In Defense of the Impossible

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Possible and impossible are two different ways to think. Some people see everything as possible. Others train themselves to see only the impossible. It’s a simple choice. Entrepreneurs have crazy ideas that help them open the world of what is possible. There will be various bumps, also known as challenges, on the path that will test just how committed you are to your idea.

Here are a few examples of crazy ideas:

Facebook: Why do we need a way to communicate and connect on a global basis? Today, more than a billion people use Facebook. Now it’s hard to imagine a day without social media.

Electric Cars: Producing an electric car seemed like a crazy idea years ago. Today, I see a Tesla electric car at least several times a day in my hometown of Santa Monica, CA. Sales of these vehicles will reach 3.8 million by 2020, Forbes claims.

Polio Vaccine: Finding a vaccine for polio seemed like an impossible idea. The health community at the time estimated that treating polio would cost as much as $100 billion. Researchers believed differently and in 1954 won a Nobel Prize for their efforts. Today, there are only 200 cases left, and the cost to contain it was closer to $100 million.

Early Detection Test for Cancer: Jack Andraka, a 15-year-old high school student, invented an inexpensive and sensitive dipstick-like sensor for the rapid and early detection of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. He won the 2012 Gordon E. Moore top prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. It took him 4,000 tries and 200 letters to professors to get access to a lab. He received 199 rejections and one maybe.

From Homeless to Valedictorian: Chelesa  Fearce spent much of her childhood moving around homeless shelters and sleeping in the car, but that didn’t stop her from graduating high school as the valedictorian of her class. She persevered and will be studying pre-med at Spelman College.

Crazy ideas range from small to huge, and what seems small to one person is substantial to another. Your crazy idea may be to open a second office, hire another employee, donate a portion of your profits to charity, launch your product globally, start a family or buy another business. There is no need to compare what you can accomplish to your peers’ accomplishments.

You know you have a crazy idea when the idea seems crazy to others but exciting to you. People will doubt you because they don’t share your vision. Any idea that is removed from the status quo will always seem like a crazy idea to others. Don’t let a lukewarm response dissuade you from going after your dream.

I’ll share a few crazy ideas of my own:

• Leaving a successful finance career to start over and build a coaching business.

• Moving from New York City to Santa Monica at the age of 39.

• Publishing my first book without any specific writing experience.

All of these seemed like crazy or impossible ideas to others. It only takes one person to see the possible in an idea and that’s you. What are some of your recent crazy ideas? Please share them below in the comments section.

  • DetroiterJuan

    My name is Juan and I am the principal at Cesar Chavez Academy High School in Detroit, Michigan.

    My crazy idea is to design our HS into a campus that mirrors a college campus where classes are held throughout the day, where the students and school community can use the resources of the campus, and where entrepreneurial opportunities are created and led by students, all leading to an improved educational experience within an economically challenged city.

  • Alissa Finerman

    Amazing Juan, it’s going to happen. Let me know how I can help you take steps to achieve this vision/goal! Great and courageous share. my website is http://www.AlissaFinerman.com and email is top1@AlissaFinerman.com
    Thanks, Alissa

  • Elaine.C

    My name is Elaine and I am a high school senior student in China.

    My crazy idea is to apply for Wharton this year. I have been in love business since the age of 8 when i successfully promoted a bottle of vinegar to a restaurant boss. Recently, I helped my friend open his tutorial company nearby my school: I came up with so many interesting ideas of advertising, and the result has been great. This is my dream to study in upenn and make a difference in business field in the future, so hope everything goes well.

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