Booknotes: 14 Ideas from The Power of Something Stupid

BooknotesThe Power of Starting Something Stupid is about finding the courage to do the things you don’t feel you are ready to do. Author Richie Norton explains that life-changing ideas are often tragically mislabeled stupid. What if the key to success, creativity, and fulfillment in your life lies in the potential of those stupid ideas? Stupid is the New Smart—the common denominator for success, creativity, and innovation in business and life. The New Smart is having the ability to discern when the label of "stupid" is masking a smart idea.
  1. “Wouldn't it be amazing if you could travel into the future, see where you messed up, and then go back in time to rearrange things in order to make your future better? You can. If you can foresee regret, you can mind-travel to the future. If you can train yourself to mind-travel effectively, you can intentionally affect your future by doing something about it today.”
  2. “If someone thinks your ideas, the dreams bubbling up inside of you, are stupid, welcome to the Club.”
  3. “Life is too short not to start something stupid.”
  4. “Here’s the deal: If you’re scared of choosing the wrong idea to start, you’re going to keep yourself from starting altogether. And on the flip side, if you try to start all of your stupid ideas at once, you’re bound to waste time, energy, and money (and go completely loco in the process). Plus, no matter how hard you focus, if you’re laser-focused on the wrong activity or activities, your laser is going to end up burning a hole right through your potential for success.”
  5. “Overcome the prideful need to measure your worth by how much more successful you are than others, by operating from a core belief grounded in abundance.”
  6. “Opportunities will come and go, but if you do nothing about them, so will you.”
  7. “Don't allow life to pass you by because you are afraid of [looking] stupid.”
  8. “Creativity is at the heart of every stupid idea . . . creativity and stupid are interchangeable . . . because everything inherent to that kind of creativity requires breaking away from the norm, going against the grain, and leaning into risk and fear.”
  9. “Stupid goes in a loop. It’s cyclical. According to the Stupid Loop, a successful stupid project will become smart and even accepted and celebrated by the masses (or the niches.) However, once stupid normalizes, you have to ask yourself, ‘Do I stay the same, for better for worse, or do I innovate – return to stupid – for better for worse?’ Understanding the stupid loop, and why innovation is so vitally important, helps you develop the ability to check the pulse of the environment around you and adapt accordingly.”
  10. “If you want to stay relevant, constantly (and courageously) return to stupid.”
  11. “Projects allow us to experiment and determine what works and what doesn’t. They allow us room to fail and modify our ideas to achieve eventual success. Overcoming procrastination is about simplifying your life to make space for the activities that matter most.”
  12. “Anytime you postpone doing the things that are most important in your life, you are falling victim to procrastination.”
  13. “The art of ownership is a dying one. Everyone wants to point the finger somewhere else. Pride that comes from blame is dangerous, because it causes people to feel justified in their inaction.”
  14. “Creating a culture of transparent trust requires that you be able to speak difficult truth to one another.”


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