Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fear is overrated

When I grew up in Germany, many coal mines were closing. There were month-long strikes, fist fights with the owners and a lot of doom and gloom in the media. Even when I was young, I never understood why miners would fight for their lousy job. Why risk dying young because of accidents or, if you're lucky, die in your 40's because your lungs give out? Clearly, they were afraid of change. They saw the world in black and white: Either the mining job or unemployment line.
25 years later, the old coal mines have been replaced with a German Silicon Valley, the area is booming and coal mines became museums.

There will always be a coal mine. Chinese companies will threaten the current US economy. Outsourcing will eliminate jobs in the IT world. Changes will happen, in nature as in business, in science as in politics, in art as in manufacturing. Change is as inevitable as tornadoes, earthquakes, rain, sunrise and sunset. Change will allow us one day to travel to the Moon, cure addicitions and in the future we will not use fossil fuels anymore. The leading industries of today will be history book chapters in the future.

Your choice: Become part of the change, a catalyst. Or be victim of change.

Either you change the game or the game will pass you by.

You better face this fact right now or you will be obsolete very soon.

Apple changed the world. Google does. Yahoo used to and, hopefully, will do soon again. Einstein. Jeff Bezos. Nike. Fox. MySpace. Facebook. Joost is trying to change the world right now. In a few years, some of these brands won't be around anymore. They will have settled for mediocre and safe. And we will have moved on to something else.

We all are fearful: Terror, Global Warming, Recession, Housing Market, 2.0 Bubble, our health, our marketing approach.

Fear is overrated. Fear won't change anything. The coal mines continued to close. The Chinese are still becoming a powerful economic force. Fear doesn't advance. Fear protects the Status Quo.

Either become part of the change or retire. Clean out your desk now if you're not willing to embrace change.

Think. Envision. Create. Lead. Create your own course of change. Become a change agent. Invent new ways. Trash them. And invent new ways immediately.

You will fail. Over and over again. And then fail again. That's the price you pay when you try to explore new paths. Success is based on failures.

Nobody should be afraid of failures. Things happen. As long as you make them happen, success will follow.

Don't act like a coal miner. Unless you're happy becoming part of a history text book.

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