With so much information abundance, it takes a certain skill in knowing what to know. Many emerging trends and changes in our economy and social structures are vital points of knowledge. We need to know them intimately, know how to use the technology and have a detailed domain expertise or we’ll miss out in a business or social context. But many things, maybe even most things, knowing about them is enough. Simply knowing it exists, that people like and engage in it, and why they like and engage in it will get us through:
- Angry birds
- Candy Crush
- Reality TV
- Most news
- Any ‘down time’ activity…
If we’re across the motivations, the technology and the sociology, then it’s highly likely we wont get caught short by not having a personal interaction with it. Unless of course, it is related to what we actually do for a living. This is the key point, knowing which domains are worth us investing our time in to understand.
In a world of infinite expansion and choice where we can’t try or participate in everything, knowing what to ignore is an art form. If it feels disposable, then it is probably not deserving of our bandwidth.
I’m about to provide you with a report of the news for the next 6 months and quite possible eternity.
It’s all bad.
Every story, well at least those stories that don’t include baby kissing, the back page, or the lovely human interest pieces after the weather report. If it was good news, they wouldn’t bother telling us. Their job is to leverage the most basic of human emotions, and that emotion is fear. Good news doesn’t hold attention as deeply as the bad does. Our lizard brain makes sure we pay attention for survival purposes. But here is what we should do instead.
Stop watching it.
It actually wont teach us anything, and quite possibly rob us of valuable time we could be investing in real learning or actual projects. It might even have a negative impact on our psyche and chip away at our soul. We must not let that happen. As entrepreneurs we are far better off investing our viewing and reading time in specific knowledge which might solve problems. All the news does is promote problems.
Everything we would see in a news report can be garnered by scanning a news sites headlines, which takes all of 2 minutes. If there is seriously anything life threatening, we’ll find out, and then we can dig deeper. If not, we should get on with something positive. In truth the ‘news‘ should be called the ‘olds‘ because all they ever do is recycle the same old crap that adds little to no value to our personal life.
There are only 2 things we can invest:
Time & Money.
Rather than complaining about not having enough money to invest, invest your time instead. Time is the great equalizer. A rich person has no more or no less than you, me or anyone. We can beat anyone with what we do with our time. Learn the skills or put in the labour until it turns into money.
The trick is once the money comes in, to keep investing the time so you know how to use the money and not lose it.
People so often begin their adult life (teenage?) chasing financial wealth without even thinking about it. They believe the benefits of money automatically outweigh the costs of its accumulation. That there is no downside, and that all problems in a world of endless cash flow can be bought out.
It is certain that too much money is a better problem than not enough money. But the overriding misconceptions of wealth are simple:
We only ever have 24 hours a day.
We can only ever eat 3 meals a day.
We can only sleep in 1 bed each night.
No amount of money can change these things, or improve the relationships with those around us. It’s worth remembering this in 2011 before we embark upon a new program of attempting to garner things we might not actually want.
Have a great year, Steve.
The problem with email is that far too many people let it be the compass of their day. They refer to it religiously, checking it with every spare moment they have at their desk.
Maybe some new information has arrived?
Maybe they should use it to justify a change in direction?
Email tricks us into believing that we should stop on the path we are heading down and change direction, react to micro pieces of data. We often know it is a detour from the desired destination, yet we follow it anyway. When we do this email becomes a self multiplying tool. The more we attend to it, the more it demands. Entrepreneurs time is better invested talking to people.
Email is not a compass, it is more like a shadow. It reflects blockages that other people are creating, and what we need to do is move out of the shadows emails create so we can see our own path, and not theirs.
In nature, with every second something lives for, it’s probability of continued life increases exponentially.
The lessons for startups is simple, do the stuff that keeps you alive longest. And the most important thing we can do for our startup is keep our costs low. Low cost operations gives us the advantage of time. And time is the most important asset when it comes to working out our business model. Not capital, not technology, not employees, not research. Just time.