If You are not out in front of the Herd, the View never changes
You will spend your life looking at someone’s ass.
And thats ok, if you are content. Who am I to judge?
I speak for all of us that want to strive for something that does not yet exist in our lives.
This is not just about entrepreneurship. No sir.
All the difference made in this world bar none has been made at the margins of the common, the accepted and the ‘norm”.
You will never make a dent, and never shake things up if you follow the herd.
To use a scientific turn of phrase, you need to embrace a paradigm shift.
A paradigm in science (or elsewhere for that matter) is a framework to think about things.
(See below for a reference to Thomas Kuhn’s famous book on paradigms)
Each paradigm is a temple of sorts for those who wrap themselves in its teachings.
If everybody (or more correctly the majority) believes something to be true, two things necessarily follow:
One: There is little to be discovered within its folds..it has been exploited and understood.
Two: The territory outside the paradigm has not been well explored and is ripe for new, innovative, ground shaking ideas and development. Also, the competition here is slim compared to the paradigm where the sweaty masses are spending their time.
Every body knew the sun revolved around the Earth until they didn’t. People lost their lives trying to change that paradigm.
Everybody knew that man could not fly until that paradigm shifted.
Ok, but you and I are not the Wright Brothers! (at least not I!).
If you are an entrepreneur, everybody knows your idea is crazy. Of course! If they did not, the competition to get your idea to market would destroy your chances!
If you are a value investor, everybody knows your stock picks are all wrong. Heck everybody knows value investing doesn’t even work “anymore”!! (Ha!, now thats a paradigm for you to bust). This is a good thing…trust me. Your stock picks are safe. It will be like taking candy from a baby.
(Note to the moms out there..I am not advocating stealing from infants).
Ok, maybe not that easy. But you get my drift.
A Nobel prize winning scientist I had the good fortune to speak with briefly once told me “When they think you are crazy and shun you, you should know you are on to something.”
This guy discovered/described a new form of life and almost lost his career and reputation doing it.
The takeaway for those of us that are far away from winning Nobel Prizes is really about conviction in your thought process.
It matters a hoot what others think. Listen to them, dissect their arguments but for heavens sake learn to think for yourself. It will serve you well over a lifetime.
And when everyone (sic) thinks a certain way, there is likely money to be made by taking a bet against them.
The House does not always win.
Kuhn TS. “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” 1962. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226458113