Sunday, 20 September 2009
03:38:23 AM (GMT)
Tyler’s First Rule of Innovation:
“No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly
This is the most important lesson, and it’s the one people struggle with and
resist. Tim Ferriss advocates the 80/20 rule of productivity, where you focus
relentlessly on the 20% of the actions that lead to 80% of the return. People see
this as nice in theory, but not practical.
But believe it or not, this is how I’ve been running my businesses for the last 10
years. I used to actually feel guilty because I wasn’t constantly “getting things
done” at a maniacal pace, even though I was enjoying increasingly significant
success each year. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve realized that this
approach is essential for entrepreneurs and creative professionals of all stripes.
The 80/20 rule of productivity requires radical elimination, or letting that which
does not matter to creative moves truly slide. Use that newfound time for creative
thinking that leads to innovative action, and you will succeed, guaranteed.
Tyler’s Second Rule of Innovation:
“No fear! No distractions! The ability to let that which does not matter truly
Seriously. Don’t break the first two rules.
Tyler’s Third Rule of Innovation:
“I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let’s evolve, let the
chips fall where they may.”
Let’s face it, when we break Tyler’s first two rules of innovation and distract
ourselves with foolish productivity, it’s often because we’re afraid (which also
violates Tyler’s first two rules). We’re afraid of failure, ridicule, risk,
mediocrity, and perhaps even success itself.
If you’re going to evolve and grow as a creative person, you’re going to make
mistakes. In fact, you should start making twice as many mistakes as soon as possible
if you want to have an innovative breakthrough.
Make mistakes and let the chips fall where they may. You might like the landing.
Tyler’s Fourth Rule of Innovation:
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
Oh, yeah… don’t be afraid to make big mistakes. More importantly, don’t worry
about everything going according to plan. In fact, if everything’s going according
to plan, there’s a good chance nothing remarkable is getting done.
They say life is what happens while you’re making other plans. Innovation is what
happens when you recognize when to change the plan and perhaps the entire game. Maybe
your initial plan falls apart, or maybe you simply need to throw the current plan
Don’t let the plan restrict the freedom to have a game-changing idea, and act on
it, at any time. Losing everything may be the best thing that ever happens to you.
Tyler’s Fifth Rule of Innovation:
“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re
not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your
When we talk about fear, risk, mistakes, and losing it all, what are we really afraid
of? Are we defined by the stuff we own, or would we prefer to be defined by what we
accomplish and create for the world?
I’m not saying give all your stuff away or take foolish risks that harm your family
or yourself. I’m saying don’t let the stuff you own start to own you to the point
that you can’t live the life you want to live and do the things you want to do.
Tyler’s Sixth Rule of Innovation:
“People do it everyday, they talk to themselves… they see themselves as they’d
like to be, they don’t have the courage you have, to just run with it.”
I bet you’ve got a great idea right now, bouncing around in your head. What are you
going to do with it?
Be what you’d like to be, and do what you’d like to do… it really is that
simple. Having the courage to just run with it is the difference between a fulfilling
life and a life full of regret.
Tyler’s Seventh Rule of Innovation:
“Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”
On the other hand, wearing black hipster clothing and hanging in cafes smoking
Gaulloises cigarettes does not make you creative. Buying a MacBook Pro and an iPhone
doesn’t get it done either.
Creativity and innovation are mainly about hard work. It’s about constantly coming
up with ideas and thinking through problems instead of vegging out. And it’s about
taking action, plain and simple.
Tyler’s Eighth Rule of Innovation:
“This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.”
First, you have to know, not fear, know that someday you are going to die. Until you
know that, you have no sense of urgency. You think you have all the time in the world
to do amazing things, but you may not live to see that particular someday.
So quit reading articles for a bit and go do what really needs to be done today.