Quick story: I thought I was being all clever with the idea for this blog post and was going with the words Produce, Consume, and Interact, but a quick Google search brought up a post from 2009 by Charlie Gilkey with the catchier title of Create, Connect, and Consume (which is a great read). I'd still like to share some of my thoughts on what I think is one of the harder things to juggle as an entrepreneur though.
Whether you work alone, as part of a team, or at a large corporation there are three main areas that you should focus your energy on if you want to grow and achieve. They are the three sides of the Entrepreneur's Triangle (and yes I made that up).
- Connect: this includes networking (a word I hate), meeting new people, and building relationships that can have a major impact on your work.
- Creating: doing the work, making ideas happen, and delivering the finished product(s).
- Consuming: learning, staying up to date on the latest news in your industry, and seeing what other people are creating.
The problem is not in finding tasks or ideas to put in these areas.
The problem is in balancing them.
My Recent Imbalance
Here's a look back at how out of balance I've been with the entrepreneur's triangle through January.
- Connect: I started January out attending the New Media Expo in Vegas and interacted with a lot of online entrepreneurs. Many of whom I'd only known online so far (one of the major ways to make your conferences awesome). A lot of connecting happened, but not much work got done.
- Create: Once I got back from NMX I was in full-on launch mode for a couple weeks with Fizzle.co. I spent 90% of my working time on courses for Fizzle or content for our various blogs. My head was down for pretty much two full weeks.
- Consume: This past week I've realized that I haven't been reading, listening, or watching what other people have created as much as usual and I felt out of touch.
Whenever I don't have a balance of these three areas I feel like I am missing out.
I feel like I don't know what other people have been up to, that I haven't been making enough awesome stuff, or that I've quit learning.
Lately the piece I've been missing out on is probably the one that is completely okay to do less of: consuming. If one had to go, that'd be it.
There is never a lack of things for me to consume. "Professionally" there are podcasts, web shows, video tutorials, Kindle books, PDF eBooks, blog posts, and hard copy versions of books. That doesn't even include things I consume to relax like novels, music, television shows, sporting events, etc.
As you mature and grow as a student, employee, or entrepreneur you begin to shift from consuming (e.g. learning or researching) and you begin to do more creating (e.g. building, launching, acting).
But you should never stop consuming (with a purpose).
Which of the three areas have you been neglecting lately?
Let me know in the comments below this post.