How Professional Rebels Continuously See What is Invisible to Others

February 18, 2020

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

This article first appeared on the Rebel & Reason company blog.

Written by Nicola Smith, Founder/CEO, Rebel & Reason


Successful business rebels often have their achievements dismissed by naysayers in a single “right place, right time” swoop. Yes, timing and a healthy dose of serendipity frequently come into play when reinventing (aka bending) the existing corporate rules of engagement. Still, effective mutineers rely on far more than luck and chance when paving new paths of innovation and productive disruption.

Jonathan Swift once said, “vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” True entrepreneurial pioneers see, discern, and leverage what is invisible to others, elevating the art of vision into an innate, unwavering superpower. How? By consistently and unapologetically:

Opposing Traditional Views

Naturally curious, intrinsically creative, and inherently irreverent (in the very best way possible), business revolutionaries continuously question the status quo. Their opposition to traditional views enables them to build onto other ideas and concepts in new and unconventional ways; where others see a brick wall, rebels somehow sense a door or (more often than not), a launching pad.

Identifying Trends and Patterns

It’s easy to get caught up in a constant rotation of merely managing the next professional task in front of you. Quite honestly, sometimes it’s necessary to slow things down and make business headway one step forward at a time. However, innovators also understand the power in occasionally taking a step back to take in the big picture, pinpointing relevant trends and patterns as they do. They then use this insight to make predictions about how people and technology will evolve, instantly helping them stay one step ahead of the competition.

Making Unexpected Connections

Finally, business rebels recognize that a straight line is not always the most direct route to success, especially in a turbulent marketplace. They have an unwavering ability to see beyond a well-worn path and conceptualize different strategies, tactics, and solutions. Whether it’s repurposing an existing product, tapping into a different consumer demographic, or reimagining the current process, these revolutionaries can visualize unexpected connections that are completely undetectable to others.

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Nicola Smith - REBEL & REASONNicola Smith is the founder and CEO of REBEL & REASON, a branding, marketing, and cultural transformation consultancy and training studio based in Atlanta, Georgia. She helps others learn how to use constructive rebellion to build brave brands that redefine the status quo, develop marketing strategies that identify and reach new customers, and cultivate company culture to encourage and incentivize “Can If” thinking for exponential growth.

Want to get more awesome Rebel advice like this from Nicola in person? Check out his session at several upcoming Digital Summit events — including Digital Summit Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa, and Kansas City.