December 9

Coffee with Mike- The Right Stuff

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I've been listening a lot about- I heard I heard a guy give a talk actually at Google, and he was talking about what's the difference between news and information, so I wanted to steal a little bit of his thought- his name is N.T. Wright, he's actually a theologian and for some reason Google brought him in, and I thought it's fantastic talk. So, long story short is that I've been thinking a lot about that too because, I deal with a lot of information and you know, you tend to think that, if you're a researcher, that the more information you get, the better off you're going to be. But, pretty soon you just find yourself buried with all this information on top of it. You don't know what to do with it with any of it, and you don't know where to begin again. So, I've been thinking a lot about that, so I just want to take a little bit of that and apply it to what we do here. 

I think that when people are trying to make some financial decisions, they believe that if they got some more information, they'd be able to make a better decision. Because of the internet, we've got you know Google search. We can search whatever we want and get all this information back, and that's fine- that's good, actually, if we know how to sift through all that information and keep what we're supposed to keep for us. Like, what's different about our lives; what's different about our thinking; what's different about our values; what's different about our plans; so that we're actually keeping the right information. 

Whereas, someone else might be thinking the same thing about their stuff, and their plans, and all their their circumstances. So, they would keep different information than we would, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep what we're keeping, and they shouldn't have what they're what they're keeping. We're both keeping the right piles of stuff. It's just it's different because we have a different mission. That's the thing about 'how do you know that the information you're collecting, of all the information you're collecting, what's the right stuff to keep for you?'  

So I heard this talk and I thought there was a really good example of it, and here's what he said: back in the year 31 AD, Octavian and Marc Antony were coming to an end of this rebellion. Octavian was the emperor, and Marc Antony and Cleopatra wanted to wrest rule from him. Long story short is Marc Antony loses. Octavian realizes that Marc Antony has all these followers, all these supporters. So he does them a favor and he says, 'look, I've won. I'm going to be in Rome in a few years. I'm coming back, maybe two, three years, and when when I get done cleaning up all the stuff I gotta clean up around here, make sure everything else in the world is doing well, then I'll come back to Rome. So you supporters of Marc Anthony in Rome have a chance to make up your minds. What do you really want to do? Do you want to continue to support him, or do you want to support me? You get to you get to choose, but when I get back to Rome, I'm definitely going to take care of business.' That's the way that it was described.

I think that's a really good example. So he said, "you know, a lot of times we get news, and we see that the news- there's this news that whether we consider to be good news or bad news, it definitely is news. In other words something's happened to change the world, and whether we like what's happened or not, the world has changed. So we have a chance to respond to it, or don't respond to it. However we're going to respond to it, we have a chance to think about it, because that change probably isn't complete. It's like something started to change, and now as time goes on, that change is going to continue to evolve into whatever it's going to turn into, and we're caught in the middle of what we've heard, and what we are think we're going to see, and what actually is going to happen. 

So we have this time gap, this time gap to make a decision of, 'how are we going to respond to the change?' Do we want to respond at all? Do we just want to ignore it? Do we want to capitulate to it? Do we want to fight against it? I mean, what do we want to do with the change? It makes a big difference in how you see your future, and how you see your future makes a big difference in how you see your current situation, your present. That's what I thought really was interesting to me. To bring that into play for me personally, I had read something about a guy who founded Intel, and these microchips that they're making. He made a comment, he said, "the more transistors we can fit on a microchip, the better a computer is going to work. The better a computer is going to work, the more things that it's going to be able to do. The more things that it's going to be able to do, the more jobs, the more human jobs, it's going to replace." 

He said that back in 1965. I thought that was really- that caught my attention, and I began to notice: what parts of my business do I see computers taking over? What parts of my business have computers already eliminated the human element? Now it's just a push the button and I began to realize, 'man, things are happening, changing in my industry, and if I want to stay ahead of this wave, I need to think about changing now. I need to think about adapting now. I can't wait for this to overcome me before I respond, I'm going to do something about it now.' But I can't panic. I can't just do anything. I've got to do what's best. I've got to do what's best for me, and I gotta do what's best for my business, and I have to do it within this context of what's happening in the world. 

I think that's true for just about everybody. All of us have changes that are being imposed upon us. Some of those changes are coming in our jobs. Some of those changes are coming in the way that we do school. Some of those changes are coming in the way that we actually conduct our personal business. There's changes being imposed upon us and we see a lot of that going on right now with COVID-19, with some racial injustice- a lot of racial injustice concerns, and just the way the economy is working. 

Because of all those things, and this change is being imposed on us, and I think that for us to stand up against it and say, "I'm not going to change, I want it back the way it was," probably isn't as fruitful as it could be for us if we began to say, "maybe all this change, even though we didn't seek it, although we really don't want it, because it's being imposed on us, maybe it can help us. It can help us by making our lives a little bit more simpler. It can help us by helping us make new connections. It could help us by thinking a little bit differently about how the future is going to act, or going to demand that we act." 

"...we have this time gap, this time gap to make a decision of, 'how are we going to respond to the change?' Do we want to respond at all? Do we just want to ignore it? Do we want to capitulate to it? Do we want to fight against it? I mean, what do we want to do with the change?"

If we just begin to say, "hey, this change is already happening. It's not like we can stop it from happening, it's happening." We have no idea what it's going to look like down the road, so we're not trying to guess where it's going to go. All we're trying to do is say, "how do we get on top of this wave and ride it? Where's our surfboard that we can climb on top of as this wave comes through?" And we get on top of it and ride it, rather than try to swim it out and get swallowed up by it. I think that's our opportunity. We're going to see that happening in the investment industry. We're going to see that happening because people around the world are responding differently to COVID, which means that their industries are responding differently, which means their production is being is responding differently, which means their availability is going to be different, which means their prices are going to be different. 

Things are going to be different, and we're going to have to know how we are going to adapt. We don't have to do wholesale changes, but we don't have to do a wholesale rejection of the change that's coming. I just want to urge you that, as I think through my business and about how we can serve you better in the midst of this change, maybe you could help us understand that by you telling us what's happening in your world the way that you're doing business? The way that you're doing family? The way that you're doing school? What do you need? What kind of life preservers or what kind of equipment do you need to be able to make this adaptation little bit easier, a little bit quicker, and with a little bit more confidence.

That's what this is about, that's what we're about. We're trying to help you figure that out as we go along. It's all about making decisions, and it's all about taking the information we get and knowing what to do with it, and doing not just what's best for everybody, because that's impossible. Everyone's got a different outcome, so doing what's best for you. Let's figure out that. What's best for you right now to make this, to ride out this wave and make sure that you're doing the best you can with it.

If this has been helpful to you then I hope that some other things that we have available will be helpful to you as well. We've got a website, www.allaboutfers.com. Go to that website, take a look around, see some tools that we have available for you. We're adding tools all the time and if there's something there that's missing, or something there that you wish you knew more about, and you just want to send us a question, please feel free to email us. We will be glad to respond. We're happy to be available to you, and thank you for listening to us. We're glad that you made yourself available to us, we want to we want to return the favor. 

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