Create Conflict and Disagree

Conflict is something that, like most people, I’m very fond of avoiding. Conflict is exhausting and makes most people very uncomfortable. Because conflict is rejection. And humans aren’t great at rejection. We like to believe we are absolutely fantastic in every way and get a bit cranky, to say the least, when someone dares to shatter that illusion.

If you’re at a dinner party, it’s not common practice to go around disagreeing with everyone's opinions. People don’t like being told their idea is stupid, who would have guessed?

But if we have an idea that has never been challenged, how do we know that it’s a worthy idea. We naturally assume it is majestic because nobody has ever bothered to tell us it isn’t.

I’m slowly coming around to what I like to call ‘positive conflict’. Actively seeking out conflict around my theories. Finding people that disagree with my ideas, opinions, and beliefs and getting them to argue their contradictory viewpoint.

I say argue but I mean it in the most philosophical way. This kind of conflict isn’t malicious

Malicious conflict isn’t worth anyone's time. And it’s important to understand the difference between malicious conflict and positive conflict.

Malicious conflict is when somebody wants to pick apart your idea without offering a constructive argument against it.

It’s like destroying that kids tower of blocks, then just leaving all the pieces on the floor and walking away laughing and rubbing your hands together basking in the glory of your evilness.

Positive conflict is destroying the tower of blocks so that you can show them how to build what you believe, is a better tower.

As soon as they’ve gone, we decide to knock the tower down. But maybe their tower has a really structurally sound base, so we keep that and use it in our next tower.

Positive conflict is a way of thinking something through, in a way you couldn’t by yourself.

This means looking for people who have different belief systems, thought processes, upbringings and past experiences who understand what you need from them. Who understand the difference between positive and malicious conflict.

It means resisting the urge to gravitate towards the people that are very similar to you at that dinner party. Instead, striking up a conversation with the crazy, eccentric, old uncle.

Because it is only through the process of having our ideas and opinions deconstructed and proved wrong, that we can see what can’t be proved wrong.

Thanks for reading..!

Money Making Ideas

If you’re just getting into the ‘entrepreneur thing’ then you’re probably all geared up to have a idea and start your business.

The struggle comes at the beginning of that process. The struggle is coming up with that idea that is actually going to make you money.

Personally I’ve found that a good place to start is scratching your own or somebody’s else’s itch.

Brainstorm over problems you or your friends face, then think of ways you could solve them.

Another great way to come up with good ideas is to get into the practice of brainstorming ten ideas every day. They might be terrible ideas, but at least you’ve come up with ten ideas.

Eventually, if you’re in the practice of coming up with ideas every single day you will stumble on a half decent one.

Thanks for reading..!

Writing Reviews For Money

I’m no stranger to the blogging world thanks to my Dad. Back in the good old days when blogs first started to become a thing he was already fully on the bandwagon.

We sat down together at the kitchen table and used one of those horribly slow ‘Build Your Website’ internet apps to customize my very own blog.

I tried to find the original blog so that I could link it here, but I think it’s been lost to the sands of the internet.

At the time, I was probably about eight or nine and I was obsessed with reading. I had moved into the realm of chapter books and have devoured all the Famous Five, Secret Seven, Hardy Boys, Three Detectives and Trixie Belden books.

Dad had started to buy me thicker and thicker books so that it was worth his money to purchase the book in the first place.

So we decided that my blog should be centered around book reviews.

He helped me with formulating a structure for my reviews, little did I know he was training me on how to write essays

I think I only managed to write three or four but around the third one, we realised we could hook up the reviews to Amazon or Fishpond. I can’t actually remember which one it was.

Anyway, we hooked it up and I wrote another few reviews then moved on to something else and forgot about my book review blog.

A couple of months later a actual real life check showed up in the mail, made out to a Miss T Smith for $34.40.

I don’t think I ever managed to write another review and my account with whoever was paying me has long expired, but I still remember that day as one of the proudest days of my life.


Grand Cookie Selling Escapade

After selling bookmarks for a two dollars each to my grandparents, and writing book reviews for Amazon I decided I needed to expand my enterprise somewhat.

So ten year old me set to work researching. My research involved sitting, cross legged, in my room with my arms folded stubbornly waiting for my billion dollar idea.

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Can You Teach Entrepreneurship?

So, after starting this blog I hooked it up to Google Analytics. It took a while to kick in, but yesterday I was able to finally view what data Big Brother Google had collected so far about this blog. The most interesting piece of data that stood out to me (the only graph I could actually understand) was in the query section.

The most commonly asked question that leads to my blog is: Can You Teach Entrepreneurship?

It makes sense, I’ve written a little on self-educating and one of the tags I use is entrepreneurship, like every other mildly business orientated blog in the world.

I’m extremely thankful to have grown up in an environment where an entrepreneurial mindset was always present. I’ve come from a long line of hustlers. Possibly some actual hustlers on my mother's side...But that still counts right?

I never thought that the entrepreneurial mindset was something that could be taught. You just had it or you didn’t. To be honest, I didn’t give it much thought.

But now I realize I was surrounded by people who were always working hard my whole life. And although they weren't shoving me behind a desk and giving me a workbook on things like, How To Generate A Passive Income, they were teaching me in the only way I think you really can teach entrepreneurship. By example.

My granddad was a Canadian immigrant who came to New Zealand without any of his extensive family. He employed himself as a door to door salesman selling brooms and vacuum cleaners to provide for his wife and two kids. The youngest of which was my Mum.

My Mum has had a long string of projects that she quietly started without much recognition from us. Then suddenly, a couple of months down the track with very little fuss from her we have all realized that her project is actually very successful.

She has never flaunted her success and will dismiss any suggestions she’s a creative genius with a wave of her hand as she happily makes dinner and does ridiculous amounts of washing.

Her latest project was a Kombucha making business. She got the idea from a children's book she was reading to my little brother. Googling what Kombucha was because she didn’t know she decided to give it a go. A couple of weeks later at a friends house, we tasted the first batch of SmithBros Kombucha . It was awful. Very lemony and bitter enough to make you screw your face up.

She stuck with it. Making batch after batch of Kombucha and batch after batch she refined the recipe until now, almost a year and a half later. It’s the best Kombutcha I’ve ever tasted. People from all around town order it by the bottles and even someone from a different island requested her Kombutcha making kit.

So maybe entrepreneurship can be formally taught. Or maybe it can’t. I still don’t know. But I do know that the best way to learn entrepreneurship is by example. So if you want to get into that mindset surround yourself with people who are making and creating and designing everyday.