Ignore the Real World

08 Apr Ignore the Real World

I’ve been a long-time reader of Signal vs. Noise the blog of software company 37Signals. Recently, I picked up their new book Rework and was immediately enraptured by their advice to ignore the real world:

“That would never work in the real world.”  You hear it all the time when you tell people about a fresh idea.

This real world sounds like an awfully depressing place to live.  It’s a place where new ideas, unfamiliar approaches, and foreign concepts always lose.   The only things that win are what people already know and do, even if those things are flawed and inefficient.

Scratch the surface and you’ll find these “real world” inhabitants are filled with pessimism and despair.   They expect fresh concepts to fail.  They assume society isn’t ready for or capable of change.

Even worse, they want to drag others down into their tomb.   If you’re hopeful and ambitious, they’ll try to convince you your ideas are impossible. They’ll say you’re wasting your time.

Don’t believe them.  That world may be real for them, but it doesn’t mean you have to live in it.

excerpt from REWORK

If you’re ambitious and hopeful, you’ve most certainly been confronted by this “real world”; your excitement crushed by pessimism in the workplace; your ideas dismantled by naysayers preaching failure as a certainty. Stick to your guns and to your ideas.  Start surrounding yourself with people who share your ambition and hope.

If you’re not sure how to do this, I suggest you start with the following:

  • Start an aspiring-entrepreneurs meet-up in your city or attend an existing meet-up ( I recommend meetup.com)
  • Identify one friend who shares your ambitious and hopeful outlook and work with them for a few hours a week

Instead of sapping your creative energies and your confidence, the ambitious and the hopefuls will aid in focusing your ideas, creating momentum, and recharge your creative batteries.

While you’re at it, read the great book: REWORK!

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