes to life. I will meet you there.

This visionary mindset will help you continually evolve as an entrepreneur. If the game remains the same, we must ask how we can reinvent the game. How can you become a global force of creation, here to serve and progress humanity at the highest levels?

Now, there's an intention and agenda that will be forever in evolution.

Related: 3 Perspectives of Visionary Leaders

Andrea Albright

CEO of Beverly Hills Publishing

Andrea Albright is the founder and CEO of Beverly Hills Publishing, a publishing and marketing firm for thought leaders to ghostwrite and publish books in 90 days.

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