The overall message in the emails I send out, the blogs that I write, coaching sessions, speaking events, truly everything I do, is that if we can just change the way we think about things (anything and everything), we have the power to change our lives in really dramatic ways. I learned something from Tony Robbins a while back and ever since I’ve been sharing it with my staffs regularly to get them thinking differently. This “thought shift” really pertains to your professional career. No matter whether you’re the CEO of your company, the receptionist, salesperson, or anyone else in the organization, your job is really two fold:
Innovation and marketing.
That’s it. Those are your two main objectives and responsibilities if you want to grow, create lasting change in your business, and realize success that few people in your industry will ever achieve.
And…THIS is where people start to panic.
We hear the word “innovation” and immediately jump to “invention” and the thought of trying to invent something scares the crap out of us. That’s when the “I’m not smart enough” or “I’m not good at those kinds of things” start flooding our minds and we become paralyzed. So stop that, and hear me out.
There is a KEY difference between innovation and invention. First, look at the definition of innovation:
Innovation is all about simply coming up with new ideas. It’s about breaking the chain of “this is just how things have always been done” and being open to new and more creative and efficient ways of doing things. All it takes to be innovative is a different thought process.
Necessity may be the father of invention, but creativity, rather, is the father of innovation. While invention often provides the solution to a problem, innovation offers an alternative to a problem or situation that people may not even be aware of.
Innovation gives an answer to the question that no one knows to ask.
There are SO many examples of this, but my favorite is probably Sony. In the late 70’s and early 80’s the “sound” world was getting bigger. The bigger the speakers, the better the sound. Boomboxes were these incredibly cumbersome stereos that people did their best to lug over their shoulder…looking back it’s laughable now. In the era of bigger equals better, Sony’s founder, Akio Morita, was an innovator. He gave consumers a solution to a problem they didn’t even realize they had, and introduced the Sony Walkman. There was absolutely no need to have one of those incredibly clunky sound systems when you could have the same quality sound out of a device that fit right in your pocket. An idea that, in a lot of ways, changed the world.
Netflix is another example. Did you know that Blockbuster had the opportunity to buy Netflix for around $50 million and passed on it? Something tells they’d take that offer today…haha!
The lists of stories like this goes on and on…IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Toyota, etc., etc. They operated from the mindset that their two main functions in business (and life) were innovation and market. Think outside the box, and let people know about it. These people and companies created a product or service that their consumers didn’t even know they needed!
I hope this inspires you to take action on one of those ideas within you. You could be the next Akio Morita, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Robbins, or anyone else for that matter. The only difference between you and them is they took a chance and acted upon their “crazy” ideas. Now it’s your turn.
It’s not what you know, it’s what you DO with what you know that matters.
Do something today. You owe it to yourself!
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