to make a difference, adopt a belief

A post for my kids...

Every time I enter a new industry my friends smile widely and roll their eyes.  When this happens, I know I’m going in the right direction.  

I am living proof that with conviction and motivation you can enter any industry as a stranger and make a difference.  

You might not get rich, but you can make a difference.  Here’s how:

  • Adopt a belief.  Something that compels you!
  • Set goals.  Reconfigure as you learn.
  • Ignore skeptics.  They always outnumber believers.
  • Enlist believers.  ‘We’ is more powerful than ‘I’.
  • Invest seven years.  It doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Be prepared to fail.  Nobody bats 500.  Keep swinging.  

Examples in my life:

Belief: Auto recyclers don’t run junk yards.  Goal: Be smarter and greener than everyone else.  In the auto recycling industry we invested in unique software and raised the bar (significantly) on what it meant to be a ‘green’ auto recycler.  We were acquired by Ford Motor Company.

Belief: Mobile software shouldn’t suck.  Goal: Help developers easily create elegant, cross-platform apps.  Years before the iPhone, we invented developer tools and beautiful handset software.  Yospace was acquired by Bauer Media, and SQGO was recently awarded patents on their software innovations.  Final outcome: TBD.

Belief: The music industry shouldn’t be so hard on artists.  Goal: Help artists navigate the music industry.  In the music industry we created sites where artists could obtain valuable career information and submit music to gatekeepers.  Music Think Tank is the most-visited artist-help site in the world, and Music Xray is the leading music submission platform in the world.

Belief: Every kid should play a sport.  Goal: Double participation in youth sports.  We are going to rethink how families and kids participate in sports.  It should be shazam simple to play a youth sport like soccer.  Rocket is just getting started.  Outcome TBD.

I probably could have made a lot more money by spending my entire career in one industry.  However, I’m still betting that following my beliefs is the best way to make a difference.