"Everybody is playing it safe, because they think that’s the smart thing to do. But in today’s new economy, playing it safe is the riskiest thing you can do. The people who create prosperity in the new economy will be in front of the trends, anticipating them instead of naively reacting to what happened yesterday."
In Risky is the New Safe, an homage to “zigging when everyone else is zagging”, Randy Gage takes out his crystal ball, and lays out his vision for what it will take to prosper in the new economy.
From human workers being replaced by monkeys to cloning puppies, virtual reality sex to holo-suites, to the Euro collapsing and governments going bankrupt, Randy provides fascinating insights into how taking risks offers people and companies the best chance at success.
The Big Idea
Freedom Comes Through Discipline
"It’s ironic that many people hate discipline because discipline creates freedom."
How often have we heard that pithy saying “the harder I work, the luckier I get”? Well it’s true in a sense. Talk to most successful people and you will hear a story of working long hours and sacrifice, something that unsuccessful people are reluctant to do. But the point that most people miss is that successful people don’t just work hard, they work smart. Now let’s go into this in finer detail…what does work smart actually mean? It means being focused on productive activities that will generate the most beneficial outcome in the shortest space of time.
It means practicing self-discipline and self-restraint where necessary i.e. “You give up some things you want to get the things you really want”.
So let’s look at an example of an entrepreneur starting their own business. Like most start-ups, there are a dozen things that one has to do in any given day. This is where working smart is most important. The successful entrepreneur will discipline himself/herself to focus on the tasks that need to be done that day and not allow himself/herself to be distracted until these tasks have been completed. This is how success is achieved. One step at a time. And yes, the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Create Your Own Energy
"Your energy and vitality are a result of the choices you make."
The food you eat, the rest you take, the thoughts you think and the amount of exercise you take all play a major role in whether you are adding or subtracting from your energy bank.
Eat junk food…
Don’t get enough sleep…
Worry, jealousy, envy, unforgiveness…
Skip the gym and become a couch potato…
Do all the above over a sustained period and watch what happens to your energy levels.
I guarantee it will not be pretty!
Gage writes, “When you control your body and thoughts you will be calm, collected, and have the energy to tackle any challenge you face”.
"The greatest gift you could ever give anyone is telling them the truth and being real for them. And the greatest gift you can receive from those closest to you is the same consideration."
So how does this apply in the area of discipline?
Without the right support group around you, it’s very easy to slip back into old non-productive habits that do not serve you.
In addition, entrepreneurs by definition are high achievers with healthy egos.
Left to their own devices, the ego may become unbalanced and delusions of grandeur may develop.
This is where developing a support group who will check you when you are going off track becomes vitally important.
If you look at the lives of tortured artistic geniuses like Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston, you will find that they surrounded themselves with people who enabled them rather than people who were strong enough to tell them the truth.
So start that Mastermind group with five or six people who you trust and watch the magic unfold.
It’s fair to say that we are living in some of the most exciting times in history.
Social media, the cloud, mobile apps and disruptive technology are creating unprecedented new opportunities.
Advances in medicine and nutrition mean people are living longer and better quality lives.
A new world order is emerging from Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.
So, as Gage writes, “Seek out the challenges. Determine what the problems will be and who will be facing them, because therein lie the greatest opportunities for contrarians, critical thinkers, and people willing to take risks.”
On your journey to greatness…
“Be willing to be bold, to think laterally and creatively, to question, and to be a contrarian.
“Dare to be different; dare to take a risk. Because risky is the new safe!”