Big Ideas From This Decade to Launch You Into the Next
At the beginning of a new decade, I was thinking about how my entrepreneur mindset has changed over the last one. Since I read about a book per week on average, it would be hard to summarize all the great new ideas. But a few big ideas came to mind without even looking back through my library. These ideas have changed the way I think, the things I do, and the outcomes I experience.
Here’s the list of big ideas to change your entrepreneur mindset – See below for a description of the resources that changed the way I think in these areas.
- Be Your Best- Not Yourself
- Growth not Fixed
- Words Create – They don’t Just Describe
- Abundance not Scarcity
- Creator not Victim
- Out Of The Box not In The Box
- Questions not Answers
- Transparency and Inclusiveness not Confidentiality and Exclusiveness
- Who not How
- Run Your business – Don’t Let It Run You
Plus, read to the end for a two more bonus ideas.
Big Idea 1 – Be Your Best- Not Yourself
You can either coast and let life happen to you or you can make it happen. In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Dr. Joe Dispenza taught me how to rewire my brain to overcome habits, fears and anxieties with a powerful meditation technique. In The Jackrabbit Factor, Leslie Householder presents a fable to teach the power of the subconscious mind and how to access it and let it work on ideas that create your new future.
Big Idea 2 – Growth not Fixed
People often say, “that’s just how I am”. We see people frustrated with situations, and life in general, because they have a fixed mindset – a belief that they are powerless to change things. In her book , Mindset, Carol Dweck gives great examples of public figures you know who have fixed and growth mindsets. I read this one with my team at work and heard from many of them that it changed the way they were raising their children. Other resources I love that really flesh out this idea: The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz – My dad gave me this one in my early 20’s. I recently re-read it and find it as relevant today. High Performance Habits, by Brendon Burchard, is a volume based on success habits of thousands of successful people. I started using Burchard’s High Performance Planner and find that the planning and reflection it facilitates is helping me grow where I want to.
Big Idea 3 – Words Create, They don’t Just Describe
Several years ago I read The Three Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron. I learned that 1) people perform in alignment with the way things occur to them, 2) the way things occur to people arises in language and 3) that future-based language changes the way things occur to people. At about that same time I read Chalmers Brothers book Language and the Pursuit of Happiness which helped me see that language acts are at the foundation of great innovation and collaboration. More precision in language brings more distinction, more possibilities and more precise results.
I was also inspired by a few verses of scripture … Genesis 1:3 says “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” and John 1:1-3 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Big Idea 4 – Abundance not Scarcity
Abundance by Peter Diamandis gave me great perspective on things that were once scarce that are now abundant (like aluminum). The idea that we can innovate and unlock resources that seem scarce opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. Another great resource is Factfullness – Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World, and Why Things are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling. After I saw his TED Talk, I could see that much of the pessimism in the world is the result of sloppy analysis and assumptions about data based on sensational news stories. I also recommend a documentary called Demographic Winter that presents interesting perspective on world population trends.
Big Idea 5 – Creator not Victim
Have you ever heard of the Karpman Drama Triangle? It is a human interaction model that describes human tendency to float in and out of the roles of Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer. The ability to identify these roles in action makes it possible to diffuse the drama and move to more positive interactions. There is a great book written as a fable by David Emerald, entitled The Power of TED (The Empowerment Dynamic). It provides a view of the Victim and supporting roles and teaches the antidote roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach.
Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is also provides a great model for evaluating victim “head-trash”, getting rid of the stuff that just isn’t true, and taking the steps to change your mind to create powerful outcomes.
Big Idea 6 – Out Of The Box not In The Box
Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute gave me great perspective on these common terms. Acting contrary to what I feel I should do for another is called self-betrayal and gets me “in the box”. This looks like knowing I should help someone but choosing not to. In making that choice, I begin to see the world in a way that justifies my self-betrayal. The book provides a great model for getting “out of the box”.
A great paper that goes along with this idea is called Integrity – Without It Nothing Works by Michael C. Jensen. This paper was part of the prep work assigned to participate in a week-long training with Werner Erhard called Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership . There I explored the way I occur for myself and others such that leadership is not something I know or do – rather it is a naturally occurring self-expression. I also realized that my leadership was constrained and shaped by my understanding of what I thought leadership was.
Big Idea 7 – Questions not Answers
Our education system leads us to believe that having the right answers defines our achievement. We pass tests by knowing the right answers and are rewarded with grades and diplomas. A More Beautiful Question – the Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger taught me in essence that we get what we ask for. To experience different outcomes and better answers requires better questions. Asking “why, what-if, and how?” helps us challenge current answers and open up new realms of possibility.
Big Idea 8 – Transparency and Inclusiveness not Confidentiality and Exclusiveness
Honestly, my mind started changing about this one back in the 90’s when I read The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack and applied principles of open-book management in my own company. Great books that have expanded and amplified my understanding of this during the last decade include the following: Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal, Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, and Multipliers by Liz Wiseman
Big Idea 9 – Who not How
I was introduced to this idea within the last year by the founder of Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan. Throughout life, we find ourselves having great ideas but procrastinating action. In his book Who not How, Dan explains why this happens and then provides a model that liberates us from the pain and shame of not following through. When we realize that procrastinating is a defense mechanism to protect us because we don’t know “how” to do something, we are freed to find another person, a “who”, that does know and can help us. I’d also recommend Dan’s book Extraordinary Impact Filter as a companion to help you take your ideas to people who will help you.
Big Idea 10 – Run Your Business – Don’t Let It Run You
For many, many years I’ve been practicing and reading books about how to run businesses. Even with all the great ideas from experienced leaders, authors, professors and business leaders, I was left with a sense of disarray. I felt that somehow, I had to synthesize the vast collection of findings, ideas, practices, models and theories about every conceivable aspect of business and then somehow do just the right thing at the right time for business success.
Traction – Get a Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman, relieved me of this feeling by showing me a simple model that incorporates the vast array of business theory into six core business components. By leveraging tools and disciplines of the Entrepreneurial Operating System, I can rest assured that the entire team is working in harmony to do the right things at the right time to execute on the vision of the business. Also see The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.
Bonus Idea 1 – Wealth not Retirement Savings
Looking back, I feel as though my experience with financial and wealth management was sort of like a “convenience store” experience … high availability, limited options, questionable quality and expensive. Over the years, I discovered there’s more to finances and wealth than 401Ks, mutual funds and savings. In addition to new financial instruments that optimize tax effects, liquidity, and generational access, I discovered several other dimensions of wealth that impact the way I see it today. A big contributor to this is a book entitled Entitlement Abolition, by Doug Andrew. I love the K.A.S.H. model he introduces to show that knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits have as much to do with the “wealth” I experience in life as the money does.
Bonus Idea 2 – Travel Don’t Tour
Not only is this a good way to see the world, it is a great way to go about our day to day lives. This idea is well illustrated in the book Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts. It teaches us to let go of the pre-conceived notions of what we will find when we go somewhere and invites us to be present and discover what’s there beyond the mundane highlights everybody else already knows about. In life, I can sign up for somebody else’s tour and see the attractions, or I can take my own journey and experience the adventure, depth, mystery, and connection of putting myself out there, being present, taking some risks and discovering.
Give Me Your Feedback…
What have you learned over the last decade? Are you ready to change your mind in the next one?
Enjoy your travels!
Coach, Facilitator, Speaker
Professional EOS Implementer