Thinking BIG, going BIG and using Rag week for inspiration

Web definitions
Rag Week: a week at British universities during which side-shows and
processions of floats are organized to raise money for charities.
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

First off, read this -> Seven pieces of advice for an epic Rag week.

Second, know that this Friday blog has nothing to do with technology – well sort of.  Rather, this has everything to do with how we think, how we challenge ourselves, how we make a difference (either in our personal or business lives).  Now I know Rag week is all about doing stunts for charities but what I want to focus on is the extremes some of these students have gone to for their “cause”.  If you are in business, your “cause” could be growing revenue, increasing awareness or expanding to new geographies.  Just go with me on this…I think it will make sense.

The basis of the blog I mentioned above is exactly the type of thinking that we need to have in business if we want to go big, if we want to change the world, if we want to have some MASSIVE affect on society.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

Quite easy to say, quite difficult for us to do or for most of us.

Why is it so hard to think differently, to challenge “the way things have always been done”?

FEAR

We are afraid of failure, we are afraid of being called a lunatic, we are afraid of what our peers will say at the next cocktail party where we are not invited.

One of my favorite quotes is by Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (actually I have several from her that I love but I use this one often).

The most dangerous phrase in the english language is “we’ve always done it that way”

We’ve always done it that way.  Well if that’s true and it may be a fact that it is the ONLY way do you have the facts to support it?  Have you challenged yourself to investigate whatever “it” is to ensure there is no other way “it” may be done that will yield better results, be more affordable, with a more impactful result, etc.?

Think of what Einstein once said

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.  Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited.  Imagination encircles the world

Einstein would allow himself to explore the “what ifs” without limitations.  “What if” and then work backward to what could be.  The two girls in the blog mentioned above who accepted the challenge to travel to Australia in 36 hours without spending a single pound.  Do you think they focused on “this can never be done, never” or do you think they focused on working backward from the goal to identify “what could be”?

Steve Jobs said, “We are going to change the world.”  Bill Gates said of his initial vision for Microsoft, “We are going to put a computer on every desk and in every home.”  I remember that actually, I was 16 years old selling computers part-time for ComputerLand in Arlington Heights, IL and these quotes were included in our sales training.  Imagine that, in 1983 Apple was going to change the world and Microsoft wanted to put a computer on every desk and in every home.  So many didn’t believe it, I believed it – even if it did take me until 1984 to agree with Jobs.

We need to change the way we think, change what we accept as fact absent of facts, and push the norm to expand our thought which in turn will expand the possibilities of what we will accomplish.

Don’t let fear of failure control your opportunity for success – whether that is in business or getting you and your friend to Australia in 36 hours without spending a pound.  The great Babe Ruth didn’t become the “sultan of swat” without a few strikes.

Have a great weekend everyone and start thinking outside the box.

-Chapa signing off

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