In the midst of the holiday season, you will hopefully take some time away from business to relax with your children and younger family members. If you are lucky, this relaxation time will involve playing with legos. What can entrepreneurs learn from their family shenanigans with these timeless toys?
Be a Builder.
If legos came in pre-made sets, they would not be any fun. Children view them as superior to other toys precisely because assembly is required. Once we become adults, we often hesitate to do things for ourselves and get easily frustrated when we have to assemble things (e.g. IKEA furniture).
The holidays provide the perfect time to reconnect with your inner child and reinvigorate your builder spirit. Creating something out of nothing can be an immensely rewarding experience. Just watch your children as they focus intently for hours on crafting their lego masterpieces. Whether you are developing software or a startup ecosystem, you should imagine yourself putting lego pieces together, patiently watching as your project takes shape before your eyes.
Create Your Own Adventures.
Legos are not meant to be admired on the shelf. They are designed for play, breakage, and reassembly. What do children do once they have assembled their lego sets? They imagine entirely new worlds, acting out stories with the pieces. Children possess true vision. They know how to blur the lines between fiction and reality. Unfortunately, adults often prioritize reality over their right-brain-driven imaginations, but they need not always view life in such a way.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you should learn a lesson from the children in your life and get lost in your imagination from time to time. Construct a model of the society you would like to see, and work backward to figure out how to make the changes that you envision emerge in reality. What do people in your ideal world do? How do they interact with each other? What technologies dictate their behavior? Practice stretching your imagination, and create your own adventures.
Will You Follow the Directions?
In the modern era, legos come in sets with directions. However, you may want to try gifting your children boxes of miscellaneous pieces, free from guidance or instruction. Without specified directions, children will amaze you with the designs that emerge from their unconstricted minds. The mark of a true builder is being able to create without instructions.
As an entrepreneur or ecosystem developer, you will encounter many mentors and advisors who have previously been in your shoes. They will offer you advice and guidance on what to do, but whether or not you follow their instructions is up to you. Remember that every case possesses unique characteristics. Sometimes it is best to experiment with entirely new ways of conducting business or developing ecosystems. After all, that is how we ultimately make progress as a society. Do not be afraid to pave your own path and refrain from following the directions.
Happy Holidays from the Startup Commons team!
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