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82. Why are you doing that? On the benefits of experimenting.

I’d been putting in a few months’ worth of time and effort in a side-gig when a friend and colleague asked, “Why are you doing that? What’s the end-game?”

At the time, I didn’t have a good response. I’m not sure, I told him, but I think it’ll help me in the long term somehow.

Interestingly, this scenario conflicts with everything we know about goal-setting theory, time management, and productivity. This literature would suggest that you need to have a clear and measurable objective, and then allocate your resources accordingly. Yet, still, my investment seemed worth it.

Although it might be counter-intuitive, we should still be experimenting with activities that help us learn something new and potentially open up new doors, even if it’s unclear why we’re doing it.

Everyone can benefit from this “entrepreneurial mindset.” Finding things that are related to your current activities, but different enough that they get outside your comfort zone can help you build new skills.

Additionally, if you run enough experiments, something is likely to gain traction. It might be in the form of a new network, new revenue sources, or something else. You just don’t know yet.

Keep experimenting. Even if you don’t know why you’re doing it.


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