How to survive the long wait that your innovation needs to be accepted by the world

We began our research in 1988/89. Twenty-five years later we thought ourselves and the world to be ready for each other.

Emergent technologies take a long time for the first spearhead thinkers to become aware of them - this is especially true when it comes to garage science. People (love to) change, when they are already there or when there is existential pressure. In all other cases things need time.

On the way there, we had to struggle with many disappointments. It was not only a lesson in human nature, but also a path of slow inner maturation. Sometimes I fall back into a superstitious universe in which I think I just have to learn so much, because such a demanding vision simply needs leaders who are humanly halfway stable. But that's nonsense, of course, because seen this way there's still something to learn (especially for me, you just have to ask my husband :) ). Besides, the universe is not Laplaces demon (even if some representatives of the successor generation of the New Thought movement seem to think differently) and many really good projects are corrupted by their leaders.

Innovation is never really easy - no matter how much joy it brings you along the way.
Especially when it takes longer for the world to react, it requires a lot of patience, inner strength, and willingness to learn. You start with a lot of energy and naivety concerning the universe you are about to conquer - just to learn at first an accordingly lot about your own illusions. (And this "learning a lot" can mean "years"!)

Here are a few tips on how to survive the long road to your success - esp. when you are way ahead of your time:

  1. Remember, this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. Be careful with your energies.
  2. Develop ethical values of freedom - they will help you to separate the wheat from the chaff.
  3. Don't jump on the first best promise - people promise a lot, only few can understand the situation you are in and what it means for you if they break their promise. Many do not care because they can't.
  4. Learn to recognize the narcissists who see in you a chance to control you over your project and thus gain power over you. You will fall for them once or twice. Trust your angst, your fear, your inner shaking. Fear is a good advisor when it comes to trusting people. The good ones do not make you tremble. Their integrity keeps them from trying to dominate your territory.
  5. Be generous and kind. You will sleep better by becoming a better person by the day. But never allow people to take advantage of you.
  6. Look for people with the same values - no matter how long it takes. The conflicts you will have with the others are not worth the energy.
  7. Forget immedeately those who have disappointed you. Concentrate on those that strengthen your trust. The others can only teach you to take more responsibility for your emotions and that you can put aside your own narcissistic insult feelings and concentrate on what really matters: your project. If you learn this lesson well, you will become a good leader, because you learned to control your triggers. Weak people who are not prepared to meet the psychological demands with all self-responsibility only become successful under helpful conditions in already existing prosperity. Those who first have to fight their way through alone will have to work on themselves, for better or worse - and the others will never be respected and cared for by their colleagues.
  8. If you see someone you ask for help lying to you, leave. There is nothing to get from people unstable like this. People with self-respect do not lie to take advantage over you. Decent people understand the hardships and sacrifices you go through. They will not treat you with indifference or disrespect, but on the contrary will take your special circumstances into account.
  9. Take as many breaks as you can. Your life is happening now, your project should not dominate every second of your life. So always remember: you only have this one life, and the moment with the cup of tea is as important as the moment when a financially strong partner hands you the cheque.
  10. Don't mind if you gain weight. Eat what you like, enjoy your life. You will lose weight again when the constant stress is over. And if not: so what. This world is full of egomaniacs totally concerned with their looks. You do not wish to become one of them when you later want to live the example for those who have supported you and those who are willing to follow you into the adventure you are laying out for them.
  11. Get plenty of fresh air, but if you do not wish to go out and feel more like a night in with chips and coke and movies: enjoy. Tomorrow is another day.
  12. Exercise, but don't overstrain yourself. If you don't feel like it, okay. Trust your instincts even if this means that you are not into sports for weeks. Just see that you stretch your legs.
  13. Eat and drink with pleasure and art. Enjoy your bed. Sleep in whenever possible, your bed is your castle.
  14. Be lazy, learn to think, speak and act efficiently.
  15. At first you'll have to rely on cold aquise. It's a tough time. Just keep going. Little by little, you'll find people who find you worthy to be recommended.
  16. Learn communication skills but never try and manipulate others - even if it looks sometimes as if everybody else is doing this. The very idea of manipulation is to force others to do as we please. This is not how good business is done. If you wish your project to be successful in the long run you have to rely on others, and you only can rely on free people. Opportunists are not reliable.
  17. Find friends who will help you and never be afraid to ask for and accept their help. But make it very clear to yourself and them that this help must be free. They want to support you and your project, fine. But never take help from those who want to decide for you afterwards. People who try that lack integrity.
  18. Fathom yourself and observe yourself as best you can. Follow your inner movements, search for more and more truthfulness. By being true to yourself and using the time to become more and more truthful and trustworthy, you give meaning to your life in times when nothing else seems to move or make sense
  19. You will experience depression, even despair. It will be hard and exhausting, and sometimes it looks as if all is lost. This can go on for months, even years.
    Don't give up, but allow yourself to be weak as well. A good cry is sometimes the best medicine. But first make sure your project is really worth all this energy. Be objective. And if you have to decide that it is rubbish, give it up and never look back. And if it is worth all this sacrifice, then understand that you are on a path that will probably ask all of you. Strengthen your willpower.
  20. Test your partners long and thoroughly. Do not be afraid to tell them what you think. If they don't tolerate this, the partnership will not last in the long run. The good ones have enough integrity to accept you with quirks and a lot of self-integrity - as you should have learned by now to accept others as they are.
  21. Meditate if and when you can but make no holy grale out of it - and especially no ideology, because all ideological impulses will stand in the way when it comes to collaboration with good people. Meditation can be helpful but there are also times when meditation is not as good as a hot cup of cocoa and a warm blanket. Understand: the demands of meditation can conflict with the demands of the daily challenges of the social life you have to face. If so, stick to relaxation techniques.
  22. Develop a sense of humour. Appreciate yourself and learn to laugh at yourself at the same time - and at others if needed. Always remember: If you do not fart every once in a while you make the asshole boss. A daily laugh can really make the difference. Life is short: have fun as much you can.
  23. Develop love, learn to feel affection for others. You are given so much by the waiting time. Nobody is perfect, and you have the opportunity to understand people, because you will see their brightest and their darkest sides. Use this time wisely, it will not come back. The moment you are successful, other challenges will rise and you do not wish to look back and understand that you have missed so much you could have learned during your pre-success time. So, relate to others and comprehend: nobody is perfect, we all have to deal with trauma and that makes us sometimes even evil.
  24. Read, learn, evolve.
  25. Do not fear failure. You will fail. You will do things you are not proud of. Accept this but learn from everything you do wrong. Take stress under perspective, have compassion with yourself. But do not allow yourself to be a lesser person than you can be when you - one more time - stress your limits.
  26. Do not cling to your personality. Do not take your judgements too seriously. Be rigid, even stubborn when it comes to your values, but your personalty is not written in stone.
  27. Develop confidence in competence and teach what you can whenever someone asks you to.
  28. Test the competence of others. Do not be confused by titles and positions and money. There is a lot of deception out there. Learn to look deeper. Seek truthfulness in yourself and in others.
  29. Stay self-critical. If your self-confidence goes down, be grateful for the lesson. The best people are those who always look for the fault within themselves first.
  30. Stand up for yourself where and when necessary.
  31. Use the stress to be an even better partner for your loved ones. Cherish them. Comprehend how they support you and what it costs them. Do not pay them back with lack of attentiveness for their needs in these long times of wait, sacrifice and hardship. Be grateful and remember: it is stress that tells you who you really are.
  32. Increase your resilience by not allowing yourself to break down, but breathe and learn and see thus how new energy, strength and ideas come to you. You are an incredible wonder of life and you are far stronger than you ever imagined. You will see!
  33. Solve one problem at a time, not ten or a hundred. Cross the bridge when you get there. You do not know what tomorrow brings. There is no reason to worry about things that could play out in completely other ways.
  34. Keep your mind free and agile and expect creativity and ideas. If you think nothing works anymore: Go to sleep, tomorrow everything will look different. Don't force anything if you feel that it is exhausting you. Trust your agile mind and your subconscious resilience.
  35. Success is with the patient, the loving, the kind, the strong, the giving, the learning, the gracious, the passionate - trust in these qualities, and good people will come.

Good luck!