Whether you liked or hated him, you have to admit Hugh Hefner blazed his own trail like very few people do … until he passed away yesterday at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.
“Hef” was not only a perve in a bathrobe, he was also a visionary entrepreneur and a great illustration of what you can strive for:
Create your own niche: Playboy is known for its nude photos but it was much more than that. For instance, the magazine included great fiction such as the novel Fahrenheit 451. By creating a very personal niche, Hefner kept the competition at bay for a long time.
Turned problems into challenges to overcome: he had no money to invest in his project, so he found investors (there was no crowdfunding at the time!)
Embraced the unknown: when Hefner launched Playboy he had no clue if it would work or be a lamentable failure. He even removed the publication date from the first cover because he wasn’t sure he’d be able to publish a 2nd issue.
Made it personal when necessary: like many trailblazers, Hef’ created a lifestyle business closely aligned to his talents, values and dreams. He also picked some tough fights that really mattered to him.
Let ideas constantly grow and evolve: often ideas become great as they evolve. Did you know the famous rabbit logo started as an innocent endnote hidden in one of the first issues of Playboy? Until it evolved and became a HUGE brand in itself.
Hef’ summed it all up nicely by declaring:
“Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.”
Let this be your mantra.