Nick Woodman is the CEO and founder of GoPro, the video and camera company. Born on June 24, 1975, Woodman grew up in Menlo Park, California, and earned a bachelor's degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. His story offers a fascinating lesson about putting purpose at the heart of everything you do. He says: "I feel like in a world where we all try to figure out our place and our purpose here, your passions are one of your most obvious guides."
Here are 5 simple rules to win like Nick Woodman.
1. Find your why.
You can trace Woodman's incredible trajectory of success all the way back to his first passion, surfing. Those who thrive know that if you do what you love you'll be happier and probably perform at a higher level. This chimes with one of entrepreneur Richard Branson's best maxims: "When an opportunity involves adventure, you can be sure I will say yes, yes, yes." This mindset of unapologetic self-discovery led Woodman to choose the University of California, San Diego, where he could merge his love of surfing with a degree in visual arts.
2. F.A.I.L (From Action I Learn).
Woodman had to face every type of fear and experience his fair share of personal disappointments. He's taken failure from taboo to the table, recovering quickly from setbacks and showing that it is possible to turn a passion into a business. Speaking at a Disrupt conference, Woodman says: "Luck is about being prepared for when the opportunity presents itself." When you take a risk, such as starting your own company or taking over a new team, challenges will occur as sure as night follows day. The best entrepreneurs from Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos know when to fight and when to let go. Woodman decided to use failure as a platform from which to think big and launch his idea. You can do that, too.
3. The Biggest Risk You Can Take Is Not Taking a Risk.
Woodman showed that you must disrupt your usual ways of thinking in order to get started. He gave himself a ten-year timeline to turn his idea into multi-billion dollar success story. Setting a self-imposed deadline is a proven way to get momentum and close the gap from talk to action. Such constraints require you to rediscover your purpose and improvise new ways of doing things. In this case, it was Woodman bootstrapping his idea on a shoestring using basic materials such as rubber bands and cellophane tape.
4. Connect the Dots.
Woodman connects the dots for everyone at GoPro. That means big-picture talk (shaping the future) and detail talk (making it happen). He paints a vivid picture of the future using storytelling and purpose-oriented words such as "we", "our", and "us" that help the team feel what the late author and physician Oliver Sacks called the "the three Bs: bonding, belonging and believing." Take care to mobilize everyone in the company to own the vision. Now you have a movement. Have alignment talks to keep everyone focused on executing top priorities quickly. This means delegating, clarifying, allocating resources, and, most importantly, celebrating individual and team success
5. Initiate Change.
Woodman pushes his team to keep reinventing and adapting to survive. One of your most urgent roles is to create a brave mindset for your team and to remove mental or emotional barriers to change. Multiply that mindset by ten and you have a movement -- a loyal group of believers. Woodman's first company had been a failure, forcing him to dig deep to start all over again, and yet he used the fear of failure and the idea of working for someone else to drive him forward. Success is never linear. It looks more like a squiggle with the biggest dip happening just before you make it.
The easiest thing to do in business is react, the second is to respond and the third is to initiate. Lead your life with zero compromise on purpose and keep starting until you really start.