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Headlights"[Creativity] is like driving a car at night.  You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."  -E.L. Doctorow

I love people who tell me something won't work... or that I'm wrong... or (my personal favorite) tell me I'm crazy for bringing it up.  It makes trying all that more enjoyable and proving them wrong all the sweeter.  Of course, I'm not a do-the-I'm-right-you're-wrong-in-your-face-dance kind of guy.  I prefer more of a quiet waltz past the finish line.

But I digress.

As you may have guessed by some of my posts, I generally don't categorize myself as just a professor or a consultant any longer.  I'm the "Carpe Factum" dude.  I like to help people chart out the accomplishments for their future.  What can they become if they put their minds to it?  The hard part is never getting them there; it's getting them to envision what "there" looks like.  Ask any project manager who knows his or her stuff.  They'll tell you that a successful project will expend far more energy during initiation and planning.  Just defining a direction is tough.

Based on the Doctorow quote above, what have been your greatest successes in helping others (or yourself) define the next course of action?  How do you deal with the derisionaries - those naysayers who say it can't be done?


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Tom Haskins

Hi Tim (belated Happy Birthday too!)
All mentoring of entrepreneurs in Colorado supports their defining where to go next. These creators of ventures are protagonists in their own story. Like you're saying, every story needs some great antagonists, which compelling motivations from the characters' back stories. One way I help my proteges to make sense of their naysayers is to explore the back story/motivations. In my experience, derisionaries:

-- need to be right and make others wrong when they are forming a stronger identity and greater confidence to overcome enduring insecurities.
-- need to make enemies when their power is in question and they need to prove their ability to control, dominate or conquer others
-- need to be arrogant when their intellect appears underdeveloped, naive or gullible
-- need to be negative when everyone else is being overly optimistic, hopeful and susceptible to big disappointments

Thus the derisionaries are doing what they think is right, what makes the most sense to them so far and what the situation appears to call for within their own frames of reference. With their motivations understood, the entrepreneurs can avoid getting shot down, dismayed or self-doubting when under siege.

Timothy Johnson

Good point, Tom. Sometimes the "derisionaries" are a necessary part of the creative process and challenge the creator to defend his/her creation.

April Groves

"I generally don't categorize myself as just a professor or a consultant any longer. I'm the "Carpe Factum" dude. I like to help people chart out the accomplishments for their future."

Tim - I love this and I am stealing it! Ok, maybe not the professor or the Carpe Factum parts, but the the expressed sentiment is getting adopted right now.

For a while I have been trying to justify all my many parts...I am a Realtor, a coach, a speaker. Seems an odd bag of tricks. But you have wrapped it all up. It is my goal to "chart out the accomplishments for their future."

You are a constant mentor for forward movement and big dreams!

Timothy Johnson

April - you are just too much... thanks for the kind words... being "stolen from" by you is one of the highest compliments I could get... you made my weekend!

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