Sensible people look at what they have and work from there in the direction they want to go. Visionaries decide what they want to do, then gather the resources they need to do it.
Let’s take a common example. You want to start a company to make an app/make a widget/make a difference, and you need a million dollars. But you don’t have a million dollars, so you don’t start the company, and don’t make the app, the widget, or the difference. A visionary would instead borrow, steal, or in some way gather the necessary money, to get it done.
Let’s take a less common example. A friend of mine at school wanted above all to become a vet, but she was never going to get the ridiculously high exam grades to get onto the incredibly competitive course. So she got into a good university to study much less competitive biology and zoology. With a relevant science degree under her belt, she applied to vet school and got in. It took a couple of years longer than the more direct path, but in the context of a 40 year career, that doesn’t make much difference. That was visionary behaviour.
When I started my school in 2001, I had no money, no students, not a lot of knowledge or skill, and no sensible person would have done it. But having made the decision, I found that every obstacle had a way through or around, and all sorts of people stepped up to help, and sure enough, the school got founded and, with me scurrying like hell to acquire the knowledge and skill, I eventually grew into the instructor my students deserved.
A long time ago I came across this quote from Howard Stevenson, of Harvard Business School:
“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”
And I realised that I was, according to this definition, 100% an entrepreneur. I would just modify it a trifle:
“A visionary pursues their vision without regard to resources currently controlled.”
I have a vision, and I don’t care how much I may lack in terms of resources, aptitude, skills, energy, cash, or any other damn thing. Once I decide to do something, I just get on and do it. You can too. The trick is to start with the goal and work backwards, as opposed to starting with your resources and working forwards. And to decide in advance that you will jump through whatever hoops are necessary to get it done.