What does that mean? It might be best explained with a few examples:
- Reading a book, albeit one of my favorite pastimes, is consuming. Writing a book, journal or letter is producing. Writing produces ideas, creates tangible and everlasting artifacts, and leaves something for future generations (kids, grandkids and great-grandkids) something to ponder.
- Living in Chicago is consuming. Contributing to Chicago is producing. I love Chicago for its beaches (not during the winter though!), its architecture, its fine dining and its cultural attractions. However, to be a productive member of Chicago's community, I need to contribute: e.g. join the school board, volunteer at a shelter, have Paperly sponsor a neighborhood event, etc.
- Working for a company is consuming. Starting a company is producing. Creating a company offers the owner hope for a better life, provides employees a financial means, and can significantly impact the surrounding community positively.
Perhaps this idea of producing versus consuming is too provocative? Maybe it's an oversimplification of the Golden Rule, "It is better to give than to receive"? Regardless, I am going to work hard in 2011 (and hopefully beyond) to produce. And I think the world just might be a better place if everyone tries the same.
Happy 2011 to you and yours.
Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly