I saw the other day that Facebook is quietly developing ‘soft robotics’ – flexible robots that move and act like living organisms.

It struck me that flexible robots that act like living organisms is fairly far away from Facebook’s stated mission:

Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

But it also struck me that R&D is a legitimate and noble act (even if it’s coming from a fairly ignoble company).

I know for me, I’ve always given myself a “personal R&D” budget to keep learning and growing as much as possible. Around 10 years ago, I gave myself an unlimited budget to spend on books. I figure that if I get one good idea out of a book, it will pay for the $10-$15 cost of the book many times over. It’s an awesome way to spend money, and you’d be surprised how much ROI it generates immediately. As an example, I’ve directly used books on negotiation to double and triple consulting revenue– Last year I bought a negotiation book for $25, and I immediately got a >2000% ROI on the book from just one new closed deal.

And I have recently expanded “personal R&D” to include courses, equipment, and conferences. I have also cultivated interests in areas like attachment theory and relationship counseling, in the hope they make me a better, more well rounded person. I just keep on learning. The older I get, the more urgent it is to me to keep growing and to keep changing…

So….DRUM ROLL….for 2019, I’m going to formally budget “personal R&D” into the Chancebending budget for the first time. I think it’s that important and valuable.

Have you considered “Personal R&D”? Would love to hear if you do and how it all goes (and if you build robots..)

-Ben

The book I read to get >2000% ROI on my $20 book investment

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