2 unrelated questions worth asking

Motorcycle ride across asia

The journey we are on is often associated with some goal at the end point. But what if the end point was now? What if we took a thought experiment and pretended the journey was unnecessary? Let’s do that and ask ourselves these two seemingly unrelated questions:

  1. How would you spend your time if you had 6 months to live?
  2. How would you spend your time if you were a billionaire?

I won’t try and answer these for you, but I’m reasonably certain you’ll find two things. Many of the answers overlap, and that many of the things cost very little money. In the end we remind ourselves that the ultimate asset is time.

Ok, I couldn’t resist to give personal answer here: I know I’d want to invest more time with my family, immediate and wider, and do those projects were the business model is fun and not financial. Oh, and all those billionaires we hear about…. they’re probably off on treks riding motorcycles across China. Something which requires very few zeros in a bank account.

New book – The Great Fragmentation – out now!

The strategy day you've probably never had

While I’m a firm believer we can achieve more as entrepreneurs than we can as employees, there are some damn good lessons we can learn from corporates. One such thing that large companies tend to do is strategy planning. Annual or quarterly events, where time is taken out to sit down and plan the future. So my question is this:

When is the last time you did this for your most important startup: Your household?

Yes, the startup that is the people who live in your home. It seems ever so weird that we spend an inordinate amount of time doing strategy for the companies we work for, and yet fail to do it for ourselves and our family. My household is a 5 year old startup which is clearly the most important in my portfolio – the capstone of all the matters to me. Within it, we have two other startups, otherwise known as children.  So my wife and I are investing a few days where our entire focus is what we want out of life for our family, and how we might go about achieving it.

So what might we include in such a day? Our approach to health, loving, learning, sharing, housing, career, finance and our community. We’ll ratify our guiding philosophy on how we invest the 24 hours in each day. We’ll decide how we allocate our resources to maximise happiness. We know that the major asset in life is time, and the people we love. The financial part of our strategy day – our plans for income and investing – is last on the agenda. This should serve what we want as people, and so setting numbers before we know what we need, would be back to front. The outcome will be an operations plan for a happy home.

We often go through life thinking that if we earn enough money, and do well in our career, the other life stuff will be ok. Turns out the opposite of this is true.


Monday thought starters

Today I was fortunate enough to be in the company of a few global thought leaders on life hacking and inventing money. Some of the ideas that were shared I hadn’t heard before, and others I knew and forgot (Which means I didn’t really know it). In any case, what better way than to start off the week by sharing a few of them here:

  • When someone asks you how you can repay them after teaching them something of value – this is a good answer: Teach as many people as you can what I taught you.
  • Wisdom is knowledge performed.
  • ‘Do Power’ is the key not Will Power.
  • In a developed economy, the amount of people who succeed is directly proportional to the amount who give up.
  • Most people are not smarter than you / me / us, they simply do more than you / me / us.
  • With a strong enough ‘why’ humans can do the most amazing things. The ‘why’ usually fails before anything else.
  • TV can also be known as an E.I.R – or an Electronic Income Reducer. Watching lots of un-educational TV is a wealth hazard.
  • All children are successful. But as they grow older they are taught to stop trying, stop failing, stop experimenting and stop having fun. This is why learning declines with age – it is not related to the body or the brains capacity to grow with age.
  • What most marketers learn to do is ‘bottle the concept’. What they sell is often not the product but the ephemeral nature of what it represents.
  • The more you go Pfff, the more life goes Pfff.
  • We shouldn’t lead the way, we need to lead the why.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is now the 4th most read book in history. Worth a read if you haven’t yet.