Before you can seriously start practising a new skill, working hard at a new project or even start thinking about a new enterprise/opportunity/career move, you should start by asking yourself The $64,000 Question :
What interesting problems do I need to solve? Or what interesting problems will this new skill/new project/ new job allow me to solve?
I regularly use this question as a sort of compass that points me in the right direction.
As an example, I recently decided to teach myself to code in Ruby On Rails. Now unlike a lot of people learning to code, my starting point was not – which language is the most employable in 2015, or which language will allow me to earn the highest salary. (I dont need to code for a living)
My starting point was what interesting projects/apps would learning Ruby On Rails allow me to create vs learning another similar language (i already know JAVA/C++ via a CS degree from a very long time ago…).
When we started our bottling plant/soft drinks business, the challenge for me was not how do we make lots of money (although that is great if you can get it!), it was how do we solve the problem of competing in one of Coca-Colas ten largest global markets? How do we get brand recognition when our entire annual sales was less than half of Coca Cola South Africa’s marketing budget?
The key to asking and answering “What interesting problems do i need to solve?” is to pay attention to every last detail that this question demands, so that you can pick the right kind of goal.
Here are some guidelines for picking the right area to focus in: