I can't help building off Mary's post from yesterday. I have a postcard that sits at my right elbow, in plain site every day, given to me by a good friend...that shows a sort of cartoon girl, very large, with the caption: "I see stupid people."
It's obviously a take-off of the Bruce Willis movie Sixth Sense (I see dead people)...but it means someting entirely different to me.
Mary is so right - you are judged by the company you keep and it's your choice to keep company with people who are go-getters, focused on accomplishing something big, and tenacious. Now, at any given time, these same people could be "losers"...so be careful. Don't misjudge on the basis of prejudice or preconceived ideas.
To the "I see stupid people" post card - this reminds me that I need to evaluate my relationships on a regular basis. If the company I'm dealing with, working with, or prospecting for, turns out to be "stupid"... I need to walk away and not keep banging my head against the wall, hoping they'll "get it" tomorrow, or the next day.
Truth is, stupid is a cruel word, and not one I use lightly. I use it to convey the message (to myself, rarely out loud) that the people I'm dealing with just don't want to join the rest of us in the 21st century, and that they prefer to waste millions on campaigns that could only cost them thousands. And have bigger, better, more stupendous ROI...if one likes that term. My Tom hates it.
Stupid is a term that brings with it the recognition that some people don't want to learn. Some people prefer throwing money down a rathole, because they believe that money buys success. You know better, I hope? Money only buys...attention. Success comes from being smart. Success comes from making the right choices: choose smart over stupid.
In a digital world, success comes from applying creative ideas to old concepts. Success comes from trying and failing and not throwing good money after bad. Success comes from hanging around the right people - the people who challenge you, who want to work out the kinks with you (often without compensation - they see the big picture and know the return will be fabulous if they contribute as a team member to the group), who want to be part of something bigger than they are.
When you're already big - oh, think of lots of the really big guys out there - it often seems that in your quest to continue your King of the Hill position, you ignore real possibility in favor of tried and true. Problem is, there is no tried and true today. Everything is new and different.
I saw a great quotation earlier this week attributed to Andy Grove of Intel. It makes perfect sense: "Are you crazy? This is Columbus in the New World. What was his ROI?"
Well, what was it and how long did it take to measure? Stupid people think Columbus was crazy to sail to the new world. We know different, don't we? Risk, chance, a team that is willing to do the impossible... not stupid. Not crazy. Very, very smart.