Thursday, March 5, 2009


My friend Rafael Rubio, who is organizing my tour in Uruguay, suggested the topic of “Crisimiento” for one of my workshps, which I’ve freely translated to Crowth. Crisimiento is a made up word in Spanish involving 'crisis = crisis' and 'crecimiento = growth'. I laughed because the word can be separated into 'crisis = crisis' and 'miento = I lie'. I guess the Venezuelan blood shows up in me sometimes. I leave it up to you to interpret … In English it seems though that Crowth can involve some crows, and once again, I leave it up to you to interpret.

This wealthdrop took form as I thought about my last trip to the US whilst going for a walk. I love walking, it clears my mind, releases endorphins –aka good mood- and keeps me in shape. Even in unknown cities I find a way to walk early in the morning; I get a sense of the environment, I imagine the decisions that were taken in the past, I recreate and compare worlds in no particular shape or form.

So, here I was, overlooking at the River in Perth, and thinking about the gloomy economy in the US. How can I send hopes and dreams, and the ability to make things happen? With the reality of our losses behind us, mine, yours, and others, the flow of the river kept me company. Watching the flow turned my thoughts from the past to the future: How can we improve, grow, innovate, and create? Do we need to do more? If so, of what?

Somehow the memory of a teacher telling me that I had to do more emerged, and something inside of me rebelled. People ARE doing more: more marketing, more efforts, more hours of work, more social networking, and networking activities, more studies to understand clients or potential clients, more sharing their curriculum, more giving freebies, more courses, reading more books, more and more and more ... That’s life in the US, a whirlwind of activity.

I also succumbed to it, hiring a consultant in Silicon Valley, I also want to achieve more, but I did not like his approach of doing more, work more hours, more networking, and put more effort. He sent an article on the best 100 sites for networking. By the time I’ve gotten down to the third I was already tired.

I prefer to optimize and simplify, leaving a space to build something new. His suggestions implied using more of my time to build up my speaking career: giving free workshops, producing a series of free reports, spending my nights networking at events. I rebelled to that approach having built several companies before. I know that working MORE does not necessary helps one ACHIEVE more. It reminded me of Henry Ford, yes, the visionary that created a car for the every day person, the founder of the same company that now makes more of the same hoping to achieve more of the same. Ford said: “if I had asked, people would have told me they needed faster horses.”

Back to my teacher, she tried in vane to convince me that to learn the 9 times tables, I had to recite them 20 times per day. My niece’s teacher uses a different approach, telling her to add the numbers… At an early age, I thought about doing something different: you multiply by 10 and subtract the number. Or a mathematical trick that my dad taught me: you subtract 1 from the number and add the difference to complete nine. So 9 x 6 = 54 (5 is 6-the number- minus 1, and 4 is what 5 needs to create a 9). Sharing these out-of-the-box ideas with my niece was absolutely magical: it feels absolutely divine to figure out unconventional ways of
getting results. She loved it. So did I.

The world seems to think that more is more… Let’s put more money into the system… I prefer to think that we are OVER doing more of the same to get MORE of the same. It is true that if we counted 9 times 9 we would get to 81, but I’ld like to think that if we subtracted 9 from 90 we would get there faster. We also thought that we would be healthier if we ate more, and we are now obese; that we needed to invest more and more we lost; that our economy was better if more people owned their homes, and more value was lost. Is MORE the answer?

Not for me. I do not want to learn to 'be' more, to 'give' more and to ‘have’ more. I want to learn and explore how to be 'better:' More efficient, more unique, more extra-ordinary. One of my talks in April in Guatemala, it is precisely this: how to reinvent companies. And I want to invite you to explore this for you and for us all.

The crisis is an ideal time to think about doing something different and unique. Let’s be more like ourselves and stop making more of the same. Let’s nurture our capacity to be extraordinary and spectacular. Let’s break the paradigm of doing more to achieve more.

That is what crowth is about.

1 comment:

Naman said...

'Putting in more'

More than personal choice it is the nature of this ever progressing corporate structure that demands 'more' from individuals.
Doing work the smart way and optimizing is essential, but alongwith this putting in more is also required. By putting in more the smart way you are going that extra mile in ensuring that you emerge victorious.
It is the 'extra more' that you put in occassionally that set you apart from others

Like you said It is not doing MORE of the SAME....that won’t get you there...
It is reflecting and thinking creatively and then proceeding on with the next challenge. It is about quality not quantity