Building A Backlog Of Opportunities

The amount of information we’re exposed to in this current reality is overwhelming. We are not built to process such enormous quantities and in order to survive, to make a little bit of sense of this chaos, we rely on various tools.

We either delegate the task of information processing to professional actors (like media, or influencers, which we tend to trust), or we filter out by focusing on very narrow fields (most of the time related to our jobs or our hobbies).

The standard strategy when it comes to information processing is “let’s get good enough at this”. It makes sense, given the amount of data. But it’s also limitative and it doesn’t serve well our financial resilience goals.

I found out, in time, that there is a way to maximize the profits we get from data processing, with minimal overhead.

Beyond these pompous words there’s a very simple approach: learn stuff that’s useful, even if you can’t use it right now. The last part is extremely important: even if you can’t use it right now.

Also, equally important, learn stuff that can tick two boxes: you like it (important), and it can generate over average income (even more important). For instance, you may like Latin, or Human Design, but the income generation power of these skills is relatively small, because the need for them is limited (for different reasons, though).

An Example, Please?

Suppose you’re a software engineer. It makes sense, then, to start learning a little bit about cryptography and wet your feet in cryptocurrencies. Or, you may start learning some 3D modeling software and wait for gigs in real estate, or even genetics (a lot of 3D modeling goes around in genetics, mind you).

So, by leveraging your primary skills into neighbor niches, you actually increase your hireability surface. I don’t know if “hireability” is an actual word, but if it isn’t, I think it should be. It describes your ability to be hired, to provide services in exchange of rewards, in a consistent way.

This approach works equally well in other, less spectacular niches. Suppose you’re working as a cook on a cruise ship. Not a very fancy job, and especially tiring. Well, while you’re at it, you could start learning things like: other languages, basic navigation, soft skills (from attending to passenger needs) and so on and so forth. You may not use those right away. You’ll be too busy cooking and that’s ok, as it pays your mortgage (or whatever needs you may have).

But it also builds a backlog of opportunities.

Should a global pandemic, like Covid-19, hit, you will obviously lose the cook job because there will be no more cruises, but, because you learned some basic soft skills, you may start an online counseling aside, that will complete your revenue as a cook for the takeaway shop you’re forced to work in now.

Or, should a massive increase in cruise ships will drive the competition for the cook position too fierce, you can always quit being a cruise ship cook and try navigation, by renting a small boat and sub-renting it as an Airbnb experience. Just an example.

The bottom line is that building a backlog of opportunities works better than overspecialization. The odds for keeping the same job for 20-30 years are smaller than switching jobs every 4-5 years (if you’re lucky) and take advantage of complementary niches.

The goal of financial resilience is not to become a millionaire by investing in your pension fund, but to survive whatever shock this crazy worlds has in store for you.

2 thoughts on “Building A Backlog Of Opportunities”

    • A pension fund is just an investment, like any other investment. It carries the same risks. Putting too much emphasis on a single investment will narrow your options, I reckon.


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