Tag Archive: Purpose


Secondary Residence

Secured two new domains today…

EricJBusch.com – Future home of my online resume/portfolio/curriculum vitae/etc. I have long intended to create and maintain such a site, but like so many other things have simply relegated it to the proverbial back burner. LinkedIn provided a corporate solution (albeit a stale one) for the last couple of years. But that only presents the M-F/8-5 version of me; the goal with this URL is to highlight all aspects of my life. Construction sign is up for now, with an operational site up by the end of this month (hopefully) and content added as time permits.

MotionGenius.com – Simple blog site (along the lines of Startup Quote) promoting the use of motion graphic artwork to convey insight and intelligence. It will use the common search/collect/filter/present model (much like Andrew Vande Moere‘s Information Aestethics blog), so the core content will not be mine and I will do my best to recognize, credit and acknowledge the work of each artist.

I am excited to develop and launch each of these sites. Now just need to find the time.

Nice Tan

I grew up in Northern Minnesota where summer lasted roughly three months.  As a result, most citizens were pasty white for the majority of the year.  And if during the middle of winter someone suddenly appeared with a nice deep tan, it was assumed they had traveled afar.

Where did you go? Florida? Mexico? California? Where? What sunny, tropical locale did you journey to? What did you experience?

See, in my small hometown a winter tan was the consequence of a vacation, respite or sabbatical; it was an outward sign that you had explored beyond the comfortable confines of the community. In short, an unexpected change in one’s complexion was assumed to be the consequence of a more significant trip. Therefore, subsequent discussion focused not on your changed appearance, but rather on the journey that led to it.

Of course, this is no longer a safe assumption.  The ubiquity of strip mall salons offering tanning beds and spray-on booths means anyone can change their appearance with a few bucks and a couple of visits. You no longer need to travel abroad or change one’s lifestyle to sustain a deeper shade of pale. Instead you merely need to wear eye protection and be still for 20 minutes once a week.

So for many individuals, a deep tan is not indicative of a more significant event but rather simple commitment to a maintenance program. Thus the focus shifts from maximizing the experience of the journey to minimizing the inconvenience of the task.

What salon do you use? Is it a spray tan? How often do you have to go? Is it safe? What does it cost? Is it convenient?

A business trip last week put me face-to-face with several coworkers for the first time since the launch of Rigorous Pursuit. Many noticed I was a smaller. After confirming their keen sense of observation and offering a complimentary “You look good…”, most inquired about what “program” I was using and how many more pounds I wanted to shed.

What diet are you on? Weight Watchers? Slim-Fast? Are you hungry a lot? How hard is it? How much more are you going to lose?

The questions caught me off guard. Granted, four months earlier I was considerably overweight and out-of-shape, but I hadn’t made changes in order to look better or to achieve a goal weight. I committed to a new daily regimen to achieve increased creativity, improved productivity, better health, greater longevity and higher overall satisfaction. My weight loss was not an achievement, but rather a simple benefit. And while the questions posed by my coworkers were certainly understandable, I found myself initially disappointed by the assumption my slimmer appearance was the goal rather than a consequence of a more significant change.

Cervantes once asserted, ”The journey is better than the inn.” Similarly, it wasn’t the promise of a “nice tan” that ultimately got me to embark on this journey. It was recognizing the importance of maximizing the opportunity and value of the pursuit itself.

2 Minutes

You can accomplish a lot in two minutes…

When used wisely, two minutes is a lot of time.

Task Creativity

Hidden amongst the simple, routine tasks of your job are opportunities to create art—experiences that inspire, motivate and connect with others. The story of Johnny the grocery bagger is commonly shared to illustrate how you can make a difference by putting “your personal signature on the job.”

But there are numerous other examples:

David Holmes did it while making announcements.

Ericson Calderon did it while serving ice cream.

Matthew Weathers did it while teaching math.

Ryan Matthew Burgos did it while pouring drinks.

So do the task at hand and do it well. But if possible, consider turning it into art. Doing so may require some bravado, certainly a willingness to fail, and it may produce nothing more than embarrassment. That’s the risk.

But when it resonates, everyone—your customers, your coworkers, your friends and family, and most importantly, you—will enjoy the reward.

No Comment

When you go to an art gallery do you expect comment cards to be available next to each painting? When you buy a book do you assume there will be an opportunity to express your thoughts directly to the author? And when you watch a movie, are you disappointed if not given a means to immediately provide feedback to the director?

Probably not. Then why is a blog expected to enable comments?

I can see value in comments if there is a desire to foster an online dialog, an intent to build a community or an ambition to connect with a broader audience. But that is not the case with this blog. As I have stated before, the purpose here is to create personal accountability and exercise my mental faculties. Making it public and promoting it within my small network is nothing more than a motivation tactic.

Simply put, this blog is personal. And so, I have not enabled comments and most likely never will.

But that doesn’t mean I am not open to feedback, criticism or opposing viewpoints. If you want to show approval or appreciation for a post, click the “+” button next to the heart icon located to the right of the title. And if this is not sufficient, send me an email and we can have a one-to-one exchange.

Beyond that, I have no comment.

Personal Investment

An initial meeting with an investment advisor typically begins with a series of questions designed to find out what level of risk you are willing to accept.  Along those lines, consider the following investment scenarios:

A) You invested $50K in college tuition and after three years have received no visibility to how you have performed—no report card, no grades, no professor comments, nothing.  Are you willing to write a check for the fourth year and commit to another $50K for graduate school?

B) Over a five year period you invested $50K in a retirement plan that never provided visibility to its financial performance—no quarterly reports, no growth charts, no portfolio tables, nothing. How willing are you to continue giving them a portion of your paycheck?  Are you in for another $50K?

C) You invested $50K in a new business venture that never reported back to you its revenues or expenses—no cash flow statements, no profit-loss analysis, nothing. Are you interested in investing another $50K in this company?

Odds are none of these investment scenarios are attractive or appealing to you. Understandably, there is an unwillingness to invest in anything that lacks accountability or fails to provide visibility to its performance.

And this seems perfectly reasonable.  We shouldn’t assume simply attending classes will lead to graduation; and we shouldn’t assume blindly contributing to a 401k will yield enough money for retirement; and we shouldn’t assume a business is profitable simply because it keeps its doors open. To fully leverage an investment, we need visibility to its performance so we can continually evaluate its return.  And if that isn’t possible, we should be hesitant to invest more. Right?

So what about you? How much have you invested in yourself over the last few years? Let’s assume you’re working full-time and require another twelve hours each day for sleeping, eating and general health needs. That leaves you with roughly 2,300 discretionary hours each year to invest however you desire. Given the U.S. Census Bureau estimates median annual earnings for men working full-time in 2008 was $46K+, or roughly $22 per hour, means each year you have an opportunity to invest roughly $50K in yourself.

So how is that investment performing? Is it paying dividends? How do you know?

If you don’t, are you assuming showing up, blindly contributing and keeping your doors open will eventually provide you with a solid return? And if you weren’t willing to accept that level of risk in any of the scenarios above, what is different when it comes to your time?

I am no longer comfortable with such an investment strategy. I realize my time is limited, so I must invest wisely.

Collaboration 101

Wikipedia, flash mobs, stadium waves, Linux, lipdubs…all made possible by collaboration, an act of two or more individuals working together to produce or create something.

Recognizing 2MinuteGenius.com requires collaboration of numerous content creators (authors, bloggers, thinkers, graphic artists, musicians, filmmakers, etc.), I have embarked on a self-directed seminar course for the topic.  I have compiled a list a materials that can be viewed here.

Over the next few months I plan to spend the majority of my “free” time working my way through this myriad of information to help achievement of three goals:

  1. Develop subject matter expertise on collaboration
  2. Create a manifesto for the creation 2MinuteGenius.com
  3. Identify a recruitment strategy for content creators and “sneezers”

Wow…given these goals and my chosen image for this post, it appears as though I am starting a cult. Maybe I’ll soften the language a bit moving forward.

I have some “draft” posts that I will polish and publish over the next couple of weeks, but beyond that most posts will focus on collaboration related thoughts and concepts. Enjoy.

Neglected

I neglected the blog for the last two weeks.

I launched this endeavor at the end of January with a stated goal of three entries a week.  At this point I should have 27 published posts; this is #22.

What was lost? Certainly the development of five ideas. Perhaps one really great one. Maybe even a paradigm shifting one. But I can still pursue those thoughts in the near future. Ultimately what I lost is some of the momentum gained during the first 45 days. And each additional day of neglect makes it a little harder to resume writing.

Thankfully it is easier to resume a task than to start over.

Get Up

Quick quiz…why did you get up this morning?

  • Was it to survive (eat, drink, etc.)?
  • Was it to meet obligations (work, family, etc.)?
  • Was it to relate with others (spouse, friends, etc.)?
  • Was it to gain recognition (status, fame, prestige, etc.)?
  • Was it to realize your potential (innovate, inspire, inform, etc.)?

The further down the list you got, the more of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs you are aspiring to fulfill.

Tomorrow you will get up again. Why?

Unnoticed

As of this post, I have an audience of one—my wife. I have not made anyone else aware of this blog. And I don’t think it is necessary for that to change—yet.

I did not start it to make my voice heard. Nor to spread an idea. Nor to inspire others. Nor to build a following. Nor to make money.

I started it to create accountability. To force structure. To develop habits. To spur creative thought. To motivate personal change.

And so far, it is serving its intended purpose. During the last month I implemented numerous changes in my life: schedule, diet, exercise, routine, etc. There have been some successes (finished three books in three weeks after finishing one in the previous three years) and there have been some setbacks (snacking on rice krispie bars dipped in melted chocolate at 3AM). The goal is simply to take more steps forward than back. And the blog helps push me forward.

But.

To bring 2MinuteGenius to life I need to be heard. I need to spread my ideas. I need build a following. I need to inspire others. I might even need to make some money to cover costs.

And to do that, I need to be noticed.

So the blog will evolve to support this necessary shift in purpose. And as part of that effort, I have invited others to join my audience.

(If you accepted, thanks and welcome!)

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