Jay Samit (@jaysamit) is a leading technology innovator and serial entrepreneur who tells us how to master personal transformation, seize opportunity, and thrive in this era of endless innovation.
The Cheat Sheet:
- Are you living your life, or are you just paying bills until you die?
- Whether by choice or what’s already happening, your world will be disrupted by change. It’s either an obstacle or an opportunity — the choice is yours.
- You don’t have to be a brilliant inventor to solve today’s problems; examine how existing systems can be modified and combined for new solutions.
- What is the Zombie Idea — and how and why should it be cultivated?
- You can hire expertise, but you can’t hire persistence.
- And so much more…
Whether by choice or circumstance, everyone’s career gets disrupted. Office automation, self-driving vehicles, and 3D printing will make 40% of our current workforce obsolete. By learning how to think and act like an entrepreneur, every obstacle can be turned into an opportunity for success.
In episode 467 of The Art of Charm, technology innovator, entrepreneur, and bestselling author Jay Samit shares how we can learn to roll with these disruptions and prosper by way of his new book, Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation.
More About This Show
Jay Samit, author of Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation, pretty easily “sums up what he does in one sentence: “I disrupt industries to unlock value.” Whether this value comes from financial gain or an advancement of knowledge, it illustrates how the way we do things now — in any industry — can benefit from the occasional shakeup to remain relevant in the way we do things tomorrow. And lest you think it’s an exaggeration to say this holds true for any industry, Jay’s list of clients he’s disrupted is surprisingly diverse.
“I hired the first guy to create an auction on the Internet that became eBay,” says Jay. “I worked with Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn. Hulu was video chat used by a hundred million people. I’ve worked with major studios. I’ve worked with The Vatican. I’ve worked with The White House. Each has different needs, and we live in a time of what I call endless innovation. And so the ability to transform yourself in the world has never been easier. You’re one click away from six billion people, so really it’s about a mindset of: how do you want to go about changing the world?”
While the 21st century may be an ideal time for us make the biggest transformations yet seen, innovation and disruption have played off of one another to drive progress throughout human history.
“The difference between innovation and disruption: go back to the Bronze Age; somebody discovered bronze,” says Jay. “They could make a little knife; they could stab you. Over the years, innovation was turning that knife into a sword — a longer sword. A better sword. Until you get to that scene with Indiana Jones in the streets of Cairo where the guy has a giant scimitar and he’s waving it around and Indy pulls out the Smith & Wesson: boom! That’s disruption. The second that handgun came along, no one cared about making a better sword!”
Jay gives us modern examples of companies that are successful because they disrupted their industries by using big data, the Internet, and mobility: Facebook (the largest media company, in spite of the fact that it creates no media of its own), Uber (the largest transportation company, yet it owns no vehicles), Airbnb (it puts more people in beds at night than any hotel chain, though it owns no hotels), and Alibaba (the largest retailer — beyond even Amazon — and it has zero inventory).
But Jay points out that you don’t have to be a titan of industry to benefit from the lessons of disruption. Self-disruption, for instance, is really about seeing beyond self-imposed limitations and unlocking your own potential. No matter what your goals — to do better business or improve yourself on a personal level — there’s no time better than the present.
“Why limit yourself when opportunity right now is limitless?” asks Jay. “It doesn’t have to be about money. It can be about changing the educational system. It can be about the environment. It can be something local — the sharing economy.”
But even thinking about business life as a separate entity from the personal has become more difficult — and ripe for disruption. Jay points out that the old paradigm of working for a company from graduation to retirement has become more of an exception in today’s world than a rule — and he doesn’t necessarily see this as a bad thing.
“What used to happen is, ‘Ooh, I got the safe job. I’m at the big company. I’m at the Fortune 500 company,'” says Jay. “The old expression was, ‘security robs ambition.’ Well in fact, it’s the illusion of security that robs ambition, because the Fortune 500 companies, of the original list, only 57 are still Fortune 500 companies! The likelihood that you will be there to get that watch after 40 years of trading your life? It seems insane that people do that. Every day you’re exchanging this gift — this amazing ability to be alive — for what?”
“When I talk to large audiences around the world,” Jay continues, “I always start off with one very basic question, which makes the room go to silence. Are you living your life, or are you just paying bills until you die?“
Sadly, most of us probably do fall into the “paying bills” category — or have at least experienced what it’s like before a fortuitous wakeup call brought us to our senses. So if we can agree that the job security once considered standard by pledging allegiance to a big company is more of an illusion than ever before, we can begin tapping into our newfound ambition — rolling with the inevitable disruption and come out ahead.
Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn how to turn obstacles into opportunity, why starting the day with a positive attitude is key to making positive changes, how solving for others will help solve for you, how Jay’s 30-day plan can lead you to discover the next billion-dollar idea, how you can reach any decision maker in the world for less than $5.00, and plenty more.
THANKS, JAY SAMIT!
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