How to Think Big and Do Impossible Things

August 12, 2016

11:02 am

To be an early adopter, you have to be strong and brave, persuasive and persistent and, above all, prepared to do what most people think is quite beyond your reach with modern technology.

Perhaps you’ve made the mistake of sharing your vision with those close to you.

You’ve explained your plans in detail.

You’ve talked about how you’ve done the research.

You’ve talked about how you’ve discovered a business idea that suits a global economy.

You’ve talked about how you’ve found coders in India to set up the customized software you’ve envisioned. Subsequently, you’ve figured out how to send money to India.

And you’ve talked about how you don’t need to fund the cost of on-premise infrastructure because you’ll be leveraging the functionality of cloud computing.

Yet despite your eloquent description of your vision, despite unpacking your entire business plan in detail, you’re met with doubt and skepticism. Instead of encouragement, you’re warned about a possible global economic meltdown. And instead of being admired for your big picture thinking, you’re advised to be sensible and just get a good job.

Fight for Your Vision

Your decision to become a global entrepreneur, perhaps even launch a startup, will stir up by many doubts. It will stir up doubts in the people around you…your parents, your spouse, and your friends. It will also stir up doubts within you. Don’t let any of these seeds of doubt sprout. Yes, there is risk, but there is also opportunity, and you have to face both with equal courage.

Part of your feelings of misgiving is actually not due to the potential risks you’re contemplating. They have more to do with the past. After all, by thinking of launching an international business that will leverage the power of the Internet to serve people all over the world, you’re going against entrenched social values. It’s only natural to worry about a loss of security when you do something outside the norm.

Others Can’t See What You See

Those close to you can’t see what you see. While your family doesn’t understand how it’s possible to buy and sell goods across the world through a digital enterprise, your friends are still sending in resumes to local companies in search of a mind-numbing corporate job.

When you share your vision, either out of enthusiasm or necessity, you’re confronted by all sorts of nerve-wracking questions:

  • Won’t you deplete the money you set aside for your retirement to create a business?
  • Should you risk your excellent credit score to get a loan from your bank?
  • What if you lose all your money because you don’t really know what you’re doing?

“Sure,” they argue, “you’ve acquired a solid understanding of technology and marketing over the course of many years, but you’ll need more than excellent technical skill sets to run your own company.”

Here’s the thing: the more troubled things appear to be nationally or internationally, the greater the opportunity for early adopters.

Stop Waiting for Permission to Be Successful

Since childhood, you’ve been told what to do. Religion, school, and family have steered your path into adulthood. Even when you finally got your first big job, you had to seek the approval of your company superiors. The idea of seeking permission to do things in the right way is something that is inculcated in everyone.

However, to be a successful entrepreneur you have to think differently:

  1. You have to stop asking for permission and follow your intuition. We like to imagine that we are thoroughly rational creatures, but sometimes to solve a problem you have to think outside the box. If what you’re doing isn’t working, it may be time to try something else even if you have no idea what the outcome might be. “Insanity,” cautioned Einstein, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” He was a man who believed imagination is more important than knowledge and like him, you may have to make an intuitive leap to come to new conclusions about how the world works.
  2. You have to be willing to learn everything you can about your new business. We live in a world where knowledge is available at your fingertips. If you don’t know something, then Google it. If what you need to know requires specialized knowledge, then pay an expert to fill in the information gap. Today’s globalist entrepreneur is a knowledge worker.
  3. You have to believe in yourself when everyone doubts your sanity. You know you’re not thinking big enough if everyone immediately agrees with what you’re proposing. When you suggest a new idea, others will first oppose you. Later, some will begrudgingly admit you’re right. Finally, people will go out of their way to defend your discovered truth.
  4. You have to care enough about other people’s problems to come up with a solution that makes all the difference. An entrepreneur is someone who solves a problem. A global entrepreneur is someone who solves a big problem. If you want to play on the world stage, you have to come up with solutions that leave others stunned and amazed at your ingenuity.

What do all entrepreneurs who create global businesses from humble beginnings have in common? They don’t avoid failure by playing it safe. No, they choose to fail faster until they stumble upon something that works.

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