Picking up a hundred dollar can halt your career

Do you pick up money you see on the ground?  Do you stop your career in order to do a menial project or take a job someone else should do?

Bending over to pick up a hundred dollar bill is a bad investment of your time if you are Bill Gates.  He has averaged earning more than that every two seconds since Microsoft started.  I did the math.

Bill Gates has focused his career on multiplying his effectiveness.  He has focused on using internal and external resources to dominate the computer industry.  Microsoft did not create the PC operating system they sold to IBM.  They sold IBM something they didn’t own, but had negotiated a right to buy.  Bill Gates saw an opportunity and ran to make it happen. He passed up other opportunities to make that happen.  That is the way Microsoft has grown — a little internal innovation and a lot of focus on using other’s ideas. The most important ideas he could find.

Can you figure out where the biggest changes are happening?

If you focus on the innovations happening around you it can change your career.  When an idea, technology or procedure is new, it takes a week to become an expert.  A year later it takes a year to become an expert.

I became a database expert in a week when Oracle 1.0 came out.  I talked my boss into springing for $100 to get a copy.  I parlayed that into becoming a DB2 guru by buying a book.  One book.  I became a data modeling expert because no one else had a clue what that was.  One innovation led to another, and my bosses had no desire to stop me.  All the industry magazines and experts were using the buzzwords I could implement.  I was on the leading edge.  I was riding the wave of innovation. Every career progression was caused by taking 2 weeks to prepare for an upcoming, essential, mystifying technology.

Do like Bill Gates and I did. Do a little internal innovation and focus on using other’s ideas and new technology.  It is always easier to become an expert when technology and techniques are new.  What is new in your field?

Something to do today

Try it again. The greatest lunch topic you can talk about with your boss is, “What is the emerging world changing technology, technique or skill in our field?”  Figure out what the buzzwords are that people are barely starting to define in your field.


Tomorrow:     Grandpa rotated crops for free

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