Abhi’s Newsletter Vol 8: Ignore to focus 🧘‍♀️

Your ability to ignore non-value adding things, matters as much as your ability to focus on value-adding things. 

As we grow older, complexity of our life increases. This continues until retirement. We have to deal with peak work stress, caring for elders, 24×7 parenting, and more! At times this can feel like a game of whack-a-mole. 

At work, the curve is slightly different. As we grow up the ladder, the responsibility exponentially increases. You have to deal with diverse situations, challenges and stakeholders. Senior leaders often deal with many challenging situations every single day. How do we cope with this? The answer is, by doing fewer things really well and ignoring the right things. 

There is no better teacher than experience for honing this skill. Use your instincts, they are very good at separating noise from signal. If you have 6 meetings in a day, try to get out of the ones that you know are noise. Make a list of 1-2 top priority things you’d like to achieve in a day, a week or even a quarter! This can help you ignore, more brutally. 

Ps. Handle this with discretion! There are consequences to ignoring the wrong things!! 

Self-care is a stepping stone to self-actualisation. Self-care starts with the realisation that it’s not optional… 

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Reads of the fortnight 📖

Amazon ads as profitable as AWS 🤯?

This essay by Ben gives an interesting insight into how Amazon makes money. Amazon makes money primarily from 3 areas – it’s e-commerce business, it’s AWS franchise, and its ads business. It is well known that Amazon has for the longest period never shown profit on their P&L. In the last few years though we see modest net income shown. 

When we look under the hood, we see that Amazon’s ads business is pretty powerful. Best case scenario, it makes probably as much profits as AWS. This is not very well known. Its US business generates higher returns than the rest of the world. Also, it’s 3rd party marketplace business generates higher revenue / growth than its first party e-commerce business. Amazon turned over $ 450 Billion in 2019 if you exclude internal chargebacks. 

To conclude, Amazon is a bunch of businesses some profitable and some start-up and loss making but they all leverage a common balance sheet. Staying net cash flow positive, Jeff has leveraged profits from a set of business and used that to grow others creating a behemoth that we all know today. 

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Create an alter ego 🦇

Refer to yourself by any name or character, and have a conversation with yourself. This technique improves our ability to self-distance. You might wonder haven’t we had enough social distance already? But this technique helps us be more dispassionate and actually achieve a better outcome. This can help manage stress, anxiety as well. Research upon research has shown that this technique is used by pop stars, athletes and is effective with adults and especially effective with children. Batman begins? 

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