In the Bloomberg.com column "How Did I Get Here" various business leaders describe their journey to the top via a timeline of experiences. It's interesting to note how many steps many of them had to take to reach the success they enjoy today. Russell Simmons, Producer, and Entrepreneur, currently Operating Chairman at All Def Digital is typical; I counted nine jobs over 34 years, of which a few were leaps.
He started as a music manager in 1979, then moved to recordings in 1984, in 1992 it was on to fashions. Simmons said, "Tommy Hilfiger put me in the business. He gave me direction and helped me out."
In the new economy, 34 years is a long time, and nine steps are too many. No longer does a person have to wait their turn to create something amazing. We have all the tools and resources available.
One of the greatest lessons is that timing is indeed everything. It's not to confuse the notion with being first in your industry, because having the best timing doesn't necessarily mean being first. In some instances, being first can actually work against you.
The key is about finding that purple cow.
Seth Godin, in his book Purple Cow, describes the concept of a purple cow in the following way:
"When my family and I were driving through France a few years ago, we were enchanted by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing on picturesque pastures right next to the highway. For dozens of miles, we all gazed out the window, marveling how beautiful everything was.
Then within twenty minutes, we started ignoring the cows. The new cows were just like the old cows, and what once was amazing was now common. Worse than common. It was boring.
Cows, after you've seen them for a while, are boing. They may be perfect cows, attractive cows, cows with great personalities, cows lit by beautiful light, but they're still boring.
A Purple Cow, though. Now that would be interesting."
The essence of the Purple Cow is that it must be remarkable.
How did you get here?
By transforming yourself along the journey. This is how my journey has led me to Austin Linen Service.
Doing linens differently.
Bringing value and service.
Doing it the Purple Cow way.