Reinvent Yourself

Both entrepreneurship and technology were once fringe activities. Saying you worked for yourself or you were an entrepreneur was often interpreted by the other party as admitting you were unemployed, or even unemployable, the last refuge of the unskilled and unwanted. So too with technology, that weird stuff nerds did late at night in garages with chemistry sets and soldering irons. Now these two activities are reshaping our economy and our futures, whether we pay attention to them or not.

We must all upgrade our skills in these areas if we want to remain relevant and independent in the modern economy. No doubt you’ve got used to having to upgrade your technology devices and software. Every time that message pops up on our screen, we should ask ourselves this;

‘When was the last time I upgraded my own software?

‘When did I last download a new module to make myself more useful and more in demand in the marketplace?’

Upgrading our grey matter is no longer a choice. It’s a kind of ongoing economic hygiene check, in which small regular interventions ensure our long-term economic health. And it’s easy to do if we do it regularly. It’s a game of frequency, not depth. And the really good news? For the the first time in history, it’s not a game of resources. If you have an internet connection you have every resource you need at your disposal.

Maybe you’re scared? Maybe you think you don’t have the ability or potential to cope with our complex world? Well, I have good news about that too….

The most difficult thing a human being can learn is language; when it comes to computational complexity, natural language processing (computers learning human language) is still at the top. Therefore anyone can who is clever enough to learn to speak a language (everyone reading this), is also clever enough to upgrade their skills  and reinvent their career. And just like learning a language, or learning to walk, it’s about just keeping on and keeping on. You’ll see how a little bit often can have a huge impact later. Here we need to remember the law of relatively: everyone can, but most people won’t. Your success will depend on the effort you put in compared with others. So remember 2 things:

(1) You are capable of more than you know.

(2) Most people won’t bother.

Be the person that bothers. Your future it turns out, is mostly up to you.

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* If you want an inspirational and informative keynote on the Future of Work at your next conference  – give me a hoy here – it’s my latest jam.