Creative Entrepreneur

Small Steps to the Big Vision

What makes some visionary businesses succeed and others not?

By Carolyn Campbell, MA, CPPC | Posted 4/11/06 | Updated 2/13/22

Ever since I was a teenager, I dreamed of creating a center that integrated innovation, healing and creation. Yet, in our culture we seem to put healing in one room and life ventures in another. I believe they work symbiotically. If more people did the work they loved, there would be less 'illness' in the world. And, as we identify and heal our disease, we are often called to live our life in deeper, more meaningful ways.

For years, when I would explain my vision, people would say, "Hmmm … how interesting." Now, what once was a dream is finally a reality.

They say that if you are too far ahead of "the curve" people don't know how to relate to what you offer.

I think there is some truth to that — and, my dear friends of transformative visioning, our curve has arrived! In a world rapidly cycling between uncertainty, fear and unparalleled possibility, this is the time for visionary leaders and businesses to offer services and products that offer new approaches to addressing the pressing needs of our changing times.

The world is ready! Are you? As I watch some businesses thrive and others stall, I wonder "what makes some visionary businesses succeed and others not?"

Here are a few of the common traits of successful businesses:

100% committed to an intentional purpose

I find a stunning difference between people who dabble in a business and those who are committed to making their business a full-on priority.

Although these folks may doubt themselves at times, they are driven to create products and services that address relevant life issues in powerfully impacting ways. Yes, they stumble, but fueled by a clear sense of purpose, they are able to reclaim their footing and move forward with intentional action … again and again.

Taking time to do define your purpose and focus your attention is the foundation of a strong business. But this alone is not enough.

Think long term AND create manageable steps

These days you can make soup in 2 minutes, you can have a makeover in an hour and you can even build a house in a week. But try as you might, you cannot build a sustainable business in a month. It pains me to watch people try and grow their business overnight. Starting and maintaining a business takes time. In the beginning it takes a lot of time. If you don't have the structure and support to ride through the ups and downs, your business never has a chance to gain a strong footing.

Quite simply, those who succeed think long term. As they build their confidence and stretch their own beliefs about possibility, they also create manageable steps toward achieving their goals. Setting inspiring milestones (with dates), helps maintain focus and direction. I think too many visionary thinkers fail to set foundational pieces into place and burn out before they really get started.

Unless you are doing a lateral transition, it typically takes 1-5 years to create a profitable and sustainable business. It is key to pace yourself — emotionally, financially and developmentally. It is also important to schedule extreme self care along the way.

Money Matters

Many businesses don't succeed because in their quest to save the world, they forget to take care of their business security. Take time to create a budget. Make projections. Determine what you want to earn and bundle your services to honor both you and your clients. It saddens me to see many talented professionals leave their business because they overlooked this key element. If you don't create a financially solvent business, you simply cannot continue to do the work you long to do.

Create community

Whether it is for personal support, professional connection or client development, successful business owners generate supportive communities. It's intriguing to watch businesses grow when people build intentional relationships. And for those of you who stress about not having the "right" words, don't worry. Don't try to explain what you do, let people experience it. In fact, you may be amazed how it can help your community grow.

Work on your business

One of the biggest challenges for visionaries is to grow a business while conducting a business. How are you connecting in the world? What systems do you have in place to make operating your business more effective and productive? What areas can you delegate? Without taking the time to work on your business, your business cannot help you grow.

And at the center of it all, an amazing alchemy occurs when you align passion, action, structure and purpose. The passion drives the vision, and the structure is built brick by brick, moment by moment … each one leading to the next. All along the way, remembering why you are here in the first place.

©2006 Carolyn Campbell. All rights reserved.

Carolyn CampbellCarolyn Campbell helps healing practitioners and creative entrepreneurs build successful businesses using their authentic strengths....