Inspiration and Information for Starting Your Business

Follow the Leader or Be a Renegade?

By Adam Toren

There’s a new cop in town. He plays by his own rules. Taking risks and running wild, he’s consistently berated by the police chief for his recklessness. But he gets the job done. And he’s got great hair. This is the archetypal renegade, the individual who makes his own path and forges ahead with determination. In fact, the word renegade originally meant an apostate, someone who abandoned his or her faith for another. Popular usage has changed the definition to any outlaw or rebel. Are you a business renegade? Or do you set your pace and stride based upon the examples of other successful people?

Searching for Buried Treasure

Suppose you found a treasure map. Ancient and tattered, it promises a plethora of gold and jewels to its finder. However, the map comes with a warning. Many before have attempted to search for the treasure; they’ve recorded their exploits for posterity. You have access to the records and techniques of the treasure hunters before you. How do you proceed?

Experts and Idols

A positive example is a powerful motivational tool. To witness someone’s success and to retrace their steps can be an extremely valuable resource. But admiration is different from idolatry. Admiration of past treasure hunters can contribute to your accomplishment by allowing you to utilize effective procedures, as well as letting you learn from mistakes you never made. On the other hand, idolatry can interfere with progress by clouding judgment and causing you to go down roads that are simply not suited for your particular method of travel.

Instinct and Ability

Learn to trust your instinct and don’t second-guess yourself if you can help it. Your instinct is a powerful tool and it’s what makes you unique. Move freely and without restraint as you maneuver down the path to success. If you dwell on the “right way” or traditional answers, you may be doing yourself a disservice by imposing limitations and just becoming another face in the crowd. Still, be careful of making rash decisions. Trusting your instinct doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think things through carefully and weigh the pros and cons of decisions. It just means that you need to have faith in your abilities in order to succeed.

For Every Season

The best solution is, as usual, one of compromise. What separates you from an expert? Is there something special inside of them that makes them extraordinarily successful? Perhaps. Most likely, it’s a combination of innate abilities and plenty of hard work and determination. The truth is that the experts before you probably shared the same dichotomy when seeking their buried treasure. They had their own experts to admire, and they had their own desire burning within.

Turn, Turn, Turn

Rely on your instinct and people will recognize and reward you for your enthusiasm. At the same time, be careful of becoming a reckless renegade. Instead, use the examples of successful people before you as a map on your search for buried treasure. There is a time to go your own way, and there is a time to follow in the footsteps of those before you. The trick is learning to manage this balancing act with finesse and excitement.

What kind of treasure hunter are you? Do you look for past examples to ease your way forward conservatively? Or do you naturally question authority and live the life of the renegade? Let us know with a comment.

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Adam Toren
Adam Toren

Adam Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of the award winning books, Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right. Their latest project is a free classified ads network called: iSell.com.

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