Ambition and passion is infectious. And it’s the one ailment that I want to catch. And catch, and catch, and catch again. And no, I do not want a vaccine for it. Ever.
I’ve written about this before, in my own metaphoric ramblings, and I caught a whiff of it this weekend.
A friend-quaintance asked me to meet over coffee, to pick my brain about how to incorporate social media into the launch strategy for his stealth startup. The startup is a technological solution to a problem that he and his friends deal with everyday. His idea will streamline and simplify things. I have no idea how original it is, but that isn’t why he asked me for coffee.
As he talked through his pitch and outlined his plan, I could see the temperature of his thoughts and his words rise—there was something behind what he talked about that is more than just an idea. He has a plan, an ambition to create something, and the drive to get him and his business partner there.
We all talk about it, but how many of us actually listen to the voice inside us that says, “Hey, you’ve got something there,” and go after it? And how many of us pause when we hit the wall and ask others for help on figuring out how to climb over it or knock it down?
The Four Key Players
When it comes to an idea about creating a new product, starting a movement, or creating a legacy, there are four key players who ensure its success. They are:
Founder – This is the person who caught the bolt of lightning during the “Ah ha!” moment and decided to run with it. More than likely the founder is the person who has the mad skills to build the product or the idea and take it to launch, but may not know exactly how.
Producer – This is the person behind the founder who is responsible for “making it happen” so that the Founder and the other key players can concentrate on the product itself. They are the connector. They know whom you should talk to, when you should talk to them, and how you should talk in a way that will net you the resources that you need, when you need them.
Board of Directors – This is a fancy word for mentors. They are the group of people who have done what you are about to do and can guide you through your successes and your failures as you march toward your goal. They believe in what you are setting out to do and if you’re lucky, they see a little bit of themselves in you, and that is their motivation to help you get to where you need to go.
Beta-Evangelists – Then, there is everyone else. These people are the rock stars who make up the support group that is attracted to your passion and sucks it up like a sponge. They are your friends, your fans, your audience, and your customers. They are first in line to test your product, your idea, and give you honest-to-God, straight-up feedback. They are your power-users, your pre-evangelists, your network, and they are more valuable than anyone else in this equation.
You are the founder of your own life and your own ideas. Most of the people who care about you will fit into the last category. And if you’re lucky enough, your spouse or your best friend will be your producer. The hardest thing about working this formula into your professional life—be it how to be successful at climbing the corporate ladder or thinking outside the 9-to-5 and launching your own venture–is taking the first step and voicing outloud, “I want help reaching [my big ambitious goal] and I was wondering if you could help me get there.”
Oh, baby, is it ever so hard to ask for help, especially when you bear your soul about something that is near and dear to you, like being more extraordinary than you already are.
It’s easy to have an idea, but it’s hard to take the first step towards speaking or actualizing that your idea can be something physical, something real, something more-than possible.
Do you have a personal Board of Directors? How did you go about asking those in your life for help in achieving the goals you only whisper?
Photo Credit: another.point.in.time
This is the best thing you’ve ever written. Very well done.
Thank you, Sam. That means the world to me.
Wonderful. Excellent. Inspiring. nnThank you!
Thank you, Courtenay!
Wonderful. Excellent. Inspiring. nnThank you!
This is fabulous. I love it. I want to print it out and put it on my wall and read it every time I’m scared of my ideas or what I’m doing next .Sometimes projects get put on the back burner because I don’t know how to proceed – instead – I should ask for help. Get mentors. Become accountable by voicing – aloud – those dreams that I have.nnThanks.
Thank you, Sarah. I’m a big fan of lists. I make lists, re-lists, and new lists of everything that I try to extract from my brain and move into action (I guess that’s technically goal-setting). nnSomeone once told me that you shouldn’t be afraid to tell people what you’re working on or your ideas because you never know who might know someone else that can help you. And even better, don’t be afraid that someone will steal your idea as the action of you speaking about them tells other people that you’re futher along than a fleeting thought.nnPrint it, lady, and let me know if it helps you get those dreams going.
By “want to” I totally already did (print it out and put it on my wall). I LOVE lists. I’m a bit nerd-tastic when it comes to lists, and my friends say when they come over, it’s like they can see my brain on my wall, because there are notes everywhere.nnLove the post – I think you’re great.
thank you SO MUCH for this, I just started my own philanthropy project – http://nakateproject.com, and I’ve been in the process of finding all these key players, and trying to set them in the right places (figure out what is my job and what is their job, etc). Thanks for this encouragement!
Hi Shanley, what a great project! I LOVE nonprofiteers (I’m one myself with Jolkona, http://www.jolkona.org). It’s extremely important to have an advisory board on so many levels when it comes to working with a NP. Good luck!!