For those who have been in the UK this summer, disruption has featured in the news headlines daily. Train strikes, flight cancellations, long Channel crossing delays, flash floods, hosepipe bans, water leaks and wild fires to name just a few.
We had a major water leak on our street a couple of weeks ago which literally erupted and burst through the road just as my son Eddie was walking back from the shops. He came running in to the house to report that the road had just exploded so I immediately called the emergency services to ensure the road was sealed off. All very dramatic.
Water pressure immediately dropped and then the water was finally switched off as they had to replace a whole section of the split cast iron pipe. Huge disruption for all of the local community. Road diversions aside, it’s incredible just how much you rely on water during one day. You use it to wash your hands, to flush toilets, to shower and brush your teeth, to wash clothes, clean dishes and for food preparation. Not to mention the essential cup or two of tea that you first need to boil water for. All very disruptive.
However disruption isn’t always deemed a bad thing. As I approach 300 episodes of Focus on WHY, I have been reflecting on my past guests and notice just how many of them have been disruptive in their fields of expertise with positive ripple effects arising. Let’s focus on some of them.
Jesse Cole in episode 133 Find Your Yellow Tux, had an idea to build something truly special that would bring people together to heal and feel as though they belong. The story of the Savannah Bananas’ baseball team is astonishing. They have a Fans First philosophy and believe in being different, caring, enthusiastic and fun. Above all though, they are disruptive. They have changed the way baseball is experienced and played.
Daniel Gray from episode 036 Put Your War Paint On shared his personal story about body dysmorphia and lack of confidence. Danny has disrupted the cosmetics market and is now opening doors for men across the world proving that War Paint For Men makeup is more than just another brand. It helps men have that confidence to be the real version of themselves.
Dr Louise Hewitt in episode 041 Innocence Project London spoke of how she represents people who have been wrongfully convicted. Louise’s work needs to be made more public. Are you aware of how you stand on a very fragile line on the right side of justice more often than not? You'd like to think if you were wrongfully convicted that there is a mechanism in place where you would be able to have the support of your friends, your family members and be able to get out of that situation.
Louise raised the point that the whole prison system relies on people admitting their guilt before they can move on but what if you are innocent. Does that mean you have to admit your guilt even when you know yourself to be innocent? It’s a Catch 22 situation that makes for uncomfortable decisions. It used to be innocent until proven guilty but actually is that the case anymore?
Another guest, Rob Moore, The Disruptive Entrepreneur himself from episode 020 If You Don’t Risk Anything, You Risk Everything, believes the purpose of life is evolution. Being progressive, always moving, evolving, changing, growing and innovative are all critical for him and are congruent with his way of living.
To be disruptive is to evolve, to innovate, to invent, to make a radical change to an existing industry or market. Curiously, the origin of the word 'entrepreneur' is a linguistic blend of two words and was formed in the early 19th century. It comes from the French word ‘entreprendre’ meaning ‘undertake’ and the English word ‘enterprise’. To be an entrepreneur is to set up a business, to take on financial risks in the hope of profit.
Life will continue to be disruptive. Do you allow disruptions to throw you off course or do you learn from what life throws in your path and adapt? Taking yourself outside of your comfort zone is being disruptive. It’s challenging the status quo to find new ways to do things. How often do you disrupt yourself or disrupt your own business?
Now back to my road. There is another water leak, the road is closed again and the water will be switched off any minute. So it continues…
ACTION POINT - How will you positively disrupt yourself today?