WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU INCUBATE A CRAZY IDEA?
WOW what a ride. 99 interviews done, and numerous lessons learnt from a global array of disruptors, innovators, mavericks, radicals, misfits, entrepreneurs, and crazy ones. Artists, Chocolatiers, Doctors, Venture Capitalists, DJ’s, Technologists, Philanthropists and others who laugh in the face of the status quo. Patch Adams [political activist], Soren Holm [VP Future Labs LEGO], Jane Tewson [CoFounder of Comic Relief/Red Nose Day] Cindy Gallop [Founder of IfWeRanTheWorld & MakeLoveNotPorn.tv] and Ferran Adrià [world-leading chef who broke ground with molecular gastronomy with El Bulli] are just some of my friends whom I’m humbled and privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from.
Don’t you find the bigger the challenge the greater the sense of achievement, especially when people tell us it can’t be done? This is the story of just such an adventure.
‘The British trust banks for safety reasons and are therefore conservative consumers, but he wanted to give people a much more transparent, different relationship with their money, ’
I’m sitting there thinking and scribbling notes. Little knowing at the time how this one sentence was going to change the entire direction of my life beyond recognition.
‘ S**T he’s trying to take on the Bank of England; t he man’s a complete maverick.’
Monday 20th May 2013 and after working my arse off for 2 years I’ve landed in Vancouver Canada. Game plan: Write my research project to complete the Masters in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership and get a job. Ah yes… the research project. I’d been to see Professor Clive Holtham and told him I’d been incubating the idea of ‘the man’s a complete maverick’, and that it had evolved to,
‘Steve Job’s can’t be the only person who thinks differently’.
I tell Clive I want to explore the approaches to business used by mavericks. ‘No way,’ he says, ‘too big, too difficult, can’t be done.’ But what Clive didn’t know about me then is that every time someone says I can’t do something, I have this innate response,
‘F**K YOU — watch me!’
Dad said I couldn’t have an education, Indian girls don’t need to learn, hmmmm, I have 4 post-grads. So 7 interviews in I’m standing in the house, tears running down my face. Boyfriend asking what’s wrong and me realizing, ‘I’m not the only one.’ And like ET I had found my people and in doing so found exactly what I was put on this planet to do.
Friday 10th January 2014 I submit my research project — Business Mavericks– a qualitative grounded theory research study answering the research question: What, How and Why do mavericks operate the way they do in business? 29 interviews [and a distinction]. Not bad for it can’t be done.
Pig headed determination has won through yet again, or as Thomas Fuller more eloquently puts it:
‘An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything’.
I’ve lost count of how many emails I sent, how many phone calls I’ve made, the times I’ve got up at stupid o’clock to make calls, the early mornings where I’m sitting looking at the screen and it’s a 5am no show with no explanation. The times I questioned who did I think I was that I could just walk into the business world with no connections and think I’d be able to speak to some of the most influential people on the planet. And you know what kept me going? I knew my why? Thanks Simon Sinek I’d learnt that lesson well.
‘THIS IS FOR EVERY KID THAT GETS TOLD, WHY CAN’T YOU BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE?’
I was doing it for them, in the same way I had jumped out of a plane to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust by skydiving. I simply thought about every child I had had the privilege to care for as a Children’s Nurse. I remembered the ones in the wheelchairs, the ones with debilitating and life limiting conditions, the ones who had really taught me what being brave really was. And so I went from Billie — Child Health Nurse/Lecturer to Billie Carn Crazy Girl @thecrazyonesorg ‘Global expert on people who think differently.’ Doesn’t seem so strange now that my mum called me Pagal Kuri all my life, literal translation: Crazy Girl.
Next adventure, The Crazy YOUNG Ones. Kind of logical really as all my previous research was on young people. So now I’m looking for 24 year olds and under who are pursuing ideas the world would consider crazy, providing a platform for them to share their ideas, learns and the challenges they’re facing.
And if you’d like to learn more about the insights learned so far from the grown ups, be part of the adventure, or want you and your team’s crazy setting free, quite simply become a first follower and join the movement at www.thecrazyones.org or email me email@example.com. And maybe we can help each other step a little out of our comfort zone, believe in ourselves a little more, see the world in a different way, be a little braver and in doing so together push humanity a little further forward. Billie x