Dear Manager,

One of the greatest pleasures for a manager or business owner is found in their ability to dream. I think the best definition of an entrepreneur would be: An individual who’s predestined to reach out and take risk in order to capture their vision. Stay with me, I know I’m edging close to “The Wizard of Oz” and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Whether you’re willing or not to admit it, we are truly hopeless romantics when it comes to business.

What other profession allows us to live in this virtual world when it comes to our future, our fulfillment, and our destiny? Personally, I can only come up with one line of work – a professional gambler – and I can certainly relate to THEIR inspiration and motivation as it might compare to other professions!

Let’s cut to the chase. We’re competitive by nature and simply hate to lose. Let it never be lost upon others that we compensate for this by being terrific winners! See, in the end it all balances out…

The First “Virtual Thought”

Virtual thought is the incorporation of past successes and failures into the vision of the future. Though the phrase may be relatively new, the concept of “virtual reality” could just have easily applied to the entrepreneurs of past generations. As entrepreneurs mature in their profession, they fine-tune the ability to visualize, forecast and, with a high degree of certainty, to form conclusions based their mental insight. This allows them to transition their dreams from the virtual to the real world.

It’s this “informed state of mind” that fills many managers with great vision and supreme confidence in their chosen profession. This is not to suggest that a seasoned entrepreneur won’t make a bad decision on occasion. It suggests, however, that over time, and with personal development, there are decisions worth “betting the farm on!” It can be difficult for the untrained eye (mind?) of virtual thought to relate to or quantify the potential for success or failure.

Did I Reference The Element Of Risk?

You’ll note that in my original definition of an entrepreneur I referenced the dynamic of risk. As I’ve stated in the past, the very best business people I know are those who’ve experienced failure – perhaps significant financial failure – on a person level. Only through personal failure can an entrepreneur capture and balance both a virtual and authentic state of mind.

While there are many successful individuals with unlimited resources, without significant risk I wouldn’t consider them to be true entrepreneurs. Anyone can spend their way into survival, financially adapt their model, and eventually declare their entrepreneurial success! Cash flow in the real world vs. deep pockets in a dream world is what separates the entrepreneur from the free spender.

If this virtual state is the mindset for most entrepreneurs, it would also suggest that it’s in this state they’d find creativity, pleasure, and fulfillment. I’ve certainly found this to be true; both for myself and for fellow dreamers I’ve known. It’s the planning, positioning, and the preparation (yes, the virtual state), that provides anticipation and motivation.

Prior to making a personal commitment and investment in this virtual state of mind, we already see the reality locked in. We can almost touch and feel the outcome! Experience tells us we can and will transfer the virtual state to an authentic state. Similar to the guy who makes ten consecutive three-point shots, in this state of mind the risk has been mitigated with prior experience and a corresponding overwhelming confidence. Gimme the ball, gimme the ball, gimme the ball!

So is That “Professional Gambler” a Distant Cousin?

Certainly! Just as that distant cousin is a fellow hopeless romantic and entrepreneur! All aspects of business investment hold risk. The only difference between this and other forms of gambling is in their social acceptability and relationship to attaining “The American Dream.” Risk can certainly be quantified and minimized, but it can’t be eliminated. Virtual thought for entrepreneurs is only sustainable in a thought process of virtual success. The absence of virtual success would suggest the absence of an entrepreneur.

The Flash Point of Success

It can become difficult for a seasoned professional to differentiate between a virtual and authentic state of mind. As virtual thinkers, the ultimate payoff – the flash point at which virtual and reality converge – may even go unnoticed. This is why we might find managers so focused on “the quest,” that they take their eye off the only prize: a successful conclusion. The pleasure all too often comes in the anticipated success and the process that comes in the virtual state.

Romance, Seduction, a Mistress and Excess!

All professionals can be seduced into a state of euphoria
by the mistress of success. Truth be told, as a group they can be pretty lousy at living in “the moment.” This is the greatest potential danger in excessive virtual thought. I’m not suggesting we stop courting this mistress; it’s the essence of ones being. After all, we’re dreamers. In fact, what separates the virtual thinker from the hopeless romantic? Perhaps very little!

We’re all well versed and trained in this virtual world. Let’s face it, it provides us with some of our greatest moments of pleasure and achievement. Ultimately, our final vision must be translated to meet our potential in the moment. True entrepreneurs don’t live in a dream world; they dream and act in the real world.

Personal Regards,


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