‘They say anything’s possible, you gotta dream like you never seen obstacles’ – J Cole
What are the qualities that make people successful? Hardwork? Perseverance? Passion? No doubt these are traits which are rightly attributed to successful people, like the young entrepreneurs featured on this site. However there is one quality which is often undervalued and that is one of vision. They have all pictured how either they will look or the business will look when it becomes successful. That is not to say that what they have seen in their heads has come to fruition in the same form, however they have aimed in that direction and kept going until some form of the vision is realised.
‘Everything around us was once a thought in someone’s head’
This quote is so significant not just to entrepreneurs but to the world in general. Take a few seconds and observe the things in your room. Laptop, speakers, cosmetic products, books etc. Each product or part of the products originally came from one person. Of course it took many more to amend the product and bring it to fruition; though the fact still remains that it originated from one person. Why can’t that be you?
“When Paul Allen and I started Microsoft over 30 years ago, we had big dreams about software,” recalls Bill Gates. “We had dreams about the impact it could have. We talked about a computer on every desk and in every home. It’s been amazing to see so much of that dream become a reality and touch so many lives. I never imagined what an incredible and important company would spring from those original ideas.”
‘Seeing is believing’
You know the stories. ‘You’re crazy!’ It’s impossible!’ ‘That’ll never happen!’ ‘Why don’t you try something else.’ Entrepreneurs who have to plough through doubt about their vision, sometimes even from those closest to them! It’s not just relevant to entrepreneurs, it happens to most people who want to do something different that those around them haven’t seen before; from losing some weight to becoming a world class athlete. Now in some circles these people would be known as ‘haters’. However I have come to realise that it’s not hate, it’s just that they can’t see your vision. And how could they? They don’t have the same images in their heads as you do, feel the same attachment to the vision as you and so on. It’s only natural. You can’t let this get you down. In fact some entrepreneurs view these opinions as positives! Also, you have to be clear as possible with your vision not just so those around it can understand it better, but also so you can!
‘Be like water’ – Bruce Lee
The point Bruce Lee was trying to make with this quote is that water adapts to its conditions without carrying any preconceived conceptions or barriers from the past. This is how you have to be with your vision. Life is a bumpy road (cliché time!) so things may not turn out how you planned. However if you adapt to your conditions both personally and with your vision you can be a success anywhere. There are many young entrepreneurs that started out doing one thing and ended up being a successful at something completely different such as Tom Ellis who went from selling tennis balls to champagne! Your vision is also like water because it changes and can become bigger as you and your business grow. For example, Jamal Edwards of SBTV originally started a youtube channel featuring local MCs and now that vision has grown to become one of the biggest entertainment platforms in the world.
Though this article is written with a focus on young entrepreneurs, you don’t have to be starting a business to have vision. You can apply it to life in general. I like to say the question we should ask ourselves and future generations is not ‘what do you want to do?’, but ‘what type of person do you want to be?’ and work towards that.
Dubem Menakaya is the President of Southend Enterprise Society