One of the joys of researching, writing and designing Book Rapper is that I learn as I create. I need to understand what I’m writing about to be able to share the key ideas simply and quickly. One of my key strategies is to look for the underlying principles.

And in our latest issue ‘Mobilize Me – Why Mobile Computing is the Key to Your Future‘, one of the biggest and most important principles for personal and business growth emerged.

Here it is…

The key to growth is to create a surplus.

Michael Saylor - The Mobile WaveIn Michael Saylor’s book [easyazon-link asin=”1593157207″ locale=”us”]The Mobile Wave[/easyazon-link] he talks about the three human revolutions: agriculture, industrial and information.

And the key driver of each revolution was a change in energy use. Agriculture was the use of nature through wind, water and animals. Industrial was the use of mechanical energy through oil, coal and steam. And, now information energy (our ability to make decisions and take action) is enhanced through computing power.

There are two factors at work here.

The first is the new technology. The waterwheel, the steam engine, the personal computer…

The second is what this technology provides.

The Agricultural Revolution revolved around natural energy and we started growing crops. This meant the men didn’t have to be out chasing food all the time so they had time to do other things. Some of this ‘surplus’ time was spent going to the footy, drinking beer and starting wars. As men naturally tend to do. And, some of this ‘surplus’ time was also used to think, reflect and ultimately create new things.

The new things created new ways to leverage resources and so on… The spiral of growth continues.

To achieve personal and business growth there are two key surplus items you need. The first is profit of money. The second is time.

Money

A business profit is the surplus of income over expenses. And, this is the key to growth.

It’s the fundamental, core, intrinsic idea of a business. Create a profit.

A not-for-profit organisation is a misnomer. They’re really profit making companies that simply don’t distribute the profits. This is a big psychological difference and a key to why many ‘charities’ remain victims to their own cause and fail to grow.

Personally, a surplus is often called savings. And, we need to make a profit otherwise we can’t afford the holiday, to buy a better computer or attend that course to learn more.

 Time

We also need to make a profit or surplus of time to enable us to grow. In other words, improve our productivity or our effectiveness and efficiency.

Very simply, if I can save 5 minutes on a task, I then gain 5 minutes to spend some where else.

And, ideally, this time save can then be applied to creating more surpluses.

At a business level surplus time is often called ‘innovation’. 3M and Google are two famous examples of companies who deliberately give their employees ‘surplus or profit’ time. Both allow their employees one full day a week to work on their own thing. And, that’s why they’re both so innovative and continue to grow.

Personally, this surplus time is called ‘learning’.

Personal Life

There are two fundamental surpluses in your personal life and business: Time and Money. And therefore, two goals to create personal and business growth.

  1. Create ways to be more productive – by saving time on one task you gain more time for another.
  2. Create ways to be more profitable – by making more money in one part of your business you gain more money to invest and leverage other opportunities.

Several questions for you to consider:

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