If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission

“If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission”

It’s a quote from Eddie Colla’s Ambition street art…

And it’s my desktop wallpaper:

Here’s the link if you want to make it yours as well.

I keep it front and centre as a reminder that the biggest things in life are achieved by doing things that most other people wait for ‘permission’ (from someone or something) to do.

It’s a conversation I often have with my team…

Where they think this is the boundary of what they can do:

Where it’s actually more like this:

It’s one of the biggest obstacles that someone who wants to achieve ‘greatness’ needs to overcome…

Understanding just how BIG the ‘box’ is.

I personally believe it’s a result of our schooling system, where you’re conditioned not to do anything that might be a ‘mistake’ (but that’s for another post).

Challenge is, to achieve greatness, you need to be willing to make mistake after mistake after mistake, and be good with it…

…because greatness isn’t a place of safety. It’s a place where you’re doing things that other people aren’t prepared to do, and THAT means failing a lot more times than you succeed (which is what success is all about).

My goal for myself (and for my team) is to understand that the box is SO MUCH BIGGER than we think it is. And that you can do SO MUCH MORE than what you think you’re ‘allowed’ to do.

It’s like Steve Jobs said:

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is, and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money… That’s a very limited life…

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact. And that is, everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

And here’s the video of him saying it 🙂

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Director of Strategy + Innovation | Co-Founder at Web Profits
I co-founded Web Profits in 2006 with the belief that there's always a smarter and better way to do things. We're now a digital growth consultancy with offices in Australia, Singapore, and the United States. I'm passionate about personal and professional growth, and I like to surround myself with people who are as well. I have substantial private board experience, and have successfully launched an IPO.

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I’m the co-founder of Web Profits, investor in a number of different companies, and have successfully launched an IPO. Get access to 95% of my best life hacks.