Creation versus consumption

by Russ Hill on July 21, 2010

My summer of travel is mostly complete.  I will be blogging more regularly now that my schedule is returning to normal.

On my mind today is this idea of “creation versus consumption.”

I was talking to one of my former college roommates on the phone the other day.  It has been more than 10 years since we last spoke.  As we caught up he walked me through all the businesses he currently owns.  The list seemed to never end.  This long-time friend has done well for himself and frankly I wasn’t surprised at his level of success in various entrepreneurial ventures.

This former roommate seemed to never run out of energy when we were in college.  It’s obvious that he hasn’t changed.  The last few nights he and I have been exchanging some emails regarding a project we’re working on together.  I’ve been surprised at how quickly he gets things done.

That got me thinking.  This friend of mine has five children.  He’s more active than most in his community and religion.  He owns and operates more than half a dozen companies right now.

How does he get it all done?

The answer is his life is focused on creating, not consuming.

The most successful people I know are all alike in this area.  They are relentless in creating value all day.  Every day.  While most of the workforce simply puts in a certain numbers of hours every day at the job that provides them a paycheck, the very successful amongst us don’t concern themselves with hours but rather with creation.  Creation of things of value.

And, while most the workforce views their time away from the office as time to switch into a “consumption mode,” the very successful amongst us don’t flip that switch or change into that other mode.  They realize that when you are consuming you’re doing so at some level of expense to yourself.  When you are creating, you are increasing your wealth.

A good question to ask ourselves might be, how much time do I spend each day creating, and how much do I spend consuming?

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