To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

<span class="caption">Innovators are comfortable dealing with uncertainty. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/lost-and-confused-businessman-walking-in-meadow-royalty-free-image/1181272310?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images">Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images</a></span>
Innovators are comfortable dealing with uncertainty. Gremlin/E+ via Getty Images

Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was America’s first female self-made millionaire. She pioneered a line of hair care and beauty products for people of color early in the 20th century, and the recent Netflix series “Self Made” details the story of this talented innovator and the challenges she overcame on the way to her success.

To accomplish her goals, she had to face overwhelming uncertainties. How would she finance her business? Would her partnerships fail? Would her products sell? Would ruthless competition and racism get in her way? Madame Walker’s future was far from certain when she began her journey, but that did not dissuade her.

A historical photo of Madam C.J. Walker
A historical photo of Madam C.J. Walker

It is tempting to think that innovators are a breed apart or perhaps lucky to be in the right place and time. But research shows this

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