FASTer - Issue #135

Soft ⚡

Soft power is a term coined by Harvard professor Joseph Nye to describe the ability of a country to influence others through persuasion and attraction rather than coercion or force. It is based on a country's culture, values, and policies. Nye argues that soft power is becoming increasingly important in the 21st century, as countries become more interdependent and non-military means of influence become more effective. It also can directly influence your own outcomes in life depending how far and wide you can get a reading or a bearing on soft power constructs and if you are aligned with or against it.

Economic strength is a major determinant of soft power. A country with a strong economy is more likely to have an attractive culture, advanced educational institutions, and influential businesses. It is also more likely to be able to provide foreign aid and investment, which can further boost its soft power.

Examples of how the US and China have used soft power in recent years:


  • Culture and entertainment: The US is a global leader in the production and export of cultural and entertainment products, such as movies, music, and television shows. These products help to promote American values and culture around the world.

  • Education: US universities are among the most prestigious in the world, and they attract students from all over the globe. This gives the US a unique opportunity to influence the next generation of global leaders.

  • Foreign aid: The US is the world's largest donor of foreign aid, and it provides assistance to countries in need around the globe. This foreign aid helps to build goodwill and promote American values.


  • Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): The BRI is a massive infrastructure development project that China is pursuing in over 100 countries around the world. The BRI is helping to China expand its economic influence and build relationships with other countries.

  • Confucius Institutes: Confucius Institutes are language and cultural centers that are funded by the Chinese government. They are located in over 100 countries around the world, and they offer classes in Chinese language and culture. Confucius Institutes have been criticized for promoting Chinese propaganda and undermining academic freedom.

  • Panda diplomacy: China has gifted pandas to zoos around the world. Pandas are popular animals, and giving them away is a way for China to build goodwill and promote its image.

To identify soft power, we can look for the following:

  • Attractive culture: Does the country have a culture that is appealing to others? This could include its music, movies, food, fashion, and art.

  • Advanced education: Does the country have a strong education system and prestigious universities?

  • Influential businesses: Does the country have powerful and successful businesses that are known around the world?

  • Foreign aid: Does the country provide foreign aid to other countries?

  • International organizations: Is the country involved in international organizations and initiatives?

  • Public diplomacy: Does the country have a public diplomacy program that promotes its culture and values?

Recognizing soft power can help entrepreneurs in a number of ways:

  • Identify new markets: Entrepreneurs can use soft power to identify new markets for their products and services. For example, an entrepreneur who is interested in expanding into the Chinese market could look for countries that have strong economic ties to China. These countries are more likely to be receptive to Chinese culture and products, making them good potential markets for the entrepreneur's business.

  • Build relationships with potential partners: Soft power can also help entrepreneurs to build relationships with potential partners. For example, an entrepreneur who is looking for a joint venture partner in Japan could look for a company that shares their values and culture. This will make it more likely that the two companies will be able to work together effectively.

  • Create a positive brand image: Soft power can also help entrepreneurs to create a positive brand image for their businesses. For example, an entrepreneur who is selling environmentally friendly products could use their brand image to appeal to consumers who are concerned about climate change.

  • Attract top talent: Soft power can also help entrepreneurs to attract top talent to their businesses. For example, an entrepreneur who is looking to hire software engineers could look for candidates who have experience working at companies with strong reputations for innovation.


We all loose some times, it is what you do after that to enhance your outcomes that makes sure you don’t loose again. Here is the best story Ive come across in recent times on how to take control of your outcomes.

One New Thing (That you should know)

On average, drivers in the US spend about $20 billion a year in overpaying for parking spots and 17 hours every year is spent by each driver searching for one.

Overpaying — caused by drivers’ inability to estimate how long they need to park or forking over extra at a garage to avoid the risk of getting a parking ticket — costs Americans more than $20 billion a year or $97 per driver, the report estimated.

One reason is that we are generally overconfident in our ability to estimate time. This is known as the planning fallacy. We tend to underestimate how long tasks will take, and this can include estimating how long we will be parked.

Another reason is that we are susceptible to anchoring bias. This is when we rely too heavily on the first piece of information we receive when making a decision. In the case of parking, this could be the amount of time that is displayed on the parking meter. Even if we know that we are unlikely to stay parked for that long, we may still overestimate our parking time because we are anchored by the number on the meter.

Finally, we may also be overpaying for parking because we are trying to avoid loss aversion. This is the tendency to prefer avoiding losses over acquiring equivalent gains. In the case of parking, this means that we may be willing to pay more to avoid the risk of getting a parking ticket, even if we know that we are unlikely to stay parked for the full amount of time that we have paid for.

What do you estimate incorrectly in your daily activities that impacts your outcomes?

Boring Stuff That Scales

Finding the right place to engage to make money is some thing that scales well. Here are 5 sites you should be checking out to make money.

5 websites that pays $100+ per blog:

1. - Pays: $300 to $600 per article

2. - Pays: $500/ essay

3. - Pays: $300 per article

4. - Pays: on number of words

5. - Pays: $250 to $500 per tutorial

What You Should Be Watching

When Microsoft accused ‘state-backed’ Chinese hackers of entering its servers to target at least 60,000 global users, few people were surprised. It was just the latest in a long line of Chinese cyberattacks. Growing security concerns over China has also lead to Huawei being banned or restricted from 5G networks in a host of countries, including America, UK and Australia. “There are two types of big companies: those that have been hacked by the Chinese, and those that don’t know they have been hacked by the Chinese,” claimed FBI director, James Comey in 2014.

China already has the world’s largest surveillance network and uses technology to subdue minorities, censor content and spy on dissidents. For decades, Western leaders wanted to believe that China’s economic growth posed no threat to other countries. That it would be content to act only within its borders and that, as the country became more capitalist, it would also become more liberal. Today, that hope has been dashed.

China is regularly cited as the number one source of cyberattacks. There’s a fierce battle going on for global technology leadership. 5G networks are seen as essential for future development and few companies are as well positioned to lead this 5G revolution as Huawei. But to what extent should it be regarded as a threat? We hear from leading officials in America, Europe and China.

Monetize your time - at any age

By taking this mantra to heart… To succeed in life, find a simple, proven strategy that others are already using. Then, compete with the wealthy by doing it a little bit better. This is the best way to win in the long run. Simplicity trumps innovation most days.

One Last Thing

Humiliation is painful, but it does not take away your power to decide how to respond.

Bonus! Thought(s) of the week

Todays best advice for founders.