I’m sure by now you’ve either watched or heard about Drake discussing how Kanye West betrayed him, and unfortunately I believe that is an experience visionaries will know all too well. As a visionary your purpose in this world is to create. Your ability to create can serve as a double edged sword because it is what draws others to you. Some of the people who are attracted to you will step forward to serve the vision, while others will step forward under the facade that they are serving the vision, when in reality they are sheep in wolves clothing.
There are people in this world who will connect to you with the intent to learn all they can learn about/from you just to turn around and use against you. The worst kind of people hide behind smiles and fake love. The fake love is intended to build trust and comfort. The best place for an enemy to have you is in a position where you trust them.
Some business owners find themselves leading a team that tries to overpower their vision and challenge their authority over their OWN vision. Other business owners have had their visions snatched right from under them. There are the business owners who have been depleted and conned into pouring their vision into someone else, and now they have nothing to replenish their vision.
Dear visionary...your vision is not up for split custody, you cannot allow your vision to be kidnapped, and your vision is not up for debate/discussion. In this blog post I would like to share 4 tips for protecting your vision.
1. Register the vision
Protect your vision before you reveal it to the world and especially before you bring others on board to be a part of it. Register your business entity, gather your required licenses, and trademark and copyright the applicable parts of your vision. Imaging how easy it is to still a vision that no one “legally” has rights to. Don’t ever get comfortable in thinking just because you started a thing or you said something first, that it belongs to you.
2. Use legally binding agreements
Contracts! Contracts! Contracts! You will never know who someone truly is until money comes into play. Most of the time we start something amazing and everything is all lollipops and rainbows because no money is being generated, but as soon as money is involved people change quickly. Use contracts even if no money is being invested or made yet. This will clarify everyone’s roles, responsibilities, and serve as a guide as the business grows.
3. Establish boundaries
Establish that this is your vision and that the parties being brought on board are there to serve YOUR vision. When we don’t set boundaries from the start we are left to clean up messes later. Do not tolerate disrespect to the vision, the constant questioning of your vision, and or not being taken seriously. If you have to clean house of those who do not conform to the vision then do just that. Everyone is not meant to be apart of the vision.
4. It’s business it’s not personal
There are times we’d like to cut slack to close family and friends, so we do not follow our protocol, charge what we should, or hold them accountable. Most of your first clients/customers will be family/friends and you still must weed out which of them you want to take on as clients and treat them according to YOUR established policies and procedures.