meaningless is more

Less isn’t always more. Meaningless work or activities don’t contribute to anything. Deliberately pursuing meaningless activities, albeit temporarily, does fulfill a purpose. They might help to relax. Structural and prolonged meaningless activities, on the other hand, don’t really fulfill a purpose.

If it were possible for meaningfulness to be expressed on a scale, having a job with the maximum amount of meaningfulness might be unattainable.

What is, however attainable is, trying to maximize meaningfulness and increasing it day by day.

brain train

Every day a different muscle group. That’s what it takes to train muscles. Train them to become larger and more powerful.

Training the same muscles within 24 hours has a detrimental effect. The muscles need a day to restore. Training within the timeframe the muscles require to rest has an adverse impact. It makes the muscles smaller or less powerful.

What is true of muscles is perhaps also true of the brain? Provided that excessive use leads to cramps, how does one train the brain?

What’s the ideal balance between doing something every day to become better at it and resting sufficiently, again, to become better at it?

genius interpretation

No genie! That’s not what I meant. Aladdin must have thought to himself. Numerous times.

You can explain something as clearly as possible. However, if the genie interprets it the way it pleases, you still end up with something different altogether.

Don’t focus solely on explaining something clearly. Confirm your customer understood correctly.

wait for it

Sometimes, the entrepreneur has to wait for certain things to fall into place. For instance, the engineering department releasing a new version of their product or a shipment of raw product due to arrive, to process it.

Those are challenging times. Entrepreneurs are typically impatient. Having to wait goes against their beliefs. Yet, sometimes, there is no way around it.

With an incessant inflow of work, why would waiting ever pose a problem? Can’t the entrepreneur just attend to all the other tasks?

They probably could. That doesn’t actually solve the problem. It camouflages the waiting time. It doesn’t make it disappear.

Sometimes waiting has to take place. Stressing about it doesn’t reduce waiting time. Accept the waiting time as gracious as possible.

tasty brand

Two cookies, baked in the same factory, with the same recipe. Yet, one is generally considered tastier than the other.

One is distributed by a premium brand in equally premium shops, the other one is distributed in discount supermarkets.

If your brain can trick you into thinking one tastes better than the other, think of all the other effects perceived brand value has.

Your brand is an asset and needs constant nurturing.

middle trust

A prominent strategy for startups these last couple of years has been; cutting out the middleman. Traditionally, businesses got to their customers through intermediary parties such as agents, brokers, wholesalers, and distributors. Those businesses can now bypass said parties and sell directly to consumers. Transforming many business models drastically in the process.

The issue, however, is that the middlemen haven’t precisely been cut out. They’ve been replaced.

Arguably, AirBnB is one massive middleman, replacing thousands of in-between parties. Uber could be considered as one gigantic taxi dispatching central, replacing a multitude of others.

The way to succeed in a “cutting out the middlemen” strategy is twofold.

On the one hand, transactions have to be facilitated. That’s a given. Those transactions have to be fast, seamless, and convenient.

On the other hand, the perhaps less obvious aspect is becoming the most trustworthy party by far and large.

The middleman with the most trust is the one who will prevail.

commercial value

Something of value isn’t necessarily commercially viable, and vice versa.

If you follow a strict and specific diet that you find helpful, but nobody else does, commercial viability will be tough. To build a business around that diet, your assets could potentially include books, restaurants, food boxes, and so on. However, without the commercial viability, getting to the point where the assets become exploitable is zero to none.

Inversely, if you come up with a diet that everybody loves but is detrimental to the body, you may have nailed commercial viability, but the value you created is doubtful and arguably unethical.

Successful businesses make the creation of added, genuine value commercially viable.

earn less

Statistically, entrepreneurs work harder and earn less being self-employed than they would in a salaried job. Let that sink in.

It has to be the so-called problem that keeps you up at night. The problem which you know you can solve, creating added value in the process. If it’s anything but that, chances are there will be disappointment down the road.

Don’t do it for the money. Do it for the problem.

think like an owner

“If you think you can do better, why don’t you just do it yourself?” That’s what my superior told me years ago. So I did.

When I offered strategic technology consultancy services as a subcontractor, my superior once told me: “Why are you always so critical of the people and the businesses we assign you to?” What I think he should have added, for drama purposes, is: “You’re acting like you own the damn place!” Either way, my reply was: “That’s because I imagine I own the place.”

Only years later, I learned that this is one of Warren Buffett’s go-to pieces of advice: “think like an owner.”

If you want to help a business, really imagine what it’s like being the owner. Create an empathic understanding of what the owner might go through daily and take that as a starting point for optimization possibilities.

flowcus

Would you look at the time? Hours have passed, basic human needs were no longer an issue. Lost in the moment. The culmination of focus where everything else outside of the focus field seems to be less relevant.

Joseph Campbell was an American professor of literature. He once said: “What did you do as a child that created timelessness that made you forget time? There lies the myth to live by.”

I remember playing in a sandbox with matchbox cars. If no one were to call me for lunch, eating wouldn’t have even occurred to little me.

When you find those moments as an adult, in work, where irrefutable focus induces a flow-like behavior, you struck gold.

Flowcus is bliss.