A motivational keynote speaker who teaches businesses and parents how technology trends can enhance work and family life, I'm always thrilled to discover how profoundly new innovations have transformed thousands of lives. Providing speeches and training workshops at meetings and events and penning bestsellers like The Crowdfunding Bible and The Modern Parent's Guide series isn't just the realization of a lifelong dream, however. It's secretly an excuse to do what I love best: Constantly learning from today's brightest source of inspiration – individuals like you.
Among today's most-quoted technology analysts, I have been fortunate to see my work featured in dozens of outlets—from NPR to The Wall St. Journal—and I've served as an on-air digital lifestyle expert for all major TV networks.
But ironically, though I run new book publishing label READ.ME, appear as Sears Toy Shop's tech toy expert, and emcee conferences, even my wife can't explain what I do. Just between us, that's a good thing: No two days are ever alike, and all provide countless life and business lessons from everyday heroes whose stories are the ones that truly deserve to be told.
A newcomer to both Tech Goes Strong and Work Goes Strong, when not busy writing, I'm mostly serving as a combination taxi, manservant, and human chew toy for a small, but feisty child. But when I do put pen to paper, it's to dispel the common myth that old dogs can't learn new tricks. With readers and listeners having shared theirs for decades, I'm eternally humbled and flattered to have the opportunity to return the favor.
WHAT I KNOW NOW THAT I DIDN'T KNOW AT 20
Time is your most valuable asset: Spend it wisely, and consider the legacy that you choose to leave behind. Family, education, and life experiences matter far more than a paycheck. Remember that you can't take it with you. Asked to reflect back on their lives, few would ever say "I wish I'd spent more time at work."
Invest in yourself. Learn to say no, take time off, and make active contributions to your personal growth and well-being. Studies show that stopping to relax and recharge your batteries is far more effective then trying to power through 60-hour weeks. Go, travel, see and do: Step outside of your comfort zone, and strive to experience new people, places, cultures, and perspectives. Then give back and share with others.
Above all else, see further. The world moves quickly, and continues to become more hyper-obsessed with the immediate. To change your life, attitude, and situation, you need to focus on the bigger picture. Situations are temporary – but recognizing and reacting to them requires active decision-making. Step off the treadmill periodically: Otherwise, you can spend your whole life running, but not go anywhere.
WHAT I KNOW NOW ABOUT WORK AND TECHNOLOGY
As for what I know now about technology, which is what I cover for Life Goes Strong:
- Make technology work for you, not vice-versa. It's not about the latest gadget, app or social network – it's about how all can help you solve meaningful problems.
- In the high-tech world, newer doesn't necessarily mean better – nor is older necessarily wiser. Embrace change, but don't be a slave to it. Likewise, remember that tending the flame doesn't mean worshipping the ashes. Weigh all solutions on their own merits.
- Sometimes it pays to be a slow adopter. Let others pay a premium for new and shiny. You can always buy in after they've worked out the launch-day bugs.
- In business, cash is king, and a piece of paper is just that. Signed agreement or no, partners often renege on deals. Keep a year's worth of liquid expenses available at all times, and don't count your earnings until the check cashes.
- Entrepreneurialism isn't sexy – rather, it's a never-ending exercise in problem-solving. Even for successes, lengthy workweeks and endless hiccups are common. Then again, working to your own benefit sure beats making someone else rich.
My favorite Tech Goes Strong stories:
Crowd Funding Your Startup – Shows how anyone can start their own business overnight, regardless of experience.
How to Self-Publish Your Own Book – Why put off writing that novel? You can turn yourself into a published author overnight.
Kids and Technology: 10 Safety Tips – Essential online rules for grandkids and children growing up in the digital world.
Online Job Hunting Guide – Get yourself hired with these expert hints and tips for 21st Century job seekers.
Best Free Business Apps – As mentioned, it pays to put technology to work.