Coaching the Creative

Picking Up the “Stupid” Challenge

Recently, client Jesse Dobbs of Iris Piercing threw out a challenge for me to read a book that he had just finished. The book is “Be Stupid, for successful living” by Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel.

I picked up the challenge, ordered the book on Amazon and finished it in a few days. It outlines, in 18 short stories, the manifesto by which Rosso created Diesel’s remarkable brand. I’ve taken liberties and synthesized what I felt were Rosso’s key points into the following bullets:

  • “Stupid” is of Latin origin and closely related to the verb “to stupefy.” So as you go along in your business ventures, stupefy your followers. Step out and do things that stupefy you. Be amazed, be happy and notice the beauty that comes from your own head and handswhen you aim to stupefy (see page 10 and 29).
  • If you have a good product, if you are willing to work hard, and if you can be very patient, then you can make very good money (see page 19).
  • Many a successful entrepreneur has been born upon being told: You can’t do that! (see page 35 or also read The Millionaire Mind by Stanley).
  • “This is one of the secrets of ongoing entrepreneurial success: entrepreneurs act as if they have little to lose because if you let the fear of losing predominate, then you’re on the defense rather than on the offense, preservation then takes the place of innovation, and sooner or later decline sets in” (see page 37).
  • Many case studies prove that an entrepreneur can be judged by the quality of people you have around you. If you want to be a successful business person, create a community inside your business and outside of your business that are truly dedicated to making your vision come true. If someone can’t contribute to making your dream come true, they should not be on your team (see page 60-61).
  • One critical question you can ask yourself is this: What do I want to be known for in fifty years? Once you answer this question, keep that vision at the forefront of all you do (see page 73).
  • Intuition is not a mere whim. It is something you sense in your heart and mind that will be good for your business. Learn to recognize and follow your intuition (see page 84).
  • Failure only happens when we don’t try. If you make a mistake, recognize that, and solve it. If your mistake seems like it has caused you to fail, accept that you might need to take a different direction (see page 136).

By now you may be feeling like you have the salient pieces of Rosso’s book. Maybe not, and you want to read it for yourself. Either way, remember this:

Success doesn’t come by playing it safe. And according to Renzo Rosso, one way to NOT play it safe is to “be stupid” instead.


Here is the Be Stupid video, by Diesle:


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