Ready to Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life? Creative Destruction Is the Key

Ready to Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life? Creative Destruction Is the Key

Written by: Jon Sabes, CEO

As CEO of an entrepreneurial finance company, I spend much of my time working to grow our business by capitalizing on opportunity. The rest of the time, when I am not with my family, you can find me outdoors, pushing my mental and physical limits as an ultra-distance athlete. And while many claim to work hard and play hard, my quest goes deeper.

My quest is to merge the two sides of myself to find the “ultra” in business and in life – and redefine what’s possible through “creative destruction.”

Even if the term is new to you, the concept likely isn’t. Coined by economist Joseph Schumpeter half a century ago, creative destruction is a theory and process of innovation – and most often associated with economic and business cycle innovation. The theory is rooted in a persistent approach to challenging, destroying, and recreating existing structures. Sound exciting? It is. Sound daunting? It’s that, too. Yet it’s what I strive for every day. It’s what drives me to create new ways of looking at old ideas…to turn old concepts on their heads, apply resources to support new approaches, and, ultimately, discover refreshing ways of thinking about the world, and my place in it.

As challenging as that may sound, making it happen requires following a simple, step-by-step process to transform even the smallest spark into reality:

  1. Begin with an idea;
  2. Define a goal;
  3. Explore your beliefs;
  4. Create a definite plan; and
  5. Take action in furtherance of your plan.

At our company, GWG, the process of creative destruction has helped us apply disruptive financial approaches to the long-established and deeply-entrenched life insurance industry. We developed a new type of cooperative that offers consumers market value for life insurance by offering investors the opportunity to have financial participation in the policies – a new version of an old concept – a true mutual life insurance company concept. And that was just one idea. One small spark that led to the complete rethinking of an outdated approach to “business as usual.” The possibilities are endless.

Of course, continually redefining what’s possible can be an exhausting process, and coming up with that initial spark of an idea—much less creating and executing a plan to drive it to fruition—requires a constant refueling of both your mind and the body. One key to succeeding in this pursuit is to regularly get outside, and to do things that energize and invigorate the mind and the body. For me personally, I have found that outdoor activity is what keeps me going. It’s how I recharge, recalibrate, and rediscover myself to keep me inspired to move forward.

One of my very best friends in the world, Scott Olson, shares my thinking. Scott is a fellow innovative entrepreneur and outdoor adventure enthusiast. As an innovative entrepreneur, Scott is well known for creating Rollerblade, and more recently, SkyRide. Adding to our long list of outdoor adventures over the years, Scott and I recently spent several days traveling more than 60-miles through Glacier National Park, where we witnessed some of the most scenic and beautiful wild spaces remaining in North America.

Side-by-side with moose, big horn sheep, mountain goats, and golden eagles, we were treated to all types of weather Mother Nature could dream up. Bright sun. Torrential rain. Overpowering wind. We had trained for the journey and were prepared for the elements, but we left ourselves completely open to the unexpected. Our journey was dictated not by a fixed agenda, but by who we met, the challenges we stumbled upon (including grizzly bears!), the paths we chose, and the earth beneath our feet.

This trip was just one more reminder of the words of Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of New York's Central Park, who in 1865 wrote, "It is a scientific fact that the occasional contemplation of natural scenes…change of air and change of habits is favorable to the…health and vigor of [the viewer’s] intellect beyond any other conditions which can be offered them.” My own experience has shown me that Olmstead’s words are true. I know that with every adventure, the road always (always!) continues around the corner. Moving forward with strength, conviction, and creativity requires inspiration and stamina that can be experienced and practiced by pushing your limits in outdoor physical adventures.

Personally, I know that learning how to overcome challenges—defeating barriers towards success—is the only way to survive as a business innovator. And whether I am back-country hiking, running ultra-distance marathons, or finishing an Ironman triathlon, I know the physical challenge of that activity helps me develop the mental muscle memory to know I can find a way through the challenges I am sure to confront.

If you’re looking for a way to revolutionize your business (and your life!) the process of creative destruction can help make it happen. To keep you fueled for the journey, I urge you to get outside and redefine your own limits.

You can see a few photos from my recent trip to Glacier National Park with Scott Olson here.

GWG Holdings, Inc.
Investing in Life
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Through an active and engaged financial professional network, GWG brings access to income and growth opportunities. GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: GWGH) specializes in acquiring ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week (February 20-24)

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Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, February 20-24, 2017 

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Becoming cyborgs is the way to go for financial advisers…blending robotics and humans into one organism. You see, I am convinced that robo-advice models will succeed and prosper. — Tony Vidler

2. Building a Better Index With Strategic Beta

With the global economy warming up, but political uncertainty remaining a constant, it’s more important than ever for investors to position their global portfolios to navigate long-term market volatility. That’s where the power of diversification comes in ... — Yazann Romahi

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The financial world is noisy and it’s easy to become distracted from your most important long-term goals. One way to cut through the noise is to focus on just the two factors that ultimately determine your approach to everything else in your financial life; namely, Market Risk and Shortfall Risk. — James E. Wilson

4. When it Comes to Your Money, Does the Truth Hurt?

It’s important to admit the truth behind our actions in order to rectify past and future mistakes or regrets. Living in denial only perpetuates making decisions that could potentially lead to financial disaster. — Michael Kay

5. A Skill for Advisors to Master to Keep Clients for Life

There's one key approach that makes you invaluable to your clients so they want to stay with you for the long-term. You have to genuinely be interested in people. — Paul Kingsman

6. Relationships & Money: 6 Stories to Share With Your New Partner

When you start dating, you usually start off sharing stories. Tales of your childhood, your previous relationships and your college days. Those stories help explain to your partner who you are and how you act. — Mary Beth Storjohann

7. Great Leaders Don't Talk About Revenue

It runs counter-intuitive to what we have been led to believe business is all about: make more money and everybody wins, surely? Talk about revenue so that everyone knows what’s important. What’s the problem? — Barry Chandler

8. Trump's Tax Proposals Could Cost You (and What to do About It)

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s stunning upset victory, however, muni investors were forced to readjust their expectations of fiscal policy going forward. Because Trump had campaigned on deep cuts to corporate and personal income taxes, equities soared while munis sold off, ending a near-record 54 weeks of net inflows. — Frank Holmes

9. Sometimes Doing What’s Best for Customers Isn’t Always Going to Make Them Happy

What does it mean to be a customer-centric company? That seems to be the question of the week. It started off with one of our subscribers emailing in the question, followed by two reporters wanting my take on this now-popular phrase for their interviews. — Paul Laughlin

10. Why We Solve the Wrong Problems

Everywhere I look I see organizations and people investing heavily in new initiatives, transformation, and change programs. And in almost every case the goals will never be met. One of the most crucial causes of the failure? The right questions were never asked at the outset. — Paul Taylor

11. Private Equity Head Tapped to “Fix” US Intelligence Apparatus. Why?

Why should we think the head of a private equity company could effectively “fix” US Intelligence? It is not apparent that this individual is even remotely qualified to fix the US intelligence apparatus. — Kathleen McBride​​​​​​​

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio