"If doors are closing, forget windows, maybe you need to move out of the entire metaphorical house." - Rocky Lewis
When God Closes a Door . . . yeah, yeah. Windows. Or, better yet find keys and battering rams and rocks to get where you need to be. We are often told to go with the flow and look for opportunities, but let’s acknowledge that sometimes moving forward requires personal innovation and risk vs. simply a recognition of the options before us.
Success requires constant adjustment, awareness and persistence and part of that is recognizing when traditional ways of finding success are not working for you. Sometimes success requires a complete paradigm shift. As in, if doors are closing, forget windows, maybe you need to move out of the entire metaphorical house.
This is not when you quit the goal, although this may be when you go left because things are not going right. Instead this is when you make the path, make your way, fresh out from the confining world view, market or industry that no longer works for you.
Here are two examples of paradigm shifts: one personally well navigated for success; the other a popular example of paradigm shift failure.
Let’s start positive.
Scott Cawthon is an independent video game developer. After his game, Five Night’s at Freddy’s became an overnight sensation, everyone wanted to know his secret. In a 2014 Indy Game Magazine Interview, he explained that he had been finding his way, poorly, in the Educational & Christian game market for TWELVE years when he experienced the paradigm shift that would lead to his success:
“I’d made a family friendly game about a beaver... but when I tried to put it online it got torn apart by a few prominent reviewers. People said that the main character looked like a scary animatronic animal. I was heartbroken and was ready to give up on game-making. Then one night something just snapped in me, and I thought to myself- I bet I can make something a lot scarier than that...”
Now that Cawthon has shifted the paradigm surrounding his meandering old ways, it is estimated he earns a daily game revenue of over $15,000.00. That’s $15K A DAY for someone who once had to drive truck to afford his Indy game making hobby.
Now let’s look at a negative example. Big business is classically good at failing paradigm shifts and no one gets picked on more than the Eastman Kodak Company and for good reason. They invented the digital camera in 1975, shelved it and then brought their first digital camera to market exactly 20 years later. This would have been a good thing, as they were still two years ahead of the competition. But Kodak dropped the ball on R&D -- too timid to invest heavily in a market that “cannibalised” their filmmaking division. A lot more went wrong in R&D and investment in the years leading to its bankruptcy, but its initial downfall was from an inability to switch paradigms. The paradigm of how people captured, saved and shared memories was shifting, but Kodak fought it for too long instead of breaking free to make a new way.
Are you stalled out in your road to success? Have you examined the system in which you operate? Kodak was not in the film business, it was in the picture taking / memory sharing business. Cawthon was not in the educational game business. He was an Indy game maker. If the door to that much-desired room just closed, don’t forget to ask why you’re standing in that house.