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From Grit to Glory
The three books that unlocked my creativity.
Oh, what a journey it has been! Recently, I had a moment of surprise, and after that, I stopped to try to remember everything I’ve ever absorbed on innovation, books, articles, papers, podcasts, conversations, etc. It was a daunting task, but I tried to make a list to help me identify the three books to recommend. The index had no end, and the content about innovation is as vast as the theme itself. But hey, let’s not get too serious here!
Innovation is not just a concept; it’s a state of mind. To innovate means being open to challenge yourself, present in the present, without fear of the future, and detached from the past. Sounds pretty easy, right? Speaking about innovation is easy, but experiencing an innovation process is a whole different story.
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People often come to me asking for help in becoming an entrepreneur, and they all seek a cake recipe. What are the ingredients, and how to combine them? My answer is always the same: “I do not have the recipe.” But don’t worry; it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
There is a lot of confusion between innovation and creativity, but they are not the same. Creativity involves creating something, while innovation involves what you have created. The difference between them is the change in our psyche that causes the action to innovate. While creativity is in the field of ideas, innovation goes to concrete action.
Any new project or product begins with an important truth to assimilate: “They will be born with failures.” Failure is essential to innovation because it’s an integral part of the process. Being passionate about what you do and the quest for perfection can lead to failure, but it’s essential not to be afraid of making mistakes. The key is continually changing your project/product until it gets off the paper.
My former startup, ClickSitter, was an example of this. When we completed three years of operation in January 2019, we changed a lot and made mistakes along the way. Does this mean that the current product is a success or perfect? “NOPE.” It just means that the current product was better than three years before.
“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” - Will Rogers.
This phrase became a mantra for me on the subject of innovation.
So, let’s get to the good stuff! I have three fantastic books to recommend that have helped me on my innovation journey.
The Intuitive Compass: Why the Best Decisions Balance Reason and Instinct
This book has helped me understand that decision-making does not have to be taken 100% of the time based on data. The book challenges you to balance data, facts, and intuition. During my years as a strategic planning consultant and executive, these teachings helped me bring significant changes to the companies I worked for.
Today, as a senior product manager, it helps in my decision-making process. We are constantly testing our features, prices, campaigns, and everything else based on the data collected from our customers. The great learning: The data are not enough. Often, instinct is the best guide, and I have learned to translate it into concrete actions for the business.
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
Innovating and entrepreneurship mean many things, but one universal truth to all entrepreneurs is that every day, waking up or going to bed, you will think: “I’m going to quit this madness today.” It’s not easy!
The term resilience takes on another meaning for entrepreneurs. It is not just about being able to bounce back from failure or setbacks but also about being able to keep pushing forward despite the challenges and obstacles that come their way.
Tribe of Mentors provides insights and advice from successful individuals across various fields and industries. Reading their stories of perseverance and resilience can be a great source of motivation and inspiration for entrepreneurs struggling to stay on track.
Yiddishe Kop: Creative Problem Solving
It is a book that breaks personal limitations and beliefs hindering innovation. It is a philosophical book that provokes readers to think differently and embrace change. One of the key themes of the book is the idea of questioning. Bonder argues that Jewish tradition has always valued questioning and challenging the status quo, leading to innovative problem-solving techniques. Overall, “Yiddishe Kop” is a thought-provoking and insightful book offering a unique problem-solving and creative perspective.
Innovation is not just about creativity but also about hard work and effort. It requires breaking free from personal limitations and being open to new ideas and possibilities. Reading books like The Jewish Problem Solving Secret can help entrepreneurs break free from their limiting beliefs and become more innovative.
In conclusion, while there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for innovation, reading books can help entrepreneurs gain new perspectives and insights. The three books mentioned in this article are a starting point for expanding their knowledge. Anyone can become an innovative entrepreneur with hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to learn from failure.
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