Good morning, Believe Nation!
Today’s message is: be restless. Over to you Nikesh Arora.
In my life I’ve always been restless. I’ve never been able to settle with status quo. Every time I felt that life was getting boring, life was getting unexciting, I decided to pick up and move and do something different. And I actually never had a plan.
So, I go speak at places, people ask me, so did you have all this charted out. And I’ve never had a plan charted out. I still don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. As long as you’re happy, as long as you feel you’re making a difference, as long as you feel that your restlessness is getting satisfied. Which again, is an oxymoron because once your restlessness gets satisfied, you’re no longer restless and you have to be restless again.
I graduated business school again
So, I’ve always tried to be restless, always tried to do something different. I grew up in this country. I ended up being an engineer, decided I didn’t want to do that for too long. Which was a bad choice, now that I’m in Silicon Valley I realize I should have stuck to those guns.
But anyway, decided to become a business person and decided to go to business school in the U.S. I landed there with two suitcases and a pair of white socks, which I still remember fondly but that’s part of my romanticizing again. So, from there on, I graduated business school again.
“In my life I’ve always been restless. I’ve never been able to settle with status quo. Every time I felt that life was getting boring, life was getting unexciting, I decided to pick up and move and do something different. And I actually never had a plan.” – Nikesh Arora
If I’d have gone the other way
I went to work in the financial industry. When I was applying for jobs, I was told that you don’t have enough finance, so since from then I went and got two more degrees in finance. So, every time I felt that I’ve been challenged, I’ve gone and picked up my bags and done something different.
So, I got bored in Boston, I picked up the same two bags and went to Germany and decided to work in Germany where I didn’t speak a word of German, and the average peer group was 50 years old.
So, there are many moments in our lives when we come to that point and realize what would have happened if I’d have gone the other way.
Or what if the doors had shut sooner before you walk into the train. And you can go back and think about those moments in life, but it’s not about those moments, it’s about the moments when you actually walk through the door.
I think entrepreneurs, in general, are pretty restless. We are a restless bunch. We are not satisfied with the status quo. We want to change the way things are done.
We don’t like our boss, we don’t like our job, we don’t like the industry we’re in. And instead of just complaining, what do we do? We make a change, we do our own thing.
We want to be the change that we want to see in the world. That’s what we as entrpreneurs do, and it’s why I believe every major problem in the world would be solved, not by corporations, not by charities, but by entrepreneurs.
I think we hold the secret to every positive change that is coming in a big way. And so I think restlessness helps us in two major ways, and one is kind of hidden.
The first is the decision to start. Right? A lot of people have ideas. A lot of people want to start a business, not everybody does because they’re not restless enough.
They don’t want it badly enough. They’re safe, they’re secure. Sure, they’d like to have more money. Sure, they’d like to have a bigger impact. But they have a nice job, you’re making nice money.
The restlessness in entrepreneurs allows us to get started
You have commitments and responsibilities, and people to look after. You can’t afford to go out and do that thing. You’re not restless enough.
Right? You’re too safe in your environment. And so you don’t ever do anything. And that’s 90% of America, you wake up to a job that you hate. And so, the restlessness in entrepreneurs allows us to get started, to pursue our vision, to build a company, to solve a problem, to be fulfulled, to help customers.
That’s what we do. The second part of restlessness, though, I think is kind of like a silent killer for a lot of entrepreneurs. What happens in a lot of companies is we get bored of our companies. That’s not something a lot of people talk about but it happens a lot.
“The restlessness in entrepreneurs allows us to get started, to pursue our vision, to build a company, to solve a problem, to be fulfulled, to help customers.” – Evan Carmichael
It happens to a lot of entrepreneurs. They get bored, they get tired. Why did you leave that job to start your company?
Because it was boring, because you weren’t learning, because you weren’t growing, because you weren’t having the impact that you wanted to have. And what ends up happening is at the start of the company, the start of your new business everything is what you want to do.
Restlessness and improvement in your business.
You start building your vision up. And then somewhere along the line, you have customers and there’s expectations, and you found the things that will make you successful, and so you keep doing those things, right.
You find the path to success, keep doing that thing. Repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. Make more, right? Go, go, go.
The challenge is for someone who’s restless what happens when you’re just copying and pasting, and copying and pasting, and copying and pasting, and copying and pasting, and copying and pasting.
You get bored! You don’t want to do the same thing all the, that’s why you left your job, you don’t want to do the same thing over and over, over and over and over and over again. Ad infinitum, right? You don’t want to do that. And not enough entrepreneurs recognize that.
And so they end up in this spot where they hate their business, where they’ve just bought themselves a job. And they’re saying I want to do this anymore, I want to go start something new, I want to sell this business, I want to move on to something else.
Where the real trick to solving this problem is constant and neverending restlessness and improvement in your business.
Continue to be restless.
Once you find what made you successful, keep doing that, and then try to beat it. As you evolve and change and grow as a human being, guess what, you have to bring that to your business.
If you are evolving and changing and growing, and your business is staying the same and doing always the same thing, you are going to get bored. There’ll be a point where you’ve grown so much that you don’t recognize your business at all, you don’t want to be there anymore.
So, you need to be constantly introducing restlessness into your business. As you grow, as you get new ideas, as you evolve, you will need to bring that to your business immediately so that line doesn’t get too far apart.
So that you never get bored of your business. My company has changed a lot since I first started. There’s still been that passion for helping entrepreneurs but the execution has changed a lot.
I never thought I’d be doing YouTube. I never wanted to write a book. I never thought I’d be working with big brands. I never thought people would offer me spots on their board of directors. I never thought I’d be investing in the company.
None of this was ever part of my plan when I started. But if all I did was what I was doing when I started, I would hate my company right now. You need to evolve your business as you evolve yourself. Continue to be restless.
Question for the day
So, the question of the day today is, I’m curious, what are you restless about right now? Leave in the comments below, super curious to find out.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Rick Vasquez. Rick, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word. It really, really, really means a lot to me, man, I appreciate the support, I hope you’re enjoying the read.
So thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is. Much love and I’ll see you again tomorrow morning for another shot of Entspresso.
Interviewer: Why do you still care enough? You’re at a point in your life where you could go back, you could do your month in Vegas and Florence Henderson could open up and you could go And hit a couple of balls, and then some pinball. Why do you still care so much?
Well, I’m not comparing myself to any of these people, believe me, but you wouldn’t say to Picasso, when are you going to put those brushes down, get rid of the canvas, you’ve done it.
I’m an entertainer, first and foremost, but there’s art involved here. And an artist has an obligation to be en route, to be going somewhere. There’s a journey involved here and you don’t know where it is, and that’s the fun.
So, you’re always going to be seeking and looking and going and trying to challenge yourself. So, without sitting around thinking of that a lot, it drives you and it keeps you trying to be fresh, trying to be new, trying to call on yourself, call on yourself a little more, you know.
Interviewer: It seems like you’re a man of extremes. Like you don’t just drum, you drum on one of the largest kits there is. You don’t just ride motorcycles, you ride 50,000 miles-
I’m an extremist.
Interviewer: Even when you describe your appetite for reading, too, it seems like a voracious appetite for reading. Is that what got you where you are as a drummer, even?
I would expect that it all comes down to a kind of restlessness. Because when people talk about boredom, for example, I can honestly say I’ve never been bored for a second in my life, but I’ve always found another way not to be.
Like if I have to go to a medical appointment or something, I bring a book with me so that waiting is not going to be a hardship. In the early days of touring, when all that dead time was hanging on me, reading. Portable, useful, you know, nurturing, all that stuff. You learn to adapt to your own personality. The extremes do come in there, too, yeah, I wanted to read every book ever written.
Drumming wise, my determination was more important than talent early on. I think for most things, you do have to have a bit of a knack, but I had to work so hard to learn so many things, but I was relentless in terms of determination.
And with traveling, when I’ve got a day, I’m tempted by what’s the most excellent thing I can do. Which might be way too far, way too long, but I’m going to go for that because it’s the most excellent thing I can do. And with writing, it just seems unstinting in the same way because I just kind of know when I’ve done my best on it. And maybe an editor can help make it better, and maybe somebody else could have written it better, but I have a good built-in sense of this is the best I can do.
All I want to do is, are good scripts. However, they have to manifest themselves.
Interviewer: Have you ever had an agenda?
I never have.
Interviewer: Have you ever been in that mindset?
I never have, I never had like a, I’m too restless. I don’t know what I want to do, but I know what I don’t want to do. I can answer the question like that. I don’t want to do the same type of movie over and over again. I wouldn’t want to just be doing comedies. I wouldn’t want to just be doing suspense movies or action movies. I always want to mix it up.