Vision Is Never Optional

Written By: Lance Piatt

Vision is vital to growth.  Growth as a person. Growth as a leader.  Growth as a business. Growth as steward.  Vision also must deal with a whole new learning curve.

Adding Something Means You Have To Remove Something

Pretty much anyone who does anything for any length of time will eventually have to start over.  Regardless of the reason, starting over is NEVER starting with nothing. Our lives are filled with splendor, heartache, elation, void, peace, sorrow, happiness… the list is endless.  Yet when the horn sounds and everyone rushes to grab their seat, there will be at least one person who is left standing without one.  Be encouraged because this could be the best for you and for those you engage with.

The best and greatest people among us have a huge treasure at their disposal… and that is VISION and garnering from hindsight, forward thinkers will always land on their feet and do best when the pressure is one.  They also know what to Reduce, Eliminate, Raise or Create.  They also know that by adding something, something needs to be removed.  So think about this and I will come back to it. 

Many of you know our history, though very few know our testimony.  I got into this industry through a number of very strange circumstances and by rights, shouldn’t be here (meaning, dead). I have a had few turns in the road and this is one of them.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. HAB 3:19

Life-Altering Moments Are Monumental

While heading back to my hotel after my first “ropes one” course with Dallas Fire Department, I was hit by a drunk driver, who also happened to be an illegal immigrant, who just (that night) got out of prison.  In the rearview mirror, I watched him peg me from a long way off. I knew the moment I saw his headlights he was heading straight for me. I was going 65 and he was going about 90… I had no chance.  I simply said Lord… take care of my family and then I remember thinking, “man, this is going to hurt”. (I saw everything crystal clear… I saw what was, what is and what should be).  I wasn’t worried or bothered. 

Life-altering moments are monumental.  They serve up things we would never choose on our own.  They all hurt.  However, what I never lost sight of was that I was made for something greater.  Everyone reading this article has been created to do great things.  As leaders, we are called to scale up, scale back, and prosper.  Prosper?  Yes… to become strong and flourish.  Prosperity requires some definitive and purposeful decisions and generally these decisions are not met with open arms…. Especially if it costs others something they hadn’t intended to lose.  But a tradeoff must be exponentially worth the cost for someone to except, but you need to be able to see it first.

Many of you are in a struggle from which there are few obvious alternatives… but I want you to understand that there are always solutions to your challenges.  An opportunity is an opened door in the midst of an array of closed doors and these opened doors ALWAYS cost something you’d rather not release.  Here is where your VISION in crucial.  Having a true vision will allow you to see things you never saw.  Example… the worst thing in terms of a budget is having to much of it.  An over-inflated spending budget is a disease like terminal gluttony.  Building a precision team is the same as a precision athlete in training. You must have constraints and a understanding of the end product.  Remove excess and dead or dying debris is like removing tumors… you have to do it.  NOTE… this excess and dying debris may actually look ok to some people.  Don’t do it.  Cut it!  Your outcome may depend on it.  You are always more creative with less than with more.

Where vision is best used is as a compass bearing.  Innovation, inspiration and transformation are my benchmarks.  Profitability, sustainability and scaling options are mixed in as well.  As a “solutions” organization, there is always a mixture being made. But we need to understand what we are looking for first in order to understand if we are hitting the mark or not.

Don’t Look To Find Something Lost… Create A Something Better

We started filming around 2005 and in 2011 we hit a milestone mark with filming courses… We had the most amazing “studio” and it exceed everything I had hoped for, then something happened.

We lost “The Lab”… the building was sold.  We had no real plan B.  There was something else I realized. I had never had a vision of something greater. Only plans for something that could work as an improvement over what was already existing.

Burned out and fried, I sold everything and donated “the platform/structure”.  It hurt to look back on what used to be. My dreams were gone, but I was about to be challenged with a choice and a reignited dream…  An actual vision!  I saw it and yet I dreaded it. I held on to what I saw for days before I told my wife… I knew what it meant, but having some time to ponder it, I asked God… “is this true”?  I don’t have it in me to do this again. 

Fast forward a few months.  A new vision… well one might say it is different, but actually, there was now a level of clarity that I hadn’t had in a while.  Clarity never comes without some struggle and loss.  Again, to Create and Raise, I needed to Reduce and Eliminate.  So I did. 

Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity… I can not live out these three realities.  So here we are… having spent the last 4 years in Bend trying to make things work, we are now back in Sisters and beginning again.  We are in a new building… one we own and built to our specs… we are armed with great people, passion and a vision with more clarity than ever. Yet every great work has a price to it and what that is, I don’t know yet. 

I was presented with an opportunity to try it again.  Now I could have turned it down, and I thought about it.  But the longer I thought about it, the more the absence of the missing challenge of “changing the world” churned in my gut. 

Framing up the new Rigging Lab Academy home.

BluePrints Make Life Much Better

Building something doesn’t just happen.  A plan and blueprints are required.  I studied buildings based on my vision. Not my needs… my vision.  I considered my constraints and jumped in. I knew as best I could at the time, what needed to happen.  Structurally, I know the loads I will be moving and (generally) the forces applied to it. I also know it needs to be a clean canvas and not cluttered.  I didn’t want another’s messy building to clean up or fix. I wanted a clean slate… a fresh start. 

I can stand back as the process moves forward and see the finished product.  Oh, yes… I see the finished building, but without the people… Without the energy of film project due dates… Without late night edits… Without others critically pursuing a greater level of themselves… a building is nothing more than a something that takes up space.  It is the spirit that presides in the house that dictates the life of that house.

Vision is breathable and you must be able to taste it.  Visions are viscus… you can touch them.  See, if these elements do not exist in your plans, you’ll miss it.  A counterfeit will come in a replace what you thought was a vision with something that simply works… or worse.  Don’t settle.  Plan well and execute according to the plan.  Building a team is important.  Transitioning to a new suite of rigging systems and tools is vital in many ways.  However nothing great will ever happen unless a vision is cast and embraced by those you are working with.  We are set up specifically to walk you through all of this.  

Pursue Life In Your Plans And They Will Prosper

Life is a pursuit of truth and happiness, but unless you are willing to get dirty with things that matter, you won’t really live.  Counting the loss means to acknowledge it then set in increase over the loss.  

So here is my point in all of this… everyone who is reading this blog is both vastly unique and clearly similar (to others).  A goal of ours is to bring a solution to whomever knocks on our door. Those solutions are unique to every person and group and yet a common thread will exist in each.  Leaders, mentors, students, teachers, learners and servants… All must have a vision to either carry and implement with others or help another’s vision by helping to carry it with them.  

NOW!!!  We are moving again!  As of September 2021, the VISION and PURPOSE of my life, my companies, and those around have become much clearer, but it required some “burning, purging and resetting a priority”.   We’ll keep you posted on this in the months to come… An exciting time for RRG and RLA for sure!!!!

Our goal is to elevate your status and  because I know it is good for all (for this to occur) we focus on making you “the best you” possible.  So if we can help, we are right here.

Peace on your days…



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