Vision. It’s a powerful thing.
Having a true vision for something goes above and beyond a simple desire. It’s not just another thing to strive for. It’s not something you want.
It’s something you need. Something that drives you. Something that seems of greater importance than life itself.
I Didn’t Start With A Vision
I have to be completely honest with you. I did not start with a vision. I did not have goals or dreams or noble reasons for entering into the blogging space.
I was 14 years old when I started blogging for money. Due to my age, I was unable to get any sort of traditional job.
I started blogging for business purposes because I needed money. Without the incentive of money, there is no way I would have stuck with it. There is no way I would’ve been able to push through and eventually find success, and there is no way you’d be here reading this article right now.
Let me tell you, I do not think there is anything inherently wrong with building a business for money. That is after all, the point of a business. You don’t have to feel bad if you don’t have any noble cause or vision.
But there’s a problem.
It’s Been A Hard Day’s Night…
Internet marketing is a tough business for new people. A very tough business. The sad thing is that while there is a light at the end of the tunnel, most people give up before they get there.
Here’s the thing about money. There are lots of ways to get it. None of them are easy, but if the green paper is what you are after, there are far more direct paths to it than entrepreneurship.
Let’s say you didn’t care about anything else in terms of your job, as long as you were making $50,000 a year. You have no college education.
Would blogging or internet marketing be the best choice for you?
Of course it’s possible to make $50,000 a year blogging, but there are far better options available. You could get a sales job and be pulling in 50 grand your first year with huge upside potential.
If I didn’t have a vision, I’d probably quit whatever I’m doing today on my businesses and jump into a sales career. But I’m not doing that. Why?
Because the money got me started, but the vision is what keeps me going.
Money As A Motivator
The problem with using money as a motivator is eventually you hit a plateau, and it no longer really brings you much more happiness.
When you are making enough to cover your necessities, you are no pushed to work harder. You become complacent, as if staying where you’re at is OK.
In the vast majority of cases, I have found that when people claim they want money, they are really wanting what they think money will bring them – happiness, freedom, and security.
But with happiness in particular, it’s important to understand that what brings us happiness is constantly changing. When you reach a certain level, money no longer brings you the happiness you crave. Monetarily, you’re satisfied. There is no incentive to grow your business further or take on new challenges. You stop trying new things and the work gets repetitive again.
If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, suddenly work becomes a chore and you’re still not happy, despite achieving your original goal of making a certain amount of money.
THIS Is Why Entrepreneurship Is Special
Entrepreneurship is special not because it can bring you money, but because it can bring you freedom.
You are at your happiest when you have choices. When you are making more than enough money to cover your expenses, you are given plenty of choices.
Before starting James McAllister Online, I had already found success in a different market. I was doing quite well, and I knew that I could replicate my success quite easily in a similar market. I had the opportunity to go after that, and potentially double or even triple my income at that time.
But I didn’t do it. I started James McAllister Online knowing damn well that this market was extremely competitive, and I would have to put in twice as much work to make half as much money.
I don’t care. I went through with it anyway, because I have the freedom of doing so, and I have a vision so strong for this company that it gives me a sense of purpose that money can’t buy.
I know many people who place their sense of purpose and meaning on something other than money tend to be happier with their job and more motivated to work hard.
I had the pleasure of talking with a leading Realtor in my area this past week. Let me tell you, this woman works 60+ hours a week and never seems to stop. When I asked her what drives her, she told me this:
“The real estate business is feast or famine. When I started out 15 years ago, I was so desperate to make money that I would do whatever it took to get that commission check. Today though, I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I don’t have to go out and find new clients if I don’t want to – but I still want to – not because I need the money, but because I am satisfied with my work. I get to help people through one of the most difficult transitions of their lives, and witness the unique emotional struggle each family goes through, while helping them through it all. Because money is no longer the motivator, I am able to focus all of my energy on helping my client’s become as satisfied as possible. Our goals are aligned, and I have made many lifelong friends in this business.”
This really connected with me, because in a way I have sort of found myself in a similar situation. While we all obviously want to increase our bottom-line as much as possible, once money is no longer the primary driving factor, you can focus your energy and effort on other places.
If I were still chasing money, I would have started another website in some other market and reaped the rewards. I am here because I want to build a business so large that I am able to hire teams of employees and impact millions of lives in big ways.
If I were still chasing money, I wouldn’t be reinvesting a large portion of this website’s profits back into the business and growing it.
If money was all that mattered, I would retire today and never work again.
I will say it again – the money got may get you started, but the vision will keep you going.
To close this out, I want you to ask yourself a very important question – what would you be working on if money were no longer an issue?
Would you hire new employees and develop some killer product? Would you grow and expand?
Would you continue doing what you’re doing now, perhaps donating some of the money to charity?
Or would you simply retire and live off of the money you’ve made?
Figure out what’s really important to you.
And while you’re at it, I’d love it if you’d take some time to share your vision with the rest of us in the comments. Don’t be shy!
It’s so fun to see a Young Turk like yourself blogging from a high energy, wise space. I love it. At your age I had zero direction. I floundered. My vision was getting through class in college to get home at night to watch sports. Keep on inspiring man. Visions are awesome because a true vision brings everything and everyone along for the ride. It moves your focus from you to all like-minded folks, and you’ll even inspire some resistant folks to change their minds too. Keep on inspiring bro.
Ryan Biddulph recently posted…How to Become a Pro Blogger
Yeah, I agree with you completely. This is something I hadn’t really talked about much before, but I do think it’s incredibly important. We need a drive that’s greater than money, or when we finally get that money, we will suffer.
I actually just went to see the new Steve Jobs movie the other day, I saw you mentioned in him in your recent article. Now let me tell you, that was a man with a vision. I suppose it’s the same for any billionaire – why do they keep working? It’s not like they need the money. They have large goals, and even when they have it all, they are still some of the hardest working people you’ll find.
Whenever we need motivation, we can think about our vision, and make plans to make it happen.
Thanks for stopping by Ryan!
James McAllister recently posted…10 Characteristics Of Highly Successful Bloggers
Hi James, this is a great topic. Thanks for pointing out the importance of vision over simply $$$$. I like the example you shared of the realtor. That really made sense to me. I was nodding my head while I read it. I definitely would do exactly what I’m doing now regardless of money. I started blogging with a vision (to help women or economically dependent spouses, going through divorce). And I don’t think I’ve strayed too far from that. I do wonder how long I will have a passion for it though. One day, I suspect I’ll want to put it all behind me. I’ve been divorced for 3 years but it’s been 10 years since I ended my marriage. If I had lots of money I would like to help women at shelters and temporary housing take steps to start their new life.
lisa thomson-the great escape(Quote)
lisa thomson-the great escape recently posted…Hello! Come On In, I’ll Put Coffee On
It is very nice to start with a vision. I have to admit I did not have one when I started. I was chasing the money – and I did eventually get it, but from that point onward, I did not find the work to be personally fulfilling.
With our blogs we find fulfillment helping people. I am sure you already know this, but it’s a great motivator to work hard for those who visit our websites and it also brings us great happiness when we can see that our hard work has resulted in an improvement in someone’s life. It’s truly something special, and I’m glad we both agree on its value.
Keep doing what you’re doing Lisa! 🙂
James McAllister recently posted…5 Incredible Books Every Blogger Needs To Read
My Vision is always to be the best that I can be at whatever it is I’m trying – whether that’s blogging, running or whatever. I find it a real motivation to be trying to do things better all of the time. Whether that’s more traffic, better writing or racing faster.
I think you are very correct in spelling out that when people are only interested in money they are really interested in what they think money will do for them.
Keith Lunt recently posted…How Often Should I Be Posting To My Blog?
That’s a great vision to have Keith! I really admire people who strive to be the best they can be, to do things the best they can. I have always tried to be this way myself, and I do think it has taken me to great places. It’s a shame most people don’t share the same passion we have.
Yeah, I really realized that it’s not actually the money when I started getting a good amount of it myself. Unlike my peers, I don’t spend the money I make. I reinvest it – either back into this business, or back into other businesses through index funds. I don’t want the money – my long-term personal vision is to simply be able to retire when it comes time for me to start a family and provide for them.
I work hard not because I want a bunch of green paper to hold, but because of what that green paper will allow me to do for my future family.
It’s nice to think about. Anyway, it’s great to meet you Keith!
James McAllister recently posted…Passive Income Does Not Triumph Total Return
Wow – you started blogging at 14? Now, that’s impressive and very good to know…
Back to the issue in today’s update…it’s sad that we all seem to have come online initially for the bucks (I just knew you did too from today’s post 🙂 ).
However, like you, I saw something bigger and larger than life itself: the joy of writing, connecting to millions irrespective of time and space and more importantly, helping people turn around their lives when all hope was lost – especially in my native Nigeria.
Just recently, I also came across an acid test for determining what you were meant to do on earth (which should merge beautifully with your vision)…it went thus:
” What would you still do everyday if you were 200 trillion dollars richer?”
I answered: “I would still blog, still write, still connect and still teach, help and inspire people around the world but on a grander scale!” Fortunately, that’s exactly what I am doing today.
What is your opinion of this acid test test of vision, James?
Enjoy the day.
Akaahan Terungwa recently posted…August/September NTP Blog Hop: Taking Time Off And A Million Other Awesome Entries
Yep – 14! It’s been a wild ride since then, that’s for sure. I wanted money, I worked hard for it, and eventually I got it. But I’ve got to tell you, it was a really weird experience – I was so young, I had nothing I wanted to spend it on, and I had nothing to do. No real sense of purpose or meaning.
I used to always think that the money, retirement, whatever, was the end goal. But without a purpose it’s meaningless. Financially I am doing alright now but I still want to make as much as I can because I really want to provide a good life for my future family. Even though they do not exist yet, I keep them in mind and I work for them, and it drives me.
But the reason I decided to work in this space instead of an easier market is similar to yours – to help people. It’s very fulfilling work, and knowing you’re making real impacts on people’s lives is something special.
Great to talk to you Akaahan!
James McAllister recently posted…Interview With Kim Willis On Selling High Ticket Products
If money is someone’s motivator, their business will be so short sighted. Because I was an entrepreneur for decades, my vision and my enthusiasm was always what I was doing and how it would benefit others. I knew from the start money will follow. Of course it had to!
My first shot as an entrepreneur was when I was about 17 years old. Buying antique furniture that was sold as “junk” and refinishing it, bringing it to Manhattan and selling it to antique dealers. It became such a large profit margin, it blew my mind.
From there there were many other roads I took to dabble. I always seemed to come out a winner (when it comes to $$$) only because I never thought about it, I just knew it deep inside. Call me crazy, but it has been working for me for years.
Donna Merrill recently posted…The Road Most Traveled
I have to tell you, you are braver than I am. I know this wasn’t the case for you, but there are lots of people that blindly believe that their vision alone will yield them financial success, and they often end up either not having a business, or they have one, but it’s not structured well. I like to say that a ‘business’ that doesn’t make you any profit is just a hobby.
The good thing is that once you have success in one area, you have a lot more freedom to branch out because the impact of failure on a new venture is much lower. That’s why I’ve worked so hard to build out my Kindle business along side this blogging thing – if one of them fails, I still got the other to cover me. Could you imagine if I jumped into blogging full-time after relying on a traditional job? That’d be scary!
Now that I think about it, we really need both. A vision without a realistic plan to obtaining it will often fail, but having some sort of business plan without a vision will cause our businesses to be short-sighted as you said.
Thank you for your insight Donna, it always gets me thinking!
James McAllister recently posted…Taking A Break From Blogging? Don’t Feel Bad!
Thanks for sharing another awesome post James!
And I really love what the successful realtor shared with you.
It makes perfect sense! And what a fabulous position to be, that
you could choose the niche you truly preferred at the time,
over trying to chase money!
Thanks for sharing another extremely awesome post!
Mark recently posted…So How Do You Successfully Market Your Deli Business When Your Marketing Budget Is Practically Zero?Part Two
It really is a fantastic position, I’m very glad that I had the freedom to make that decision. I’ve got to be honest with you – in the past market I was in, there were a lot of very fun moments, but the job itself wasn’t really that enjoyable. The money did do a really good job at driving me – it was my motivation. But after I was making the amount I was happy with, there was nothing there anymore to push and incentivize me to work harder.
What I’m doing right now is a lot more satisfying emotionally and I really do look forward to my work here.
Good to see you again Mark, it has been a while!
James McAllister recently posted…If You’re Not Subscribed To My YouTube Channel, You’re Missing Out
I like that saying “the money will get you started but vision keeps you going”. This show that you are wise beyond your years. But it’s very true. With no vision life becomes boring and stagnant. Two things I like to do is invest more in myself and to invest in people. I like two keep my brain actI’ve by learning and applying new things, and I like to show people what options there are out there. Since I’m doing this now it will be easy for me to keep doing this. Especially after making the desired amount. I’ll be just like the real estate agent you referred to.
Thanks for sharing James and I hope you have a great weekend!
Sherman Smith recently posted…Why Your Blogging Goals Suck As A Beginner
Boring and stagnant – that was exactly it for me. Suddenly I had access to more money than I needed and well, the work wasn’t enjoyable. Not only is there more of a challenge in this market, but the work is more enjoyable and more personally fulfilling. There are benefits other than money and I really look forward to waking up each morning.
I applaud you for investing in yourself. A lot of people don’t remember to do that, but it’s one of the most important things you can do. I hope others will read these comments and follow in your footsteps.
James McAllister recently posted…I’m Looking For Affiliates!
Great post – there’s a lot of wisdom here
‘Vision is the thing that makes my heart sing – it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning’ (my quote)
When I first started affiliate marketing in 2006 i admit it – my only vision was to receive my first commission. It was very ‘me’ focused. ‘Gimme gimme gimme’ was my attitude.
That was the first week. And at the end of that week I said to myself this would not work if I kept thinking about me and; my needs. So I made a dramatic shift. I decided to forget about me and focus solely on the needs of the people I was talking to (by phone).
This might sound easy but in the context of that period of my life I was desperate for income. But I just thought that if I take the focus away from me, somehow everything would work out fine in the end. So my vision became ‘how can I add value to people?’
Almost instantly I could sense a change in the way my prospects were relating to me. Engagement went through the roof, and just a couple of weeks later my first commissions were deposited into my bank account – $9,000!
Since then I’ve sold millions of dollars of products and services largely due to the fact that I took the focus off me and put it where it belongs – to other people and THEIR vision.
Almost everyone who starts out in the internet marketing arena makes the same mistake. All they want is to make money. It’s understandable but unless they have a vision that transcends mere money making, chances are they won’t make any money.
Thanks a million, James!
Kim Willis recently posted…Business Struggling? How to Banish Self Doubt and Discouragement
Brilliant quote, it really resonated with me. I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I actually look forward to waking up in the morning and going ‘to work.’ I know the vast majority of my peers aren’t in such a position and I feel sorry for them.
I too chased the money, but I was very fortunate to discover right away that you make the most money when you do focus on your audience / leads and how you can provide the most value to them. I also always looked at things from a long-term mindset so making sure people were happy with their purchases was always a huge priority for me. Like you said – when you focus on other people, amazing things happen for you as well.
I had it backwards because my vision at first (if you can call it that, more of a goal to be honest) was to make money. Now I use the money I make to fund my vision. It’s so much more fulfilling.
James McAllister recently posted…Interview With Kim Willis On Selling High Ticket Products
First of all thanks dear for sharing this awesome post with us.
Actually here you have shared a very helpful guide for motivate people and also really helpful to concentrate on work to make money in life.
our vision should be clear to archive anything in life, you are totally right and i am agree with you.
Thanks for share 🙂
Hi Sanu! It’s great to meet you.
I’m glad that you agree with me on this. When we have a clear vision, we have something powerful to strive for. If we work hard enough and are able to develop realistic plans towards achieving it, we can make our vision a reality. And that’s wonderful.
Hope to see you again soon Sanu!
James McAllister recently posted…10 Characteristics Of Highly Successful Bloggers
Unfortunately, James, a lot of people, when they get the money, they will simply walk away. People want just the money. They don’t care about serving others and that’s bad.
If you have that passion for what you are doing, and with a vision, money or not, you’ll keep pushing on.
I love this post man, and thanks for taking the time to craft it. Good to be back on your blog this week
Enstine Muki recently posted…Food Blogger Pro review ~ How to create a food blog that makes money!
Hi Enstine! Long time no see. Hope you’ve been well.
I was one of the people that wanted the money at first, but I knew right away that money was most easily made providing value to customers. I understood that it was a win-win scenario, and because I always had the long-term in mind, I never cut corners or deceived people in order to make a sale. Looking back, it really helped me out as many people went on to buy from me multiple times.
Right, if you enjoy what you’re doing than you’ll still push yourself to work harder even when money is no longer an issue. While I think passion without profit potential is useless, I do think profit potential without passion is just as bad. You really do need both.
Good to talk to you again Enstine!
James McAllister recently posted…Blogging To Retirement Is A Terrible Idea
The money got me started but the vision has kept me going. Hey, sorry for stealing your line but I’m not quoting you, my friend. Just stating it as it is with me.
In my opinion, putting that green thing first started to make a huckster out of me; selfish and willing to strain myself to breaking point just to earn it.
But soon as I defined the reason why I have to take my blogging seriously, created a vision for myself, I became “set for life”.
So each day, I remember why I strive to work my butt off to build an online business: “to build a business that honours God, adds tremendous value to men, and makes me 10x better than I already am.”
That’s what keeps me going each day.
True, you can trust vision to keep you going, to strengthen you in the day you’re prone to give up, to shirk defining your life by material possessions or accomplishment.
And if the vision is about impacting lives, oh boy, the juice that runs through you everyday, the sodding dollops of adrenaline to drives you to answer a beginner’s sincere email question, all those stuff that make you give your very best to make others better, can’t be quantified.
In closing, if it’s all about the money, you become sated and complacent when you’ve made enough to keep you going.
But if it’s about genuinely helping people? Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Your hair is on firrrreeeee you’re burning erm all up, baby.
My thoughts, by the way.
– Yusuff Busayo
Yusuff Busayo recently posted…[Experttease #1]: Lanre Solarin, On Content Marketing For Creative Professionals
Glad you agree Yusuff! Couldn’t imagine I would have kept going if money was the only thing I cared about. I’m getting into real estate investing now so if it were only the money, all my energy would be put there as I know that’s what’s going to take me to 100 million+. I have a huge vision for Help Start My Site though, so it keeps me driven. Plus, I impact the most lives with this business.
You’re right, when it runs deep inside you then you become so driven to take action and keep moving towards your goals. And when you are so motivated, procrastination doesn’t exist. Not only do we get more done, but we have a better time doing it.
I appreciate you sharing your thoughts Yusuff, you have a lot of great things to say!
James McAllister recently posted…You Wouldn’t Believe How Blogging Has Transformed My Life