October 12, 2020
In a previous post I discussed business mindset, a useful toolkit for navigating a market economy.
Business mindset is like poker. You can learn the basics from books, but you can only build mastery by doing it for real, with table stakes on the line. Business mindset involves an element of sales. Sales cannot be faked. Pretending to sell things does not make you better at selling things. It is like pretending to lift weights.
To develop business mindset, you must have something worth selling. You must have a vision of the world you wish to effect. This vision need not extract value from anyone. The objective is to influence behavior.
You should start by selling easy products and then gradually move up to harder targets. The easiest product to sell is free food. The hardest product to sell is anything you charge money for. The easiest people to sell to are friends and family. The hardest people to sell to are strangers.
Sales skills are transferable. Selling one thing makes you better at selling other things. Putting together an evening of fun with your friends is the first step towards negotiating business deals.
But business mindset is more than sales. There is also an element of vision. Vision is the intersection between fantasy and implementation. Can one even learn imagination?
I think imagination is like intelligence. You cannot increase your fluid intelligence. The best you can do is slow its decline by being true to yourself.
But even though your fluid intelligence decreases over time, your total intelligence will go up over time insofar as your crystallized intelligence increases more than your fluid intelligence decreases.
My friends often think I am being creative when I am just borrowing ideas from overlooked domains of knowledge. If you can steal ideas faster than your imagination stiffens then your vision will keep increasing as you age.
The only catch is your vision must be tempered by implementation. Imagination without imeplementation is empty fantasy. Implementation without imagination is empty toil.