Within my circles (both social and professional), having a grand vision is a personal badge of honor. Right around now (January) we talk about how much we want to grow, change, and accomplish within any given year. Business celebrities are our inspiration, always marching towards something narrow and epic. Elon Musk – Go to Mars. Gary Vaynerchuk – Buy the New York Jets. Ray Kurzweil – Live forever.
Where there is no vision, the people perish – Proverbs 29:18
I have to say, over the years I’ve fallen a little flat in the epic vision department. A lot of this is due to the fact I was just trying to stay afloat, pay my bills, and make sure Design Pickle was open the next month.
Three years down my pickled path, I can thankfully say there’s a bit more space for a future vision to take hold. On two different trips in the last 90-days, I’ve had the chance to think about what my vision is beyond a world-class graphic design service.
Why is this important? From what I can tell, our vision – our long-term vision – is our North Star for the million+ small decisions we need to line up for the vision to become a reality. Big vision takes years, decades, or even a lifetime. Without something defined, there’s no way you can generate enough forward momentum in any given direction to accomplish something that huge.
Two moments triggered the vision I’m going to lay down below.
1. A road-trip with my friend Chris Ronzio listening to space podcasts
2. A weekend trip with my daughter Maddix, reading a Wired magazine in our hotel
First, having vision required two key pieces: Downtime and inspiration.
Without downtime and some type of external trigger (aka inspiration), creating a vision is just damn hard. We are hammered with the short-term, important, and urgent tasks every waking moment. In both cases above I was listening to or reading about people who are significantly further down the life path than me. This opened my eyes to what is possible and enabled my vision (how I see myself in the future) to expand rapidly.
If you’re struggling with big vision generation here’s two tips:
- Get away from your normal routines (I recommend a trip)
- Consume smart content
After all of this preamble, I’ve penned a solid vision I can really see and will require me to become someone 1000x greater than my current self.
Without further ado – here’s the initial Russ Perry Life Vision™:
Phase 1 – Design Pickle + $100M ARR
Timeline: 3-5 years
Phase one is to grow Design Pickle to $100,000,000 annual recurring revenue. All great visions require a lot of cash and currently Design Pickle is the best horse I have in the race, with an epically huge market to conquer. How can we do $100M? 20,000 to 25,000 clients – give or take. This is an insanely realistic target I know we can achieve.
Phase 2 – Professional esports Owner
Timeline: 3-5 years
With Design Pickle humming along (or sold for nine figures), I will buy (or establish) a professional esports team/franchise in Arizona. I deeply love gaming, but don’t have the time to game. There’s no better way to reconcile my business acumen with my gaming passions than to enter the ring of professional gaming as an owner of a team or franchise.
Phase 3 – Democratize Design
Timeline: 5-10 years
With legacy cash in place, and assuming it doesn’t happen before then, I will globally democratize design. World-class free design education for anyone. Think Khan Academy but for creative professions.
Phase 4 – Space
Timeline: 10-20 years
I am headed to space, and along the way, I will invest and create new space-centric businesses during my later years.
Why? I grew up on Star Trek.
Without question, I love space and humanity is destined for the stars. Why not spend the rest of my life supporting ideas, science, and research to positively impact generations to come.
So… there you have it. Russ Perry’s vision.
Simple, direct, and insanely exciting.
What are my next steps?
Publish this blog post and hunker down on Design Pickle. Phase 1 has a long way to go!