When Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech, took to the stage at the company’s annual symposium, ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, his one question to the 3,000 gathered delegates was: “What is your ONE big idea?”
“Turn on your lamp,” he said, to light the paths ahead on your journey of discovery. He reflected that his own personal journey began on Gold Rush Road, Lexington, Kentucky, USA, and that journey has taken him to meet some of the world’s most amazing people, such as Muhammad Ali and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
His inspirational, entrepreneurial journey started with $10,000 and a question from his mother: “What took you so long?”
Dr. Lyons recognized that there were many other “lamps” that lit the path on his journey to creating a now $2 billion company. Bringing his team along on this journey was important, he noted, and at ONE, Dr. Lyons shared the following insights:
- Find what you love, what makes your heart sing
- Welcome opportunity
- Make your one choice
Dr. Lyons stressed that choices change lives, not chances. Take the decision to go down that corridor. If you don’t go down that corridor, how can you expect doors to open to you?
“I’d like to help you to open those doors,” said Dr. Lyons at the ONE opening plenary session. “If we share our ideas with others, we can all conspire to help to make those ideas come to pass.”
Opportunities are everywhere, yet those opportunities are fleeting; in fact, Dr. Lyons believes you have to grab those opportunities within a 24-hour period.
He posed the question: “Where do ideas come from?” In looking for those new ideas, always look for the catch — what’s the catch? Then, find the solution.
Where to look for ideas:
- Build an innovation incubator
- Be ready
- Search for the catch and overcome it
- Turn setbacks into bounce-backs
Entrepreneurs are sales people; they always find the solution. Steve Jobs and Henry Ford were sellers, Dr. Lyons said. They sold dreams, dreams of communications and of transportation. He advises entrepreneurs to march right when the rest of the world marches left. In going that different route, you go down the road less traveled.
Remember: If you do things the way you’ve always done them, nothing will ever change, and Einstein defined this as insanity!
Dr. Pearse Lyons was a presenter at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference. Audio recordings of most talks from ONE will be made available on the Alltech Idea Lab by mid-June 2016. For access, click on the button below.