The Million Dollar Tattoo

Learning how to turn ideas into action

The Genie and the Master – Avoid becoming Reliant on your Genius

The word genius comes from the Latin ‘genii’, and literally means the  ‘guiding spirit’ of a person or place. It can also be traced to the Islamic word ‘Jinn’. Translated in English ‘Jinn’ is known as ‘Genie’.

The prototypical genius in the western world is Einstein, other widely-known examples including Newton and Hawking. This perception of genius may be accurate, yet is also limited by its specificity. Genius, in the true sense of the word, is the spirit of creativity – the seemingly otherworldly gift of being able to create something of originality and value.

If you are an entrepreneur, bona fide or in-the-making, then you surely have the spark of genius. Entrepreneurship is about discovering, manipulating and creating value with available resources, scarce or plentiful as they may be. Unfortunately, this genius may be used for both positive and negative purposes.  This is a very fine line to tread.

When you are lucky enough to have a genie at your beck-and-call, you may be tempted to become reliant on it. As the master, you may use the genie as a crutch – becoming too reliant on complex creativity and clever tricks. Techniques like automation, systems-creation and outsourcing may be used for the sake of being able to summon them, regardless of necessity. Entrepreneurs in-the-making may also use the genie to come up with a million brilliant reasons to not work harder, or ship the product, or get out of the building and begin the customer-development process.

Use your genius when it can most benefit you and your future as an entrepreneur, not just because you can rub the bottle at any time. Ask yourself: Are you bidding your genie to do something because you really need it, or just because you can. Sometimes there is no substitute for honest, hard-work. Sometimes simple business ideas can be the most profitable.

Sometimes the genie should be left in the bottle.


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