To Be Or Not To Be

FailureWith all the self-help, management and leadership material out there, one would think that the phrase, “it’s ok to fail” would sink in.

It doesn’t.  Parts of the world embrace failure as a necessary rite of passage, other parts of the world shun it. It’s easier to hide behind the fear of failure rather than change the world. A lot of people want to change the world, BUT….they prefer others to do it for them….4 legs good, 2 legs bad, that sort of thing.

There is a vast ocean of “great ideas” that get talked about at the water cooler, in restaurants, on tops of mountains, in bed with partners.  But the amount of energy to transform that electrical pulse into something is, well, just a drop in the ocean. What a waste!

Fear of Failure is a Freakish Fad. Its time is done.  If the question is to be or not to be, then ask yourself this? Is it better to sit in mediocrity and have done nothing at all about changing the world or go into battle, knowing that if you do fail, at least you have done it for something worthwhile, and had a ball along the way.  D.O.

Who Cares About The Brave New World?

You’d think that entrepreneurs might have learned from Columbus. Most of us haven’t.

When trying to convince people the earth is round, you’re facing two groups of sceptics. First there’s the bunch of total non-believers who will sneer at you with the words: “Go on, make a fool of yourself. Oh, and take a parachute with you. You’ll need it when you fall of the edge”.  Forget this bunch…they’re just an itch on the skin!

Then there’s the much tinier rag-tag bunch of wannabees.  It’s not that you’ve convinced them, but the faintest possibility of life on Mars is so exciting that you’ve made them dream – at least for a while. They’re explorers, up for the adventure. They can sail, cook, clean the decks and see the North Star through the thickest of cloud.  You’re all in the same boat and it’s plain sailing for while, until you get to stormy seas…..then the waters get choppy, you’re tossed about in high winds, you struggle to maintain a course, and it’s taking a lot longer to reach your destination. Before you know it, the sailors are questioning you, doubting you, they’re cutting corners, they’re jumping ship and they’re even inspiring a mutiny.

But what do you expect when you’re a heretic? You want blind faith, trust, a loyal following and a bunch of ass-kissers? For what? Did you really think it was all going to be plain sailing? Did you have no idea about the storms that might batter you about? And did you really expect a loyal bunch of kiss-asses to follow you to the ends of the Earth?

If truth were told, 99% of the world aren’t heretics. Only you are. 99% of the world cannot turn their dreams into reality. Only you can. And 99% of the world NEVER sees the world in the way you see it. Only you possess that insight.  And until you hear those words  “land ahoy”, it is your job to inspire, lead and gain a loyal following as much as you can. But when you lose people for whatever reason, can’t convince them, can no longer make them dream, and no amount of carrot or stick works, then MOVE on. The world doesn’t owe you anything. D.O.

A Tap On The Head

Everyone remembers his or her first car. Mine was a Renault 18 and I was in love with it. Forget the fact that it had over 100,000 miles when I bought it as a student, and it kept breaking down in the most inopportune moments. For me, that car was freedom and dreams.

Every now and again, a friend or associate will look at me, and with a glint in their eye, they say something like, “Oh Trevor, I would love to do what you do. I’d love to set up my own business”.  That’s the moment they paint freedom and dreams on their faces.

I have heard this sentence so many times now that I have become accustomed to counting the seconds before I hear the qualifying sentence. And it normally comes fast…”The problem is…I’m still waiting for an idea”.

Oh dammit! Here comes my Proustian moment. This is the sentence that makes me remember the love-hate relationship I had with my Renault 18 and the countless moments my dear symbol of freedom and dreams would simply decide to  throw a sparky on the spur of the moment – usually on some highway in the middle of nowhere.

But necessity being the mother of all invention, a short tap with an iron bar and a hammer to the starter motor and we were on our merry way again. You do this a couple of times, and you soon become quite the artist at getting the pistons going again.

I’m not exactly saying that we all need a short tap on the head every now and again to get the creative pistons going, but nothing riles me more than a sorry excuse for not doing something.

Opportunity is everywhere! You are in the thick of it. If you can’t see it, it’s because you are not frustrated enough with the way a good or service is being delivered. Get angry at the world from time to time. Do more than complain. Do it yourself. After all, there is usually nobody who can do it better than you, right? Think this way, the pistons will start firing, and the opportunities will start to flow. D.O.