Ways to distinguish yourself #173 Capitalize on your accidents

History is filled with accounts of products that were discovered as a result of accidents. Here are a few examples

1. Alexander Fleming discovered the anti-biotic properties of Penicillin by accident

2. Heard about Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company? May be not. But you sure have heard of 3M (3M = MMM = Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) which capitalized on an accident (invention of Scotch tape while trying to make masking tape) to become a household name.

3. Dr.Roy Plunkett (DuPont Chemist) discovered Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene) when he was working with gases related to Freon refrigerants.

I look at my own life in the past few years and there have been so many accidents

1. The business model for my first company was broken. The new business model was created almost by an accident

2. I never wanted to get “Beyond Code” professionally published. Self-publishing was all I was thinking.  This topic came up almost accidentally during one of my lunches with Tim Sanders. That conversation changed everything. I am glad it happened the way it did.

3. I started this blog mainly to support my book. That should explain the name of the blog. Of course, that is not the only intention now. Looking back, without the book, I don’t think I would have started to blog.

4. I went to look for funding on one of my recent startups. Through a referral, I ended up joining a fantastic networking group. During the interview to join that group, made friends with a gentleman that resulted in an acquisition that is win-win for both companies.

I can go on and on. The point is many significant things in my life have happened because I was able to capitalize on my accidents. I doubt that I could have done this alone. A big part of the credit goes to my mentors and learned friends that are surrounding me – helping me look at things in ways that I would have never been able to look if I was a lone ranger

I am sure your life is filled with accidents (good ones) too. How are you planning to capitalize on them and who do you have on your team to help you capitalize on these accidents?

Note 1: Here is a Squidoo lens that links to most of the previous articles in this series:
Squidoo: Distinguish Yourself

Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:
ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (PDF, Free)

Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 6, 2008. This is a photographic manifesto featuring 15 of my mini sagas (stories in exactly 50 words). Here is the link:
ChangeThis Manifesto: Mini Sagas – Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business (PDF, Free)