People doing stupid things change the world, Say what?

Take a look—Henry Ford was called crazy, and he changed the world of transportation. Enrico Marconi was called crazy and now we have radio. Walt Disney was told at one time he had no talent for drawing and yet he came to define the world of animation, theme parks and the way we view childhood. Most people said rock’n’roll was a passing fad. In less than ten years, the Beatles forever changed the world of popular music, and even hairstyles. All we called stupid or crazy for going against the tide. And they changed the world

Your cubicle mate at work says, “Are you crazy? Giving up a good job with benefits to go out on your own?” Or you are out on your own and people say, “When are you going to get a ‘real job?’”

He how is afraid to lose, is not ready to win
“He how is afraid to lose, is not ready to win”

You’re in good company.

So what is a real job? Punching the time clock, and being told what to do by someone you don’t like or don’t know? Or is it out there on your own fighting the dragons, finding out what you’re made of.

It is crazy, dangerous and sometimes stupid, to go out there on your own, and risk it all.

But as entrepreneurial guru Richie Norton says, “Stupid is the new smart.” Only by stepping up and doing something others consider stupid can you grow and change yourself and the world. It doesn’t have to be the whole world, just the world around you.

Sometimes the entrepreneur goes it alone because the 8-5 daily grind is too much. True he may be putting in more hours, but he also realizes what he’s doing will sharpen him and give him new skills, and make him a better man.

Other times the entrepreneur realizes he’s got a great idea and the only way to do it is strike out alone, ala` Thomas Edison.

And there are times when people like Richard Reed co-founder of Innocent Drinks, had to be pushed into it by his customers.

Those who go out on their own come in all shapes and sizes: bold and brash, quiet and thoughtful. Some do want to change the world; others only want to do something they can be proud of. And still others are forced into it by circumstances. An article on Clark Howard’s website says being your own boss, even with all its dangers, offers more security. In the wake of the 2008 recession, fact more and more people are taking the freelancer option, not trusting the financial well-being to someone else.

Some go out on their own completely diving head first into their new endeavor. Others balance the two worlds.

Mark Baggley was a high school computer science and business teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was also the faculty advisor to the school’s DECA chapter. As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), Baggley wondered how he could help his six sons earn and save money for the missionary service most Mormon young men do at the age of 19. He also wanted to teach them how to work and work hard. Being a business teacher, the answer was obvious—start his own business.

He didn’t need much—a small pick-up truck, a lawn mower, a gas-powered edger, some safety goggles and some boxes 40 gallon heavy duty lawn bags, and he was in the lawn-care business. Starting with his friends, he built a client base that kept him and his sons busy all summer long, every summer. For over 15 years, Mark and his sons spent their summers cutting lawns. When the boys had all finished their missionary service, and entered university and were doing fine, Mark sold the truck, equipment and client list, kicked back and enjoyed his retirement.

That summer business paid his sons enough to pay for their two years of volunteer service (about $400 per month, per son), helped him pay off his house early, make some additions to the house, buy his wife a baby grand piano and retire debt-free. One of those sons now has his own business.

Most entrepreneurs work longer hours than they did at their “real jobs.” But for them it’s an investment in themselves. Or in the case of Baggley, it was a learning experience. The experience is more real than punching the clock. They’re coming up against challenges every day they wouldn’t normally encounter punching the clock. In the case of the ones who have big success, they provide more jobs for their community. In Baggley’s case, he provided jobs for his sons, and made sure they weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

But always the “real” job is the one that stretches you and makes you grow.