“I am in No Man’s Land … and with a big vision.” This from a client who has done it all, seen many a dream and goal fulfilled.
“No Man’s Land’…” he continued. “Some people would love to get there. People who reach its shores feel stuck.”
“No Man’s Land” means that state in your life or business where you are producing sustainable results (e.g. making enough to feed you) but where you feel unclear or too tired to think about how to get from this point to the bigger vision.
So at the end of each day, you sit on the shores of this island staring out at sea – trying to figure out how you can traverse it to get to your vision. How do you get to the fulfillment of your vision and your bigger goals?
This is not an easy state to resolve. Heading out without a clear plan or vision can be troubling and ineffective. Not trying anything or avoiding the vision can be troubling and ineffective. Functional results (money, specifics, etc.) have to be balanced with social and emotional needs.
Here are some of the things I have seen people get stuck on and I suggest
solutions for each:
1. Unclear Vision and Goals.
This happens to even the best of us. You stare out into the sea and all you see is the sea – not the possibilities or the insights. You have some ideas for where you want to go i.e. some abstract goals or visions for the future – but they have not been tested and you are not sure that you have the time or the bandwidth to do so. Other people tell you what you should do but it does not feel right and those suggestions do not work for you.
a. Get into dialogue with someone whom you trust and will listen to you without judgment and without unnecessarily interrupting. Allowing the mind to unfold in conversation – hearing yourself think could be the missing ingredient. Don’t worry about getting the perfect vision or goals right away. Patience is required.
b. Balance this dialogue with a willingness to test out your intended audience (clients, employees, family, etc.). Does the vision and goal align with what the audience wants?
2. No traction or Slow traction in building a community and audience.
If you do not have an audience or community large enough to sustain your big vision or big goals, then this is something to get started on right away. Why? This audience will help you clarify if your vision and goals are aligned with what they need (and in the case of a business, what they will pay for.)
a. Organize your current list of people who will support you or commit to your vision with money, time or energy and begin to engage them in conversation.
Engaging People in Speaking
b. Identify clearly your most desired type of audience and what you can help them with.
c. Identify a few targeted platforms (e.g. social media, live events, meetup, LinkedIn, etc.) to help you find and build your audience with a plan.
3. No Compelling Narrative or Engagement with audience.
It is one thing to build an audience. It is another thing to engage them to be enthused about your vision. People respond to narratives that are compelling to them in three ways:
a. Functionally – what do they get in terms of tangibles from your vision e.g. results, money, relationships,connections, etc.
b. Socially – how does this vision help them in a social context e.g. how does this help their standingin the community?
c. Emotionally – how does this vision help them resolve an emotion e.g. fear ?
a. Look at your current audience: what are the functional, social and emotional benefits from being in your audience? How can you replicate these benefits with other people?
b. How does your vision help your audience move forward – in the short term and in the long term? Spend time every week free writing or discussing this with your team or with a trusted person to flesh out answers to this question. Again, patience is required here. The quick fix is not necessarily the solution that works best.
4. Cracking the Puzzle – Building the Engine
The above 3 points are important but they need to be brought together- like piecing together a puzzle. This process can be annoying and draining. But there is a sense that this is
what a visionary needs to do. The real work is to put it ALL together in the way that you feel good about and that the world will feel good about. This is expensive time and hard work on the creative parts of the brain – but time well spent.
Discuss with people you trust. Our brains are wired to be social. Keeping this to yourself is good to a point but when you stop gaining insight – you may need to discuss this to expand the possibilities and get past the stuck points of thinking.
5. No Time To Put More Oxygen on the Future
There is not a single visionary I know who does not have enough time to get everything on their list done. There is not a single visionary I know who does not feel challenged in addressing building their vision versus handling short term emergencies from time to time. But all visionaries share one thing – they see that they have to seize the moment – now is the opportunity – not one year from now and certainly not 15 years from now.
The solution in this case is perhaps too simple – but cuts through to the relevant point. You just have to decide to do it. A vision stops being a vision and becomes a result only when you do something about it.
– Sunil Bhaskaran
Contact me if you are a visionary who wants to expand your audience and seeks insight and guidance on how to do that – step by step.
Sunil Bhaskaran is (as of this writing)
1. The founder of the Global Business Mastermind (the vision is 100 Million Joyful and Successful Entrepreneurs by 2045)
2. The Director of Strategic Outreach for the Healthy Climate Alliance (A Healthy Climate for our Grandchildren by 2050)