I don’t usually quote others, I like to use my own voice, but this particular quote is very relevant and close to me. Allow me to explain…
With the impending release of my next toy, “Kricky The Alien Frog” along with my book of photographs that I’m working on, my next couple of music projects, my social entrepreneur work and another top secret project that only my closest of friends know about (along with a few other projects that are pending) I was recently accused by a couple of people of being too ambitious and unrealistic; of setting impossible goals for myself and not being practical or grounded enough. Funny, my Father used to say the same exact thing to me 30 plus years ago (ironic though since he, himself, was very ambitious! Looking back on it now, he may have said that to force me to fight back… which I did.)
If only they knew me… more than anything I have ever read before, this quote from the 1997 Apple Computer “Think Different” ad campaign sums me and my lifelong beliefs up perfectly! (It is often misattributed to Jack Kerouac, but, as great as Kerouac was, it was actually written by Craig Tanimoto when he was a copywriter at twba\chiat\day, the agency that produced the Apple campaign.)
I always think back to this quote when people try to hold me back from doing what I want to do (which seems to happen more often than not!)
If you really want to know what I am all about, what drives me to do the things that I do and, despite my occasional fallings (failings?) and missteps, what contributes to the more than a few successes that I’ve had (though not always financial, but always a success on some level) in the wide variety of fields that I work in… then reread that quote again and really meditate on it, because, unfortunately, not many people get it (if they did, then we wouldn’t have such mediocrity in this world.) I’ve lived my life based on this idea (ideal?) of always wanting to change the world, since I was 13 years old (for a very specific reason, but that’s for another post.)
As a quick example that relates to all of this: at my previous day job (whose name I won’t mention) I was working as their senior web designer. They were an eCommerce company run by a bunch of Harvard MBAs who had been in business for 3 years with 12 websites but never actually had a web “designer”; they didn’t get design and they were always so afraid to take a chance, to try something different. They would have countless meetings about what they should do with their sites and they always ended with “Well, let’s just schedule another meeting about it tomorrow.” I finally put my foot down one day and said, “Come on guys, let’s just do it! Let’s try this new design out and if it doesn’t work, fine, we’ll go back to the old design, no big deal… but if it does work, great, we’ve just moved forward!” Simple. Of course it did work, I got a huge raise, then 3 weeks later, after being there for only 8 months, they laid me off because, according to the mutual separation agreement, I “no longer fit in with the culture of the company.” But that’s a whole other story…
My point being, if you are one of the ones that don’t think you can change the world… then you never will!
Update: In a related story, according to John Hopkins Medical School professor and clinical psychologist John D. Gartner, the top entrepreneurs are actually clinically diagnosed as having Hypomania. He surveyed a list of entrepreneurs with a list of common Hypomania traits and 100 percent of them identified with every trait on the list. Scary thing is… so do I. To a “T”. Always have. You can read the article here.