This week on Shareable, we’re sitting down with Chris Sparks. Chris is a professional poker player turned productivity and technology guru. As founder of The Forcing Function, Chris works with entrepreneurs by giving them the tools to master the systems they work for maximum effectiveness. His book, Inflection Point, demonstrates his approach to productivity and self improvement. In this episode of course, we’re talking poker. But we’re talking more than that. Because believe or not, the skills in poker can be applied to entrepreneurship and understanding technology. In today’s world, technology is everywhere; it’s everything. How can we stay self-sufficient despite this? How can we utilize technology to our advantage? Ultimately, Chris shares that the systems we choose to interact with, technologically or not, are determined by our values. Because of these choices, we will be subject to even more choices within that system. This means finding a balance between technology and real life, for example. Take a listen; you won’t be disappointed and you must just rethink how you are spending your time.
Running time: 33:56
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On one hand, the skill hands are different. It’s very situation dependent in person; you’re using your senses and going off of that. Online, though, you’re still interacting and connecting. You can still sense the other person energetically. In some ways, this gives you an advantage. It’s more intuitive. Online allows you to pick up on the repeated patterns; you can begin to pick up on areas where your opponent isn’t confident and base your moves off of that.
How much has poker influenced what you do with the information you find? (7:10)
These days, there is no lack of information. The biggest problem isn’t a lack of ideas, but rather, what to do with those ideas. Poker has given me a model of expected value; which states that every piece of information has an inherent value based on the situation at hand.
The formula it follows is: the chance it is successful multiplied by the expected value if it is successful.
Ultimately, we could be doing anything in any moment. However, also in every moment there is something that is most limiting us from reaching our goals. Identifying the patterns that most affect the people on the path you’d like to be on can you help you understand how you can be on that path too. It helps you be intentional in the direction you choose to go.
So, what’s more important given this model: time management or priority management? (9:38)
The truth is, we do have the time to do that thing we claim not to have time for. The reality is, it’s just not one of our priorities. Start thinking about your time like a portfolio: is how you are spending your time reflective of the path you want to be on? Adjust accordingly.
How do you use technology with your clients? 14:12
I work to help clients reduce their reliance on technology. Reliance on anything leaves us fragile and vulnerable. I am heavily focused on mindset regarding technology. We must keep in mind that all systems break. If a tool drops and breaks, will we be able to continue? Do we have next steps in place?
In this technology obsessed world, we have to think about how we can be anti-fragile for the changes that are coming to everyday life. So, this means not being reliant on technology. But it also means not being reliant on one marketing channel, tool, way of thinking, or really anything else.
How do we find the balance between the skills that don’t use technology and those that do to avoid being overly dependent on either of the two? (20:44)
It’s entirely dependent on personal values. Our balance, or lack thereof, will be explained by these values we hold.
Internet based skills are increasingly being put into algorithms. So of course, the way we are communicating is changing. But the original soft skills we think of when it comes to being a good communicator; they’re not going away any time soon.
The half life of a skill is how long it’s been around. For example, talking to people face to face will always be a necessary school, simply because it always has been.
It’s important to have an open mindset for what is coming from technological advancements, while understanding what our strengths are and what is important to us.
How does where we spend our time determine our behavior, in terms of using technology vs not? (23:45)
Our behavior is determined by the context we find ourselves in. If we’re online, we respond to the system that we are within. We engage in a manner we may not if we were subject to more personal accountability, such as in an in-person situation; we act bolder, we engage in more controversial conversations, etc. Ultimately, it always comes back to values. How much are we willing to conform to each different system in order to reach our goals?
How can we take accountability for our choices? How do we begin to implement using our values to dictate our choices? (29:39)
It starts with knowing what we want to want. We infer our values by our behavior. From there, we can change how we interact with the world around us and with others. Get clear on your goals. Then begin implementing the plan to get there.
CONNECT WITH CHRIS
- His website
- His book
- @sparksremarks on Twitter
- Chris on Facebook
- Chris on LinkedIn
- Chris on Instagram
CONNECT WITH JEFF
- Email Jeff
- @JGibbard on Twitter
- Jeff on Facebook
- Jeff on Linkedin (make sure to introduce yourself)
- Jeff on Instagram
- Jeff on Snapchat
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Ray, our Audio Engineer.
Thanks for cleaning up our voices and adding all that sexy production value.
Maria, our Intern.
Thanks for providing the show notes for today’s episode.