The mind is a complicated thing. The mind of an entrepreneur is even more complicated. I recently wrote about vision, and how it paints a picture in your mind. Being a visionary, as we describe it in the entrepreneurship world, is different. In my view, it is more about having the discipline and urgency of execution. That is so because anybody can have a vision, anyone can imagine a desired future. But that does not make them visionaries. In fact, imagination can develop into an ugly weed in your vision garden.

For imagination to develop into a successfully carried out entrepreneurial vision, fear has to be kept in check. That is why the present is so important, when pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavor. Fear comes from the future. It is magnified by imagination. For creative minds, this dynamic can be crippling. I have seen it in young aspiring entrepreneurs. When afraid of a task to move execution forward on their vision, these entrepreneurs should not delay facing their fears. The longer the delay, the harder the task will become. Imagination can mount you on the saddle of the prettiest horse on a never stopping carrousel with enthralling lights and music, going around merrily in circles, forever fearful of jumping off.   For everybody else standing on the ground outside, looking at you passing them by on the carrousel every time you complete a turn, you have speed, but you have no velocity. It is the difference between vector and scalar quantities.

Velocity is a vector quantity. It is the rate of change in position of an object. It is the distance traveled during a certain time in a certain direction. It’s very close and many times comingled cousin is speed. Speed is a scalar quantity, meaning that it does not care about direction. As far as the parents of the children watching their kids go in front of them every few seconds on the Merry-Go-Round, they have great speed but no direction, they always return to the same place.

As an entrepreneur, be creative, but don’t fall into the imagination trap. When uncertainty drives fears from the future into your present, deal with them as quickly as you can. Do not spend time feeling paralyzed by something that has not yet happened and may not happen at all. Use the present to chart a directional course for the future, and use your time wisely now to build the skills that will help you tackle the obstacles that will certainly come your way. Open the closed but unlocked doors around you today, and keep advancing.

Our View from the Top – July 17, 2018