Productivity & Motivation

Creative Entrepreneurs: Leadership Lessons from Peter Pan
Creative Entrepreneurs: Leadership Lessons from Peter Pan

Unimaginative. Dull. Uninspired.

I think deep down, this is how I see “grown-ups” – which is why I never wanted to become one. Even today, I don’t really identify as a “grown-up”, even though that ship has probably sailed…

Peter Pan was my hero when I was a kid. I liked the Disney version, and I still have a soft spot for Robin Williams’ rendition of a middle-aged Peter Pan who’s forgotten how to fly.

In fact, when I was a kid, part of me wanted to be Peter Pan when I grew up. (yes, I see the irony)

And wouldn’t you know it? I pretty much did. :)

I didn’t actually become Peter Pan.

I can’t fly (unfortunately), I don’t wear green tights (I swear!), and I’ll take my fiancée any day over a high-maintenance, clingy fairy who spreads pixie dust every time she sneezes.

So I’m not exactly Peter Pan, but I’ve tried my darndest not to grow up, either.

Does that mean that I don’t work hard, work towards goals that matter to me, or take risks? Does it mean I spend my days playing video games, stay up late watching sit-coms, and eat pizza and ice cream for every meal?

No, of course not. It didn’t mean that for Peter Pan, either.

Never Grow Up, Huh?

Peter Pan may have refused to grow up, but he doesn’t really fit the image of the carefree, irresponsible child, either.

He was the leader of the Lost Boys, and he took that responsibility seriously. He risked his life to protect his friends, and was ready to take on the bigger, badder Captain Hook, despite the risks, to create the life that he wanted for himself and his friends in Never Never Land.

And how did Peter win?

His childlike innocence and open mind let him see creative solutions that others didn’t, his appreciation for the benefits gave him the courage to take on the biggest risks, and his happy thoughts gave him the power to fly.

Will The Real Peter Pan Please Stand Up?

Think about all this, and then ask yourself: Who is the modern equivalent of Peter Pan? I say, if Peter Pan were alive today (and was real to begin with), he’d be a creative entrepreneur.

Everything that Peter Pan did, we do too.

We see opportunities, and are willing to take on the risks to realize our vision for how the world can be a better place. We take charge, see creative solutions where others only see obstacles, and our passion is modern-day pixie dust, allowing us to fly.

I’ve bumped into this video by Grasshopper in a bunch of different places, the most recent of which is on Austin Hill’s blog. It does a great job of capturing the spirit of why we really do what we do:

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Does anyone want to chime in? What makes the rest of you do what you do? Are there any other Peter Pans out there?