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The Words

I’ve made a fortune as a result of not listening to the Words, “That will never work!” Most people in the Matrix are so in love with these Words that their entire existence is constrained by them. You should love the Words as well, but for a different reason.

Every major achievement I’ve had in the past 20 years started with people saying the Words. Conversely, if most people agreed with my vision on a particular opportunity, I knew I had to immediately change my approach. If you run with the pack, you get pack returns.

I believe all game changers hear the Words. Early on, how many people thought Steve Jobs’ ideas or devices would change the world? Even in the last year or two of his life, most people still greeted him with the Words. An Apple phone? That will never work!

The inability to see around corners explains why so few “A” students ever become successful business owners or visionaries. By definition an “A” student is a conformist. He/she successfully conforms to the requirements of the teacher and system. That type of behavior translates nicely into working for the dropped-out visionary. Consider lawyers, CPAs and other highly paid professionals…nearly all them were “A” students. And they sing the Words like an opera.

I now use crowds of people – mainly MidasNation – as a litmus test. I throw ideas out there, and if the vast majority can understand and agree with them, then I know my idea is not insightful. Sure, the majority-approved idea might make money, but it won’t cause a sea change. Remember what Thomas Kuhn said about paradigm shifts: they always come about because someone gets way in front of the argument and shows the way. Of course that person usually has a fair amount of arrows in the back, as I can painfully attest.

Here’s the insight for today: when people say the Words, what they are really saying is they CAN’T do that thing. Aha! This makes all the difference, because if everybody could do it, it wouldn’t be special.

The foregoing explains why I never look for inspiration from the $250 per hour crowd of professionals. Yes, they can help execute some tactical issues, like preparing contracts or financial statements. But their real value is that they provide the compass setting. When it comes to anything visionary or strategic, I ask them what they think….then I immediately head in the opposite direction.

Don’t let the Words get you down. Rather, learn to live – and grow rich – by them.

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