The visionary metallurgy of entrepreneurs

Iron becomes steel and, therefore, more useful when most of the carbon, phosphorous, and sulfur are removed and just the right amounts of chromium, manganese and nickel are added for hardening and durability. But it’s an intense and disagreeable process that is pretty rough on the iron.

Entrepreneurial vision becomes clearer, and more likely to become reality, when myths and misinformation are removed and just the right amount of research and critique are added for hardening and durability. But it’s an intense and disagreeable process that is pretty rough on the entrepreneur.

Wise entrepreneurs know that the best plans are actually visionary alloys, forged in our mind from our vision and the critique of those on whom we road test our ideas. But one of the greatest challenges we face as entrepreneurs, as we transform our vision into reality, is in knowing which imperfections of our vision to remove and which parts of the new information and critique to put in.

The reason this is such a challenge is because entrepreneurial vision is not passive: An entrepreneur’s vision is that rare “every fiber of my being” kind of thing that has been hardening in the crucible of our mind, and anyone or anything which dares to disagree with that vision is often dismissed as being without vision. During the alloying stage, the most common and unfortunate words to come out of an entrepreneur’s mouth are, “Yes, but…” and, “You don’t understand, see…”

In Visionary Business, by my friend, Marc Allen, I found this manganese wisdom from Mark Twain, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can somehow become great.”

If you want to forge the highest quality visionary alloy, you must include just the right amount of input from others - but it has to be the right “others.” Don’t blend your vision with the prattle of “small people.” Find the “really great” and ask them to participate in helping you purify your visionary alloy, which will allow you to “somehow become great.”

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