Every business owner wears three hats. I’ve written about this before, in the context of the thirteen principles I’ve (so far) identified behind my pajama-clad, fuzzy-slipper-shod, massively and ruthlessly productive ninja-like ways.
There’s a reason I put the CEO Hat first.
And that’s because the CEO Hat represents vision. And vision? Has GOT to come first, before everything else.
I actually have this mental image of my inner “CEO.” She walks into this imaginary office, in some imaginary skyscraper in some unnamed city, where everyone who works for her is wearing immaculately pressed suits and heels and whatever, in slightly torn-up jeans and sneakers, with a backwards baseball cap on her head. (That cap, obvs, is the CEO Hat.)
She strolls easily into the boardroom, takes her seat at the head of the table, props her feet up on it, and leans back in the insanely expensive leather chair, her hands behind her head, staring dreamily at the ceiling as the ideas begin to flow.
It makes me laugh a little. OK, back to the post…
Why does vision have to come first? Because it underpins everything. And don’t pretend like you’re all on board with this, like it’s some obvious bit of truth, some “duh” moment, like OF COURSE you do the vision thing first, HOW ELSE could you POSSIBLY do it, ferpetessake, Annie, what are you SMOKING?
I see. Right. Through. You.
‘Cause I do it too.
We end up in the middle of some project and we wake up one morning and we wonder … Um, why, exactly, are we doing this?
What were we hoping to accomplish again?
What the hell were WE smoking when we said yes to this?
That, my friends, is a failure of vision.
And that’s why vision has got to come first. But there’s another reason why, and that’s more to do with the soft, squishy stuff that comprises the bulk of the space between our ears.
Vision is what keeps us going through the rough spots. Skip the clear vision thing and when the brick walls start popping up in your path (and you KNOW they will), you’re gonna start to wince, and fidget, and back off.
Remembering that those brick walls are there to show you how badly you want it (thank you, Randy Pausch), it stands to reason that keeping the vision strong from the get-go will help you propel your ass over said walls.