Finding the courage to embrace change and take chances is the only way to succeed. We’ve asked some of our favorite industry power players and business innovators to share stories of how #MakingChange worked for them, as it relates to the ’10 Rules to Future-Proof yourself, fearlessly innovate, and succeed despite uncertainty’.
Rule #9 Keep Forging Ahead with Guy Kawasaki – Chief Evangelist, Canva
Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
Question: How did you get where you are today – and what tips would you give others hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Guy Kawasaki: I got where I am today by willing to grind out work. That’s my secret. I’m not a visionary or anything like that. I am simply willing to out-work my competition.
Q: What’s one simple change an individual or organization can make to help them achieve their goals faster or more effectively this very moment?
GK: One simple change is to stop reading blogs and get to work.
Q: The surest way to innovate and stay ahead of the curve whether you’re a working professional, business, or even renowned thought leader is?
GK: Create the product that you would like to use. This is the antithesis of doing market research and listening to customers. But the genesis of the great tech companies was building a product for themselves.
Q: What’s the best piece of business or career advice you’ve ever been given?
GK: The best business advice I’ve ever been given is to never ask people—customers, employees, vendors, etc—to do something that you wouldn’t do.
Q: Something no one ever tells you about what it takes to succeed is?
GK: Very few people are humble and self-aware enough to tell you that luck is a big factor in success.
Q: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken in life or business – and what did you learn from it?
GK: Honestly, I haven’t taken any big risks in my life or career. Contrary to the swashbuckling image of entrepreneurs, the good ones are always trying to reduce, not increase, risk and uncertainty.
Q: The most important thing working professionals need to know to get ahead in an unpredictable world is?
GK: The most important thing working professionals need to know to get ahead, is that the world doesn’t owe you anything. You need to go out and tear success out of the hands of failure and mediocrity.
How have you forged ahead in your life and career? Use the hashtag#MakingChange to share your stories with us, and find them on makechangeworkforyou.com/blog.