Business is about numbers, statistics and hard facts, and entrepreneurs must have a strong grip on reality to do well. But departing from reality can ironically lead to greatness.
Here are five reasons to leave reality, think outside the box, and be unrealistic:
1. The only constant in life is change.
Especially in today’s digital world, business changes at a rapid pace. Even the most deep-rooted industries can change overnight with a new, unexpected idea. The most successful ideas seem ridiculous and implausible at first. After all, obvious ideas have already been created.
Think about Facebook. In the golden age of MySpace, does another social network, created by a student exclusively for a select group of students, sound like a successful idea?
Instagram, a photo-sharing social network that offers filters, was bought by Facebook for $1 billion only two years after its launch among a sea of other social networks and apps.
Uber disrupted the long-established taxi and transportation industry in just a few years and is now valued at more than $40 billion. In a similar fashion, Airbnb, the social-networking hotel chain, is expected to outgrow the world’s largest traditional hotel chains in terms of value and bookings.
In each of these seemingly unlikely cases, the startups tackled well-established industries and competitors with new ideas that brought big results. Thinking unrealistically can shake up old ideas and businesses, invite innovation and create a lasting impact.
2. Reality is bred from thought.
It only takes one thought to change actions, behaviors and outcomes. When an entrepreneur commits to an idea, and are convinced he or she will accomplish something, he or she eventually will. No matter how unrealistic an idea seems, it can become reality if the mind is resolute about realizing it.
3. The most successful people are often the most unlikely.
Beethoven was deaf. Ray Charles was blind. Innovators who think unrealistically, despite potential roadblocks, are in the end perhaps the most likely to achieve greatness.
4. Unrealistic ideas create motivation.
Unrealistic ideas usually stem from, or center around, passions. With passion and determination to achieve the impossible, the team adopts an “us against the world” mentality, and will work to make the unrealistic goal a reality.
5. Technology changes everything.
Reality is constantly changing in the technology revolution, and the impossible is becoming possible. Unrealistic thinkers recognize this rate of change and think toward the future.
Products, ideas and services that are now a part of everyday life were unrealistic only a decade ago. The growth of smartphones, social media, apps and the ability to customize and personalize nearly everything were once unrealistic ideas.
Thinking ahead can help entrepreneurs become industry leaders, creating ideas that will address potential problems and satisfy future wants and needs.
What’s holding you back from going for your unrealistic ideas?