Accessibility and holding the vision.
Last night, we went to our favorite restaurant Tasting Counter for its new natural wine bar. The bar usually doesn’t open until after the dinner service ends at 10:30pm (which is just about my bedtime), but fortunately the restaurant doesn’t have dinner service on Tuesdays and recently started an earlier wine night.
In truth, at least half the reason we went was to expose our friend to the restaurant because I want everyone to know about it. But, to be perfectly honest, I don’t need many excuses to have a bite of their exceptional creations.
So there we were—at what I’d argue is the most exquisite restaurants in Boston—listening to the front-of-the-house excitedly telling us about her vision to have the natural wine bar be the perfect place for a drink and dessert after a show. When you’re craving something more satiating than a bar or a club, but still more casual than a nice restaurant.
Her vision was so vivid. So passionate. So real. And it made me think a lot about holding the vision in my own business.
Now, in full disclosure, Tasting Counter isn’t exactly the most accessible restaurant in Boston. Tickets for the 9-course tasting range from $180-$195 (depending on weekday or weekend), which, of course, include nine courses, nine drink pairings, tax, and tip. But I fully appreciate that most people (myself included) can’t make it there too often.
So how does the restaurant balance between being accessible and holding the vision? It’s an important question that every single business owner has to answer. Hell, it’s an important question that every single person has to answer.
And, too often, our answer is to degrade the vision. To lower what we want to create. To dilute the work. To make it easier, more digestible, more manageable. Some people call it selling out. Others call it catering to your audience. But, nevertheless, it’s not what we really wanted in the first place.
So what’s the point?
It makes me think of my wedding. It’s an elaborate, three-day affair in Aruba. And that’s hard. Not everyone can afford it. Or get that much time off work. We fully, fully appreciate that we’re asking for a lot. That we’re creating an experience that we’ve envisioned for years. Full of private catamaran cruises and exquisite dinner on a sprawling villa lawn.
Early on in our planning, we had to make a decision—would we cut back our vision just to make it more accessible, or would we move forward with what we wanted?
It’s the same question I’ve had to ask about my VIP Days. Or my Mastermind. Or even the Sacred Circle. Anything I’ve created that may be a bit challenging for some people to experience.
How do we balance being accessible with holding the vision?
As a sat sipping my exceptional glass of bubbly last night (when it’s that extraordinary, I’ll actually have a glass), I realized that this—this is how you do it. You never degrade your vision; you just hold an additional vision with the intention of accessibility baked in.
Instead of abandoning our dream Aruba wedding, we’ve just created our charming ‘Southern-style backyard wedding’ in Massachusetts. Instead of Tasting Counter letting go of its stunning 9-course dinner, it has created this accessible natural wine bar for delicious wine and small bites. Instead of me neglecting VIP Days, I back in so much support (along with Sherri’s help) to make every Circle member feel like a VIP.
The solution is never to settle. It’s to dream more.
I’m so in awe of true artists—people who have such a clear vision of what they want to create, and then do it. Unapologetically. Sure, maybe it’s not accessible to everyone in its full form. But we can always create new art, new beauty that is accessible. Like me writing this blog each day. Or doing Facebook Lives in my Sacred Entrepreneurship Facebook group. Or allowing payment plans for the Sacred Circle. Or whatever other ways I keep my work accessible.
I’ll never take away from my vision. I’ll never dumb down my work. But I’ll keep dreaming. Keep creating. Keep sharing what I feel called to share.
What do you want to create? Not what you think is practical or realistic. But, really, what do you want to create? What vision can you continue holding for yourself? And how can you create other visions that feel equally good and accessible, too?
It’s not either holding the vision or being accessible. It’s both. That’s what an extraordinary artist does.