“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”
- I think kindness is one of the most underrated concepts in business, technology and life.
- Go out of your way to do something that benefits a fellow human being, without thinking about the ROI.
- Do it without thinking about the cost or anything more than the assistance you can give to someone in need.
- It’s a crucial part of changing your world today.
- I’m terrified — fucking terrified — by the concept of a founder who only works for their own personal gain.
- I know there are examples of people like that who put a dent in the universe. But I don’t think they’re healthy or helpful examples.
- They’re portraits of desperate and dangerous people who don’t care who they hurt.
- No matter how great their innovations, and how great the dent they made, I think we need to consider something…
- …the hairline fractures they caused in the people around them, and how those fractures negatively affected the world.
Don’t Take No For An Answer
- And I mean this in the best possible way.
- Do not take rejection and naysayers and the voices of doom determine your path for you.
- Do not believe people when they tell you that you can’t, you won’t or you shouldn’t.
- If you believe that you’re meant to be building something, then build it.
- If you believe you’re right, then build it.
- If you believe that what you are creating will Do Less Harm Than Good, then build it.
- But don’t let yourself be closed off, shut down, pushed out, belittled or obstructed.
- Not by people who lack the belief in you that only a truly invested participant in your dream can attain.
- If I had listened to the people who told me no, at this stage, I’d be a miserable corporate lawyer with a Mercedes.
- And yeah, a Merc would’ve been nice, but it wouldn’t have filled the cracks in my soul. Don’t take no for an answer. Take it as a challenge.
Focus On Your Mindset
- Your mindset of success is what makes a difference in the world you’re creating.
- Let me give you this quote right now, because it’s been hugely meaningful to me:
I have found that the more I honoured others, the more they honoured me and the more fulfilling my career became. In the business arena, I have been surrounded by people with awesome skills. The difference between good and great is determined by the mindset you choose to bring to the work. The concept of honor should be part of that mindset.
— Douglas Conant
- So what kind of effect does a success mindset have? Immense and immeasurable.
- Do not have a mindset where you look at possibilities and opportunities more than obstacles and blockages.
- Embrace flexibility and make it to the point where winning, and making your dent, are a manifest destiny, not an impossible goal.
Content, Content & More Content
- If you want to put a dent in the universe in 2017, you need to be generating content.
- As a society we are now more obsessed with consuming content than ever before.
- Anything that has an impact on us has to work through creating and disseminating content.
- Advertisements, designs, videos, blogs, podcasts, posts, whatever the format is, it’s vital.
- Engage with it and create a massive amount of content that can persuade, educate, entertain and inform your audience.
- Whether you want to have an impact through a product, an idea or content itself, you need to be doing this.
- It’s what makes the world go around.
Refuse To Follow The Mainstream
- The mainstream is whatever people have accepted as “the way things are.”
- The mainstream is the last to change, whether we’re talking about pop music, technology, consumer products, social issues
- The mainstream is so far behind that it invariably feels anachronistic to those on the bleeding edge.
- If you are following the mainstream, you’ll be an anachronism too. So don’t. Drop out of the mainstream and do your own shit your own way.
- The cutting edge is where people can make an immense difference.
- The work that the people on the edge do will eventually bleed down to influence and shape the mainstream, for the better.
- That work could be yours.
Speak Up For A Cause
- I think that every single business should adopt and nurture a key cause.
- Something that they make integral to their business operations, on a daily basis.
- And I’m not talking about big, fancy $10 words and PR statements, I’m not talking about splashy shit that gets attention.
- I’m talking about taking concrete actions that make a change possible.
- Apple, for example, under Tim Cook, have made renewable energy their cause.
- At Creatomic, the cause that I work towards, through donations and confidential advisory positions is Trans rights.
- If you want to succeed in putting a dent into the universe, you’ve got to be about more than a profit.
I love this quote:
`If there are issues that concern you, use your voice to bring attention to them.
Sign petitions, write letters to your member of parliament, make an appointment to sit down with someone who has the power to change things, and discuss your worries with them.
Related Article: Ten Reasons Nice Bosses Finish First
If someone you know treats another badly, then call them out on their bad behaviour: saying nothing is basically just condoning said poor behaviour, and will make the one getting hurt feel that no-one is there to support or defend them.
Should you find out that the company that makes your favourite chocolate bar/deodorant/drink has questionable practices, then find a more ethical product that you enjoy just as much, and write to the company you’re now boycotting to let them know why you’ll no longer support them.
Your voice can make a profound impact, so let it be heard.
Entrepreneurs, Start Small
- Start as small as you can. Don’t set out to shake the foundations on day one. Don’t set out to transform the zeitgeist as soon as you get out of bed.
- Create work that is so good that the people around you become obsessed with it, and worry about the rest of the picture later.
- Because the truth is, most of the founders and visionaries and companies that create the world we’re living in today didn’t get out of the gate like a neutron bomb.
- They did something small and — almost — insignificant.
I know it feels impossible right now. I know that shaping and transforming the universe feels unattainable.
I know that you’re looking at someone who you idolise, 30 years ahead of where you’re at right now, and the voice that your teachers and “responsible adults” called realism is telling you that it is never going to happen.
But that voice is wrong. You can make it happen. You can put a dent in the universe bigger than the dent I put in my parents’ ’98 Ford Falcon the year I learned to drive.
It’s going to take time.
Conscious decision making.
And every single point in this article. But I have to believe that you can do it, because if I don’t — then I can’t believe that I can do it. And I believe in myself 9000%.
[This post by Jon Westenberg first appeared on Medium and has been reproduced with permission.]