Reach for the Stars, but Keep Your Feet Firmly Planted in Reality

Posted by Admin in Sumo Blog

By Christine M. Hollinden ’87, CPSM

The spirit of entrepreneurship – it’s that dream big, passion-fueled ambition that separates innovators from the rest. It is taking that step from mediocrity to extraordinary by asking not only “what if” but “why not?” It requires thinking beyond the norm and a willingness to push the boundaries. Confined only by their imaginations, entrepreneurs know whatever they can create, they can achieve.

I learned one of many lessons in entrepreneurship when I first began introducing web sites to my clients. At the time, web sites were still a fairly new idea, this concept that not everyone could grasp. I was constantly asked, where exactly is my web site? Where is it located? To give my clients an answer, I came up with an idea to put each client’s server, with their web site on it, in a centralized location (a data center). I would finally have an answer to their location question. However, I didn’t pursue the idea because when I bounced the idea off my IT consultant at the time, he thought the idea was silly. A friend of mine founded a company based on a similar idea, hosting colocation and managed services. That company went public to the tune of $300+ million. I wish I could say that was the only idea I’ve had and didn’t pursue, but I can’t.

Ideas are powerful; listen to your intuitions.

There is a power that comes along with pursuing your ideas, your dreams. Trust your gut. It’s a lesson I have learned and a lesson learned by countless entrepreneurs before me. It is with extraordinary vision and foresight that has led individuals to revolutionize the way we view the world. They had confidence in their ideas, and pursued them insistently. Success comes to those who believe with every part of their being.

Innovation is about creating and implementing better, faster, more efficient and effective solutions. With times and technology changing faster than ever, it is essential to continue creating. Industries have been turned upside down as new technology, products, and services are introduced. Individuals continue to create and innovate, never satisfied with the status quo. So, what can you do to improve your creative thinking to generate the next innovate idea?

  • Brainstorm. Set aside time for creative thinking.
  • Capture ideas. I keep a notebook at my house for new ideas.  Write them down.
  • Explore the ideas. Is there one idea that you keep revisiting?
  • Relentless pursuit. Never give up.
  • Believe. Have confidence in yourself, your idea and your team.

Finally, keep your feet firmly planted in reality. Be realistic. Watch that you don’t fall so deeply in love with your idea that you can’t see reality. You must have a clear vision and direction, but you must also being willing to change courses when a new direction or adjustment is warranted. An idea without reality is just that, a dream. Success comes to those who dream big and work hard.

Want to generate more ideas? We’ve recorded a webinar with tips: Fearless Foresight: leading edge strategies to improve your creative thinking.

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