In talking about education in America and the new world economy, he suggested we ponder the serious question: “What world are we living in?”
This discussion is one he addresses in his new book: That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back.
What World Are We Living In?
Good question. He certainly got me thinking about competition and the economic environment we live in today. He went on to define it.
“We’re living in a “hyper” connected world which means employers have more access to more machines, more software, more robots and not just more access to cheap labor, but cheap genius, from anywhere in the world. And this is posing a huge challenge to our workforce.
He continued, “Everyone needs to start thinking like an immigrant or an artisan. An immigrant thinks: ‘nothing is owed me. I don’t have a place at Harvard waiting for me. I better understand the world I’m living in and boy, I better work harder than the next guy because I have nothing else going for me.”
Think Like An Artisan
Friedman added, “And everyone needs to start thinking like an artisan. Before mass production, artisans were so proud of what they were doing, they carved their initials in it. When you are doing your job today, think of the artisan.
Everyone needs to bring their “extra” because average is officially over.”
When you own a small business, you set out all excited and professional with the best intentions and a perfect vision.
Then work happens.
You have research to do, financing to raise, meetings to attend, products to manufacture, sales to make, clients to please, colleagues to appease, websites to develop, conferences to attend, reports to read, podcasts to hear, decisions to make…the lists goes on and on.
You’re exhausted at the end of the day.
There’s Never Enough Time.
In other words, entrepreneurs can become easily overwhelmed by their busy schedule. Unfortunately, being overwhelmed wreaks havoc on your perfect vision and good intentions.
Before you know it, you start accepting less-than so you can just get-‘er-done.
You begin to justify to yourself why that’s okay. And sometimes it is – you may not have a choice if you’re up against a firm deadline and need to move forward.
Sometimes, though, being busy becomes a crutch. Excuses can always be found when needing to justify less-than deliverables to yourself and others.
Listening to Thomas Friedman served as a good reminder for me to stay true to my vision — and work extremely hard to achieve it — so I stay proud of my work.
Are you prepared to carve your initials in your work creations? I am.
Live and Learn.
We’d love to hear your perspective!
How do you think you compete in today’s global economic marketplace? Are you proud of your work this year? What changes can you implement or intentions can you set today so you do better work tomorrow?
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It only takes a second, but it makes a huge difference to me!
~ by Connie Hammond ~