I started a nonprofit while I was in high school; people thought I was nuts. I started a church in downtown Decatur; people thought I was nuts. I started a digital marketing company with a friend just as the economy tanked; people thought we were nuts. I started a crazy nonprofit to build 48 websites in 48 hours (with this guy); people thought we were nuts. I have five kids with my lovely wife; I’m pretty sure we are nuts.
When people think I’m nuts, it means I’m pushing against the norm. I love this because I feel that pushing against the norm is the best way to be great. Most great thinkers, entrepreneurs, inventors, and leaders have pushed against the norms and have risen above their peers as a result. The best companies are the ones doing what no one else is doing too. Think about Apple coming out with the iPod and then the iPhone. These we so far beyond the norm it was embarrassing to the competition. And, as a result, Apple grew unimaginably fast.
In those moments when I’m looking, thinking, and acting like the norm I try to ask myself, “what am I missing?” In those moments, I know there is something more that I can do or another way of looking at a situation that will help me find an opportunity that others may have missed. In those moments I want to find that opportunity and have the courage to act on it.