As someone who’s used to getting in trouble for all the right reasons, I can recognize a true disruptor miles away. I live in Silicon Valley, but my closest partners in disruption live in other continents. The follow-the-sun model is my favorite way to keep big projects going around the clock. Disruption shouldn’t happen 9 to 5, or shut down for local bank holidays.
If you’re still waiting for an invitation to my dream team, maybe you need to overcome these hurdles.
1. You Are Waiting for Complete Information
By definition, the next great idea no one has yet thought of, cannot already be a best practice. Books are good, and yes you should read, but use all your senses to appreciate the world and the diversity in it. If you’re paying attention, you’ll find enough information to get started on something no one else has noticed.
We live in the era of data science, and everyone’s trying to build perfect algorithms. We think that there is safety in mathematical formulas that can predict the future. Guess what? You already have it in you: it’s called intuition. Why aren’t you applying it, and quickly acting on your ideas? Fear.
2. You Are Afraid of What People Will Say About You
Fear is holding you back. You should know that by now.
We are all afraid of letting down the people we love. That is noble and smart. What is useless is trying to please everyone. You, your team, your ideas will have fans and “haters”. Sometimes, the only way to make it through the day is with a little help from Taylor Swift.
Move forward, even if you feel like no one understands you…yet.
3. You Agree with Everything I Just Said
I don’t want you to mindlessly agree with me, I want you to brainstorm and contribute. Storms are dynamic and even dangerous by nature, and so is disruption. The most beautiful and mysterious diversity exists in the chaotic rainforest, not inside a quiet, sterile laboratory. If we can have a healthy argument, arrive at a great idea, and stay friends, then our friendship is real, and strong.
Mainly, lighten up and don’t be so hard on yourself. Maybe the real reason you’re not a disruptor, is because you use British spelling, and spell it with an ‘e’, you ‘disrupter’! Stay ahead.
Photo credit: Cristian Bolaños
Silvia K. Spiva is a Multicultural Marketer, creating content for global audiences, from the heart of Silicon Valley. Her passions include children’s literacy, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and finding ways to bridge if not crush the #DigitalDivide.