They say, “We need more steady, loyal employees.”
I say, “We need more ‘freaks’ who routinely tell those in charge to take a flying leap … before it’s too late.”
The above quote is from Big Moo: Stop Trying to be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable. This remarkable book is edited by Seth Godin and is written by a collection of 33 writers Godin invited to participate in this book, which raises funds for charity.
This quote came from the chapter entitled: They Say I’m Extreme. I include it today because it speaks to the heart of my struggles with entrepreneurship.
As a child I was a good student, a good girl, loyal and steady. I didn’t talk back, I got all my work done on time, I lined up when the bell rang, I coloured between the lines. I kept my head down and did what I was told. I was an “A” student.
The problem is, being an “A” student doesn’t really help you in the real world. And it sure doesn’t help with entrepreneurship. Being loyal and steady – colouring between the lines – doesn’t get you anywhere in business. Look around you. All the wildly successful entrepreneurs are the freaks who not only didn’t colour between the lines, they threw out the whole damned colouring book and started something new.
Even though I’m a mature adult, I still have that good girl inside me. She’s telling me to play by the rules, be loyal and steady, colour between the lines. Fortunately, I also seem to have a bit of the freak in me – the one who wants to take the flying leap.
Every time the freak wants do something daring, the good girl tries to stop her. For example, the social networking site LinkedIn tells you to only contact people you know well. However, if you really want to network, you need to meet new people. You can’t stay in the same circles.
The first time I contacted someone I didn’t know on LinkedIn, the good girl inside me was terrified. Oh no! I was breaking the rules! The world will end, the sky will fall, someone might not like what I did!
Well guess what, the world didn’t end, the sky didn’t fall. But I have created some remarkable new opportunities out of connecting with new people. One tiny step outside the lines has led to huge leaps in my business.
They say, “Zero defects.”
I say, “A day without a screwup or two is a day pissed away.”
The good girl hates defects! If it can’t be perfect, you’d better not do it. The freak, thankfully is a little more fearless. If you wait until you’re an expert before launching something new, you’ll never do anything new.
My first teleseminar was terrible! I had no idea how often I said um or ah until I listened to the recording. But I didn’t let that stop me. I kept on going. I’m getting better. And more importantly, teleseminars have been a great tool for building my business. If you don’t screw up once in a while, you’re not trying enough new things.
They say, “Plan it.”
I say, “Test it.”
Oooooh! I love to plan. Planning is great. Planning is safe. I’m not saying don’t plan. But eventually you have to stop planning and give it a try.
If you’re like me and struggle with this idea of being an entrepreneur – of being the freak by being different, then pick up a copy of The Big Moo. You’ll be glad you did.
Andrea J. Stenberg
Do you colour outside the lines? Share with us a time you did something a little daring that gave you great results.