Listen to me read this here:
In preparation for launching both my editing services and my new website, I’ve been going over the services page with a fine-toothed comb. My intention to work with visionary entrepreneurs this year on their large-scale projects, and the fact that “visionary” is such an oft-used word in small-business circles, had me curious as to “visionary” is truly defined. Thank heavens for access to the online OED.
The entry for “visionary” is long, but in sum, the two definitions for visionary-as-noun are this:
One who has visions; one to whom unknown or future things are revealed in visions.
One who indulges in fantastic ideas or schemes; an unpractical speculator or enthusiast.
In sum, a visionary is either someone who is potentially hallucinating, or having a mystical experience; a visionary can also be someone who pays no mind to what’s actually true, and is wildly enthusiastic about wildly impossible fantasies, neither of which sounds appealing to me.
A swift Googling of “Steve Jobs visionary” turns up things such as a CNN article, “Steve Jobs Praised as Apple’s Visionary, Creative Genius,” or “Steve Jobs: Businessman, Innovator, Visionary” from The Christian Science Monitor. Steve Jobs created things that no one knew they wanted. I was telling someone the other day about the first time someone showed me an iPod — first generation, and as brick-like in my memory as the first cell phones were. The guy — a kid in his late 20s with a horrible mustache, and the kind of guy who would drive my friend and me on mountain roads in his car with the top down, steering and drinking a beer at the same time — was damn proud of his new toy. And why wouldn’t he be? I’d been toting around a tiny silver MP3 player that could hold approximately seven songs. I was constantly switching out songs so that I could have some variety, and here was Awful Guy with a magical device that held most of his record collection.
You could think of the OED definition of “visionary” as an antiquity. I prefer to think of it as the true line that runs through visionary entrepreneurship.
If you’re a visionary entrepreneur, you…
- have a mind’s eye, bird’s eye view of things that don’t exist (yet).
- plunge deeply into ideas that seem foolhardy — such as a car, as opposed to a faster horse.
- scheme and dream.
- throw practicality to the wind, cobble together prototypes, and then refine with reality in mind.
- brim o’er with faith and spirited enthusiasm.
- create new tomorrows.
Which doesn’t sound half bad.
And that’s why I want to work with you. An informational email went out to my editing-only list yesterday (click to view), but keep your eyes peeled for the March 1st relaunch, which will have even more of the delicious details, as well as door prizes. Think Theresa Reed’s The Kindness Hustle, or a donation in your name to the stupendous Girls Write Now.