Rising Above The Noise

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In every generation there is what is hippy, what is trending, what is getting all the attention and making others look not smart enough. And it varies also by profession and social circle. When Warren Buffet was starting his career, it was the Wall Street. All the money in the investment world seemed to be only there and everyone trying to hit it somewhere else was swimming against the tide and working harder for every dollar they earned. And quoting him --
"If a graduating MBA were to ask me, ‘How do I get rich in a hurry?’ I would not respond with quotations from Ben Franklin or Horatio Alger, but would, instead, hold my nose with one hand and point with the other toward Wall Street."

In Nigeria now and the business field and youth social circle, it is applying for startup competitions and seeking external (angel or venture) funding. And unfortunately for those of us without that mindset, it works and looks great. The same guy you saw at a tech event building something only a tech investor will buy, something most people won't even use let alone pay for, then six months later you hear he has gotten a $50,000 funding. He got into some startup competition and won. He sure deserves it, the only issue is he makes the rest of us look very not smart and working too hard for whatever we get.

image: roxics.com

I call these trends noise. They make you lose sight of the signal. They are loud, dominating and can be very rewarding. Like coming up with a business idea just for YouWIN and not because you really wanted to do the business or even plan to do it after winning. They make the ones sweating in the field look dumb and on a long course.

So as you can see, noise is not bad except for the unlucky ones. When you ride it you can become rich with less stress. The only trouble with noise is that it doesn't stay forever. That's why no one in Wall Street is as rich as Warren Buffett. They have to keep spotting and trying to ride each new noise. Noise can't sustain you went you hit a hard time. Noise can't keep you in the game when all the hype is gone. Only following the signal have long lasting effects. Having a fundamentally sound reason and passion for your business can keep you going when the music stops or changes. You have to rise above the noise.

They are a super lucky few who have the noise amplify their signal. They have hit the jackpot of having a genuine passion and sound reason for a business that is winning competitions and bringing in free money (money not realised from sales, extraordinary income). But over the long term there wouldn't be much difference between the business that got free money and the one that didn't as long as they were both well managed. If you rise above the noise and latch onto the signal, you will always come out on top. The cream always rise to the top.


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