Full-Time Innovator

Day 322 Week 44 Q4 Sunday, November 19, 2023

If you are lucky, there comes a time in the life of an innovator when they become full-time. As has been previously mentioned, Innovation is a somewhat involuntary act. If you find yourself in evading all of the time, and that is not only a hobby but also your job because it has a business model that can actually sustain you, then you have become a full-time innovator.

This is not a path for the timid. It is very demanding because you are competing with other people who are just as creative and intense as you are. If you are not careful, it can get in the way of friendships, families, and other vital relationships. 

Innovation can be like other addictive activities for the same reason: it gives you something you grow to increasingly need. Be careful, or you will find yourself alone in your own world, a fate that befalls many inventors, artists, and other creative outliers. If you are going to be a sustainable full-time innovator, then you need to have some routines in life to maintain balance. If you do not, there is a real danger of burnout.

This can be exacerbated in an innovator-entrepreneur because they get their rush from Innovation, and they get their livelihood from being an entrepreneur, and these can become wrapped around each other. It is the same kind of problem as overeating, where a person can eat to live and also live to eat. We all need to eat, and most of us need to earn money as well. 

One particularly nasty trap the innovator entrepreneur can fall into is getting locked into transmit mode, where you are always speaking about what you are creating and why. The reason this is particularly nasty is because when you are locked into speaking, you stop listening. And without listening, you fall out of rapport with literally everyone.

Be on guard by being too seduced by your own ideas. You have to make sure that they have something to do with providing value to others; otherwise, incessantly speaking about them wastes everyone else’s time. And even if there is value provided to others, you still must not incessantly speak about your ideas, as it is offputting, which you will discover quickly.

One antidote I use to ameliorate this tendency is to try to ask myself all of the time, “What’s in it for We”, instead of “What’s in it for Me”. Try hard to habituate this behavior. Sure, we can be excited about what we are accomplishing, but the rest of the world doesn’t need to hear too much.

If you are a full-time innovator, there is a reasonable chance that you will end up self-employed because there are not very many jobs for full-time innovators in the world. You have to be on guard to prevent your ego from growing too much as an innovator who is also your own boss.