The world changed. It sped up, became crowded, and interconnected. To navigate our world, we must think different, we must think bigger!

You no longer compete with the business down the road, you compete with businesses across the globe. The same can be said for jobs, financial opportunities and scarce resources.

Of course your area of opportunity expanded as well. Now you can do business with down the road and across the globe. If your local job market isn’t going well, there is nothing to stop you from applying for a job based in Spain.

 The tools you need are simple: a computer and internet connection. That smart phone in your pocket counts, the bank of computers at the public library also counts.

Why not launch your own global corporation today.

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It is really not hard to gain “Likes” and “Friends” and such. Most the time you click a button and BOOM, more. But unless you know the person on the other end on that click, you have only gained an opportunity to connect. That is the hard part. Why? Because it is scary to connect with people.

To connect you have to take a chance of rejection. It works like this; “Hi my name is David. Do you want to be my friend? Do you like tacos, I love tacos.” to which the other person my respond with utter silence. They may say no I don’t want to be your friend. But they may respond; “My name ________. Sure I’ll be your friend, I love tacos. Let me introduce you to some of my other friends.”

Today it is more important than ever to connect, really connect with people. The opportunity to do so is much greater than in the past. I can reach out to someone on the other side of the world. We can build a relationship and make great changes in the world. Or it could lead to a game of chess over email.

Sure it is scary to try to connect. But we have to do it. So here is my challenge. Start going through your connections, read their profiles, visit their websites and blogs, everything they are willing to share and then reach out and say hi. Connect with them. The opportunity we have been waiting for could very well be in our address books right now.

Our thoughts dictate our actions.

The things you do or don’t do determine what clients, coworkers, and family think of you.

When our talk doesn’t match our walk, we have a huge problem and a grand opportunity.

There is an old saying that goes something like this;  “You are what you think of, all day long.”

So what are you thinking about?

You have talent in your business that you are neglecting.  If you continue you will lose them.  They will either leave for a place that will use the talent or they will shut down.  At least if they leave you can find substitute talent to ignore.  If they shut down you have dead talent that will never be realized.

But wait, if you are reading this and saying “That’s right, my talent is wasting away”,  then take action to find a way to cultivate your talents.  Don’t let them die.

For a while now I have been spreading myself too thin. I have been trying to write a blog, keep my Twitter feed full of witty links, keep up with connections on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, learn new skills, work a forty plus hour a week job, and give my family the time they should have. That’s not to mention all of the little things that I don’t feel like writing down.

I am not complaining. Having things to do is a big part of life. But I have come to a realization that not everything on that list is of the same importance.

One of the lessons I learned from reading The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, is to achieve the life I want, I must focus my energies on the most important areas and fly higher than I have in the past. What is important? My family, my faith, learning new things, work that provides joy and freedom.

It is not a big list nor a particularly long list but it is my list. To achieve the goals I have in those areas means I have to not do other things. It is the old economic problem of the fish and coconut. I’ve decided to build the net to catch more fish.

Here is what this looks like in real life at 20,000 ft:

Get up early work on the dream, produce art and ship.

Use lunch to further the dream.

Family time is family time, there is no need to try to multitask.

Focus on the family. There is plenty of time at night to read instead of watching television.

Make time to practice my faith.

The ground level view of working the dream looks something like this:

Focus on the areas of work that make the most difference. For most people that means less time on Facebook and Twitter and more time working on projects. It means you have to launch. I like to write and work with graphics. That is where my focus is going right now. Perhaps you want to launch a community project in your neighborhood. Do it.

We have a limited number of resources, so we must use them wisely. Why not use them to advance your dream? Why not use them to make art? Why not use them to connect?

Email addresses are extremely valuable.  Do not betray the trust of those who give them to you.

My love for art and design began in Mrs. Kaufman’s second grade class. On the bulletin board in the back of the room she would carefully staple a piece of art with the name of the piece, the artist name and the year it was produced. Our assignment was to walk to the back of the room look at the art and then write a one page report about the artist.

What soon became evident to me was that these artists were exceptional in their field or broke with the norm and did something original. Some of the artists died in poverty because no cared until they were dead.

Today anyone can be an artist. All you need is a laptop and connections You simply create your art and share it with the world. But the same rules apply, you have to produce exceptional art or completely new art. Fortunately you and I are not bound by geography. We can search for our audience anywhere in the world.

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