Beware: Tunnel Vision, A Nightmare For Entrepreneurs

Tunnel vision is a startup killer

An entrepreneur’s job is tough – we all know that – but one of the lesser-discussed challenges we face is tunnel vision. Entrepreneurs are prone to tunnel vision because we set out sights on something and we focus so hard on getting it that we forget the other “stuff”. Like race horses, we see only the finish line, rather than everything that’s happening around us.

As entrepreneurs, we set out with a business goal: to conquer the world. Joking but we do all want a million users or a million dollars or a million followers or a million something. The problem is getting caught up in our goal and not being able to look past it which makes us miss opportunities, sacrifice quality, and drive users away. Most goals lead to other goals, and the best goals are the ones that escalate towards your startup’s mission.

When you’re chasing a million followers, you forget your users; when you’re chasing a million users, you forget your revenue; when you’re chasing a million dollars, you forget your product; when you’re chasing a million anything, you forget everything else. Of course it’s important to have goals, know your goals, chase your goals, but an entrepreneur’s job is to juggle all the goals of your startup while keeping in mind its mission, and overlooking goals can cost you big time.

When is the last time you got your eyes checked?


Vision And Execution, But Where Is Direction?

An entrepreneur must have vision, they say… Vision is nothing without execution, they say… What they don’t (need to) say is that direction is crucial for getting anywhere. To go from idea to execution, you need direction. Direction is what connects vision to execution, it makes your idea come to life in several successive steps. You absolutely need it to know how to get from one step to the next.

Idea is a plain description or image, a mental visualization, while execution is a task or result, a checklist that’s been checked. Direction is knowing where you want to go and what you need to do, it’s a plan with clear steps that’s in your head, it’s a checklist that needs to be checked. That’s what makes the real difference between success and failure. Does that make an idea any less important? No.

It’s important to know where you’re going and also how you’re going, but we often forget about how to get there (which is understandable since we practically depend on our GPS for getting around). However – and somewhat unfortunately – a GPS won’t guide us to our final destination in entrepreneurship. If you want to achieve success, map out how you’re going to lead your startup there from early on.

Entrepreneurship is a chaotic ride with ups and downs all along the way; it’s all about the journey, isn’t it? That doesn’t mean we can’t choose which roads we take, what turns we make, and when we need a pit stop. Think about direction as well as vision and execution. Be prepared for everything. Readiness is a virtue!

Will you stop to ask around for questions or do you have a road map?