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Why True Visionaries Often Don’t Reach Success

I recently realized that someone very close to me is a true visionary.

They really can see into the future. Not in the fortune teller sort of way, but rather they see trends and ideas years before they come to market.

A $10 Billion Idea
One idea they shared with me around the health business 5 years ago is just now starting to become a hot topic. If someone was to jump into this area of business right now they’d still have many opportunities … yet imagine the person that saw this coming half a decade back…

This lady isn’t a one time wonder – on several occasions now she’s made predictions and they’ve come true.

However there’s a big problem with all of this. All of these ideas remained just that – ideas.

The Missing Ingredient
Without taking action, investigating, developing and implementing these ideas nothing came of them for her. And I can say the same for myself. Five years back when I heard the health business idea, I thought “I think you’re right, that makes sense” but that’s where I left it.

I’m sure there are countless cases like this across the world. If deep down you have an idea or believe in something NOW is the time to act on it.

Sure, all actions involve risks, and when you’re at the front of the curve there is always more risk involved.

Making It Work
That said, no one is twisting your arm forcing you to make a drastic change in your life. You can still keep your job or consulting business going as you pursue your new idea.

As long you’re not scared of tip toeing around late at night to get more work done or setting your alarm to go off a couple of hours earlier each day – you can find plenty of time to work on making your idea a reality.

The most you have to lose if you give it a go is some money and time. And if you go about it the right way, it’ll be mostly time until you prove the potential of your idea.

What You Have To Lose
Far greater is what you have to lose if you don’t give your idea a try. One year or years later you’ll have that nagging feeling of regret, that just doesn’t easily go away, and you’ll be constantly thinking that you should have given it a go and what could have happened if you did.

If you’ve battled the demon of regret from not giving your idea a go or are on the other side and have slayed that beast by taking action I’d love to hear your stories and experiences in the comments below.


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10 thoughts on “Why True Visionaries Often Don’t Reach Success

  1. I think most people will admit that one person can make big changes in the world…but most people can't fathom that *they* could change the world. I think lack of action around good ideas is very sad… This goes for "good ideas" for individual businesses, too.

    I go to Networking events, and we come up with good ideas for eachother's businesses, but usually that's as far as it goes. People have a very hard time bridging the gap between "IDEA" and "ACTION." – Most great ideas are overwhelming, could have such far reaching implications and require lots of research.
    I know I've worked very hard coming up with the ideas for my consulting business…but I've had to work even harder to implement those ideas and turn them into concrete and clear actions I can take.

    • Jessica – thanks for the comment. Congratulations as it sounds like you're doing more than most to implement and take action – that is great! Do you have any tips or techniques you use to do this that you can share with the community?

      • Starting a business can be overwhelming! I like to make things VERY CLEAR for myself so each day when I wake up, I know exactly what to do to grow my business.
        When I first became overwhelmed by all the "stuff" a consultant has to do, I decided to write a "HATs" page. To be successful with my business, I need to fill the following roles (or wear the following "hats" at times): Business owner, business manager, customer service expert, public relations expert, website creator, writer, secretary, public speaker and finally, Professional Organizer.
        . If I do ha

      • Next, I wrote out the specific duties of each role, with a time estimate (to the minute) and required frequency of each task (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly(. To be successful and meet all the requirements of each role, I need to work about 55 hours per week and can have BILLABLE ORGANIZING HOURS for only 17 hours per week. That's why us consultants have to charge accordingly, and can't value our hourly rates below what they should be. We do a lot of work to keep a business running!
        As far as great business ideas go: Being organized and knowing exactly where you want your business to go helps us decide whether our "great ideas" should be pursued or not. Often, I have a GREAT idea, but when I look at it objectively, it doesn't fit with my business direction.

  2. Great post, MZ. I can relate. My wife heckles me a bit as 'The Idea Guy', but I've learned this year to take measurable steps to validate or discredit my ideas as viable business options. I've learned more meaningful info in the past 3-4 months about new subjects (email marketing, blogging, web 2.0, etc) than I had about any subject in the previous 3-4 years.

    DO NOT DO what I have done. I would get a great idea and roll it around in my head for a few days. The 'potential' of it would keep me warm for 5-6 days and then I would be on to the next idea. Potenial is a horrible word, if you're older than a teenager and someone says "You've got potential', run screaming in the other direction and take ACTION!

  3. Msantiago says:

    Thank you for this article. This is definitely me! I had so many regrets and often times beat myself up for watching my ideas materialize without me. I am working on some ideas right now and this was the message I needed to read to keep me motivated.

  4. Matt says:

    Yes, perhaps most people do believe one person can change the world. Perhaps few who can believe they can change the world. Far more important, almost no one believes the person they know can change anything.

    As an engineer I work to make the vision a reality. I am very good at it, as an MBTI INTJ. However I face the current "management" culture where "management" is now equated with beuracracy and hubris, people making decisions who are utterly unqualified. Nothing happened to change this after the Morton-Thiacol incident at NASA. We are drowning in these "professional managers" who are not the people with the skills and knowledge of the specific domain.

    The level of skeptacism the qualified visionary faces is extreme, driven by the unqualified non-visionaries around them. This is the key problem, not regret. It is very hard work to face these bozos in your way at every step.

    God save us from the MBA and the PMP.

  5. Ming Rodgers says:

    Hi, Like your site, really on my wavelenght.. Afer years of thinking I have nothing to offer the world and falling into a void of daily grind with no dreams or aspirations, I woke up to the fact that I do! We live in a world that is so focused on achieving the next step that we forget that sometimes we do have knowledge we can pass on to give some other person's business or personal life a boost. I am in a situation where I myself have a wonderful business idea but am stuck in getting it into action and I need help but I don't want to drudge through all the boring stuff to get it on the road. I want a consultant to answer my questions and find the solutions, not many can do that, can you???? How much do you charge?? Looking forward to hearing from you. Till then take care.

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