Innovation is hard. Really hard. It’s the opposite of business as usual where you just work to maintain the status quo, and are rewarded for doing so. The process by which you take a new idea to market has a series of phases, it’s not perfect, it’s an iterative process of trial and error.
Are you willing to suffer? Before I make a decision, I ask myself this question when I approach a new challenge I’m thinking about.
I’ve heard many people tell me they love learning. Often it’s just a spur of the moment thing where they have to say something because they can’t keep quiet. Most simply read stuff. Yes, reading is a way to learn. But the best learning happens when you do something; most people don’t approach learning this way.
I believe we’re all in a constant state of becoming, but only a handful of people are dictating how that happens. Everyone would like to see improvements in their life, but the difference between the ones who do and those that don’t is action. You’re responsible. That means being aware of what’s holding you back and how you’ll overcome those challenges.
Innovation is hard. Really hard. So hard that true innovation is rare. Most of what we see as innovative is increments, improvements, on existing products and services. With that said, it’s really easy to sabotage your innovation efforts when you don’t understand what you’re getting yourself into.
Shunryu Suzuki famously said “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” What it means is you are open-minded, eager to learn and approach everything without preconceptions. Approaching, living life, with a beginner’s mind is something some of us try to do, but most don’t. And trying is very hard because we have to actively force ourselves to do it.