Vision and goals - deceptive security or a necessity?

In the blog "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," you have evaluated your strengths and your means. This inventory gives you the necessary security in the entrepreneurial world, which is characterized by the highest degree of uncertainty. Even experienced entrepreneurs follow this logic. Superpreneurs know that they cannot predict the future; instead, they try to influence the future through a new way of solving problems. In doing so, they let their existing resources guide themselves. When applied to you, this means that you - guided by your individuality, your contacts, and your skills - should develop your idea (a vision) of what your solution to your identified problem will look like and how you will approach that solution. In the process, you will identify further problem areas along the way, which you can solve simultaneously. Over time, a so-called goal portfolio will develop, in which a goal is supplemented, replaced, or completed by another.

Now you are probably asking yourself: "Am I not swimming aimlessly in one direction or the other, leaving everything to chance with this approach?" Successful entrepreneurs often speak of the visions that guided them at the beginning of their entrepreneurial activity. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, for example, declared back in the 1990s that he would create the world's largest online sales distributer. A more recent example: What do you think about Elon Musk's vision to colonize Mars with SpaceX and offer space vacations? Does that sound crazy or visionary to you? In any case, we can't say for sure at this point whether this will be possible in the future.

Do you know the principle of "retrospective bias"? Briefly explained, the retrospective bias says that you are always wiser in retrospect. In other words, in retrospect, your solution was the only reasonable one, and the path you took was clearly defined the whole time. But if you are at the start of your entrepreneurial journey, you have to make many decisions. You will encounter many junctions along the way where you have to decide which direction to take. Here lies the problem of visions and goals, for only in the future will you know whether your vision and your goals are utopias or whether they can be realized.


The former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said: "Those who have visions should see a doctor."


In short, the problem with visions and goals is that they create a sense of security. But this security only exists on paper. Nevertheless, visions are powerful as long as they are congruent with your own identity. Examine whether you can achieve your vision through your abilities and network, using your vision as a rough guideline, not as a guide to action. By personally identifying with the recognized problem and using your inventory of means, you increase your intrinsic motivation to find a solution to the problem and thus drive your entrepreneurial actions.

At the start of your entrepreneurial activities, you do not have any clear market information available because the market for your unique product or service does not exist yet - a so-called Blue Ocean. Therefore it hardly makes sense to define clear goals in this initially extremely uncertain situation and to direct all your resources, time, and means towards these goals. You would find yourself in a false sense of security and, therefore, would close yourself off to the rapid changes in your environment. That is why it is so crucial that you use your existing means to get started. This will enable you to start entrepreneurial activities right away. Only when the venture is growing is the time ready for concrete goals that coordinate and organize joint activities.

So the entrepreneurial method does not make you act aimlessly. Instead, you learn to derive your vision and goals from your identity and your available resources. Consequently, goals are not the starting point of your entrepreneurial activity, but the result of your actions.

The advantage of the entrepreneurial method is that by "letting your means lead" you experiment in different ways before you find the right approach. However, this is important because the initial idea is rarely the final solution. This way, premature action should be avoided, whereas the best solution to the problem should be discovered as a goal during your entrepreneurial journey. Along this path, you will find and solve further goals one after the other, thus creating real customer benefits.