In the book “Algorithms To Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions,” I found a cool way to consider exploring vs. exploiting:
Exploring is trying or learning something new (restaurant, music, books, investments, workouts, diets, new businesses, etc.)
Exploiting is leveraging (benefiting from) what you found while exploring.
The important question to consider is when to explore vs. when to exploit.
From the book:
We have the expression, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” but perhaps we should also have its inverse: “Start learning new language or an instrument, and make small talk with a stranger, because life is long, and who knows what joy could blossom over many years of time.” When balancing favorite experiences and new ones, nothing matters as much as the interval over which we plan to enjoy them.”
An example discussed in the book was choosing between trying a new restaurant vs. going to one you love. The author’s conclusion was that we should try the new restaurant only when we have the opportunity to go back many times, if we find that we like it.
In other words, explore when you have the opportunity to leverage (exploit) what you find.
If you’re traveling for a short period of time and you see two restaurants, one you love and a new one you’ve never been to before, you should go to the one you love because you won’t have the opportunity to go back to the new restaurant. Because you cannot benefit from multiple future visits, you shouldn’t risk missing the restaurant you love.
However, if you’re at home and you have this same choice, you should try the new restaurant because you have the opportunity to go back whenever you want.
I found this approach to be extremely helpful in many areas of our lives.
We should look to try new experiences and learn new skills (explore), when we have ample time to benefit from what we’ve found and learned (exploit).
Younger people should explore everything. They should travel to new places, try new restaurants, experiment with new investment strategies, new business opportunities, try new jobs and go after different income opportunities.
The reason why is because they have a lifetime to exploit what they find during their exploration.
On the other hand, older people shouldn’t invest as much time exploring. They should focus more on exploiting what they already discovered in their earlier explorations.
I’m 49 years young. This means I (hopefully) have ample opportunity to exploit just about anything I uncover including news skills, new hobbies, new music, new relationships, new authors, new income-generation opportunities, new investment strategies, new business opportunities.
You have the same opportunities to exploit what you find, too.
Here are a few ways you might use this to your advantage:
- Study, analyze and test new business ideas. In a recent issue of my Cashflownaire Letter, I listed over 40 money-making ideas I had pondered that month. I ended up exploiting several of the ideas I had explored.
- Study, analyze and test new investment strategies for monthly cashflow. Why? Because you can benefit from the income you create for years to come. Pick one idea and test it out. Do your first investment and learn how it works. Sure you’ll make mistakes; however, once you’ve completed your first investment, you’ll have learned many valuable lessons that you can use with every future
investment you make. You’ll become a better investor and can exploit your knowledge and new skills for years to come.
- Read and learn as much as you can because you’ll be able to exploit the knowledge you acquire. Watch the awesome documentary titled, “Inside Bill’s Brain – Decoding Bill Gates” on Netflix. Bill Gates is a reading machine. Reading is another form of exploring. He uses this exploration to find ideas he can exploit.
- Get ripped (in the best shape of your life) now. Why? Because you can benefit from being ripped for the rest of your life. Getting ripped, and the related health benefits, provide long-lasting dividends. You’ll feel better. You’ll have more self-confidence and you’ll have a lot more energy.
- Try (explore) different hobbies now. Cooking, drawing, painting, paddle-boarding, sports, games, classes, clubs, treasure hunting, etc. Take an art class. Refinish an older furniture piece. Sign-up for an upcoming running/biking/swiming event in your area.
In a nutshell, don’t put off exploring new places, new business opportunities, new investments, new relationships, and new hobbies. The sooner you find things that make your life better, the more you’ll be able to exploit them.
For many years, I’ve wanted to learn a successful system for generating income in the stock market. In 2019, I finally started focusing on this investment opportunity and have made some real progress over the last few months. As I get better with this little system, I’ll be able to exploit it for decades to come. I’ll also be able to teach it to my children so they can exploit it, too.
I’m sharing this because I’m trying to apply this advice myself. I’m always exploring new workouts, new ways of eating, new books, new business ideas, new marketing ideas, new investment ideas, new friendships, and new experiences.
What I’ve found is this process of exploring and exploiting makes life fun. There’s always something to new to learn and experiment with. There’s always something to improve. There’s always something amazing coming your way.
NOTE (1): I’ve shared my new system for generating income in the November Issue of my Cashflownaire Letter… so that my Members have the opportunity to explore and exploit these ideas, too. The membership is currently closed for new members; however, you can join the waiting list here and I’ll let you know when I open the doors for new members.
Note (2): In EVERY issue of my Cashflownaire Letter, I share the 30-day Badass Challenge I’m doing for the month. These 30-day challenges give us the opportunity to explore new things. If we find that we benefit from the challenge, we can continue doing the challenge going forward. These challenges really are all built around exploring and exploiting. You might want to explore the idea of doing your own 30-day challenges!