I came to a realization at the Creative Thinking For Entrepreneurs Seminar. It was a dull, low-level, humming awareness suddenly made razor sharp and clear.
A lot of people have a disconnect between what they observe, overhear, read, watch, experience and their small business marketing. They do not constantly, automatically (compulsively?) seek worthy ideas from the first to move to the second. It seems their antenna are down a lot of the time.
So, for example, if reading a trade journal in their industry or this newsletter, their antenna would probably be up. But if stuck with some completely unrelated magazine in a waiting room – say Rolling Stone or Cigar Aficionado or Family Circle – their antenna would retreat into their head and they’d page idly through the magazine, just killing time, finding nothing to tear out or jot down.
My mental picture of all this is from the old TV sitcom, ‘My Favorite Martian’ (later shamelessly plagiarized for ‘Mork And Mindy’ and ‘Alf’). The ‘Martian’ had antenna in his head, and they protruded or disappeared inside, depending on the situation.
The seminar attendees had a ball with the creative exercises but when called on for extracted and translated, concrete ideas to put to practical use in their own businesses, many struggled.
My realization is that most people’s antennas go up and down depending on the situation. My antenna, and the antenna of the true Renegade Millionaires that I work with most, is always up.
We are asked: geez, can’t you stop thinking about business for even one minute/hour/day?
We are asked: can’t you go to one thing, one place, without being so critical?
Without creating plans for making it better?
No. We can’t. And I don’t think it’s a matter of choice, anymore than being lactose intolerant or gay or blonde is. (Okay, blonde can be choice.) I think this is more matter of conditioning than genetics, but still not choice.
So, no, we can’t. If you can, quite frankly, that ability is at odds with aspirations of extraordinary entrepreneurial achievements.
This has its drawbacks. For one thing, I suspect we never completely relax and lose ourselves in an entertainment or activity.
For another, it produces far more good ideas than we can use, which sometimes leads to frustration or over-obligating ourselves. Another, it bugs people close to us.
The sneaking off into the men’s room during a dinner with friends in order to jot ideas onto the pad you never leave home without does not go unnoticed as we hope. Especially when it occurs three times, between each course.
Our antenna left protruding and visible all the time is disturbing to others. It’s not a picnic for us either; sometimes it might be nice to wear a hat. However, it also gives us enormous advantage and is what provides most of the ideas and thoughts and inspirations that makes us rich. (The ideas we convert to wealth are not often obtained conveniently.)
It may make us more alive than others, if alertness and awareness and aliveness are one in the same. Every behavior held in common only by exceptionally creative or successful achievers has its drawbacks, by the way.
Some would call this antenna-always-up behavior obsessive. To borrow a title, we would call it a ‘magnificent obsession’. We must name it that, defend it as that, and celebrate it as that, because we have no choice.
Go ahead, get your antenna up and lock it in place. Look at all the other strange ducks sadly not gifted with antenna like you.