Visionary or Visualist?

I am always amused when I hear someone use the word visionary, particularly since I believe that true visionaries are few and far between.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of VISIONARY is: 1: one whose ideas or projects are impractical: dreamer 2: one who sees visions : seer 3: one having unusual foresight and imagination.

The first visionary that comes to my mind is Jules Verne, he was a dreamer and his ideas were certainly impractical for the time.  Just one example of Jules Verne’s visionary capabilities: (and this is a bit spooky)

Taken from “How Jules Verne Invented NASA”

A hundred years ago, Jules Verne wrote a book about a voyage to the Moon. His spaceship, Columbia, took off from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean after completing a trip to the Moon.

  • Verne estimated that the mission would have cost his day’s equivalent to $12.1 billion. Surprisingly spot on–the Apollo program up through Apollo 8 (the first manned vehicle to circumnavigate the moon) cost $14.4 billion.
  • As with Verne’s book, that mission also had a crew of three astronauts. Verne’s were named Ardan, Barbicane, and Nicholl–Apollo 8’s were Anders, Borman and Lovell
  • The launch occurred 132 miles from the site of Verne’s prediction.

We all can’t be visionaries but we can be visualists!

There is a great deal of latitude for us all to be visualists. Look visualist up, google it, look in the dictionary and your results will vary. And it really does not matter.  I have decided to put a stake in the ground and share with you MY idea of what a visualist is.

A visualist is a person who: 1.) assumes the natural evolution of something, 2.) draws conclusions and 3.) acts upon them

The evolution could be a variety of things such as technology, human behavior, government regulation, aging, you name it!

Just a few simple examples of natural evolutions and conclusions in the document space:

  • Postage rates will continue to increase, so mail volume will decrease.
  • Storage and archiving requirements will increase so more content will be stored and accessed on the web.
  • The next generation (Generation Z, born in the early 90’s) communicates mainly via text and mobile communications and most likely will never receive a printed bill.

None of this is rocket science and if each of you look at your businesses (or your personal lives) you can identify natural progressions or trends and draw conclusions. You may already have done it. The most important aspect of being a visualist is to act. Each one of the examples above represents opportunity.

If you print bills and statements, you can resolve yourself to the fact that mail volume will decrease due to postage costs and let your business shrink or you can offer ancillary services for mobile delivery and archiving and storage services OR increase the value of the mail piece so the postage cost is insignificant. (or both).

Every business has a natural evolution, conclusions that can be drawn that present opportunity. Close your eyes, visualize and enjoy the ride!

Next blog …. Can you make postage costs  insignificant!