It needed courage to write “The Misfit Economy"…

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It needed courage to write “The Misfit Economy”…

I came across “The Misfit Economy” book in the December 2015 edition of the business magazine “Ladies Drive” (www.ladiesdrive.tv). The Magazine published an interview with one of the co-authors of the book, Alexa Clay. Having read the interview, I felt compelled to read her book from cover to cover. I have just finished reading it and was very impressed by the ideas and the courage brought to light by the two authors, Alexa Clay and Keyra Maya, so much so I would very much like to share my impressions with you…

The book discusses the “creativity, innovation, salesmanship, and entrepreneurship” of alternative types of innovators, principally those “operating in the black, grey, and informal markets around the globe”. The authors did not want to examine the levels of creativity and innovation currently in operation in recognised organisations, already praised by the Harvard Business Review or celebrated in Silicon Valley. They wanted their book “to investigate the stories of underground innovation that make up the “Misfit Economy” and to examine the teeming genius of the underground through the eyes of pirates, hackers, gangsters, camel milk traders, and others on the fringe.”

I love the way in which the authors summarize the lessons learned at the beginning of the book and the way in which they outline a “misfit’s” driving factors. I like the way they tackled questions like: “but isn’t “misfit” just another word for “entrepreneur?” They see entrepreneurs and “misfits” sharing similar characteristics such as the necessity to take risks, their passion of pursuit and their quest for freedom and autonomy. Further they talk about informality and self-governance of the “misfits”. “Informality is about enabling spontaneity, freeing people to depend on intrinsic motivation (their values) and instincts rather than deferring to the rules, codes and incentives (raises and promotions) impose by external authorities”. In addition they look into why “misfits” are needed now, more than ever, in today’s world. The authors bring to the fore many thoughts and sources of inspiration, all supported by a large number of conversations with “misfits” of all sorts. 

The book also refers to an “inner misfit”, that part of oneself that “does not conform to conventional norms nor holds viewpoints that do not align with the majority.” The authors’ aim is to enable us to exploit our own personal “misfit” so that we feel better able to mould our personal and professional environment, thereby ensuring that it lives up to our ideals.

For most of us anything that does not conform to the norm is not welcome. We tend to be quick to condemn systems, individuals, ideas, etc. that are not deemed acceptable to normal society. I personally had never thought of innovation or creativity in connection with pirates, hackers, gangsters, or camel milk traders. Of course we all know that they function at some level, but most of the time we have a negative impression of the way in which they operate. This inspired me to look at innovation and creativity through the eyes of the “underground” and the “misfit”.

A great empowerment book! I recommend you read it on your way of moving forward.  

Take the courage to explore and unleash your “inner misfit” as a way of moving forward, thereby ensuring that your environment lives up to your ideals…

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