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The rocket I needed

Emoji rockets. The emoji for start ups and launches. Conquering brave new worlds, leaving normality and taking risks. Reminding us of the story of the first astronauts launching into space, and the stuff from which legends are made.

On Monday evening I was at our first HUM4NS talk of the year. Our speaker for the evening was Richard Phillips who shared his epic story of meeting every man who set foot on the moon. I won’t spoil the story, suffice it to say that you have got to hear it! For me though, what really stood out most was the large, Lego rocket he bought along.

It took me right back to the first home I can vividly remember and having a moon rocket, built to the same scale as Richard’s, on my bedside table. This unfortunate rocket became the first casualty of sharing a room when my youngest sibling arrived on the scene.

That rocket, that beautiful rocket got broken. My father had made it and I remember staring at it and letting my mind wander over all the possibilities of space travel before, one day, a swipe of the hand killed it.

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As a child I was captivated by the image of that rocket. As much taken by the space race as I was captivated by the brave men. I didn’t want to be an astronaut, but I was caught in the moment. I think the reason it caught my attention was because I loved launching into the unknown, taking risks and breaking boundaries. I didn’t make the connection at the time BUT it was definitely in my blood.

The rocket was just a toy that I fell in love but it actually foretold my future. In the same way that lego revealed my heart for storytelling, the deeper aspect of writing stories was actually wanting adventure, and launching into space was the biggest adventure of them all.

You see, TOYS reveal more about us than we realise. What you fell in love with as a child reveals a lot about who you are!

I want a rocket now. A model rocket. I want one on my bookcase, office, wherever. It represents the choice I made to be uncomfortable and journey into the unknown to try to do the impossible.

Fast forward to the present and our latest website launch is for our software company, Di9ital’s, new site which embraces the dawn of new tech tools, and has a narrative of toys at its heart. Toys fuel imagination, allowing us to be creative and express ourselves, play and create new stories.

‘Old school’ toys take us back to dreaming, building and experimenting and Di9ital is doing just that. It’s about building something new that captures imaginations, and turns ideas into reality.

This isn’t a pitch, but of course if you have an idea we can help and have empowered many people to begin a dream journey…

Five tips for you if you want to embrace adventure…

Get used to failure:

The rocket that made it had a whole journey of failures. It was high risk and high reward. Similarly, the journey of entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Many talk about it but few are prepared for the journey. It is HARD. Honestly, it really is. Getting into space takes money, relationships and a level of resilience that will push you beyond what you thought you could endure. However, the foot on the moon, the impact of an idea, the people who’ll be freed by the choices made available to them are the motivations that drive you on. Money isn’t the all. There are easier ways, but doing life on your terms is about swimming against the current, rather than doing what is popular. High risk, yes, but high reward too! One day stepping onto your moon will make everything worth it. The view will be astounding!

Conspiracy theorists will appear:

People will second guess you. Talk about you. Lie about you. Believe you have it easy, don’t deserve it, question your motives, and make assumptions about you. I guess we’re all guilty of that though! We form an opinion without having access to all the facts. You see, we all love the inside track, a little bit of intelligence on something that no one knows, but is it the truth?

As a leader, I’ve been taken advantage of on more than one occasion and that’s a risk that you have to take.

Ask any entrepreneur, they’ll bear the scars of betrayal, but there isn’t much point constantly trying to justify yourself, time always tells! Your job is to get the job done with other dreamers and visionaries, the crazy ones who’ll do more than just talk. Their conversations are full of ideas, not opinions about other people. They don’t play at being crabs in a bucket, they work at creating a new environment. They prefer completing one another’s stories over competing with one another.

Have the right people on board:

Negativity in the midst of war kills people. You need positive people around you, not a running commentary on the landscape. If you are in the trenches you don’t need to be told how muddy it is. The strength of any operation is the operatives.

Much has been said over the years about leaders and leadership, but don’t underestimate the influence of people who simply don’t care! Tough times reveal character and the measure of men. You don’t need cowards on a rocket. These astronauts are stress tested for a reason. There is nothing worse that someone who wants all the money in return for no responsibility. They want the trappings of success without truly paying a price. To get fit for the journey you have to put the work in. Get educated. Invest in yourself. Get mentored. Admit you don’t have all the answers. Be humble. If you have time to be a critic you have too much time!

Success is created by putting the work in for a season and starting out isn’t easy, but quitting before time will birth regrets. Thankfully, the team at Cre8ion are made of sterner stuff and there is no way we’d be where we are without this amazing team of brave adventurers! When ‘me’ is above ‘we’, you put people in danger on the entrepreneur ‘ship’. It’s about serving others rather than just self.

You will pay the biggest price:

Sleepless nights, rants, raves, conspiracy, quitters, liars, takers, rip off merchants, other peoples mistakes, it will cost you. Don’t get me wrong, but its wrong to say it will never happen. My family has had to carry the stresses and strains of building businesses and no one has paid a bigger price. This isn’t about comparing or competing, it’s not about getting everyone to say poor me, its knowing that you WILL pay the highest of prices as a leader. The truth is, no one else will be willing to pay it either.

The price is heavy and yet, there are some people who are crazy enough to get in that rocket with you! Nevertheless, leadership can still be lonely. Making the tough calls can be done collaboratively but ultimately the leader has to make the final call. The more people, the more opinions are formed. Stay focussed on the trip, the journey, the adventure but know that the buck will always lay on your shoulders.

The view will be amazing:

Seeing the earth from the moon is the reward for taking the biggest risks. Few men have seen that view for real. That is the reward but also the facts, few see dreams become real. They endured the promise, they committed to its journey and decided that it was worth dying for. The view was more important than the threat of death. The astronauts considered it but chose it anyways. Bravery is doing it scared and in the process you might pick up a few scars!

As a leader, seeing people flourish and catching the view, considering the price and committing to it, stepping up to lead and embrace responsibility is incredible. It separates the boys from the men and the girls from the women, from Amelia Earhart to Elon Musk. These people chose their own route, while others pointed at them, saying “I wouldn’t do that” from the comfort of their mortgaged houses, holding down their corporate responsibilities. You see, not everyone will take the risks for the view and it isn’t for me to list the levels of sacrifice myself or my family have made to give opportunities to others, often without thanks, but for the few who recognise it, it’s worth it.

Those people will see the view. I am certain of it because it’s part of who I am. I know that we will get there and when we do, as a team, we’ll do it again and again. For me and my crew, the destination is one thing, but deep in our hearts is the passion for adventure.

The rocket I needed sat at the front of the HUM4NS stage and reminded me what I had signed up for.

It reminded me once again that my purpose is to help others discover and live out theirs. While it isn’t easy, it’s why I am here on the planet.

I believe I can help more than hinder and inspire people to reach for the stars, avoid the asteroids and put their foot on their moon to admire the view!!

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