Connecting Dots with Denison’s Entrepreneur in Residence
Denison’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Robert Abbott gave a talk in the Red Frame Lab to students about the importance of intentionally connecting their dots, dots being the multitude of experiences that make up one’s life, positive and negative. Sharing stories from his own personal and professional trajectory and projects he’s engaged in, Abbott, a communication designer and entrepreneur, shared seven strategies for collecting dots:
- Be present. Listen. Abbott advised students to “fiercely edit what holds your attention, not allowing social media and technology to consume your time.” He emphasized that so often we waste our valuable dot collection on our cell phones. Thus, students need to be present and to intentionally direct their attention and focus on what matters.
- Be alone. Give yourself the freedom to be introspective, to think for yourself. With humans being so busy, they need to carve out time to think and to reflect.
- Be curious. Locally. Nationally. Internationally. Abbott shared that curiosity is about trying to deeply and fully understand something, to devour information.
- Make stuff. To create, to try things out, to master things, to fail. Abbott encourages students to tinker with things and to try them out.
- Make friends. Introduce yourself to others. Reach out to the people who you are different from. Build meaningful relationships. Get to know people.
- Ask for perspective, for help, for connections. Find leaders and mentors. Too often, we don’t follow up or take people up on their offers and a lot of goodwill goes unclaimed. We need to be active in building relationships.
- Ask why. Go deep. Understand how things do or don’t work. Understand how we got here. Take action.
Through these seven strategies, students will be able to connect and collect more dots, to live more fully. To do so, students need to keep their eyes open for opportunities and dots. He left students with one final piece of advice “Don’t waste your time connecting someone else’s dots,” stressing that your dots are your own and it’s your life.