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Let Your Inner Inventor Out to Play

February 27, 2011

From E-Myth Worldwide

Original Post February 16, 2011



How in the world did you come up with that idea?

That’s what the people said to Fred Smith at Federal Express. People said that to Debbie Fields of Mrs. Fields cookies. They asked Howard Schultz of Starbucks, “How in the world did you think you were going to create a stunningly successful business when all you’re doing is selling coffee?”

How in the world could you even imagine this business—this ordinary business you’re in (delivering packages, making and selling cookies, and making and selling coffee) as the colossal success it’s become?

Innovation is Invention

Albert Einstein didn’t invent what he did. He saw it. He saw it as clearly as anything that could be seen. It was palpable to him. It was immutable truth to him. He discovered a reality that was completely the opposite of what everyone for centuries before him believed to be true.

That’s what an entrepreneur does. That’s what you are born to do. The inventor inside of each and every one of us is an entrepreneur, and that inventor inside us intends to invent a “business that works.” A business that works in an absolutely unique way to deliver a promise that in fact no one could have imagined being possible.

Back to Federal Express. “You can’t do that,” is what everyone would say. “You can’t do that,” they said to Walt Disney. “You can’t do that,” they said to Bill Gates.

You can’t. You can’t. You can’t.

You Can, and Here’s Why

The entrepreneur, the inventor, the innovator, is someone who is, in fact, the counter-intuitive realist who sees the world in completely opposite terms than anyone else. The entrepreneur, the inventor, the innovator, sees the world as though it were upside down. Imagine, just for a moment, that everything is the opposite from what you’ve been taught. In fact, the world isn’t what you believe it to be. It’s exactly the opposite of what you believe it to be. Looking for the opposite is what the entrepreneur does.

What if you could take every single belief you’ve got and turn it upside down? That’s the counter-intuitive approach to life. If you can begin to think in a completely counter-intuitive way; you will begin to discover the power resident within you. Anybody can do this. Very few people do.

Think of it like this: if everybody’s got a similar “problem” and you can capitalize on it—seize it—in a way that leverages your company, you’ve just differentiated your business in a powerful way. Understand sometimes that a common problem is not one that actually exists within the business itself, but it’s a problem customers associate with your business. It may all be a problem of customer perception. If you can find a way to address this problem of perception that everybody seems to have about your business, you can distinguish it from every other business.

I had an E-Myth Mastery client who owned a 24-hour emergency plumbing company. He considered the greatest single customer perception problem in his industry, turned it upside down, and changed his advertising slogan to the simplest most profound statement: “We Show Up.” And then he put the systems in place in his business to make sure he could consistently keep that promise!

And that’s the E-Myth Point of View.

Give counter-intuitive thinking a try. Write down a couple of absolute truths about your business; truths that limit your ability to grow, truths that are singular problems in your industry. Write down your customer perceptions of what they believe to be absolute truths about your industry. Write down everything you know to be true because you’ve had experience doing it in the business or industry in which you find yourself today.

And now think about it from an entrepreneurial perspective. From an innovative perspective. From a counter-intuitive perspective. That’s where the opportunity is. That’s where the fun is. That’s where the inspiration is. That’s where the joy is. If only you can turn it upside down.


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