There are five things that are consistently present when transformational breakthroughs take place, but the underlying secret is simple: be fearless. Whether you’re working at a start-up, finding yourself at a personal crossroads or looking for inspiration to make a life-altering change, the “Be Fearless” principles can provide guidance on how to take that next step. And the moment to do so is now.
Part One: Make a Big Bet
The best – and only way- to begin any project is to start where you are. This often begins with the question, “Why not me?” Every new venture will have challenges and roadblocks. But if you break it down into chunks and start where you are, you can slowly move forward with any big idea. Launching a Big Bet doesn’t require a large budget, proven expertise, or the underpinnings of a large company or organization. All it requires is the ability to assess what you have now that you can leverage in your current situation to advance your idea. Start there.
To make a better world, we have to take bigger risks and make bigger bets. If you’ve ever had a bright idea you wanted to take forward but some voice inside you said, “I could never do that,” check yourself. Big, audacious ideas become a reality by taking a thousand small steps. What often seems impossible at the start becomes more plausible with each new action taken toward the goal.
Making a Big Bet can sometimes start by changing the way people – and oftentimes you yourself – think about the potential for one person to make a difference. The most common trait that Big Bets share is that they often fly in the face of conventional wisdom, or defy belief before they are proven. Great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, including those the world would sometimes count out. Burst through assumptions and achieve your dreams.
Many Big Bets happen as a result of either watching where trends are headed or deciding to start a new one. And while there is no such thing as a crystal ball, many Big Bets were executed because someone boldly envisioned a different future – one not yet seen by others – and pursued it. Peek around corners to see the kind of future you want to build and tune out those who don’t share your vision.
Now go, make your Big Bet. Define your objective, and then chunk it down into manageable parts. Every idea starts with a first step forward. Focus on your true north, the goals that propel you forward.
Part Two: Be Bold, Take Risks
You can’t necessarily do everything, but you can always try. Get uncomfortable. Make a list of things you’ve always thought about doing but resisted because of a fear you wouldn’t excel. When you take risks, you experience a greater richness to life. Fearless individuals are not unafraid – they simply have the ability to overcome their fear. You may experience failure or disappointment, but you can always get right back up and keep going. Nothing extraordinary comes from the comfort zone. Be bold, step into unfamiliar territory, and try new things. The hardest part is the first step forward. But you can always try.
Few people are inclined to run toward risk. Most people want to minimize or eliminate it. However, if we substitute the term “research and development” for “risk-taking,” risk becomes easier to stomach. Risk is part of the process of discovery. Not only is it valuable to experiment early and often, but it is essential to advancing an idea or initiative. Embrace the concept of constantly trying new things and figuring out different ways to solve old problems. In the process, shift your mind to recognize that the risks we take represent our own version of necessary R&D – part of the process toward great achievement.
Innovation and iterative development often go hand in hand; it’s effective to take ideas that have already been tested and bundle them with new insights and a fresh team. Big innovations benefit greatly from smaller, incremental breakthroughs. There’s always room for new thinking, even in some of the most traditional sectors. Pick up where others left off.