I'm going to squeeze all the motherfucking juice out of this orange!
This book talks about an iconoclast being someone who does something that everyone else says can't be done. I've always seen myself that way, and those are the expectations that people have placed on me. I would say so far I have not lived up to those expectations - in fact it hasn't even been close. I think a lot of entrepreneurs probably feel like an iconoclast, beating their heads against a wall for years on end, and putting everything on the line when nobody else sees what you see. Certain things happen along the way that validate that you are on the right track, but more often than not there are stumbling blocks and challenges that will cause you to fail and possibly give up completely along the way. A very small percentage are able to make it to the other side... it's a stressful existence and can be especially stressful for those in their life.
I've been working on Game Plan Systems for over 8 years now. Not full-time, straight through. During a few years it was nothing more than a support phone call and renewing some hosting services. However, other times it included 90 hour work weeks and the most stressful situations imaginable. Now we are up and running and there is more promise than ever for something that was nothing more than a lark a few years ago. Promise isn't success though, and there is a way to go before we are a legitimate success.
The introduction of the book opens with an anecdote about Howard Armstrong. In short, the story describes an event that happens 14 years after Armstrong proved to his friend (the head of RCA) that his invention, FM radio, was superior to AM. The thing was that RCA was heavily invested in AM radio, so Armstrong not only lost his friendship but also ended up banging his head against the wall for 14 years trying unsuccessfully to make a business out of his invention. The event that happened 14 years later was Armstrong jumping out his apartment window, committing suicide after not being able to make a living out of one of the greatest and most essential inventions of the 20th century. His wife ended up selling the patent to RCA a year later for $1m, but lost a husband and probably sold for far too little.
I value my life way too much to consider what Armstrong did as a viable option, but as an entrepreneur I can certainly relate to the struggle. I often wonder why I'm 'blowing my brains out' over something that carries only a potential
payoff down the road
. Ultimately, I wouldn't want it any other way though. I like taking the risk, even if it never works out... it's about the journey, not the destination right?
Anyways, I take any kind of self-help book with extreme grains of salt. But I am hoping to take one or two useful bits of advice out of this book which will make me a more effective iconoclast.
I'll let you know if it's worth the read. Stay tuned!