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25 May 2017
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The Reality is Nobody Cares

Lion Statue

Photo by Jai'prakash

This is probably a harsh statement to make. And it’s not entirely true. You will always have somebody who cares for you at some level.

What I’m talking about are the millions of people who you think care but really are more concerned about themselves. The people you consider when you make an ass of yourself, tripping in the shopping mall, or when you’re resist posting an unedited photo of your morning face on Instagram.

The means to success comes from living a life that nobody is concerned by. I am a big admirer of Richard Branson and how he continues to be an amazing big kid. Virgin has had so many ventures and not all of them have succeeded, and none of those failures stop him and his company from continuing to play the field and begin new ventures. Same as Google. Google has shutdown so many products, have split their branding between dozens of ventures and even created products that essentially compete with each other. Yet they remain a force to be reckoned with, continuing to grow, refine, and gain ever more market share.

There will always be vocal people on the Internet ranting about how Google should have done this and Apple should rather do that and Virgin sucks and whatever else is whirling about in their heads. And you may have your own strong opinions about these companies and people, too. That’s fine. Just as you would understand that your opinions don’t affect their success.

When you put yourself out there, you will find that everybody has an opinion to share. Your girlfriends, your boyfriends, your best friends, your mom, your dad, your third cousin removed. Everybody “knows” the way things should be. Except that they don’t. They may come from a good intention but often all they’re doing is layering their own insecurities on you. If you want to be a professional marathon runner, you would pattern the behaviour of an actual profession runner, right? Right. So it makes sense to ignore the advice of people who aren’t successful professional marathon runners.

And also understand that there is no one path and way to do things. Steve Jobs had a very different approach to Richard Branson, and they have both enjoyed great successes in their lives. We can certainly learn from them and check in with ourselves whether their ways or parts thereof work for us, and apply it accordingly. I say go with your heart mostly. Live as authentically as you are comfortable with, and you will attract the people, whether as partners or customers, who match your way of looking at the world.

The one thing that every successful entrepreneur (and, in fact, any successful anything) does have in common is that they stand out from the crowd. And they do this by not following nor listening to the crowd. They stop thinking that that the opinions of others mean anything. They stop thinking that anybody actually cares about them.