Oct 222009


Alright I’m filing this one under ‘business details’ because it has to do with, well, business I guess.

How do you define efficiency? What about effectiveness?

I learned some really interesting lessons last night and I met someone who I really admire and who has some amazing potential for what he is doing but has not discovered how to be effective. Let me explain. But first, some background:

I went to an entrepreneur meetup group last night in SF – something I try to when I can because of the knowledge I can generally suck up from people – and they were having a talk given by someone who left his job a few years ago and has been living an extreme example of the mobile lifestyle for the past couple years. He basically works as a consultant for all number of things, and drives to multiple towns, meeting people and expanding his personal network through face-to-face contact. I don’t think he makes much money, but what he has done allows him to live on a lower income. For example: he sleeps in his car often, uses a gym to shower at, and, being an engineer, has systems set up for where he shops and when all in order to significantly minimize his costs.

I mean, the guy is really incredible – the extent to which he has gone to facilitate his mobile lifestyle is beyond impressive. I loved hearing his stories and think that he should absolutely blog on a regular basis because even though not all of his lessons and systems will work for most people, they are just fascinating.

He has become incredibly efficient at what he does – which is meeting people face to face, possibly performing some computer-related jobs for them, and traveling and living in different towns on a very low budget. I don’t know that I could ever implement the systems he has created to generate such amazing efficiencies in stretching his cash to the maximum.



But is he effective?

If what he is doing is trying to generate an income to allow him to live his chosen lifestyle is the manner most aligned with his values and needs, I would have to say no. He’s truly an engaging guy and incredibly earnest about what he is doing, but it feels like what he is doing is tantamount to being a door-to-door salesman today in the internet and information age. No matter how good a door-to-door salesman is at getting his prospects converted into buyers, he will never be able to reach the volume of people the internet allows one to reach these days. He may have a prospect—>buyer conversion rate as high as 50% (incredibly high) but if he can only visit 30 people each day he will never be as effective at generating revenue as someone with a website collecting 5,000 visits a day with a 2% conversion rate.

And so last nights speaker got me thinking. How can I be effective in what I am doing? He certainly could by leveraging the internet, blogs, and social media to enhance and grow his personal network all across the United States and the world. And the best part is, he could do it no matter where he travels.

I wish I had as clear an idea for myself as I do for him. Oh, well, I did just discover that when you google “Aaron Burke” this blog is the #2 result. I guess I am very effective at being me. Or am I efficient? Damn.

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