I'll never forget that balmy June afternoon when I hit the send button on my resignation letter. It sounds like a cliche, but watching Steve Job's Stanford commencement speech on Youtube was the nudge of courage I needed to send that draft letter I had been editing for weeks.
I had an amazing job, a great boss who got out of the way to let me get on with growing the business. It took me all over the world and came with perks that simply couldn't value at the time. I guess that is why hitting the send button also felt very much like firing a torpedo into my defenseless career.
The thing is, I just had to do it. My mind was infected with an irresistible entrepreneurial desire. The mermaid had been calling for a while and I eventually broke loose from the ropes that tied me to the mast.
That was just over 10 years ago. Since then I've been involved in a number of new businesses. Some successful, many more never got off the ground. Regardless of the outcome, these experiences allowed me to learn things that I probably never would have picked up in the corporate world.
Every venture started with a blank sheet, no resources, nobody to blame, no infrastructure, only the promise of hard work, bills you can't pay, perseverance and an uncharted growth trajectory.
It stretched my creativity to levels I never knew existed. It challenged every thought and belief that I had come to accept during corporate life and it brought me back to understanding the essentials of what truly makes a great business.
So yes, the torpedo was a hit and the explosion was much bigger than I had expected!
The single most important thing that I learned from this journey was that, regardless of the industry or the size of the business, communicating with clarity is always more than half the battle.
Only when a business has a relevant message that is proudly adopted by its own people and intuitively understood by its ideal clients, can it become a proposition that is difficult to ignore and resist.
I've also come to believe that true innovation only becomes possible when it is presented as a compelling story that helps people adopt the uncertainty of transformation because the reasons, the stakes, and the benefits are easier to understand.
Today, the world is evolving faster than ever before. To stay in business you must constantly reinvent yourself to keep up with your clients and your competitors. This fast pace of change causes constant distraction and confusion, both internally and externally, about what the business exactly is and where it is going.
This is also why I have devoted the past five years to perfect the craft of helping businesses achieve clarity by finding that narrative that pulls its own people together and allows them to always understand why they are in business.
Is your business committed to ongoing innovation?
Does it understand the strategic importance of having absolute clarity about whom you serve, why you serve them and what it will take to keep having the privilege of doing so?