Persistence of y.o.u.r. Vision

Just recently I had a mentoring session with Bob Roe where he introduced an idea that he and Brad Moore had been discussing on maturing your business vision. In a nutshell, this is the sequence of steps to take your vision, which you have written down in vivid terms of present success, into an operating strategy that has a higher potential for success. Visions are captivating, not implementable and that’s the way they’re supposed to be. If corporate operations manuals inspire you, then perhaps you are a sick puppy who deserves Hans und Franz to pump you up.

The figure Bob drew reminded me of Dali’s famous Persistence of Memory, so that gave a delightful contrast to the dry, boring (= lame) marketing-themed stuff so frequently found around the web.


One of the biggest, most satisfying eye-openers in the past month has been the validation that the problem STETA Group was formed to solve is hard enough to be worth solving! Is yours? Making money is a good thing, yet anyone with the sense that God gave gravel understands that merely making money is not proof of doing something worth doing. If you really need help with that, find a friend who will invite you to their church, synagogue, mosque or temple to learn something about the order of priorities in the Universe.

(To regular readers of this blog, insert “argue with gravity” sequence here…)

What are you bringing to the table?

It’s none of the usual suspects,

it’s y.o.u.rself, your own unique resources. As Patrick McGoohan made famous in the iconic British TV series, The Prisoner, you are not duplicatable. You are not to be “… pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.”

You are the magic in your plan, yet to scale like a consumer product, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity or other communities of women religious, your magic has to be bottled, labeled and widely consumed to evangelize your vision so that it captivates other unique people to develop a common purpose. One practical way to do that is the sequence that Bob & Brad recommend. While they didn’t invent it, I’m delighted to edify them again and again.

Here’s your vision initially:

Then you bound it with a business model such as the Lean Startup Canvas.

Then you start to stratify, categorize and segment your market opportunities, always remembering that the ethical leader exploits tools while they treasure people. Chris Guillebeau writes frequently on distinguishing the difference.

As your business grows, lands its first client, then another and another, your response to their needs determines how you refine your business operations. Because you can do 37 things well doesn’t mean you should do 37 things. Your business vision gets wings by exercising the discipline of saying no. Sometimes that’s “no, for now” and sometimes that’s not ever. On-going mentorship helps discern the difference.

Persistence is Key to Success

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” —Teddy Roosevelt

One of many sites providing this quote is Jeff Kinsey. Keep going when you don’t feel like it. Quoting a prior post: Hunger can be a good thing when it leads to a superalert state called yarak.

This intellectually hungry, ready-to-hunt state is also the prime ingredient that, when matched with trust, will help both the soldiers and the villagers at YOUR company’s version of the fable Stone Soup, discover the residual risks that have been staring you in the face for ages, then take effective action to resolve them.

Follow this plan diligently with your mentors’ on-going input and the star will highlight your bar of gold in due time.

As ever,

Carpe Diem!


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A walk in the forest…

Systems Thinking teaches us how to scale our perspective to study the forest or the trees, while Systems Engineering tells us what to do with the data we find.

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