This is a great title, and idea. We have spent a lot of time over the previous CongRegation pieces writing around the idea of remote working, the future of work, and where it is all going to go. Personally over the last four years it has been a great, and rapid, journey. From aspiring to work remotely, to becoming in demand globally and being in a position to redirect my energies towards those projects that really interested me, and to just double down on these ones without having to take on as many (any hopefully) of the more prosaic, pay the rent, gigs.
In this context I have kept one loss leader activity going, even though it directly brings me in zero revenue. I guess it is important for us all to have some things that we do for fun, passion and interest rather than for the financial return it brings us. For me it is reviewing books. As my profile and ‘fame’ (LOL, within a very specific niche) has grown it is no longer necessary for me to even approach publishers to review their books, they just send them to me now. This is both my joy and bane now – as always be careful what you wish for. My own 11 year old daughter was able to quickly identify that they joy of getting packages in the post might dwindle quickly when you know they are going to be books about business, tech, innovation and such like. And yet, and yet, yes, it is still a joy, often, to get these newly published offerings. Because it is a potpourri of ideas. Some good, some bad, some boring, some derivative, some inspiration, some turgid and badly written. But even so, it is a regular influx of ideas.
We may have taken ourselves partially off the grid, away from the immediate hustle and bustle. It is of course only partially, you still having good and annoying neighbours, local life is still around you. BUT these regularly packages, brought almost Hedwig like, by carrier pigeon, courier or whatever magic it takes to bring them to us, keep a steady flow of ideas coming to our door. This is great, exciting, and important, to keep us open to a world that is rapidly changing. So many amazing things are taking place, and with the ability to share knowledge some much faster than it used to be we are living in exhilarating times. This flow, flood even, of ideas, is also our life blood to future proof our own careers, and our living opportunities. Events like CongrRegation themselves are also great because they expose us to so many different people, thinking and working on so many different things. The unconference approach ensures it is a level playing field and the smart way to get the most value is to listen and absorb what is being said around you. To hear, feel and consider the fantastic flow of ideas passing around and through you.
Some of the most relevant books for this context and conversation include Pivot by Jenny Blake, which was especially relevant as she spoke about how to keep future proofing your career in a fast changing world. Similarly Blockchain Revolution by the father and son team of Don and Alex Tapscott, was a great high level exposition of the potential use cases that opened up a whole new career for me personally. More recently Working in the Gig Economyhas been another smart source of thought provoking ideas too. Books remain a relevant way to take some downtime, off-line, screen free time for yourself and to keep up to date with the latest ideas too. See all of our latest book reviews here.