"Quit waiting to get picked; quit waiting for someone to give you permission; quit waiting for someone to say you are officially qualified and pick yourself."
Oh, and read the rest. Right now.
One of my favorite words: co-conspirator. These are also my favorite kinds of people.
Your co-conspirator provides a special space for you to be bold and dream a new future. They are enablers at their cores, but more than that. They fuel the fire with their shared enthusiasm, the back-and-forth thoughts, and a road map that creates a reality. Your co-conspirator will hold your hand as you run into the next phase together.
I often say that an entrepreneur is not an individual, but a microcosm. Starting a new organization or movement requires more than one person. Leaders need support. They need skills they don't personally possess. They need the vision and awareness of smart people to help them along the way. No man is an island, but we lose sight of that fact when we charge ahead alone.
We are social creatures. We need each other to survive, mentally, physically, socially. Engagement and honesty create bonds that contracts, credit lines, and customer service hotlines cannot.
You might measure the richness of your life with the number of co-conspirators you have. Or, you might need more of them.
Why do you always read the business section? Inspiration is everywhere, especially when you're looking for something with more punch than, say, chicken soup for [insert topic].
Read this Adweek interview with Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips and see if there aren't sixteen ideas in your head by the time you're done.
Here is a gem to get you started: "There's always going to be somebody beating you to the punch. I meet bands that worry that something has already been done. Who cares? I don't think about it being innovative or anything. I'm just doing what I like and hoping to get away with it."
Do you seem to hear the same information and opinions every day? Is you social media life going nowhere? You might be living in an echo chamber.
Online - and in real life - you tend to surround yourself with people who share the same viewpoints. This creates a situation called an "echo chamber," in which you get the same information from different sources. It's a closed space, and it creates stasis.
Agreement feels good, but it doesn't provide opportunity for growth. Growth requires newness: new concepts, new people, new revelations. You can't have a WOW! moment when you're hearing something you already know.
There's an easy fix: search out new people. Read what they have to say, and then engage in conversation. Find out who else is listening. You can accomplish this in 5 minutes, and it will make an impact on you every day.
"I want to be happy in my life."
I wrote those words down as soon as they hit my ears. Why? I knew they were important. The man across from me instantly transformed from a potential client to someone who was radically open with me. He wanted to improve his business, not to make more money, but to create a place of peace and happiness in his life. What he had wasn't working.
On another level, I knew they were important words for me... and for you. We all want happiness, but it's another issue to confess that desire to someone else.
In an interview, the author Walter Mosley described the situation surrounding a character he created:
"Oh, I like Leonid very much. He represents to me the 21st century. He's the guy where everything has changed in the world. Like, living in Los Angeles is a great example. You might say, 'I'm not going to move from place to place like everybody else.' But even if you stay in the same place, everybody around you moves. So you become nomadic, even if you stay in the same place. The 21st century is like that. The world we knew is gone, and we're living in a new world even though we didn't go anywhere."
As soon as you read this, you recognized the truth of it. We are surrounded by change, even though we sometimes resist it. The key, in my mind, is to swim with the current to harness the power of its momentum.
Here's something you might have missed. In order to bring this wisdom to life, Mosley had to observe life, ponder, work though his thoughts, and put them to words. Do you want to be wise? Give yourself time to think. Dive deeply into a topic. Talk about it with other people. Give yourself room to breathe. In so many aspect of life, you look to produce something, to get return on your effort. ROI can wait. Capital markets want return; humans crave wisdom.