They work hard. They’re responsible and motivated. They keep track of their tasks and goals. So diligent, as they have always been. They are “Talents”: programmers, data analysts, project managers, product managers, salespeople, HR people. They always have dozens of tasks to do. They run and struggle all the time. They put the effort in and get results.
But then, suddenly, an unknown figure passes them by at a crazy high speed, like Road Runner from those old Looney Tunes cartoons. And then another figure quickly passes them again and disappears out of sight in the fraction of a second. The talents try to run as fast as they can, but it seems like they are going in slow motion. Who are these figures who fly by?
They are the “Founders”, or, more precisely, those who have a Founder mindset.
The Talents, upon which most of the tech industry leans, are “linear”. The “Founders”, however, are “nonlinear”. It isn’t about who has the higher IQ or earns more money. It is about a way of thinking and the ability to utilize one’s skills to live a life of self-surprise, to find new and unprecedented levels of passion and self-expression. To change the world and affect reality. To have a sense of meaning.
“Talents” are the most responsible, persistent, reliable, and talented in their industry, but most of them do not reach their full potential.
One thing that distinguishes between the two types is this – Talents ask themselves: “what do I want to achieve in 5 years?” Meanwhile, Founders ask: “what can’t I afford not to achieve in 5 years?”.
This is one big difference. So, what can’t you let yourself not try?
The world is full of possibilities and possible paths, it is also full of “noise”.
To stay in focus, you must have the courage to ask some big questions like “how can I help change the world?” This is the era of big questions. Talents work so hard and are so capable, but they avoid asking themselves the big questions. Meanwhile, founders start their days with these kinds of questions (alongside their morning coffee). A big question is an engine of great power. It’s a leading force, a compass. It’s an antidote against the feeling of a missed opportunity a few years from now.
Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, wrote a book together with Ben Casnocha, called “The Startup of You”. All of you are the Founders of your own startup, and you’re all expected to derive meaning, happiness, self-expression, and self-development from it in the upcoming years. This mindset allows us to look at the world of work from a different perspective as well as rediscovering our relationships, parenting, and family life. This discussion is one we owe ourselves.