Sunday, December 23, 2007

Realism isn't the road to success

This week I spoke to a friend of mine and our conversation turned, as it usually does, to entrepreneurship. Like me, she isn't part of the corporate cookie cutter mold that defines many people who get their MBAs. I like to think of us as trail blazers, people who carve their own way through the world. We have a hard time in large companies because they prefer us to stay on the sidewalk and we'd prefer to be stomping around in the grass.

Recently my friend told a family member of hers that she didn't think she was destined to stay in her corporate job for too long, and was very interested in starting her own business. The family member's response - "well, you have to be realistic." I would argue that no, you don't have to be realistic when it comes to career aspirations, and I would argue that if you are ever going to be happy in a career, you had better not settle for anything realistic.

This disdain for realism may come from my days in working in theatre; it may be genetic; I'm a Pisces - that could be the cause. The world of dreaming, imagination, and wild aspirations is really the only world I understand and in which I feel at home. I have to draw from some of the people I most admire and again, must reference Apple's commercial that salutes "the crazy ones."

Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Picasso, Martin Luther King, Jim Henson. They were not the slightest bit realistic, and in the end their defiance is what saved them and inspired us. Here's to hoping that we all fight the urge to be realists and forge ahead towards dreams.

The photo above can be found at:


Stephen_Baer said...

Go Entrepreneurs...

Entrepreneurs are a key driving force of our economy. They help create jobs, deliver value, not to mention paychecks for tens of millions of people in our country alone. Entrepreneurship, for many, has now become the “Great American Dream” – that is, to become an owner, and able to shape and control one’s own destiny. Seven out of 10 new jobs are created by entrepreneurial businesses. And the U.S. Department of Commerce has reported that since World War II, "smaller entrepreneurial firms have been responsible for 67% of all innovation in the U.S.” I think there are three factors for entrepreneurial success.

Any business builder must possess passion for what he or she does if success is to be achieved.

Luck is everywhere – although not everyone sees it when it beckons. But an entrepreneur does recognize luck when it happens and seizes lucky moments to advance. The word entrepreneur means “to take an opening.” And the word opportunity suggests an open port, or portal, for success. One simply cannot overestimate the importance of being in the right place at the right time.

Willingness to Risk Almost Everything
This is what separates an entrepreneur from a job-seeker. The willingness to risk almost everything (comfort, income, home, health, and yes, even family) to seek opportunities, to take openings, and to satisfy as yet unmet demands. Success demands action.

As a fellow (albeit new)entrepreneur, I applaud anyone who takes the leap of faith. It's exciting, rewarding and well worth every risk, nasay and worry. Go Entrepreneurs...

Christa said...

Hi Steve!! As always, thanks so much for your energy, enthusiasm, and support of new ideas. I have no doubt your road to success as an entrepreneur is well underway!