Physics for Entrepreneurs

There are lessons for entrepreneurs everywhere you look – even at NASA!

Not long after the turn of the century, NASA teamed up with students to demonstrate how plants grow in the absence of light and gravity. The results have strong parallels to Network Marketers, and humankind in general. Here’s what they did…

They used a kind of seed that will sprout with or without light in simple plant growth chambers and had students on Earth plant some in the dark and some in light. So far so good. At the same time, they had astronauts on the ISS (International Space Station) plant the same kind of seeds in zero gravity. They set it up the same way, with some in the dark and some in light.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

By comparing the results of each set of seeds, the students saw that gravity and light direct growth. But when you take these away, growth is wild and chaotic.

Sure, they grew…but there was no order to the growth.

Even without gravity (aboard the ISS), light directed the plants’ growth – the plants were drawn to it. And without light but with gravity, they saw that gravity provides order by giving the plant an anchor – a clear place to go from. The most successful plants are the ones that have both.

My question for you is what is your light and what is your gravity?

If you don’t have anything anchoring you down, then you don’t have a solid starting point…nothing to build on. But if you don’t have a clear picture where you’re trying to get to, how will you know what steps to take to make it there? You need both!

Find your gravity

The first step is to get yourself on solid ground. Think of the things or people that help anchor you down. Maybe it’s your family, friends, spirituality, exercise regimen…whatever creates stability in your life. How can you make these connections stronger?

It’s well worth the time and energy to improve your “gravity,” because not only do you reduce your own disorientation – you can serve as an anchor for others, too. We are all interconnected and it’s important to do your best to be a strong component of a structure that is much larger than yourself. You benefit and so does everyone else!

Find your light

Next, you need to determine where exactly you’re trying to get to. What does success look like to you? Be specific! It can include an income you’re trying to reach, a level of influence you’re striving for, the impact you hope to one day make on the community…whatever overarching goals you hope to ultimately achieve.

One thing you may need to avoid is having too many different, scattered goals. You have to find a way to unite them, otherwise your growth will still be chaotic. Think back to the plants – if they were given lots of light sources in different locations, how would they know which one to grow toward? They would probably just grow toward the one that was closest, or toward the middle of the light sources. That’s not what you want in your career or in your life.

Now, that’s not to say that you can only ever have one goal. You just need to find a way to pull them together in a way that you can realistically achieve them. If you have too many competing goals, your odds of missing them altogether goes up exponentially. To find your light, unite your overarching goals – and then you can work backward to create the steps to get there.


The students who teamed up with NASA concluded that “light and gravity help plants know in which direction to grow. In the absence of both, the plants get confused.” People do too! So, once you’ve identified your light and your gravity…do your best to strengthen both!


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