The son of a priest and an amateur inventor, Nikola Tesla found his passion early on. In his youth in Austria, he was intellectually gifted, but ultimately dropped out of school. He worked as an electrical engineer in Budapest, and eventually moved to America to work under Thomas Edison. Although arguably both geniuses in their own right, Edison was a savvy businessman, and Tesla an obsessive creator. The two eventually went their separate ways.
Tesla was one of the most fearless innovators and influential thinkers of his time. His contributions to science, and to everyday life are countless. He contributed to the alternating current, the electrical engine and the x-ray; He also invented a number of other affairs such as light, radio, remote control, even robotics in which the concept developed after he quoted ”I have by every thought and act of mine, demonstrated, and does so daily, to my absolute satisfaction that I am an automaton endowed with power of movement, which merely responds to external stimuli.” Without him we might not have any of those devices or long-distance power lines. Why, then, do so few people remember his name or learn about him in school? Perhaps the bigger question is, despite all his achievements, was Tesla a success?
Thomas Edison died rich, respected and famous. He had over a thousand patents to his name, and what could easily be described as an empire. Nikola Tesla died penniless, with many projects unfinished due to a tragic lack of funding. Few would disagree if I were to label Edison a success, but Tesla, in this description as in so many other things, is far more complicated.
A smart business person creates what people need. A brilliant marketer convinces people that they need it. But what does a passionate man do? Tesla was a passionate man, one who found his calling early on and never let it go. He used his success to feed his curiosity. He sunk his life savings into his work, and eventually he sunk with it.
When you find your passion, what will you do with it? Will you retire early, or will you stay hungry? Will you starve for your work, or will you be a success?
Thanks for reading!
Katie Raspberry | Creative Business Blog
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