“I just landed in Vienna” was the text I got yesterday at 8:01am from, let’s say, one of my “correspondents”. Another one on the chat, who happens to be a professional musician, texted “take a selfie with Mozart”. Always in search for interesting, royalty free pictures I could use to craft a relevant article for my newsletter, I immediately fired off “Send me a good landscape oriented picture of a plaque or a monument to Mozart. Do it today please, I need it for an article. Any reference to Mozart, and it HAS to be landscape. Landscape and NOT portrait orientation.” I know enough about Mozart to know that he was an entrepreneur in his day, a true rock star of the late 18th century.

Right away the other “correspondents” in the chat started sending pictures of the Mozarteum in Salzburg and its interior concert hall, all lifted from somewhere in the web. Then my guy in Vienna sent a beautifully illuminated night picture of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which I could tell he had taken (not lifted). I shouted back: “It has to be landscape!!” Finally this picture of the Mozartdenkmal in the Burggarten at night arrived. I replied “tell me where it is” meaning, the statue. His scant reply back was: “Park closed. Horribly cold. 1%”. “1% battery?” I replied. It was followed by a selfie showing him all bundled up outside of the gate with the statue in the background. Another day in the fast lane, time is always running out.

I played a lot of piano for a good portion of a ten year section of my earlier life. I miss it a lot. I had a Mozart biography picture book as a child, and I can still remember the somewhat traumatizing last page of the book with a wood coffin being pulled by a one horse carriage in the middle of a terrible snowstorm, taking his remains to his final resting place 1 month shy of his 36th birthday.

I could say the thoughts evoked by that picture back then I felt again when I learned of Steve Job’s passing at 56. Prolific entrepreneurs. Both of them. Both truncated too early. Mozart left an amazing array of piano and violin concertos, symphonies, operas, sonatas after a career cut very short by any standard of measure. Writings comparing him to modern day entrepreneurs are plentiful. He composed for all sorts of audiences, as he toured all the major European cities of the day. He did all genres, all kinds of venues. He knew his market and how to cater to it. He had the discipline, focus and work ethic of any entrepreneur that has truly hit the big time today. And he made a lot of money too while at it. Yes, you may hear he was a child prodigy, a genius, composing his first works at the age of 4 based on some accounts. But it was his tireless work ethic and hours devoted to practice that made him one of the greatest among the best at his craft.

I teach our Innovation Hub entrepreneurs that we are all born creative. Some argue that most of us lose a lot of our creativity by the time we finish high school. The information overload, distractions and general societal noise that surrounds us I think is culprit. But I also think you can get it back. You need to make the time to step outside of the whirlwind of our existence and look at the pains of everyday life that you can creatively cure by bringing a product or service to the market. The potential is there for everyone. Don’t let your life project be cut short because of lack of focus, remember that time is always running out.

Our View from the Top – November 28, 2017