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I have many potential projects on my plate, but I’m not sure which one to focus on next

Opportunity Junkie

OPPORTUNITY JUNKIE@2x

The Context

Any good data officer worth their salt will tell you, stop wondering what you think and start asking what you know. Move away from hunches and instinct and closer to fact. Of course, not everything we did had to be comfortably quantified, but for us right brainers and blue sky thinkers in the marketing department, it's a helpful exercise to objectify your strategy as much as possible. One practice for doing so is converting principles into algorithms. Dalio, the legendary investor and one of the richest men in the world, defines principles as fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life. He explains that this invaluable process of converting principles into algorithms allows us to analyze our situations more objectively and make smart, informed decisions based on evidence. In short, know who you are, and let that tell you what to do. Identity based creation.

The Tool

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Opportunity Junkie

OPPORTUNITY JUNKIE — A filter that evaluates the asset value of a potential new project or endeavor

It's hard to decide which project to tackle next. For more expensive and more complex opportunities, you might want to use a more sophisticated framework. Consider making a calculator takes into consideration the creative, existential, strategic and financial implications of your opportunity. It could allow you assign a numerical value to a variety of interesting variables. Then, the filter could populate an opportunity score out of one hundred. And based on how high or low that number is, you can effectively decide whether or not to proceed with your project. The point is, it doesn’t matter which tools you use to evaluate the asset value of a new opportunity. What’s important is training your brain to execute against your own value system. What’s important is choosing projects that are worthy of the person you are.

As an artist and entrepreneur, every few years I find myself hovered in the purgatory between ecstasy and exhaustion. It’s that dreaded existential whiff of meaninglessness as I stand in the void between projects. If you have ever been there before, it can be quite difficult to tell the difference between an exciting new endeavor and an unhealthy response to anxiety. Unless you have an algorithm based on your principles. Junkie is my filter that does precisely that. It evaluates the asset value of a potential new project. Before starting something, four categories of principles are considered. Creative, existential, strategic and financial. And within each are several statements to be ranked from one to five. Here are a few examples. Creative. This opportunity involves creating something from whole cloth. This opportunity allows me to learn new skills. Existential. This opportunity makes my insides come alive. This opportunity infuses me with feelings of satisfaction and pride. Strategic. This opportunity creates a spike in my credibility. This opportunity grants me access and exposure to new markets. Financial. This opportunity increase my earning potential. This opportunity represents long term business potential. At the end, the computer spits out your opportunity score. And depending on that number, you know how to proceed.

The Rest

Remember, opportunity is as real an ingredient in business as raw material, labor or finance, but it only exists when you can see it. Know who you are, and let that tell you what to do. Convert your principles into algorithms and watch what happens. What filter helps you evaluate the asset value of your next project?

The Benefits

Create meaningful work that’s aligned with your values
Overcome the depression of creative limbo between projects
Analyze your circumstances objectively and make smart, informed decisions
Discern the difference between an exciting new project and an unhealthy response to anxiety

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