FASTer - Issue #120
As a general rule, it’s more profitable to leverage your strengths than it is to fix your weaknesses. Surely this cant be true?
Think of something you want to improve about yourself.
Is it a strength or a weakness?
Chances are, you chose a weakness. A study found that we tend to see weaknesses as more changeable than strengths, so we're more inclined to try to improve where we're weak. However, studies have shown that when we focus on developing our strengths, we grow faster than when we try to improve our weaknesses. Additionally, people who use their strengths are happier, less stressed, and more confident.
So if you're feeling stuck or unfulfilled, it may be time to consider focusing on your strengths instead of your weaknesses.
All our lives we have been conditioned to fix the things we suck at, but has any one every told you to focus on the things you are great at?
It may be hard to see your own strengths, but the people in your life probably see them quite clearly. So once you are done reading this, ask your friends, family members, boss, coworkers, or a mentor to tell you what they think your strengths are.
Some people may be uncomfortable responding, and that's okay. Others may respond in a way that's unhelpful (like your mom says you are good at everything). That's okay too.
The goal is to identify things that you wouldn't have thought of on your own—or to find patterns.
To enhance your outcomes this week, find your strength patterns and build on them.
Your outcomes can only change if you focus on changing them. Here is some thing most people do not know how to do well, not because its a weakness but because they do it so often their muscle memory prevents them from scaling it as a strength.
If you do not know this skill well then you likely suffer from writing bad prompts for AI too. So what is this skill for 10X your outcomes? Some thing that is the foundation for working with AI?
Learn how to use Google.
Learn how to use Google. It's a value additive life hack. When you get good at it, it's second nature. It may seem like something your intern should know. Thats where you are mistaken. Heres one of the best links(zety.com/blog/google-se…) to get started. Trust me its fantastic.
— Faizan Siddiqi (@faizansiddiqi)
Feb 21, 2022
One New Thing I Learnt some time ago
The CIA has a venture capital fund it uses to identify and fund various technologies with "national security" interest. QT has invested in over 200 companies since its inception, and many of these companies have gone on to become successful businesses. Some of IQT's most notable investments include Palantir Technologies, which provides software for data analytics and intelligence gathering; 23andMe, which offers genetic testing services; and Akamai Technologies, which provides content delivery network services.
Boring Stuff That Scales
Stay in touch with every one. Biggest life hack no one tells you about. Take it from me this scales more than any other life skill you will ever learn.
Tony Hsieh was the CEO of Zappos, an online shoe retailer. He was known for his unconventional management style, which emphasized customer service and culture.
One of the things that Hsieh did that was different from other CEOs was that he made a point of staying in touch with everyone he met. He would send handwritten notes, emails, and even text messages to people he had met, even if it was just a brief interaction.
Hsieh believed that staying in touch with people was important for two reasons. First, it helped him build relationships. When people know that you're interested in them and that you care about them, they're more likely to do business with you. Second, it helped him stay up-to-date on what was happening in the world. When you stay in touch with people, you hear about new trends and opportunities before anyone else.
Hsieh's emphasis on staying in touch helped Zappos scale its business. Zappos grew from a small startup to a multi-billion dollar company, and it became one of the most respected companies in the world.
One example of how staying in touch helped Zappos scale its business is when Hsieh met with a customer service expert named Shep Hyken. Hyken was a speaker and author who had written a book about customer service. Hsieh was impressed with Hyken's knowledge of customer service, and he invited him to speak at Zappos.
Hyken's speech was a hit with Zappos employees, and it helped to improve the company's customer service. As a result, Zappos was able to attract more customers and grow its business. One interaction one contact, one meeting resulted in enhanced outcomes for life. If CEOs can do it, so can you.
What You Should Be Reading
Reading is an insanely high-ROI activity. But don't have much time for it? Not a day goes by when folks do not complain about not having enough time to read books. As you work on enhancing your outcomes, you have to got to, figure out a way to include a healthy mix of short books perhaps in your reading repertoire. I gave bard.google.com a list of my online books and asked it to select those under 150 pages with meaningful lessons and reviews from online sources. So that you didn’t have to. With a view to share 2 books every week that Ive read that are in my digital library or other wise that you can also learn from for better personal outcomes.
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
Seek work that you find fun and gives you fulfillment
Focus on creating value for others and you'll be successful
Embrace constraints as it will spark creativity and innovative solutions
The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason
Live below your means so you can invest more and get richer faster
Invest part of your income every time you get paid
Put your money to work by investing it
Monetize your time
Any thing worth doing, is not worth doing when you make a pro-con list.
What does it mean?
The idea is that if you're constantly weighing the pros and cons of something, you're likely to talk yourself out of doing it. This is because you're always going to find reasons not to do something, no matter how good it is.
For example, let's say you're thinking about starting a new business. You might make a pro-con list and come up with a bunch of reasons why you shouldn't do it. You might say that you don't have enough money, or that you don't have the right experience, or that the market is too saturated.
But if you really want to start a business, you're going to have to ignore those reasons and just go for it. Otherwise, you'll never get started.
Why is it important?
This concept is important for founders because it can help them to overcome their fears and to take action. When you're starting a business, there are always going to be reasons not to do it. But if you let those reasons stop you, you'll never succeed.
Here are some things to consider from the lens of those who likely didn’t make such lists…
Walt Disney was told that he didn't have enough talent to be a successful animator. He was also told that there was no market for animated films. But he ignored those reasons and went on to create some of the most beloved animated films of all time.
Steve Jobs was fired from his own company, Apple. He could have easily given up and moved on to something else. But he didn't. He started a new company, NeXT, and eventually went back to Apple and became CEO.
J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before she finally found one that would publish her Harry Potter books. She could have easily given up after the first few rejections. But she didn't. She kept going and eventually became one of the most successful authors in the world.
Stop with the lists!
One Last Thing
I was running a mentoring session with an extremely successful founder in Saudi Arabia a few weeks back. He kept on telling me his biggest struggle is being trapped in spreadsheets and not being able to identify issues.
So I told him to grab a napkin the next time he’s faced with spreadsheet fatigue. He looked confused, almost regretting his weekly check in and the $s he had likely invested in the months leading up to these mentoring sessions.
Sensing this fear I told him, the best way to come up with a new idea or solve a problem is to simply start with a blank piece of paper (or napkin). This is because spreadsheets can be too rigid and can limit your thinking. I explained to him that some thing whose entire premise is to give you a box to define your limitations can not really let you re define some thing out of the box. Aka the spreadsheet “cell”. Instead of reconstructing your outcomes by defining variables in cells, some times you have to break free first.
When you're starting with a blank piece of paper, you're free to think outside the box and come up with new and innovative ideas. You're also less likely to get bogged down in the details, which can be helpful when you're trying to come up with a high-level overview of a problem or solution.
Of course, there are times when spreadsheets are necessary. But if you're stuck in a rut and you're not sure how to move forward, try starting with a napkin. You might be surprised at what you come up with. He was, when he checked back in a few days later. This is he what he emailed back:
“I get it now! Napkins are flexible. They are portable, they are visual. I get it now, I thought you ran out of ideas last week but it makes total sense:) Thanks. I need to simplify my view not model every thing in a “cell”. Death by a 1000 rows is no more the way I run this organization. I took my exec team outside gave every one a napkin and had them draw out a solution to the question I shared in our session. Guess what, we have some new ideas on how to solve this vs trying to fix contribution margin items only. Best advice all year. ”
Bonus! Thought of the week
Agents to do things on your behalf. But they are AI agents instead of real people.
AgentGPT allows you to configure and deploy Autonomous AI agents. Name your custom AI and have it embark on any goal imaginable. It will attempt to reach the goal by thinking of tasks to do, executing them, and learning from the results 🚀
You need to be using this today to enhance your outcomes, to get out of your comfort zone, to try some thing new. Once it works. You know the 100x power unlock? Language, what ever you do in English today, has likely got an audience/market-product fix by translating it and exporting it. If you aren’t thinking on those terms yet, you are far behind in the race of using AI to enhance your outcomes using digital resources.
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— Asim Shrestha (@asimdotshrestha)
Apr 9, 2023