Vision First

Capital is one of the highest hurdles early entrepreneurs encounter. Most people won’t work without compensation and most vendors won’t give away goods or services. It’s easy to see why lack of capital can be a challenge. When I meet with founders at the idea stage, though, I often remind them that capital alone won’t lead to success.

Capital is a tool. It helps you acquire the resources you need to build a vehicle that will carry you (and others) to your destination. The tool and the vehicle are cool, but what counts is the destination. Without it, the tool and vehicle have no purpose.

The most successful entrepreneurs I know all had a vision for their company early on. They saw a problem and envisioned a solution. Where others saw obstacles, they saw opportunity. In my opinion, it was their vision that allowed them to become successful. Sure, the capital they raised along the way (if any) was helpful, but the vision was indispensable.

If you’ve identified a problem you want to solve, consider taking time to develop and expand on your vision. If you’re successful in solving this problem, what does the world look like? Share it with people who can battle-test it and help you make it better. This simple exercise will be valuable and help you convince others (including investors) to join you on your journey.