One of the main guiding principles of my life is the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
As an entrepreneur, the line that impresses upon me the most is the third: having the courage to change the things I can. It encourages me to challenge the status quo, to know that “the way things are” isn’t an immutable rule.
Just because we’ve always had to buy shoes from a shoe store doesn’t mean that’s the only way to purchase them. Think: Zappos.
Just because we’ve always gotten the latest news from a journalist doesn’t mean that’s the only way to get the news. Think: Twitter.
Just because we’ve always had to charge an electronic device in a wall socket doesn’t mean that’s the only way to keep a device powered up. Think: Inductive charging.
That’s what I call my Serenity Philosophy of Entrepreneurship. The title is perhaps a little misleading. It’s not about being serene and accepting things the way they are. It’s quite the opposite.
There are things we cannot change. The laws of mathematics and physics, for example. And taxes. Those are things we must accept. But to be a successful entrepreneur, you will need to know what you can change – and there is often more you can change than you think.