Nilofer Merchant is the author of The Power of Onlyness and the recipient of the Thinkers 50 #1 Future Thinker Award. Nilofer began her career in business 25 years ago as an administrative assistant, and quickly rose to division leader, to CEO to board member of a NASDAQ-traded company. She has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales and has held executive positions at Fortune 500 companies like Apple and Autodesk to startups in the early days of the Web (Golive/ later bought by Adobe). Logitech, Symantec, HP, Yahoo, VMWare, and many others have turned to her guidance on new product strategies, entering new markets, defending against competitors, and optimizing revenues.
The term ‘Onlyness’ was coined by Merchant because it captured something that couldn’t be characterized in any other way. The way in which ideas are becoming the nucleus of all valued creation, it’s no longer about organizations or the capital that comes from that – it’s about ideas. ‘Onlyness’, is the spot in the world that only you stand in, which is a function of your background and point of view, as well as your vision and hopes. Merchant encourages everyone to reclaim ‘only’ as a strength, because your perspective has value.
There are three lessons for claiming your ‘Onlyness’. First of all, you need to understand your history and what it means it to you.
Secondly, embrace or value your full self.
And thirdly, realize that what surrounds you affects you – your environment shapes you, the 5 people closest to you influence you. You are a product of the people around you.
Merchant’s advice is to find 5 people that can most influence you in a positive way. Build those relationships. In those relationships you can find safety to claim and nurture your own ideas.
What you will learn in this episode:
● What is Onlyness
● Why the majority of people deny their ideas
● How to know if you have a ‘good’ idea!
● Nilofer’s view of the future of work
● Difference between chasing happiness and chasing meaning
● How to build a network of people around you intentionally
Links from the episode:
Visit nilofermerchant.com and download the first chapter of her book.