Entrepreneurship is a special talent, but it is not specific to the world of business. In fact, innovation drives the efforts of few corporations. Men and women of every age tend to be ardent defenders of current conditions with little interest in change.
Creative visualisation is the essential characteristic of the entrepreneur. Few possess the ability and willingness to perceive better options for the future, in particular when those alternatives are uncomfortable, difficult, or controversial.
What enables a person to figure out improvements that remain invisible to others? Do you possess enough self-confidence to challenge realities that everybody else is taking as self-evident?
"Personal dissatisfaction often points out that something should be changed," used to say Robert Fulton, who built a fortune as a steamboat impresario. "Discontent fuels the engine of change."
Ambition goes hand in hand with technical, industrial, and marketing innovations. The desire to improve one's station in life plays a key role in overcoming the substantial hardships involved in the search for novelty.
"My scientific and technical training was non-existent," loved to declare Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph. "I just knew that I didn't want to remain a painter for the rest of my life. As soon as I saw an opportunity, I did not hesitate."
It was sufficient for Morse to hear a colleague mention in 1834 some recent discoveries in electromagnetism. At that time, the same information was available to thousands of people. What was the difference? Only Morse was willing to work night and day during the next five years to develop a commercial application.
Becoming an entrepreneur in your everyday life will enhance your ability to succeed in the business and investment world. The following list contains my ten practical suggestions about how to cultivate the seeds of change.
- REUSE: Before you throw any item away, ask yourself if you could find an alternative use. Could it be refurbished or repaired? Does it contain valuable components? Is it worth it to take it apart?
- EXPLORE IDEAS: Next time you go to a bookshop, take a look at sections where you usually never set foot. Is there anything that catches your attention? Go to the public library and take a random walk amongst the bookshelves. Do you see interesting subjects worth exploring?
- TRY OUT NEW A TASTE: Buy a couple of cookbooks about subjects unknown to you. Take a look at the pictures of exotic dishes and choose a couple of recipes. Experiment with new cooking techniques. If you are Italian, you might wish to taste Greek cooking. If you are American, try out French cuisine.
- QUESTION YOUR ROUTINES: Why not exercise an hour later? Could you skip TV news in the evening and, instead, take up learning a foreign language? Why do you always take the same road to drive to work? Could you find a better alternative?
- MOVE THINGS AROUND: Imagine that you are a stranger who comes to your house for the first time. Would you place your furniture on the same place that it now occupies? Could you save time every morning if you rearrange the clothes in your closet?
- DROP TASKS: Do you really need to do repetitive tasks that bring you little benefit? Could you hire someone to do chores at home? Do you need to clean so often rooms that you never use? Is it worth it to maintain household appliances that are too old?
- REPLACE PEOPLE: Do you spend your leisure hours with people whose company you really enjoy? Have you ever accepted to take part in activities that you find boring? Why are you not rather making efforts to meet new people?
- TAKE CONTROL: Would you be better off if you did yourself a few things that you have so far entrusted to other people? Could you learn to cut your own hair? Is it really so difficult to change a tab or to do some basic plumbing work?
- REDUCE YOUR COSTS: Are you spending money on things that add little value to your life? Is it worth it to keep an expensive car with high maintenance costs? Could you get cheaper insurance? What about your food purchases?
- OPEN NEW ACCOUNTS: Is your bank or stock broker giving you good service? Why not explore some alternatives? Go open an account with another financial services company. Try out new investment ideas that entail little risk.
The world is full of better alternatives for those willing to change their routines. Become an entrepreneur in your everyday life.
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