Don’t play by the rules, successful people think for themselves 9



This is stemming from a quote in a post about Mark Cuban that I read thanks to Michael Gray and Don Dodge. They both shared the post within moments of each other and I figured I had to read it. I really enjoyed the story and references to moves he made in his career. There were some huge risks, but, he trusted himself to make the right move. This quote stuck out to me and is the basis for this post:

“If you play by the rules, you’re screwed. Successful people think for themselves” – Mark Cuban

In my life, I’ve heard many people tell me how things shouldn’t be done. From the day I started college, my parents told me that I am making all the wrong decisions about school, and then work followed, then moving to SF, etc. I’ve had teachers tell me that I’m not going to do anything with my life, co-workers tell me that I should do things a certain way, and industry friends tell me that I’m not making the right move in a given situation. Yet, at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve made all the right moves to lead me to where I am today, and that’s all the matters. Who knows what will happen long term, but right now, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else but running Eventify and overseeing Visible Factors.

But all of that reminded me of why I realize that I have to be who I am going to be at the end of the day. People are going to doubt the decisions you make. You have to be strong enough to take the doubters and turn them into believers, that’s what it’s all about. There will be some stragglers and critics and you just have to brush them off.

People are going to tell you not to take a certain opportunity or not to build a company because they think it’s a stupid idea or move. That is ammunition for making something a reality and turning something into a great decision. Many people told me that eventify wasn’t a smart move, that I shouldn’t do it. I’m told constantly that I know nothing about the events industry, but, in the last 4 months I’ve come to learn more about events and the venues in them than any other startup or site that has had a head start. (or so I believe!) I’ve learned pricing models, what venues people are looking for, how to acquire venues for the site, and much much more. I’ve learned it all because I’ve taken the people that have told me I shouldn’t do it and turned it into the energy I need to make it happen. People told me not to share my idea, but, doing so has helped me gain the knowledge that I have to understand the industry…now it’s execution mode.

I’m told constantly I shouldn’t be running eventify and overseeing Visible Factors. That running two companies is a mistake and it might be, but, I’m still going to do it because at my core I believe they each help me knowledge. Sure, I don’t let one become a distraction of the other and my main goal is to build Eventify to be a huge business. But, they each help me learn and be creative with each business. It’s amazing how bootstrapping Visible Factors and raising money for Eventify has taught me so much of ways to help each business out and become successful. I learn from each one daily and they help me grow both companies concurrently…in my mind, that’s a win-win.

I question my decisions all the time and wonder if I am making the right moves. It is natural to do so, but, I will always make a decision quickly and not think too much about the doubters. After all, you are making the decision, it is your company, it is your opportunity. Whatever the case may be, you hold the keys to your own destiny, it’s up to you which door to unlock.

Don’t listen to people, listen to yourself. That’s all I have to say at the end of the day. You’re the most important person to you. If you are doubting yourself, you are doubting any sort of success that you have set for yourself. Make your decisions and run with it. You can always fix something if it’s broken…but…you can’t do anything if you don’t even start.

9 thoughts on “Don’t play by the rules, successful people think for themselves

  1. Reply Jas Panesar Sep 6, 2011 6:03 pm

    Only accept advice / opinion from someone who has experience in the topic you seek input on

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  3. Reply Matt Quackenbush Sep 7, 2011 12:31 pm

    Excellent post! Glad it was shared with me. :-)

    Dream BIG! Follow *your* dreams!

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  5. Reply Eric Strand Sep 14, 2011 5:30 am

    I LOVE the post and couldn’t agree more! I work with small business owners and struggling medical practitioners and this is a common thread. At least I know I’m not crazy now.

  6. Reply Rob Poitras Sep 29, 2011 9:50 pm

    Great post Tony.
    Ideas themselves are new, and others haven’t thought of them yet.
    I think that is the whole point, come up with new shit and make it happen before the other person does.

  7. Reply Kris Roadruck Sep 30, 2011 12:50 am

    Haters Gonna hate. I really like this post Adam. I can say from personal experience, having switched to being the master of my own destiny I would never go back to not having that control. Let your success speak for itself. Back seat drivers are in the back seat for a reason. Its because they don’t know how to drive ;-) Good luck with your 2 new ventures. I expect great things.

  8. Reply George Revutsky Sep 30, 2011 12:51 am

    Running a services business while founding a startup? That’s crazy – what are you thinking? Oh wait – I’m doing it too – and I couldn’t be happier. But yeah, it takes a LOT of energy and hustle. 2am Denny’s pancakes on me next time I see you…

  9. Reply Ryan Critchett Nov 21, 2011 12:27 pm

    I’m totally for this. Too many people (people who have masters degrees in inaction interestingly enough), try to tell you “how this works is..”

    I honestly think that people spend a great deal of time talking about things they have no idea about, or aren’t thinking through (or don’t have experience to talk about). It’s nuts!

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