Thinking of what you don’t think of
In business, there are often dozens of ways to solve a problem. Humans seem to have minds that get stuck in a rut. They think the same thoughts over and over again. The trick to being “smart” is to be able to think of many solutions to problems. I recently hired a writer who is really smart. If I ask him to make a situation “funny”, he will think for about 90 seconds, and then he always thinks of something — and I generally blurt out laughing when I hear it. To succeed in business, you need to become very resourceful and learn to think of more possible solutions to problems.
So, how do you expand your thinking?
When I meet people who are “smart”, they generally read a lot. Some of them can even quote great literature, or famous statements made more recently by politicians. Reading books is good. Recently, I have been learning a lot by reading blog posts that I saw on Twitter. The limitation was that I always went to the SAME resources to find interesting articles when what I should have done was to look everywhere! The mental limitation to not thinking of everything is very similar in nature to the mental habit of not looking everywhere. It is a rut.
The difference between a successful person and…
I read on Twitter that the difference between a successful person and a very successful person is that the very successful person says “no” more. This is a very misleading statement if you don’t interpret it correctly. My interpretation is that a very successful person will consider more options before making a decision. If you are hiring people and interview ten, then you will pick the best one. But, what if that one is mediocre, or not perfectly attuned to what you need to have done? A very successful person might have an HR staff that interviews 1000 people, and then picks the best ten, and let’s you try them out one by one to find the best one. This is a perfect example of saying “no” a higher percentage of the time! Big companies think of this, but small business owners will typically say, “Gee, I didn’t think of that” or “Hmmm, I don’t have the resources to do that”.
Having an office in the Himalayas
I was recently looking for office space, and trying to apply my idea of thinking of everything. I was thinking about various parts of Los Angeles. Then, I thought about getting a temporary office in an entirely different metro. I could travel one week per month to that remote location. I like to travel in any case. Travel revives my soul. But, what about getting my office in India in the mountains? That would be super cheap. Labor is cheap there too. I don’t need to be in America 12 months a year. I can disappear for a few months at a time without too many consequences. The Jury Duty folks might not appreciate a long absense, but I can just tell them that I was at my office in the Himalayas! Most people would not think of having their office in Dehradun. But, why not include that as an option on the list. If you are thinking of everything, that is a fun option to think of — and might even be the best one if you like to meditate!
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