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Coloring Outside the Lines

Welcome to August

This has become my motto for a lot of reasons but mostly because it’s symbolic to me of what the true entrepreneur does. I remember hearing a song (Primetime–Jay-Z & Kanye West) mentioning Muhammad Ali and how Ali colored outside the lines (Cassius in his prime, coloring out of the line). To me it meant someone that not follow the rules or swim the same way, same speed or same tempo as everyone else.

As I child, like many people with entrepreneurial tendencies, I was told not to color outside the line. I was taught to color in the lines whether that be goals or aspirations that I had. It’s a challenge (even to this day) to truly be a individual and not just color outside the lines but to be yourself. I often think the true crime is those that aren’t trying to color outside the lines but just are that way. The conditioning we experience from family members, teachers, loved ones and friends forces us to be a shell of ourselves, to fit in and not stand out. By doing so not only do we rob ourselves of our true expression but we often rob the world of the gifts we have to give.

It was hard (even to this day) not to color in the lines but how freeing and relaxing it became once I did..

Now there’s always room for looking at the trends and seeing how things are moving and going but often the change and disruption that’s needed isn’t small or incremental–it completely shakes up and shifts what we do, how we live, how we run our business and how we think.

There are lines that have been created and they continue to be thickened–often year after year because we have habits and rituals that are deeply ingrained in our lives and even our businesses or organizations.

As we experience one of the most disruptive times in history, it has forced not just some of us to think outside of the box and color outside the lines–it’s forced all of us.

It is during these times that some of the most impactful and transformational ventures and inventions will launch. While many of us think of entrepreneurship in businesses and finances–let’s not forget the entrepreneurs who disrupt and create innovations in politics, health and even social justice as well as just about every industry we are thinking of and even those that haven’t even been created.

I think I was in college where I read something that said most of the jobs we are doing in the next 5-10 years won’t even exist anymore and that’s because there are people that were literally disrupting every industry and that’s still happening today.

It’s those individual that see problems but create the solutions to the problems that we are seeing that will be the leaders, entrepreneurs and CEOs that will and are changing the world.

I encourage and invite you during this disruptive time to completely change the rules–better yet throw out the rule book. Disrupt yourself, disrupt your business and disrupt your life. The future belongs to the innovators. As we start to launch IAMColoring.com, I hope that it provides opportunities for relaxation and creativity but I hope that you do literally and figuratively color outside the lines. Try things that don’t work because sometimes they will. I hope these books represent that. The spirit of trying new things, not because you know it’s going to work or because you’re not afraid but it’s sometimes when we color outside the lines that we create and blaze trails.

Color outside the lines–the world needs you to.

Don’t forget to check out our new I AM CEO Business Coloring Book.

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Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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