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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

Pick your odds



Entrepreneurs do what they do for one of two reasons. Writers, photographers, musicians do what they do for one of two reasons.

And the fact that they love what they do, that they're passionate about what they do, isn't one of the two reasons. Sure, all these people love what they do and are passionate about what they are doing, but that's not the reason to wake up every morning and show up. It is because one or both of these two reasons.

One, they are looking at this as an opportunity to break out of a linear growth curve. Someone working a nine-to-five job has a linear growth curve. The rewards are linearly proportional to the effort that they put in. Sure, there is variation here. Some might see 5x rewards for their efforts while some others might see 1x rewards for their efforts.

But it is still a linear relationship.

However, an entrepreneur that sets up a successful business like a Facebook or a Snapchat or an Airbnb is looking at exponential rewards for their efforts. The growth is slow at the beginning where it is probably less rewarding than that of a linear (nine-to-five) alternative. But, once the threshold is crossed, the rewards are exponential. Mark Zuckerburg needn't lift another finger for the rest of his life and still see exponential growth in his rewards because of what he has created in Facebook.

But there are a billion people in the world trying to do this, trying to create new businesses that are as rewarding as this. And the ones that will succeed in doing so are probably in the thousands (at the most). A mere handful of thousands out of a billion. That's less than a 0.0001% chance. Not good odds.

The other reason is the desire to create impact. To make a dent in the Universe, as Steve Jobs once said. To leave the world a better place than they found it. To make a difference to someone.

There are over seven billion people in the world. And close to two billion are connected to the Internet and can be reached no matter where you are. If you're a writer, you can potentially reach two billion people. It is the same if you are a musician. Or an entrepreneur.

In the first case, you're creating something that reaches a billion people. And the odds of succeeding are minuscule.

But in the second case, you are creating something that will touch someone, make a difference to someone. And that someone can be any one of two billion people. Which means that the odds of succeeding are as close to hundred percent as can be.

The work you do in both cases is the same. But with vastly differing odds of success.

Pick your odds.




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