- Image courtesy of Flickr
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
Nothing exposes weakness like being an entrepreneur. After all, it is hard not to question ourselves and our endeavors in light of short falls and failings.
I would like to suggest that those who have more experience failing may be the ones who are more likely to succeed at changing the world. I am talking about the misfits.
Misfits are those of us who have experienced such identity-shaking rejection that the only label that fits is that we don’t…fit.
The only option misfits have left to ensure their own survival is to instead change the world to fit who they are instead. They refuse to be reasonable and accept the world’s terms, instead insisting on their own ways. And that makes all the difference.
Misfits and broken people are my favorite entrepreneurs. If for no other reason than they frequently have no better option, making them exceptionally dedicated!
More than being odd, being a misfit as an entrepreneur means standing against the status quo and pursuing a different, better way. But being an entrepreneur who also happens to be a misfit comes with a super power.
Misfits can take what is broken and do something great with it when most would dismiss or discard. This is an inordinately valuable skill for entrepreneurs because the world can be disjointed and broken, and our endeavors are acts of justice and healing.
Every decent entrepreneur will be considered unreasonable in the process of doing things differently. That’s the way of things, and it is wonderful.
For those who don’t fit in but find hope in the startup scene, I urge you to continue on. Practice surviving and adapting, but always protect your most important values. Those values that you will bring to the world one way or another.
You matter. With a bit of cleverness, your persistence while embracing who you are will change your circumstances before you have to change yourself. And when no one around you understands what you are doing, just remember:
We are the misfits. Watch us change the world.
Israel Vicars manages operations at Evtron, a hardware startup making servers way more efficient. Israel previously worked as a partner of an early stage tech VC and as a staff member and entrepreneur with incubators in New York, Detroit, and Ann Arbor.