One thing I love about the internet is that someone is always working to bring you up to date information when you want it most. Additionally, it's becoming easier than ever to get your daily dose of motivation right at your fingertips.

I subscribe to a cool email newsletter called The Hustle, which is a daily e-mail that supplies you with the top stories in business and tech. They interview cool people, such as Tim Ferriss and a slew of other founders and influential people.

Something that Ferriss said in a recent e-mail blast of theirs struck me as genius, so I thought I'd share it with you. You may find yourself asking this question in the future, and having a clear idea of how to approach this task is key.

The question: What are your criteria for pursuing one project versus the other? And are they the same as when you were much younger?

His answer:

My criteria when I was younger were different, but I think my criteria now are better, and perhaps I would've made faster progress had I used my current criteria then.

I really subscribe to the Scott Adams approach, which he called "systems thinking." My simplified and slightly adapted version consists of two criteria. Number one: I'm choosing projects based on the relationships and skills they will help me to develop, so that even if that project fails, I am succeeding in developing relationships and skills that can transcend that project and apply to other things. Second: I have to feel a very visceral excitement about the project.

So, if I check those boxes -- develop skills even if the project fails, develop relationships even if the project fails, and make sure I'm very excited about it and it's something that I want to talk about or something that keeps me up at night with ideas flowing -- it's very difficult to fail.

Are you developing skills and connections?

As the years pass by, and you become more and more familiar with the business world, opportunities present themselves at the most unexpected of times. However, not all projects are worth your time. I was once offered the opportunity to produce my own makeup line. Although it was flattering, it didn't make sense to me. I am not passionate about makeup, so why spread myself thin trying to make it work?

When you're stuck between a rock and a hard place deciding over projects, ask yourself this, "Am I developing skills and connections even if the project fails, and am I excited about this project?" By using this method you put yourself into a win-win situation.

Either the project is successful, and you also gain all of these great relationships and experiences -- or it fails, and you still benefit and come out on top in the end. Not everything is black and white, sometimes there's a silver lining.

Published on: Sep 28, 2017
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