One thing I've noticed about those who are seeing huge success in this crazy world we now live in: they tend to be fearless. They are not afraid of failure, not afraid to take risks, not afraid of ticking people off, not afraid to be wrong.
Steve Jobs was famous for fearlessly marching into the face of convention. He said said rather than doing research to see what the customer wants, Apple was going to tell the customers what they wanted. He made more expensive products that were designed better. He wasn't afraid to follow his vision. And Jobs did alright for himself.
But finding success through fearlessness isn't just for the rich and famous. I see it all the time, with local entrepreneurs – whether they're starting up a new tech company, creating their own professional practice or practicing their art as a photographer, writer, jewelry designer or graffiti artist. It's the ones who move forward fearlessly who are finding their own success. They are not afraid to ask for what they want. They are not afraid to embrace new technology or new ideas. They do not fear the scorn of others. They have a goal or a vision and relentlessly go after it. It's something you need to embrace if you want your business or your career to move beyond the middle of the pack.
This is not to say you should take unnecessary risks. In a recent Huffington Post article, author Susan Schorn says, "There's a big difference between something that's scary and something that's dangerous." You still have to evaluate the risks and keep from taking ones that are too big or unnecessary.
But you can't be afraid of failure either. Sometimes the best ideas come out of failure, like the glue that didn't stick very well that became the multi-billion dollar post-it note idea. And even, if you don't find that eureka moment out or your failures, the things you learn make you better in the long run. I did a talk for Ignite Detroit titled "How to be a better boss by encouraging failure" (which you can watch below). That advice works for bosses too. If you run a business or a department, don't be afraid to fail. If you do, it will give you insights into how to do better next time. If you succeed, however, you will have gone where others have dared to go and will have made your product, idea or service stand out all the more for it.
How To Be A Better Boss by Encouraging Failure
In her post, How To Be Fearless in Business Loren Ridinger says, "Being fearless doesn't mean you live without fear; it means that despite every obstacle and every doubt, you barrel through them, never giving up until you reach your goal." It's about having passion and believing in yourself, your company, your ideas. It's about not letting anyone or anything get in the way of doing what you think is best to create something special.
So, what are you afraid of? Put your head down and start barrelling through those obstacles. And don't worry about the nay-sayers. Ignore them and focus on those who support your ideals. Put fear behind you and go for it!