How to Have a World Class Life
July 18, 2013
July 24, 2013


Sometimes there’s no evidence that your dream or your vision, or your idea – is a good idea. There’s no evidence. And sometimes there’s no evidence that this is the right time to do it. But the big question is: Where are you looking for evidence? Don’t look in your checkbook to decide whether or not you believe in your dream. Don’t look at the stock market or the news. The only place to look to decide whether or not you believe in your vision and your dream and your idea – is in your own heart”. –Marcia Wieder, CEO, Dream University

[There is no doubt that Vision is one of the greatest values of Life Signatures. Today’s post comes to us through permission from the Chief Visioneering Office at Visionary Business University, Jeffrey Howard.

In 2010, Jeffery launched Visionary Business University of which I was a student, lining up awesome faculty members such as Mary Morrisey, Michael Gelb, Shawn Duperon, Max Simon, Eric Lofholm among others.

In the very first class, Jeff and Marcia Weider talked about this topic, “12 Ways to Become a Master Visionary in the 21stCentury”. It is from the excerpts of their interview that we will learn some nuggets about vision as well as ‘How to be a World Class Visionary’. Enjoy!]

Jeff: So Marcia, I know you’ve been extremely busy lately with your speaking schedule and the recent success of Dream U Camp, so I’m very grateful that you could share the time with us, thank you so much for being here.

Marcia: From one visionary to another, I’m excited. I’m honored to be kicking off the series.

Jeff: Thank you very much. This is such a great topic, and of course, perfect for starting us out on this Visionary Business University Journey. So let’s jump right in, shall we? So Marcia, what does it mean to be a Visionary?

CEO Dream University

Marcia: What’s a Visionary? (laugh) Well, I know that you’re asking for your listeners, because clearly you are one, and what you’ve put together here with VBU is all about being Visionary.

At a simple level, a Visionary has a vision or a big dream – articulates it with clarity, so people get it. Expresses it with passion so people get excited about it, and I think a true Visionary invites and inspires others to join them. They get that they don’t do it alone. And my favourite quality being a Visionary, is that Visionaries don’t focus on strategy. What my dear friend Mike Dooley calls “the dreaded how’s”.

They don’t focus on the ‘how’s. There’s a funny paradox that I’ve been studying over the last 20+ years around dreaming and dreaming big and visionary thinking and that is: The difference between a dream and a fantasy like winning the lottery is that in a dream, or in a big vision, you can design a strategy for getting there. Right? So different than a lottery ticket where you can’t do anything to make it happen. But the paradox is that if you go to the strategy part too soon, you’ll often compromise the dream down.

So if you never go to strategy, it remains a fantasy. If you go to strategy too soon, you wind up compromising the dream down to what you realistically believe is possible and it just simply becomes another thing to check off your “to do” list. So I think true Visionaries don’t focus on the how, you know at some point you have to go to strategy, right? You have to know where you are in order to design the strategy for where you want to go, but the $64,000.00 question is “What has being realistic cost you?” If you’re overly realistic it will cost you your passion and your dreams. It’s been medically proven that people with passion and dreams live 7-10 years

longer and have better quality of lives. So, if we never go to strategy, we’re in La La Land, but if we go to strategy too soon, we’ll often kill off the passion and kill off our dreams.

Jeff: Yeah, that makes total sense. And of course, at Visionary Business University we’re all about taking from the vision all the way through the strategy in a step by-step sort of executable implementation process.

Marcia: And the challenge with going to strategy too soon is the realist inside of us wants to know: Where are you going to get the time, and Where are you going to get the money? And in the early phases of creating a vision or a dream, or great idea, you may not have it all figured out. Nor should you. So if we start to put the lid on too soon, it’s just going to have us compromise the dream down before we explore the possibilities.

Jeff: Cool. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that a lot people don’t naturally associate dreams with business. So why do you think it’s essential to have big dreams, particularly in your business and when you’re developing your business?

Marcia: I love this question. I’m a regular resource for the YPO (Young Presidents Organization). I speak for Fortune 500 Companies because I speak about dreams in a very practical way. And the bottom line is that in business, dreaming is serious business, and the driving force for transformation. Without vision companie
s fail. Plain and simple. And without our personal vision, life can become routine, mundane, and stagnant.

There’s actually a medical term called apoptosis, just like it sounds (ay-pop-tosis) that says that when your brain believes you’ve outgrown your usefulness (which can happen at any age – we see it most often when people retire, get laid off, experience an empty nest), when people or companies stop having vision, the brain sends a message to the body that it’s no longer needed. And people and companies start to self-destruct.

So one aspect of it is: Visionary thinking is what keeps companies ahead of the curve, but also it creates a passionate work environment, and passionate productivity go hand in hand. At the end of the day, happy people make happy employees; and happy employees produce better results. But I think there’s a little more to it too because I think people will join your company or organization because they’re inspired by you or your vision. But they will stay (the retention conversation) when they see that they can bring their unique gifts, their purpose, to the team or organization’s vision in a way where they feel acknowledged or appreciated. So really having a passionate visionary culture is critical to success in business.

Jeff: I totally agree. Something that you said is actually an interesting segue to something I wanted to ask you. This first week of Visionary Business University and about getting people connected with their passion and their purpose. I have heard you speak about purpose and mission – kind of a similar concept. So why do you feel that’s so important – the thing that really drives it all. (Do you think?)

Marcia: It is. Without purpose, you can climb to the top of the mountain only to find out: Wrong Mountain. The work that I teach is about helping people turn their lives right side up. Right now we live primarily from our clocks and calendars and we are so mired in reality that many of us don’t even know what our dreams are, much less how to make them come true. We think dreaming is frivolous as opposed to really getting that it’s the thing that’s really going to give us more longevity and a greater quality of life.

So for me, you know, somebody asks you to do something, and we run to our calendars to see where we can squeeze one more thing into an over-scheduled life. And usually what moves to the side (or gets shoved to the side) is something for our heart and soul, something for our well-being. We’ll skip exercising. We’ll skip meditating. We’ll skip our spiritual practices. We’ll eat a cookie on the run kind of thing. And I’m guilty of this too.

But the practice of really trying to take care of ourselves is also an integrity conversation. What I love is that I believe (through my work and many other people’s work), that someday soon when you open your calendar, what you will primarily see scheduled are the activities that are moving you forward on the dreams that are all the expression of your heart and soul. That’s what living on purpose is all about. For a lot of us it does start with the saying, “No more, no thank you,” and clearing some clutter. But also you have to do the inner work, the exploration.

Jeff: With every new step that continues like a domino effect, right?

Marcia: I love that you’re saying that. Take the next step. (laughs) whatever you’re next step is, make the phone call, send an email, sign up for a workshop – do something to demonstrate that you’re more committed to your dream than to any doubt, fear, or reality that might get in your way.

Jeff: Yep, taking that first action step is just crucial to do the whole process, to everything. I’m so glad that you said yes to this, because this is beyond the vision of what I had to start this off. It’s really inspiring to have this conversation with you so I definitely appreciate being here with you, actually being here with you.

….To Be continued



Marcia Wieder, CEO and founder of Dream University and is leading a dream movement. With over 20 years coaching, training, and speaking experience, her inspiring message, style, and wit has touched audiences from 50 to 5,000 at companies like AT&T, Gap, and American Express.

Whether she’s speaking at the Stanford Business School, speaking to executives in China, or addressing young women at Girl Scout Camp, Marcia’s riveting style deeply impacts audiences worldwide.

She’s the personal dream coach to Jack Canfield, she stars in Beyond the Secret with Bob Proctor, and she’s a member of the prestigious Transformation Leadership Council, along with John Gray and Marianne Williamson.

As past president of the National Association of Women Business Owners, she was often in the White House, where she met former U.S. Presidents Ronald Regan, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush Sr., and as a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, she urged her readers to “Take the Great Dream Challenge.”

Marcia has appeared several times on Oprah, the Today Show, and in her own PBS TV special has written fourteen books that have been translated into numerous languages.

Her newest is called Dreams are Whispers from the Soul.