What’s it Take? No Fear.
This is going to be a unique post for me; in the Tom Peters, rant-style, in the heat of the moment kind of way.
I’ve recently been shooting emails back and forth with Albert Lai. For anyone who doesn’t know, Albert was featured on the cover of Canadian Business magazine in June 2008.
From what I hear, he sleeps about 3 hours a night – bed at 1am and up at 4:30am. The guy is incredible, and what I’ve written doesn’t do justice to the work he is doing or how highly regarded he is in the web/tech world right now.
Read the article in Canadian Business here.
Something that has come up a lot over the past few months is being visionary, forward-looking, and determined to follow through with an idea – no matter how crazy people think you are.
There’s been a few times over the past few years (and heck, even more when I look back to ever since I can remember) where I did NOT follow through with something (an idea, a project, a business, or even saying something) no matter how good I thought it was. “What will other people think?”
Well, Kev, what the hell were you [not] doing?
I was recently speaking with my dad, one of my most trusted mentors, about Albert.
“How the heck does he do it, Dad? People search their whole life for just one idea. Here’s this guy that’s taken over twelve ideas and turned them into profitable, exciting, and most of all disruptive new ideas.”
My dad’s answer:
And, just like most father-son moments, he was exactly right. You can’t have fear.
Most importantly, when people say you’re crazy (and they will!), you’ve got to keep pushing.
A good idea is a good idea. Want to follow through? Just do it. Don’t let anyone tell you no.
To be completely honest, I think you’ve got to be at least a little crazy, quirky, weird, and/or straight up strange if anyone’s going to listen to you. People might tell you you’re crazy, but that’s when you know you’ve got their attention.
I’ve had the “crazy talk” with a few people recently. Most notably, Marc Stamos. Another ‘crazy one’. Here’s a guy who ‘had it all’, including a lucrative career in corporate law.
But, he did something very unique. Marc looked up the corporate ladder at the firm he was with, and decided it wasn’t for him.
What did he do? He quit.
And he turned his attention to what is one of the coolest projects/organizations I have seen in a while: REBEARTH (www.rebearth.com)
Another “crazy one” who didn’t let fear get in the way.
It makes me sad when I encounter someone so scared of change that it almost paralyzes them. I actually, no word of a lie, feel sad – because they’re missing out on the exhilaration of trying something new, taking risks and working for something they actually believe in – not to mention the possibility of success! They let fear get in the way.
So here is what I’m going to do (and I owe this to the person who gave me some very good advice today over the phone). The next time I have an idea – I’m just going to do it. I’m not waiting for anyone’s permission to try something out, and I’m certainly not going to wait to have things perfected before I get the ball rolling. I’m just going to do it, ‘crazy’ or not.
You see, ‘crazy’ is a relative term. You’re only considered crazy until everyone else thinks the same way.
And besides, who will listen if you’re not half crazy?! In the words of Jack Welch:
“You can’t behave in a calm, rational manner. You’ve got to be out there on the lunatic fringe.”
Here’s my commitment to living out on that fringe. I am a lunatic. And I am more than OK with that :)
Just to finish things up, here’s a great ad from the mid 90’s Apple campaign called Think Different:
Please, if you do one thing tomorrow: be a little crazy. The world could use a few more crazy ones.