The thing is, when you set foot into the “real” world, it is so packed with naysayers that you can’t avoid running into a few everyday. People tell me often, how impossible my personal leadership methods are going to be for Tobagonians because they are “different.”
Then, there are those that would argue with me that an idea I have for filling restaurants won’t work in the islands because the population is too small.
“Where did you hear about that working Giselle? Ah yes of course, that cannot work here – much too small, too few restaurants.”
My point is not that I am right and they are wrong. My point is that the idea is tried and tested in heads that are infected with the “impossible”virus long before the idea is tried.
Whether it’s the “real world” or Tobago or the islands – it all sounds awfully depressing. This world seems to be 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.
The people you will run into, who you will bounce ideas off of are generally filled with pessimism and despair. They will tell you why your fresh concept will fail, why Trinidad and Tobago isn’t ready for what you have to offer, and they will most likely suck all hope and ambition out of you by telling you emphatically that your idea is simply a waste of time!
At this point you can do one of three things:
1. Snap – go completely mad and rant and rave that life is very unfair
2. Go numb – pretend that you still have a life and do something else that “they” suggested even though you just knew that your idea would work and you are haunted by this everyday
3. Ignore “them” and press on in spite of “their” advice.
I’m betting you’re choosing number three!
Let me back up a bit though...how come you started listening to this advice in the first place? We all want to be rescued and we all want to avoid as much pain as possible. We know that it will take mistakes, failure and effort to push through with our ideas and so we allow ourselves to be put under the spell of darkness and doom. However this gloomy situation isn’t a place. It is an excuse – a justification for those who simply won’t try.
Steven Covey talks about the dangers of the “rescue fantasy” in one of his books, saying how too many people think that some magical solution will solve their problems in the future.
“We’ll get that investor to put money into the business, and then we’ll be able to get out of debt.” “We will land a big project and then everything will be okay.”
Except life doesn’t work that way - nothing is going to make your problems or challenges “go away,” except those ideas that germinate at four o’clock in the morning which need to be given some light and allowed some time to see if they would grow and do what you figured they would do.
Here’s an example to support my point. The founders of 37signals say in their book Rework – “Our Company fails the real world test in all kinds of ways. In the real world, you can’t have a dozen employees spread out in eight different cities on two continents. In the real world, you can’t attract millions of customers without any salespeople or advertising. In the real world you can’t reveal your formula for success to the rest of the world. But we’ve done all those things and prospered.”
Now if you find yourself focussed on where they are and why that couldn’t happen here, then you’re definitely still under a very powerful negative spell. For those who choose to ignore the “real world”and press on in spite of all the reasons why you can’t – I’d love to hear how you did!