3 playful questions to get you off to a flyer in 2014

What do your entrepreneurial hero, £10m and the PM have in common? Oli Barrett poses questions to get you thinking. Let’s play…

January should be a month of new beginnings, of positive energy, and of big thinking. But if you’re not careful, it can be a time of scoffer’s remorse, of rain-soaked days and bleak expectations.

To cheer you through this, the first month of the year, I am going to suggest a little something which may seem more at home in the party season…  I propose a game.

Don’t worry – this one doesn’t require silly hats or the removal of any items of clothing. In fact, it involves getting into bed with a well-known entrepreneur, being a multimillionaire, and running the country.

Sound good? Read on.

I’m going to ask you three questions. You don’t have to tell anyone the answers and you can return to this, or change your mind as the year goes on.

You may want to ask friends or colleagues the same questions. It’s up to you. I have found that the second question in particular makes for quite a good pub game.

Are you ready? Here goes:

1. Think of an entrepreneur you massively admire. Someone whose success inspires you. Now imagine waking up tomorrow morning to find them in your bed. Steady on, I don’t mean NEXT to you. I mean AS you.

They have, by some magical twist of fate, ended up inhabiting your body. Ask yourself this; what would you go out and do? You have all day. You can make as many changes to your life as you like.

You don’t have their wealth – you have their mind. Would you start something afresh? Would you kick something (or someone) up a gear? How would it make you feel? One to ponder…

2. Second question. Imagine £10m has just been transferred into your bank account. It’s really there. You’ve been to the cash machine and checked. But you HAVE to work.

You can do any job in the world, however it cannot be something which is completely beyond your current skillset. For example, if you absolutely cannot hold a tune, you can’t decide to be an opera singer? Make sense? Right, so what do you go and do?

If you HAD to pick one thing for the next six months, anywhere in the world. Now… how far removed from your current work is it? And how crazy is it to imagine doing something similar without the cash in the bank?

3. Final question. You wake up as (as opposed to with) the prime minister of Great Britain. It’s a big job, and you’ll soon be meeting your Cabinet. But you are also encouraged to form a less formal group. A Kitchen Cabinet, so to speak.

This can be up to 20 people who will advise you through your toughest times. Who are they? You can pick people you currently know, or those you have always dreamed of meeting, from Will Smith to Sir Richard Branson.

Who is in your Kitchen Cabinet? If you don’t know them, is it completely ridiculous that you could meet? If they are people you already know, what plans do you have to spend quality time with them this year?

It was Plato who said that you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. So let’s cut the small talk, and, if you’re up for it, answer my three questions, and pass them on.  You may be surprised where you end up.

Oli Barrett MBE, is a founder of Cospa , the co-sponsorship agency that helps to create and deliver social action projects, such as Tenner, Missions, Build-It, and Speed Mentoring. He is also a founder of StartUp Britain and can be found on Twitter.


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