What did I learn from the smash heard around the globe?

What did I learn from the smash heard around the globe and Elon Musk?

TEXT: Andrew M. Seaman; PHOTO: AP Photo

I don't know that I learned much. I am however immediately reminded of the noise of those who do not attempt to suck at something new. Those who do not make attempts at new, new ideas, their own success, and adventures are those who laugh, scoff, "did you see him..." and "there goes Willie again..." at me. It is perfectly okay. I laugh at those who live in fear inside their comfort zone shells.

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I have an entrepreneurial spirit. I have the spirit of try. I have the spirit of a unmatched work ethic. I obsess on perfection. That obsession drives me. Failure frustrates me momentarily.  I quickly convert that frustration to the fuel for me to get right back to the idea at hand. 

My wife has said to me more than once, "You do not know what you are not capable of". I used this very quote from her to seal the deal in an interview for an executive position. I was not qualified by education or the standards of others. I won the position over the MBAs more suitable for the job. I read daily to be a better leader, where my college counterparts stopped reading after college. Why would you do that? Now let me be clear, I am a believer in college. I am also a believer in ongoing personal growth. 

On that note of personal growth, let's derail for a moment. I operate from five pillars for success, and expect these in my organizations. My five pillars are

  1. Service
  2. Accountability
  3. Personal Growth
  4. Leveraging Technology & Innovation
  5. Integrity

Now back to my original line of thought. I created Cowpooling with laughter in the background. There were plenty of "there he goes again" whispers in the background. I made mistakes early, and often in the beginning. I used each to refine and perfect the idea, the processes, the who, what, when, where, how, and why. For me, I love that noise when I am working on something new. I quietly and internally laugh back. I do not understand the fears of those keeping themselves inside the safe, closed cell of comfort. 

One thing I teach anyone who has worked with me early on is, all of the money is made outside of your comfort zone. Don't get me wrong, life is not all about money, but if you want to earn it, have it, and in any level of abundance, you must get outside of your comfort zone. You must live there as much as possible.

I would not suggest ignoring those who laugh at your spirit of innovation and creation. Find a way to use them as fuel. 

People who step out on their ideas are the people who save lives, create convenience, efficiency, and if we are honest, the technologies that do away with the jobs of those who hide in the safe zones. It was someone who was repeatedly laughed at who created automation in the checkout lanes, kiosks, changed the auto industry, converted the world from cash to cards, as well as created Tesla. 

Thank you for reading. - Willie

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