“Screw it, Let’s do it!” Richard Branson
Richard Branson is a great example of how to get what you really want. The billionaire maverick whose Virgin enterprise encompases over 400 companies, explains that you have to take chances, learn from failure and embrace change. Many of us fear change which prohibits our ability to take chances and apply lessons of failure. Until we realize that failure is part of the process of success, we will remain paralyzed. Change is a constant in life and when we don’t embrace it, we get run over by it.
“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step.” Thomas Edison
1 and 2 are certainly related, which should emphasize their importance. Allow the process of discovery be one that doesn’t pit perfection against discovery. When we only expect perfect results, we undermine the process that discovers the hidden innovation. Stumble forward. Break things, but learn from what didn’t work. When you do that, there is no failure, just steps towards success.
When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world. Elon Musk
There is opportunity in the problems that most people find too big to solve. Elon Musk took on the space industry and the electric car, not because they were easy, but because they were hard. Where things are challenging is where you won’t be daunted by the crowds trying to accomplish the same thing. Opportunity is often found off the beaten path. Sometimes that means taking on Goliath or carving new ground.
I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. Jeff Bezos
This might seem like a contradiction to the above points, but it’s also important to understand what is constant in the world and work with it. Simultaneously, it is important to understand that there is nuance and paradox in life, and we must embrace that and know when to shift gears. Yes there is change, but something will always be needed. If you can fulfill a need you will be in demand.
“Life is not fair — get used to it!” Bill Gates
A consistent hurdle in life derails many of us is the discovery that life isn’t fair. Instead of pining for a fair life, accept that it isn’t and realize that there is still infinite opportunity. By focusing on what is unequal we only succumb to victimization. Success lies in the finding our niche, not fixating on our impairments. Find out your niche and go for it!
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs
Most of us work forty-plus hours a week. Between that and sleep, a great deal of our life is occupied. But if we love what we do, we don’t need as much time off or vacation. We spend the bulk of our time doing what we love. Additionally, if you do what you love you will be inspired to work at it and do it at a high level. If you hate your work you will resent doing it and will be incapable of achieving inspired results. Plus you’ll be tired and resentful in the time you have to do what you want.
The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything — you can wait for your pitch. Warren Buffett
Sometimes there is the perception that there are once-in-a-lifetime-opportunities. Warren Buffett suggests that opportunities are like trains, there’s always one leaving and one arriving. Choose yours. Have you ever been pressured by a friend or family member to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? The very concept implies that opportunities are finite and it plays to our fears. Fear should not motivate us. We should allow that which inspires us to move us. Then we are invested personally in our investments.
Most entrepreneurial ideas will sound crazy, stupid and uneconomic, and then they'll turn out to be right. Reed Hastings
Revolutionary innovation is such because most people thought it wasn’t possible. Don’t listen to them. That’s why they didn’t do it. Innovative people have made fools of their critics along their paths to success. An old saying in stock buying is, buy hysteria and sell euphoria. Basically do the opposite of what the masses do. There is a reason it’s lonely at the top, most people don’t get there.
"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert
Dan Gilbert expresses the sentiment that we are often our own worst enemies. Give yourself a break. You’re not supposed to be perfect. If you are working against yourself, how can you expect others to work for you or with you? Additionally, if you pile on yourself for every misstep along your journey, you will quickly become exhausted. Instead, save your valuable energy and realize that you’re okay. keep going and don’t judge.
You’ve got to visualize where you’re headed and be very clear about it. Take a polaroid picture of where you’re going to be in a few years. Sara Blakely
If you don’t care where you want to go, you’re sure to get there. But if you have a goal, then you have something to shoot for. In order to achieve your goals you must be able to visualize them. Visualizing allows you to not only know what you’re trying to create in your life, it helps you keep yourself accountable when you’re off-track or perhaps found something better. When you have no goal, it’s easy to simply circle the drain, aimlessly.
Ultimately, these ten innovators have change the world and if you adhere to these ten principles you will find yourself carving out a successful path.