Wile E. Coyote and the Secrets of Genius

by Rick LaPoint May 24th, 2011 

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Sometimes I feel like Wile E. Coyote, "Super Genius," as I repeatedly try in vain to capture the Road Runner.

I come up with a brilliant plan and invest days or weeks diligently working to put it all together.

But once I spring into action, my superbly executed strategy falls to pieces and I land at the bottom of a cartoon canyon with an Acme anvil on my head.

As I hear my competitors rushing past me, glibly crying out, "Beep, Beep," it's tempting to do the smart thing and simply give up.

But if there is one thing Mr. Coyote is very good at, it's keeping alive the Hope that Success lies just around the next corner. No situation is truly hopeless as long as you can come up with a new plan.

Genius is really nothing more than a combination of Perseverance and Reexamination.

But that doesn't mean you must buy your tools from Acme ;-)

No Instruction Book

Success comes from copying the basic road map established by others who blazed the trail before you. Modeling Success is a fantastic method for achieving your goals, but there often comes a place where the road ahead remains uncharted, and modeling the past is no guarantee for the future.

We often see the expression of Genius as the ability to recombine elements from the past into new configurations.

But after you have done as much as you can according to conventional wisdom, sometimes the only course of action that will get the job done is to step out in faith and try something new.

My Plan was Working Until It Wasn't

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I built a few Amazon Affiliate sites that sold over $4,500 in merchandise within the first 6 weeks. That's not a lot, really, but I had never done this before so I was pleased enough to believe I could build the business up to a nice monthly profit.

But for some reason known only to them, Amazon closed my account and gave me no recourse whatsoever. Not only was my ability to profit taken away from me with no explanation, but all my Earnings were taken from me as well.

If you are interested in my sad tale of woe and frustration, see my article, What You Must Know as an Amazon Affiliate.

This is a prime example of a successful plan being derailed by Outside Forces, in this case a Supplier with deplorable Customer Service.

Most of my Plan worked very well, which shows that much of what I did to build the business remains valid.

But now I need to come up with something new. It may be something old, but implemented in a new way. Or I may decide on a brand new Idea altogether.

Do I:

  • Keep my sites and populate with products from one or more Affiliate suppliers?
  • Keep my sites and add full eCommerce capabilities for selling and shipping items myself?
  • Keep my sites and add full eCommerce capabilities for selling Drop-Ship products?

Each of these solutions allows me to build on the goodwill and audience I have already invested a lot of time with.

My other alternative is to start one or more new sites with a totally new "Theme," and begin from scratch in building an audience.

Something Old, Something You

Stepping into the unknown isn't nearly as scary if you are simply taking a logical next step from where you already have a measure of success. Careful baby steps eventually lead to the big Achievement.

  • Plan your Actions on a Flow Chart and decide what must happen at each stage for Success to be Verified
  • Decide where Conventional Thinking will easily achieve your goals or solve your problem
  • Determine at which steps Trouble is likely and "outside the box" methods may be necessary
  • Confirm each individual step's Success before building on that foundation to implement the next step
  • If Conventional Thinking cannot"or will not"achieve the defined Result, plan several alternatives and explore the feasibility of each one, based on Investment, Time, and Effort

The Best is Already Inside You

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Creating something original can only come from within yourself. But original you must be if you are to attract attention.

The creative spark of Genius comes easy for some, but for most of us it takes a lot of hard work to get that spark to generate enough heat to be worthwhile. It's a lot easier to reshape what we know, rather than create something entirely new out of thin air.

When you need a new Idea, zero in on some old ones:

  • Examine all the Successes in your project that lead up to the point where things are no longer working
  • Was Success truly Success at each step, or did you misinterpret your Results?
  • Do you need to merely alter your last activity/step, alter one specific stage within the process"or should you start all over from the beginning?
  • Was there an Outside Force that changed the basic premise your Plan was build upon in the first place?
  • Did one event invalidate the entire premise of your project, or only one element of your project?

Knowing what/where exactly to work on, what to keep, and where in the process to start over is key to saving time and focusing your creativity only on those areas that need it.

The Best Ideas are from Left Field

Something I like to do, especially with the help of another person, is to begin writing ideas. Any ideas. No idea is too wild, too crazy, or too extremely ridiculous.

Indeed, on many occasions the most ridiculous ideas will lead to, or ignite, a spark of creativity that is almost "other-worldly." By free associating silly ideas, the mind will often begin combining elements into "unlikely" configurations. As these configurations begin mutating, you soon come to realize you are formulating an idea that can actually work"and work well.

And even better yet, an idea that no one else has thought of before.

The key to the Big Idea is working your way through a series of small ideas until Lightning strikes.

Not Smart Enough to Quit

"Nearly every man who develops an idea
works at it up to the point where it looks impossible,
and then gets discouraged.
That's not the place to become discouraged."

" Thomas A. Edison

Thomas Edison lived back in the days when self-sufficiency and the spirit of entrepreneurship ran strong in America.

Edison wasn't the brightest bulb in the socket, but he was industrious and persistent. Although clever and creative, Edison's true genius was his ability to realize that when something had never been done before, the only way to get it right was by Trial & Error.

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

One could make the case that Einstein was right. Maybe doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is truly insane.

But Edison made subtle changes with each new attempt until that light above his head went on. Literally. By removing all the air from his invention, the environment housing his filament became a vacuum. The filament burned for weeks instead of seconds, and the Electric Light changed humanity forever.

That must have been experiment #10,001 :-)

Recharging the Batteries

There is a difference between Quitting and Resting.

There was I time when I did quit. I was working on a huge and complex project that was way over my head. I finally walked away in frustration and failure.

But once I was all rested I gave it another go, and ended up with Success :-)

As it turned out, giving up wasn't the solution at all. Although I didn't plan on taking a rest before beginning anew, getting away from it all and renewing my zest for life was vital to the eventual Success of my project. A refreshed outlook brought sparks of creativity and new solutions to problems that a few weeks earlier seemed like a massive cement wall.

Beep, Beep

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One could make the case that Wile E. Coyote is a total failure. But he never gives up. He never becomes discouraged. Many would argue that our beloved Super Genius fits Einstein's definition of Insanity perfectly. He refuses to quit in the face of relentless defeat.

Over the last 62 years only 48 cartoons have been made. Yet the Roadrunner series are among the best known and most endearing cartoons you will find in Pop Culture.

If that's Insanity, I want some :-)

Rick LaPoint

RickLaPoint has years of experience with Inside and Outside Sales & Marketing. He has developed software products with C++ for anticipating turning points for stocks, forex, and futures, and has given many live presentations teaching technical analysis skills. For more of Rick's Online Business Ideas visit his website.

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5 Responses to “Wile E. Coyote and the Secrets of Genius”

  1. Kristi Hines says:

    That's awful about your Amazon account and earnings. I think the least they can do is give you a personalized explanation instead of saying "here's our rules, try and guess which one you might have broke." I guess that's why you can't put all of your income eggs in one basket – if one goes up, then you have to have a backup.

  2. Alex says:

    Dude, that's BS about your Amazon account!
    Have to email you privately to see if you want to share more on that tale.
    Gueest post perhaps?

    Did I ever tell you how much I love your writing style!?!

    (ummm, those last two statements are unattached – I SWEAR! ;) )

    Good to see you mate, sorry it's been so long between drinks.

  3. Patricia says:

    Hi Rick

    Great to see you back in action. Your posts have been missed. I'm sure Alex would agree with me and 2 Aussies in agreement can't be wrong ;-)

    Brilliant post and sounds like you are ready to work towards that success that's just round the corner….again :-)

    I have had so many bumps on my journey towards a successful businesss, but like you, don't plan to give up.

    One thing I am determined about is diversifying so all my lavenders aren't in the one basket so to speak. And after your experience with Amazon, have been thinking about whether I will pursue any niche sites with them too.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  4. Kimberly Davies says:

    Hi, Rick.

    I am so sorry to hear about your Amazon experience. Like Kristi, I also think you deserve a personal explanation about what they did.

    About not giving up, well, I have no plans on doing that. It is still too early in the day for me to be entertaining such thoughts. But, it is great to read stories about people who fell but pick themselves up to achieve success.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Rick. Hope to read more from you soon. :)
    Kim