How do you overcome your blind spots?

If you can't eliminate them, protect against them


this week I was thinking about virtual communities. Our Italian business has one to small digital enterpreneurs.

The main benefit for members is to feel less alone, to know like minded people, to learn from their questions. Even if they’ll never see them in person.

I belong to a couple of similar communities and can confirm this feeling.

And you? Have you found an online community where you can discuss the important topics in your life and career? Or are you searching for one?

Tell us your experience via email or in the comments.

See you next week!

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How do you overcome your blind spots?

An investor needs to do very few things right as long as he or she avoids big mistakes. | Warren Buffett

Chamath Palihapitiya is one of those CEOs that seem to have the Mida's touch. He can almost read the future and allocate hundreds of millions of dollars with his venture capital firm on pioneering companies.

People like him make me wonder: did they develop superhuman skills, at least in their field?

The answer is "maybe". But there are other common traits among super-successful people:

  • they know themselves extremely well,

  • they know a lot about human psychology,

  • they keep improving their knowledge of human nature.

In this interview, Chamath Palihapitiya talks about the main tool that allows him to make the right calls. With his venture capital firm he invests in tech companies: a fast-changing field.

He focuses on knowing his blind spots: when he usually overreacts or underreacts, when he's living in the past, when he lives in a future too far away, when he ignores the present.

He does his best to know the situations that trigger such thoughts. Then he puts some guidelines in place to avoid them affecting his decisions.

You can apply this lesson to your career and life. You can't overcome some of your shortcomings. But if you know them, you can find some workarounds and avoid bad consequences.

What are your blind spots? Have you find a way to work around them?

Listen to the full episode here:

[Read the full content here: Chamath Palihapitiya: Understanding Yourself]

Too much empathy ruins your decisions

Empathy is always a good thing, right? Well, there can always be "Too much of a good thing". Or at least science says so.

This podcast episode tells about a group of policemen who felt more empathy for a colleague than for the innocent he shot. The empathy for the brother was stronger than for the stranger.

What is happening here?

Empathy makes you feel closer to other people: relatives, colleagues, friends. It creates a strong bonding that helps you feel and work better with that group (or that person).

But people that do not belong to the group are "strangers". They are not enemies. But when you have to choose between "us" and "them", the choice is automatic.

This can escalate to aberrations such as the policemen story above.

How do you solve this conundrum? You don't want to feel less close to the important people in your life. But this can bring you to harmful choices.

The solution can be to learn to feel more empathy towards a larger group, not limiting yourself to the one closest to you. Try putting yourself in their shoes, as if they were more like "us" and less like "them".

Will you try to feel more empathy for a larger group, for example your neighborhood or an expanded circle of friends?

[Read the full content here: You 2.0: Empathy Gym]

9 questions to ask before you start something new

I am an entrepreneur. I'm always inventing new solutions to problems I stumble upon. This means there are always new opportunities I'd like to pursue.

Does this happen to you, too? Maybe also with your personal projects?

Sadly, there isn't enough time to undertake all the projects I'd like. But wait.. there's more! Every important project takes far more than you think. More time, more energy, more resources. At least twice as expected.

So, I'm always on the lookout for guidelines that help me choose the right priority.

I found these 9 questions and they summarize well my 10 year experience as an entrepreneur. They are perfect if you are starting a new business or launching a new product. They can also help if you are considering a creative project without a business focus.

The most important for me are:

  1. if you didn’t make any money, would you still have had a great time?

  2. Does the project leverage your unique ability?

  3. Imagine that you are selling a million dollars worth of this product (you can replace any other result for non-business projects). Are you happy with how you spend your time?

  4. Does this solve a pain point people already know they have?

  5. Are you scratching your own itch?

If you can answer "yes" to all of the questions, it's highly probable the project will at least be a good investment. It could still fail, but it will at least be a huge learning experience.

Can you apply these questions right now to an important decision?

[Read the full content here: The Interesting Times: 9 Questions to Ask Before You Start Something New]

Best book of the week

Greenlights, by Matthew McConaughey

I never read celebrity memoirs. But an interview with Tim Ferriss suggested that McCounaghey is more than a romantic comedy actor.

This book didn’t disappoint me. McConaughey has lived his life with intention.

He made some career-threatening decisions to be loyal to his values and dreams. He took some calculated risks and now he’s reaping the rewards.

In his memoir you’ll find powerful lessons on how to take charge of your life on your journey to happiness.

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