Why I don’t like free food
Greetings my dear reader, and welcome back from Spring break. I trust you spent some quality time making poor decisions. I spent a few days in LA eating so much food I got pregnant with a food baby; people actually gave up their seats for me when I used public transport. A full tummy and a seat on the bus – what more is there to life?
Quite a lot more, in fact. While my dreams of being a gourmandizer must give way to the less pleasant goal of developing professionally and working at McKinsey as a consultant, I have found a temporary workaround. Don’t worry, it does not involve crypto. And no, it does not involve FREE ONLINE WEBINARS. The magical solution has 2 ingredients:
- Event websites i.e. Eventbrite
- Attention to detail
And now, the reveal: I have found a way to develop professionally while masticating (get your mind out of the gutter, please) – Free. Business. Events. As Professor Schmitz wisely remarks, “My favourite price is free” but words cannot encapsulate how good free food tastes to broke college students like ourselves. Actually, free food does not taste “good”. It tastes like heaven. It tastes like oily pizza after a night of plant and fruit-based liquid refreshments. It tastes like being #1 in Entrepreneurship again (sorry it’s not medical school, Dad). To get this slice of paradise, all you need to do is read each event description carefully to ensure food and refreshments will be provided. FOR FREE. And then you do the one thing my last Tinder date did not do: show up. Boom. You just finessesed free food while gaining entry to a business event that will definitely catapult your professional development and guarantee you that sweet, sweet summer internship at JP Morgan.
Or will it?
Yes. And no. If there is one thing I have learnt in my past (almost) 2 years here in the States is that there is a lot of noise. A lot of mirages in the desert of thirsty entrepreneurs. Sure, this is a result of having low barriers to entry to be a founder but also because a lot of charlatans prey on hopeful uninformed minds. I had the absolute displeasure of attending a talk on AI, Robotics and ML last month (with free food of course). With growing horror and disgust, everything the speaker said I already knew – not because I am technical but because anyone with a modicum of general knowledge and common sense would have known those things. Did you know robotics may eventually replace jobs? I certainly did not!
I am not salty. I am well marinated. And as a well marinated individual, I want to impress on you 2 things that are 100 times better than free food (coming from someone who demolished a KFC bucket for 4 by himself):
- The internet – use it
- Time is precious, so waste it well
First: Google is your second-best friend (I am your best friend) and there is an ungodly abundance of knowledge for you to learn if you put in the time. This is so important I actually wrote a blog post about it before. Interested in blockchain? Do your research. Interested in scaling your FME business? Do your research. Look, you already do your research on Yelp when you are looking for a #trimbreak so just apply your googling skills to topics of academic and professional interest.
Second: as any busy Beaver will know, not all meetings need to happen. Time is the one resource you spend that, quite literally, determines the trajectory of your life. Please don’t waste your time on things that add no value to your life. Be selfish with your time. Be discerning. Think about it this way: when you eat at a buffet, do you hit the carbs straight away? Absolutely ducking not! Obliterate oysters. Ravage roast beef. Destroy duck. Alliterate. Make that ROI work for you and eat all the expensive stuff first! Punish that restaurant for choosing an unsustainable business model that encourages overconsumption.
I rest my case.
Have a great weekend.
I love you.