I believe opportunity.
When I was seven, I wanted a skateboard. The year was 1970. Some kids in my surrounding neighborhoods had skateboards and the sport was starting to make a comeback. History states that skateboards were created in the 1940s or so to fulfill a surfer’s urge to ride waves even when the ocean’s waters were flat. Surfing on land – down hills, off curbs, crossing streets with a lightweight side-standing ride. I had learned to roller skate when I was very young, younger than seven, on a pair of rickety metal skates with adjustable length that strapped to my shoes. I had since graduated from those old metal skates to a pair of shoe skates. But those old metal skates taunted me while skateboarding called me and I seized an opportunity.
I found a piece of wood that did the trick, scavenged some screws and sandpaper, and set about to make my own skateboard out of the those old metal skates. I think the board only lasted two runs down old Sugargrove Drive, but that had been enough success for me. When I needed a pair of Japanese wooden shoes, the next year, for my 3rd grade Japanese Culture Luncheon, I made my own. I realized at a young age that success is not only a place where you arrive, but the state of mind that takes you there.
I believe in opportunity.
I believe that every person has an opportunity to find their own greatness, to create a course of personal success, if they want. Personal strength, honesty, and integrity are essential building blocks for lifelong success – whether you measure success in the size of your family, the circle of friends around your table, or the amount of credit cards in your wallet.
A Blue Ocean
Many years ago, I read a book called Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The main principle behind the book is basically finding your own way, creating your own success down a path that hasn’t yet been walked.
“Stop benchmarking the competition. The more you benchmark your competitors, the more you tend to look like them.” – Kim and Mauborgne
Many new companies or philosophies are built on copying the success of others – by entering a shark-filled ocean – a red ocean – where great competition spawns great products and great profits. The Blue Ocean Strategy is based on almost the polar opposite. A new idea or a new twist on an old idea growing in a blue ocean, where no sharks dwell, where the only competition is what you create for yourself.
My Blue Ocean Preference
I like the blue ocean, I prefer opportunities not covered in blood. Where originality and creativity spill over and are rejoiced, not tempered or cajoled and greased by greed or manufactured hate.
A surfboard on land found its own blue ocean. And for over 70 years, the incarnation/reincarnation, invention and reinvention of the skateboard are alive and well.