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Chances are strong that, especially as an entrepreneur, you’ve been called eccentric, weird or crazy. Entrepreneurs dare to play in the world of business, knowing that working and playing hard don’t have to be separate.
Why It’s Better to Be Absolutely Ridiculous Than It Is to Be Absolutely Boring
The essence of play and playfulness should not be lost in adulthood. Think of how innovative, intelligent and creative children are and how happy they are as a result. Write new company ideas on napkins in coffee shops. Skip with excitement at a product launch. It’s way better to be absolutely ridiculous than snorifically boring, and it pays off in both your personal and professional lives.
Creativity and the Qualities of the Entrepreneur
What is the most important quality of an entrepreneur? Is it leadership, the ability to bring people together and motivate them towards a mutual goal? Is it innovation, the ability to transform an idea into a product or movement that betters the world? The entrepreneur possesses each of these traits, including passion, risk-taking and savviness, but the most important of these traits is creativity.
The entrepreneur gives creativity enough structure to thrive, while the traditional workplace often stifles it with too much structure. Corporate policy, tracking success and statistics have their necessary functions. Yet, creativity is its own skill crucial to the continuous generation of ideas and the implementation of those ideas. Among professionals, creativity is recognized as vital when it comes to problem-solving and living a full life, even when you appear to be absolutely ridiculous.
Feeling Lackluster? Embrace Passion
Embrace passion as a key to productivity that isn’t boring. Are your friends and family tired of hearing the same complaints over and over again? Is your inner voice mostly self-critical?
Don’t wind up feeling bored with the same old routine. Your life is not meant to be boxed into expected, predictable blocks of nine-to-five work, eight hours of sleep and the times you manage to eat and exercise. Your passion can definitely become your profession. Forget naysayers.
Let creativity bloom as you follow the passions of your inspiration. Shifting your mindset allows for new perspectives to open up new avenues in your personal and professional lives. Your enthusiasm will inspire others, and they will be confident in your visions for the future.
If others see your passion as ridiculous, good! Envy is an awkward shade of green that’s clouding their vision, while yours is clear.
Forget Expectations and Rules That Hold You Back
As interior designer Laurie Foster once put it, “There are rules?”
Foster doesn’t reign creativity in and isn’t afraid to run with scissors when it’s to her advantage. Ditch the rules and create your own guidelines and structures. Be empowered to make the decisions you reach from both analytics and your gut. Imagine your life and business as a playground where the rules of the game are ever-changing.
Life and business are constantly shifting, and hard and fast rules are not true forever. Are your expectations of how something should play out holding you back? Old policies ruin companies when they do not shift with the times to meet needs, and not letting go of unhealthy patterns ultimately harms the individual as well.
Be ridiculous. Do what you want. Run with scissors.
Let Your Inner Child Out to Play
Adults have forgotten what playfulness means. Children have important lessons to teach adults. Children easily forgive to move forward, network to make friends easily, act genuine and dream big.
When left to their own devices, children make a game out of anything and innovate the most imaginative and effective inventions. A child who believes he is a superhero becomes one, and adults become what they imagine themselves to be. There is a power behind what you think and what you imagine.
Adults believe that there is no place for creativity or playfulness in the world because it makes you look ridiculous. Who takes someone in a multicolor polka dot tie seriously?
The answer is: the right people. You’re accessible to the right person and the right market for your personal brand. People approach you, or stare at you perplexed. Either way, you’ve given them something to consider.
Imagine a middle school science teacher who wears a weird tie everyday. Obviously, this teacher is educated and knows what he’s talking about because it shows on the inside and the outside. His knowledge is shared in a relatable and conversational manner, and his voice is animated and enthusiastic. The tie gives his students something to smile about, to talk about. He’ll be remembered for years to come as a ridiculous kind of brilliant, proving that anything is possible with curiosity and determination.
The archetype of the fool is cast as someone who is ridiculous and is perceived to make poor choices as a result of recklessness, but that’s not necessarily true. Every person is a mixture of experienced and inexperienced.
When you fail, you gain experience. The fool becomes savvy and hardy as a result of a fresh, open mind and the refinement of experience. Do not be afraid of starting from inexperience or at rock bottom.
Consider the fool who entertained kings and queens. He’s fine with others laughing at him during his entertaining escapades, because the fool made it his job. He accepted the positives of making others laugh and the days when others laughing at him might not feel great. As he gained experience, his stories and ridiculous feats taught others about his successes and (perhaps literal) pitfalls.
Many experienced entrepreneurs mentor budding entrepreneurs, acting as the hermit to the fool, when really everyone has a bit of both within them. Remind your inner fool to see the adventure within a new venture and the wisdom comes with experience.
You Have Always Had Purpose
Perhaps the definition or incarnation of your purpose shifts with your life, but that is the benefit of being flexible with your goals rather than rigid. Yes, your purpose is linked to the passion that sets you on fire and the experiences you have gained not-so-easily.
Entrepreneurs are constantly asked about their vision, and what’s behind that vision is often the idea of what gives life meaning. Purpose is both tangible and intangible, and the benefits of having a purpose are scary because of the perceived limitlessness of that potential. Remember to focus on the benefits of living your purpose.
What in the world does that mean? Go back to the scary factor of potential — that’s anything, and you get to choose. Live your life consciously, present and empowered in choice. Purpose gives you direction, motivation, fulfillment and success because failure is the time you spend considering purpose and doing nothing, rather than living.
The truth is that life is absolutely ridiculous, as is the fact that anything alive even exists. Doing nothing from a place of fear or contentment is boring! Live purposefully and ridiculously!
What is it to lead, to lead a life? It’s not possible to lead an absolutely boring life, because you aren’t leading anything. You’re letting life happen without regard to what your story is, and you’re letting others tell it to you rather than telling it and living it.
It’s much better to be absolutely ridiculous throughout the course of your life, from childhood to adulthood. Play! Wear polka dot ties. Stick your tongue out. Let ridiculousness be your first “rule,” and see your life thrive as a result.