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First Step

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

How to take your Next Step?

This question comes up a lot with kids and young adults I’m collaborating with. All we really have is this moment. If your eyes are open there can be an overwhelming number of opportunities one can pursue. So what process can we use to focus one's time and effort into the most valuable Next Step?

Here is my simple process for comment + criticism.

Step 1 ... Identify Unique Gifts

Discover what qualities and experiences you have that distinguish you from other people. These might be your personality type, something you do or learn more easily than your peers, a unique life or work experience, your communication style, love language, natural tendencies, or anything else that differentiates you. We help members identify these unique gifts using projects like those presented during our "Know Thyself Demo Day".

Step 2 ... Build Specific Knowledge

Identify the skills and abilities you wish to cultivate from your Unique Gifts that add value to other people. Specific Knowledge is the focusing of Unique Gifts in ays that are useful. I have a gift for debate, but channeling that into the knowledge of great conversation took practice. Natural tendencies have a way of manifesting into strengths and weaknesses if we lack awareness of what they are and fail to use them intentionally toward Service to Others.

Step 3 ... Explore Opportunity Set

Brainstorm all the things you could do next. Emphasize the ones that help marry your Specific Knowledge toward Service to Others. You can start by thinking of the roles you play. Perhaps you are a sibling, parent, spouse, neighbor or colleague. Think of the pain points others in your "Circle of Influence" are experiencing. Now try an imagine all the thinks you can do or want to learn how to do that could help to alleviate these pain points. The ideal opportunities are ones you can seize right away using a "Minimum Viable Project". This way you can test big opportunities with bit-size solutions to pain points.

Step 4 ... Create Free Call Options

Execute all opportunities that cost nothing, but could create value in the future. There is no better free call option than a relationship. Be there for your friends and family. Give those you care about time to be engaged in their lives. Empower those around you to take on powerful opportunities. Be strong for those who are weak even when it makes you uncomfortable. Free call options are hard to come by, but when you see ways to create value without it taking hardly any of your time or money you should do it.

Step 5 ... Invest in Positive Skew

Invest remaining time in opportunities that marry “Specific Knowledge” with “Service to Others” that has the potential for big upside potential and very little risk. If you believe in this opportunity then give it everything you have. This is the only way you will Discover Your Limits. Find out how high you can fly, and how hard you can fall. The more you push yourself to deliberately use your “Specific Knowledge” toward “Service to Others” the more you discover just what your Specific Knowledge means. That is the worst case scenario. The best is value creation doing what only you can do. That upside potential without much risk is what Positive Skew really means.

Step 6 ... Socialize, Iterate, Improve

Share your “Next Steps” with people who demonstrate with their actions that they care about you, and ask them for feedback. The best potential outcome from discovering and channeling one's Specific Knowledge is a deep understanding and appreciation for oneself and discovery of how to leverage your Unique Gifts to create value of others. You will only find this by consistently growing your Specific Knowledge in a way that bridges the gap between your individuality and the wants and needs of others. That is why learning from your "Core Users" is so critical. Let the people who value your humanity the most be your guide.

Path of Equilibrium

This is basically the “Path of Equilibrium” we use at WEquil. It’s called “Equilibrium” because it balances ones individuality with the wants and needs of the world.

Our process is the same for students, creators, scholars, mentors, developers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. These are the roles in our Discord Server signifying in a generalized way where members are along their unique path.

Each “Step” is a “Project” ... a digital manifestation of our weekly process. Each step adds to the “Digital Resume” we use to learn, grow and create with those in our learning community and the outside world that most value our Specific Knowledge.

In this way we build ourselves to be useful in ways that in time make us irreplaceable in our new digital personalized global economy.


Joe McPhail

Peaceful Warrior