Four D’s of the Successful Visionary

Here is the good news and the bad news of business ownership. The good news is “It’s your business and you’re the visionary”. The bad news is “It’s your business and you’re the visionary”. This means that the direction and the push for success must come directly from you. In this article, I am going to highlight the four D’s of the successful visionary.





Let’s look at each of these.


This one word is probably the key ingredient for success for anyone in her own business. It is the foundation that the other three “D” words spring from. Desire has many definitions and means a different thing to everyone but the common thread among business owners was the desire, a “deep rooted” reason, to become self-employed. Desire is your vision of what you want to achieve or become.

Some people call it a dream, a goal, a want, a need, a must have, etc. I will call it “your lifeblood”, because without it your business will certainly die. Your desire creates the “laser beam focus” that keeps you on track when you have doubts about your business or yourself.


When you are in business for yourself, you must be dedicated to your business. Dedication to your vision makes decision making easier. When faced with deciding “Should I do X or should I do Y?”, the answer lies in whether X or Y will bring you closer to your business goals. Many times in life we are faced with decisions that appear to be equal in effect, but when you are dedicated to a specific thing, you will see the scale will tip towards the vision.

Without dedication to your vision, indecisiveness, doubt and fear can creep into your thought process creating confusion when making decisions. Single-minded thinking is the core of dedication and all “the noise” will be filtered out when you are dedicated to your vision.


Owning your own business can make you the envy of all your friends. Many of them have to put up with the “Boss from @#&%”, you don’t have anyone to report to and no one keeps a watch over you. This situation is the true test of a successful visionary. When no one is there to make you do the work or you don’t feel motivated, can you push yourself to perform? Lack of discipline can be the single greatest threat to slowing or eventually stopping the growth of a business. If you lack discipline, guaranteed procrastination, laziness and apathy will result.

Discipline means keeping an action list and reviewing the things you need to do on a regular basis and doing them. When you are thinking of not doing something for your business or you want to play when you know you shouldn’t, remind yourself of your vision and remember that “It’s your business” and you will ultimately receive all the benefits of a successful business if you stay the course.


Everyday, we face challenges and obstacles in our life. Why should it be any different if we are in our own business? It’s not. In fact, when you own your own business, challenges become magnified because the “buck stops with you”. You must be determined to overcome every problem and obstacle thrown in your way. If you roll over and quit easily, self-employment is not for you. The successful visionary anticipates that she will run into challenges and meets them head-on.

Determination is the thought process of not giving up and believing that when the tunnel looks the darkest that the light is just around the bend…and it’s not a train. Being determined will allow you to throw off the set backs you surely will encounter and move on without dwelling on the negative.

If you follow the four D’s: Desire, Dedication, Discipline, Determination, having you own successful business is a Done Deal!

(originally published 5/2/2000)

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