Ok, so you’d probably have to be at least a Gen Y to connect with this blogpost. Nonetheless, go ahead, it’s a good read, I promise!
It’s the year 1999 and I am rushing home to watch TV. Not to watch just one random show but a cartoon. No its not Tom and Jerry, and don’t even dare to think its Barbie – although it became a thorn in my flesh for the first ten years of being a mother, gosh my daughters made me watch every single episode and even learn the songs! Anyways it’s 1999 for now and I still have the right to choose what to watch on TV, so no its not Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses, it is Pinky and the Brian.
So Pinky and Brain are genetically modified laboratory mice who reside in a cage in the Acme Labs. Pinky is the dimwitted but lovable nut in the pair while Brian is a genius who has an unending obsession for world domination. Every night he would hatch a new plan on how to achieve his goal, but they always ended in failure – lot of which was as a result of Pinky’s idiocy, and Brain’s own arrogance. I was 22 years old, yet I had a cult-like love for this duo, I found Brain’s ingenuity so intriguing, Pinky’s folly so annoying yet adorable, and the whole process of executing Brian’s goal so exhilarating.
Fast forward to 23 years later, I’m definitely not rushing home to NETFLIX, entrepreneurship is way too engulfing for me to waste sleeping hours on TV, except of course it’s a crime and investigation show – story for another day. Anyways, so I’m in bed, and for reason I don’t know my mind takes me on a time travel to the past, and Pinky and the Brain pops up in my head. I was half way through the theme song when these three words drop in my mind – INNOVATION AND STRATEGY. It hits me that the series is a classic case of innovation and strategy, from which many lessons could be derived.
GOAL IS THE CONSTANT, STRATEGY IS THE VARIABLE
Pinky: “Gee Brain, what are we gonna do tonight?”
Brain: “The same thing we do every night, try to take over the world!”
Brain’s goal was fixed throughout. Regardless of the setbacks and challenges he faced as a lab rat, he was very clear on what his goal was – world domination. And even though he failed at every attempt, that never stopped him from hatching another plan the following night.
Come up with a fixed goal for your business, career, health et cetera, and map out strategies to help you achieve them. However, no strategy is cast in stone. If your strategy does not boost your competitive advantage in your market, or impact significantly on your goal, you just might want to change it. Yes, it’s possible that the GOAT – Steve Jobs, successfully adopted the same strategy, chile throw it out the window if it ain’t working for you! The goal is to get to London, don’t lose sight of that, however, you can choose to either fly, sail, or even bike it like Kunle Adeyanju (don’t take my word for it though).
If your dream isn’t waking you up at night and making you want to push yourself beyond limits then it is probably a small dream. Your ideas will probably sound farfetched, outlandish and stupid, do it anyway; besides I doubt if they can be as preposterous as that of two laboratory rats aiming global domination. Your big idea will probably sound ridiculous to people, but what people think or say about you or your ideas shouldn’t be the basis for your actions – your perspective is of utmost importance.
I remember when I told people I wanted to go to the world’s largest manufacturing power, China, they told it was a dream way too ambitious as I had never traveled out of my country, and china wouldn’t give visa to a virgin passport. This didn’t stop me from nursing the idea, negotiating with Chinese manufacturers and even promising a visit to their plant, neither did it stop me from fantasizing about bumping into kung fu fighters avenging their fathers demise … by the way I was very disappointed when I eventually traveled but didn’t see any fighter, I legit thought those guys casually walked the streets of Beijing as depicted in Chinese movies.
Dreaming big will make you set your sight on something bigger than you, and give you a sense of purpose, and purpose will motivate you to reach deep into the recesses of your mind, innovate, and take action towards the fulfilment of that dream.
YOU’RE GONNA NEED A WINNING TEAM
No matter how brainy you are, there’s a high possibility that your dream won’t come into fusion if your right hand man is a Dundee United like Pinky. Pinky will cheer you all the way, he will support your dream, and even embark on the journey to world domination with you; but Pinky is Pinky he will be your undoing at some point. Truth is a lot of times it’s not even that your partner is bad or unintelligent, it is just that he/she is not the right fit for you, period!
Sometimes the ultimate solution is to throw Jonah into the sea, I cannot coman miss out of greatness just because of one wrong association!
STRENGTH IN SOLITUDE
No matter how far Pinky and Brain journeyed in their attempt to take over the world, they must always return to their cage before daybreak, and remain there all day running on wheel, pretending to the scientists that they are regular mice. Once the scientists left and Brain sights the slightest opportunity to execute his plan, he would bring out his pen and paper, chart out his latest plan for world domination, and off he goes with Pinky again.
I’m here asking myself “where does Brain get the time to think up his plans in the middle of solitary confinement, wheel running and being used for animal testing”? The answer is simple; he thinks up his plans right there in the middle of his chaos. PERSON WEY DEY CRY DEY SEE ROAD! You cannot afford to wait for an ideal or perfect situation before you plan out your aspirations. If you do, you won’t know what to do with your opportunities when they come your way. Dream and strategize right there in the middle of your pain.
So like I was saying earlier, I kept sourcing for makeup manufacturers online, sent out email to tons of them, and spent long hours going through brochures and gathering information. I had spoken to manufacturers in Turkey, the US, and China, I made my comparisons and conclusions on which manufacturers to work with. So much so that when an acquaintance asked me what my next growth strategy was I was quick to lay out my plan to visit factories in China. I must have made compelling statements cause right there and then she tells me to give her my international passport and promised to facilitate the issuance of a visa. Brethren, that was how I got to China o! What people call miracle is actually opportunity meeting preparedness.
There is strength in your solitude. Your present confinement isn’t there to break you, it is there to make you wiser and stronger. You can’t afford to wallow in self-pity, instead dig deep into your soul, seek out your truth, ruminate on it over and over again till it consumes every part of your being. Make a desperate lunge for the ball when you sight your opportunity, go after it with all your might. For it will be the only thing to save you in the end.
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By the way I am convinced that the mouse in my pantry is a descendant of Brain, and its life goal is to drive me nuts.