Start Up Blog

The genius excuse

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 12, 2011

I’ve heard a lot of people call entrepreneurs ‘a genius‘. Usually when someone has achieved amazing success. The most recent call of ‘genius’ has been directed to Mark Zuckerberg – though some may refer to him as the evil genius. I to have been guilty of this affliction. I play the ‘genius card’, when I have envy over what someone else has achieved.

It’s a great card to play, because it infers luck. It infers that they have been born with unusual and exceptional skill. A lucky sperm! This genius birthright is then the result of their success. Not hard work, not embracing failure, not sleepless nights and hours down in the skunk works. The genius card in reality is our way of justifying our own lack of success, or more aptly – effort.

The challenge we must set ourselves is to stop using the genius excuse. Because we know deep down in our hearts, we are trying to marginalize others success so that we feel a little bit better about ourselves.

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4 Responses

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  1. Sam Sabey said, on July 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    The most amazingly intelligent genius I know of chose to become a builders labourer, after nearling duxing his engineering degree. I suppose some genii are so smart the can see the hard road.

    Others are less smart, and find themselves hour after, day, after, week, after year in the works – hoping the next little things will add up to something, or working for the next flash of brilliance.

    I don’t think a flash of brilliance is quite genius… but perhaps as you say, an excuse.

    Sam,
    @samotage

  2. Rob Smallwood said, on July 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Plenty of genius around. Everyone knows at least a dozen or two geniuses. And there is even the odd lucky one, and I known the odd successful genius, but it’s generally not the “genius” in anyone that makes the difference between runaway success and less than that. Read this quote a number of years ago and I think there is some wisdom here:

    “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

    Calvin Coolidge
    30th president of US (1872 – 1933)

  3. Pavan Katepalli said, on July 18, 2011 at 2:13 am

    hard work, failure, rejection, all nighters, debt, long hours, battling goliaths It’s all part of becoming successful. I love this post.

  4. sampath said, on July 23, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Inspiring post.. I used to work on a dear project but once it did not prosper, I was devasted and almost gave up.. I recently strarted another one but not attached to it emotionally.. I feel an unbiased professional persistence to a project is what gives u success eventually..


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