Reinvent Yourself in the Age of Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship | Faisal Hoque | Skillshare

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Reinvent Yourself in the Age of Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

teacher avatar Faisal Hoque, Entrepreneur | Author

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Introduction and Understanding Leads to Authenticity


    • 3.

      Mindfulness Cultivates Authenticity


    • 4.

      Devotion is Mindfulness, Mindfulness is Devotion


    • 5.

      People Need Freedom


    • 6.

      People Need Structure


    • 7.

      Leaders Curate Talent


    • 8.

      Ideas Arise from Curiosity


    • 9.

      We Make Better Decisions After Mapping Them


    • 10.

      To Create Value Over The Long Term, Build Platforms


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About This Class

With the cascade of new technologies and social changes, we are constantly challenged to spark creativity, drive innovation, and ensure sustainability. What are the remedies? How do we work with ourselves and others? The newest problems of the world find solutions in the oldest timeless practices like mindfulness, authenticity, and devotion- because everything connects.

Connectivity is a sense of journey, to the sense of purpose--it is an individual, lonely pursuit and a collective, companionable one at the same time. Our individual, interpersonal, and organizational working lives all interconnect. By examining these connections, we learn new ways to create, innovate, adapt, and lead.

What You'll Learn

This class will be part philosophy, part business, and part history. We'll cover:

  • Connecting with Who We Are. Learn how understanding leads to authenticity, mindfulness cultivates authenticity, and how devotion is mindfulness, mindfulness is devotion.
  • Inspiring and Leading Inside and Outside of our Organizations. How to give people freedom and structure as well as how to curate talent.
  • Generating Ideas, Grounded Decisions, and Long-Lasting Value. How to promote ideas through curiosity, improve decisions by mapping them, and creating value over the long term.

By the time you're done with this class, you'll have created a three-part personal and professional roadmap with 9 essential principles to connect the dots. This isn’t just a quick fix for your next financial quarter, or a business plan; this is how you succeed in the long run. It is a systemization of your art, science, business, and spirituality.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Faisal Hoque

Entrepreneur | Author


Entrepreneur, Author. Founder of SHADOKA ( and other companies. Shadoka enables entrepreneurship, growth, and social impact. Author of several books, including "Everything Connects - How to Transform and Lead in the Age of Creativity, Innovation and Sustainability" (McGraw Hill, 2014) and Survive to Thrive - 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, And Leaders (Motivational Press, 2015).

Formerly with GE, and other global brands. Contributor to Fast Company, Business Insider, and the Huffington Post. I've also written for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, and Leadership Excellence, among others.

I have been named one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in Technology" and one of the "Top 100 Thought Leaders". American Management... See full profile

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1. Trailer: I'm Faisal Hoque. I'm a serial entrepreneur and author. I've been an entrepreneur since I was 14 years old. Along the way, I had many failures and some successes. The classes are really around this new book that I wrote called "Everything Connects." We're going to talk about how do you work with yourself and how do you work with others. This class is for anybody and everybody. What I'm going to do is I'm going to break down how do you find yourself, how do you lead others, and how do you generate new ideas to create value. Almost everybody throughout their career at one time or another had to reinvent themselves. Each time you reinvent yourself, you have to find within yourself what's your next calling is or what's your next idea is. These tricks and tips that I talk about in the book and we're going to talk about in this class is going to help you to constantly reinvent yourself and create the next generation ideas, but also manifest that idea into reality. 2. Introduction and Understanding Leads to Authenticity: So, we're talking about, how do we work with yourself and others? So, if we're talking about how do we work with ourselves and others, then first we have to understand who we are. So, this is the section one of part one, and the section one part one is about understanding leads to authenticity. So, we'll talk about what we mean by authenticity but before I get into the idea of authenticity, let's talk about a little story, I'd like to share a little story about myself. I originally come from Bangladesh, I came to U.S. when I was 17 years old. When I came to U.S., I put myself to school, I went to computer science school, and while I was studying computer science, I got recruited by Pitney Bowes, which is a large fortune 500 company, and I started working for there and did grew. From there on, I went to work for Dunham Bradstreet, I want to work for G, started my own company, raised a lot of money during the go days of Internet, I got fired by the venture people, I started the next company, started writing, and then I recently wrote this book called, Everything Connects, which allowed me to shift completely a different direction because now the several venture that I have, are all focusing on small business, and individual, and education. So, in that story if you see, I have changed my career and who I wanted to be several times, and when I talk about authenticity, and when I'm talking about how do you find yourself to create something authentic and unique, it takes lot of trial and error and you're interest changes, and who you are changes, what you want to do changes, so it's a journey. So, to pursue the journey, you have to kind of connect with yourself. So, authenticity comes from a Greek word called authenticos, and authentico means original, genuine, principle. If you take that very definition, each one of us are very authentic. You can't follow somebody else's success, you have to follow your own path to become authentic. Authentic people is not about being a CEO, is not about creating a new company, or it's not about really writing your own book, it's whatever you define authentic, whatever makes you happy, and how do you really take that and manifest that into your reality, that's mean authentic journey and authentic process. That really means that you have to understand who you are and what you want to do. By the way, this idea of authenticity poets, entrepreneurs, figures like Buddha has been talking about for 100s and 1000s of years. A path to authenticity really requires you internally understand who you are. I'm a great fan of of Steven Pressfield. Steven Pressfield in his book called The War of Art, has this great line that talks about that, "A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; and everybody who creates and operates, they operate from a sacramental center," which means that each individual has something precise and precious to offer to the world. So the trick is, how do we tap into that and manifest that into reality, so we'll talk about that as we move forward. Before I start the next section to set the next section, this idea of authenticity really is about being awake. Awake means totally mindful about what do you want to do, how you want to do, and what you want to do, and we're going to talk about mindfulness in the next section. 3. Mindfulness Cultivates Authenticity: So, we're doing this course called, how do you work with yourself and others? And we're talking about nine principles. Part one, section two is about mindfulness, how mindfulness cultivates authenticity. You can think about mindfulness as a fitness program for your mind and your consciousness, because if you apply mindfulness that allows you to find who you are and what you're about. Now, the concept of mindfulness, I don't know whether you have seen the most recent cover of Time magazine. Time Magazine calls that we are now at a Mindful Revolution. There's a mindful revolution that's going on. So, this idea of mindfulness although it has been there for centuries and people, scientists have connected mindfulness to neuroplasticity, meaning how our brain functions when you are mindful. So, let's define what we mean by mindfulness. Mindfulness, actually a concept that was introduced by Buddha. Buddha means one who is awake, and he popularized this notion that you have to be awake to be aware of what you're doing and as a result you can find yourself. So, if you talk from that point of view, the more modern definition of mindfulness is that, bringing one's complete attention to present exercises and experiences on a moment by moment basis. Meaning that whatever you're doing you put full concentration at that doing. Why is that important to find yourself? So let me tell you a story. So, this story is when I first came to US. When I first came to US I was struggling to survive and I took this job at a graveyard shift, and in that graveyard shift I would buff floors in as a janitor. I had this supervisor who would tell me to buff the floral floor, but he would also force me to think about how shiny and how perfect the floor looks every time I would buff, and he would tell me, don't think about anything else, just connect with the floor and see how shiny the floor looks. And now, at that time I was 17, I didn't quite understand what he was getting at, but many years later as I've gone through my progression and I've gone through my adversity, that very notion of connecting with the work that you do actually became very profound, because it allowed me to think about how what I'm thinking about and how am I thinking about integrates with who I want to be. It's actually a mental exercise that allows you to completely get focused on what you're doing on a moment by moment basis, which allows you to forget about everything else. So, whatever struggle you are having or whatever adversity you're having, it allows you to skip that adversity and the struggle that you're having and totally connect yourself with that task. So, in many ways is integrating where you want to go and what you're doing today, kind of interconnected. That's the connection. That's the connection between mindfulness and authenticity. We'll talk about how to do some exercises that allows you to move forward with authenticity and mindfulness. This idea of mindfulness is really training your mind to be really focused and that allows you to connect what you're doing, who you want to be and how you want to go about it. Not every one of us are meditative Zen monk that can do all these things naturally. But, if you do talk about Zen monks, believe it or not, two tasks that is very important for any Zen monk, that everybody every morning they do, it's sweeping, cleaning and cooking, right? So, which is really mundane task, but when you're sweeping, cleaning and cooking, what they do is they get utterly perfectionist about it, and it's not the perfectionist behavior, is about how well the cooking or cleaning or sweeping looks. It's really training your mind to be do ritualistic behavior that makes you to focus on what you're doing, and if you cannot do that, you cannot really take your ideas and manifest that into reality. So, we're going to do some exercise later on that's going to connect the idea of doing this mundane task and really train your mind to be very awake about what you're doing and shutting all the noise around you, and that will lead to the connection between who you want to be and how you want to go about things that you want to do. 4. Devotion is Mindfulness, Mindfulness is Devotion: We've been talking about how to work with yourself and work with others. So, this section three is about, how ritualistic behavior leads to mindfulness and mindfulness is ritualistic. So it's a paradoxical way of looking at it. It's very important because we talked about authenticity, we talked about how you have to be awake to be authentic. Now, we want to talk about ritualistic behavior that leads to leading yourself because if you can't lead yourself, you cannot certainly lead somebody else. If you cannot lead somebody else, you cannot manifest your ideas into realities. So, there's this connection between, what's authentic, how you have to be mindful about who you are, and how you exercise your mind to become more authentic? Then, how does that get translated into ritualistic behavior? There's a notion in ritualistic behavior often called devotion. Devotion is the idea of ritualistically practice everything time and time again. Actually, this idea of devotion applies in any field. So, if you look at a basketball player, or if you look at a painter, or if you look at an artist, they repeatedly practice their craft. That's where this idea of devotion comes from. So, since I have an Eastern background, I orginally grew up in Bangladesh, I'll use a Bengali word called Shadhona, which is really means devotion. Devotion means life pursued with discipline. It's, you have to pursue something with discipline and that's where you become better and better at it. I mean, I'm sure you have hard Malcolm Gladwell talk about 10,000 hours. It's kind of the same idea, except I've taken a little eastern cut at it. So, there are three things that makes up this notion of devotion, or ritualistic behavior, or pattern and that connects to authenticity and connects to mindfulness. So, first one is that, the critical part is that you have to put bright efforts, meaning that, we talked about that, sweeping and cleaning. You get only better at cooking if you do it repeatedly. You don't have to measure all your ingredients when you cook, it becomes second nature to it if you're ritualistic and practice it. Or when a basketball player makes that hoof, or a painter paints, or a songwriter writes a song. It comes naturally. So, I wouldn't say that I was a natural writer when I started writing, and English wasn't even my first language. Then over the years, I tried to write something every weekend. So, it's a ritualistic behavior that makes you better at it. But that ritualistic behavior comes from bright efforts, meaning, you have to provide the right effort to make something happen. Second is that, you have to be utterly mindful meaning, awake about the effort that you're making. So, what I mean by that, let's say you're writing but you're thinking about, I'm an entrepreneur, I have to pay my bills and I have to make an income. You have to shut that down because if you allow your mind to wander around and ponder on all over the place, you're not going to be writing, you'll be thinking about how I'll pay my bills. Whatever you are doing, that becomes the most important thing. That's what bright mindfulness means. The third element of this puzzle is that, so you're putting the right effort, you're awake, you have to put the right concentration. So, you shut your mind off from doing something but now you have to get utterly focused on what you're doing, which is connected. In many ways you can say, "Well, aren't you saying the same thing?" I'm not saying the same thing. What I'm saying is that, you have to put the right effort meaning, that you have to ritually provide what you want to provide to yourself. You have to be awake about what you're doing meaning, you have to be utterly aware of what you're doing. The third aspect is that you have to put the right concentration repeatedly. So, this combination of right effort, right concentration is what makes us better and it becomes devotional or ritualistic which allows us to get to the next level. So, when we talk about this exercise that you're going to do, this exercise is twofold. One is that, you're going to pick up a mundane task that will allow you to be devotional about it and it will allow you to ritualistically practice it. You'll pick up your own mundane task that you want to do or perhaps you don't want to do, but you will ritualistically do it. That's one thing, one portion of the task. The second portion of the task is that, you're going to visualize by being awake where you want to go, how you want to go, what you see your future state to be, and how do you want to go about it. So, these two exercises is going to be your first project and you're going to write about it, which I outlined in my exercise. 5. People Need Freedom: Now, we're entering part two of how we work with ourselves and others. In the first section, or part one, we talked about how we work with ourselves so that we can be more authentic, we can connect with ourselves and create a ritualistic approach, so that we can get better at our craft. The next challenge is, now that we have developed some authentic way of looking at ourselves, how do we now motivate others to support us? Meaning, how do we really inspire and influence the people that we need for us to go to the next step. In this section, the first thing we're going to talk about is that we need to understand people's motivation. Some of them are tangible motivation. Some of them are not tangible motivation. The first thing to understand about people, and inspiring and influencing people, is that people needs freedom. When we talk about authenticity, we all want to be authentic because we ourselves need freedom. If you want to lead people, we need to understand that everybody else needs freedom. How do we connect with people with the notion of people needs freedom, but we still want them to help us move forward? This is really about then inspiring and influencing. You have to really understand what it means by people's freedom and how that fits into the things we are trying to do. Rumi was a Sufi poet, who once said that "You and your friends, each represents the way a person access reality." He was talking about this and that's what makes it the truth. He was talking in the context of a very old ancient story about three blind men looking at an elephant. The point is that, when three men entered a room with the elephant, each had a version of the elephant. Meaning that one person said, "The elephant is like a poll." Other person said, "Elephant is like a snake because they are touching the tail." All that means that each one of us has a unique perspective of the world from our own eyes. But if you look at those description of the elephant, as a whole it makes up the elephant, right? The point is that, how do we take these individualistic ideas and understand what motivates each of those people andthen, rally them behind our own ideas. It's very important to understand the motivation. Meaning, the intrinsic motivation and the tangible motivation of a person to do the real work. It requires many hands to do the real work. One hand is not enough to do the work. It's very important to understand what motivates other people and the freedom that drives people to do something or not do something. If you look at from that point of view, often enough what happens is that, as a leader or as a manager we think about managing people's time. You have to come to work at 8:00 and leave the office by 5:00. Especially, when you talk about creative work and you talk about innovation. You talk about things that's going to make a difference. You can't really manage that from a time point of view. You have to manage the consciousness of the person that drives the motivation, to do some this creative work. You can't really manage people from a time point of view. You have to manage people, or lead people from what really ticks them or what makes them authentic. Whatever value proposition that you're adding to that, that moves them forward. But you still need structure, and that's what we're going to talk about in the next section. 6. People Need Structure: So, welcome back. We've been talking about how to work with yourself and work with others we're in part two in terms of how do we lead others? Really leading as I started in the last section is really what inspiring and influencing people and we talked about the fact that people needs freedom. In this section, we're going to talk about the fact that people need freedom but people also need structure. In our book, Everything Connects, one of the things we do, we have this picture of this geese that are flying together and there's the geese that leads and the rest of these kind of follows them. There's really no tangible structure you can think of that makes these geese fly together. So, that's really goes back to the tangible and intangible value that we talked about in our last section. So as a leader, we need to understand how does these things come together, and how we really break down the barriers of all traditional way of managing hierarchical organization and you have to all work together in one company in order to make something possible. So we will be talking about this new book, I wrote this book with my co-author Drake Bear and Drake is a journalist and he's a writer I'm an entrepreneur I'm a technologist we have completely different background. This is the first project we worked together but we came together because we wanted to do something together. In the movie industry and this is pretty common, what happens is that you pull together different cast of characters, different actors, different producers, different cameramen, you do a project and you do the next project. You do something completely different and the people that were playing the leading role may not be playing a leading role, they may be playing supporting role, the producer becomes director, director becomes producer et cetera. So what this means is that you're really looking about that assignment and the role, each of these people do or don't do. Work becomes performance, right? In a performance, it becomes the role not about the structure itself. So the question is, how do we think about this role in this fluid era of creativity and innovation where often enough the people we need the most help from doesn't even work for us? Somebody doesn't even live in the same geographic location. So one way to look at it is, there are people who are very good in generating ideas, new ideas, there are people who can guide those ideas in order as a result of their guidance. It's actually gets built so there are people who likes to build things. Then once it's built there are people who like to take it out in the market or to expand it or improve the product et cetera. You can apply that in any project whether you're creating a movie together or they're writing a book together or creating a software product or you're you're adding a new app or creating a new company, you can look at from that point of view. So, this loosely defined project's centric role base understanding of structuring things, I think it's far more it will be more and more relevant going forward. It connects with the fact that you're really tapping into people's tangible and intangible motivation and values and trying to make something together. So, in the next section what we're going to talk about is how does a leader now bring these people who loves to have freedom and also the structure to create the talent pool and bring it all together to manifest some ideas into realities. 7. Leaders Curate Talent: Okay. So, we talked about people's need to have freedom. We talked about people's needs to have structure. Now, we're going to talk about what then really is the role of a leader? I believe that role of a leader is being a curator. So, the term curator, let's define what it means by curation, right? It comes from Latin. It means that, people who are caretaker of souls and people responsible for other people. That's what it meant. Then, if you look at new generation of definition of curator, it's a term that's always used in museums, right? Somebody curates art, and somebody curates sculpture, and makes it, positions them in a way, that it is related, and it follows a series or whatever the case may be. When we, as a visitor go in a museum, it all comes together. Today's role of a leader, is really role of a curator, who curates talent by understanding the people's understanding of freedom, and people's need for freedom, yet provides a structure that brings it together. Again, that's a very different way of thinking then. Traditionally, I'm a CEO, this person is the Managing Director, and that person is EVP, blah, blah, blah, it breaks down the traditional notion of how people work together, and what is really the role of a leader. When we are able to curate, we can create an organization whether that's a traditional organization or a nontraditional organization, meaning as we talked about in our last segment, that you bring people together, to create a project, it really comes together. So, curation is bringing people together and bringing talent together, and make it a finished product. That's the role of a leader. By the way, in order for a leader, and remember in our first segment, we talked about mindfulness and being a way, that is a huge part being a leader as a curator, because you have to normally be awake and mindful about who you are. Now you have to be awake, and mindful about what other people are. Remember that mental exercise we talked about, that you have to be devotional about what you're doing, and being aware of every step you're taking. All that stuff now relates to you as a leader. This curation is the next generation definition of a leader, regardless whatever it is that you're doing. In many cases, when you do this notion of curation, you have to put yourself in the back seat, and move the other people forward because they may have a better talent than you yourself have. We'll stop there on this section and in this exercise, what you will have is, you will have to create what role that you want to play. You have to define the kind of people or companion that you need, and a kind of organizational structure that will allow you to move forward. Again, organizational structure in this context is loosely defined, meaning they don't have to really work for you, nor you have to work in a company. You can be a freelancer that needs other people to actually create the piece of work that you want to create. I'll stop there and we'll move to the next section in a bit. 8. Ideas Arise from Curiosity: Welcome back. We're at the last part of our three-part course on how to work with ourselves and others. In this part, we're going to talk about how to generate new ideas, take the right decision around those ideas that we have generated and how do you create value from the ideas that we have generated? The first section of that part three is about how do we generate new ideas, and ideas comes from being curious. Let's define what idea means. If an idea is the seed of a strategy, experiencing the seed of of an idea. What I mean by that are experience, or personal experiences is what fuels ideas because when our curiosity comes from whatever we are experiencing, and that shapes our idea. Again, here the notion of mindfulness plays a big part of it, because in order for us to truly be in the moment and to experience whatever we are experiencing, and generate new ideas from that we have to be awake, which goes back to the idea of mindfulness. So, staying curious about the world is what drives us towards new creation, new innovation, new company whatever that is we are trying to do. Perhaps, there is no other better example than using Divinchy. Divinchy used to roam around the countryside, and he used to look at seashells, and he used to listen to the ocean, and you would walk through nature, and that would give him his idea about how you could create a flying object by looking at the birds and he was very mindfully awake around the experiences that he was experiencing wherever he was. Many people talk about looking but very few people actually see what they're looking at. Whenever you can bring your own authentic view, and be awake of the experience that you're experiencing, and generating a new way of looking at it, that's what idea comes from. That means that you have to be utterly curious about every step you take in every step process that you go through. So, now what we're going to talk about is that okay, so you are curious, you generated some new ideas. How do you take those new ideas and do something with it? Right? So, how do you create your photography or your monalisa or whatever that you're trying to create? So that's what we're going to talk about in our next segment. 9. We Make Better Decisions After Mapping Them: So, in last section, we talked about, how do we generate ideas to our curiosity and experience. In this section, we're going to talk about, how do we make better decision by mapping them out in support of those ideas that we have created. If you look at this notion of decision making for an idea, it's really like a blueprint. Architects often create this blueprint of the building that they want to create. It's almost like visualizing. We talked about visualizing before. It's really visualizing what you want to create, that's the idea of blueprinting. But we're talking about blueprinting in the context of any decision, not just building a building. So, for example, if you want to build a new product, and yo built a new product and you want to take it to the market, and you want to distribute a certain way, or you want a brand it a certain way, these connections are what makes the blueprint, and you have to make decision for each of those elements. Meaning, how you're going to brand, how you're going to create the product, etcetera. These are all decision point that are interconnected, and you have to look at who and how all this comes together. Mapping out this decision making process is really what this blueprinting is all about. We talked about Da Vinci before. I mean, if you look at Da Vinci's notebook, Da Vinci's notebook is full of blueprints. There are blueprints of what he wanted to build, what he actually built, how he is going to actually manifest those ideas into a reality, how he's going to get the funding from, all that stuff is part of his notebook. Some of the ideas actually manifested into reality, some of them has not. It's really about diagramming the action of what do you want to do. Meaning, how you want to work your idea into reality is called blueprinting. So, what we're going to do next is that, so you came up with the idea, you created the blueprint. Now, how do you create your creation, or rather the platform that you want to create for your success? We'll go on to the next section now. 10. To Create Value Over The Long Term, Build Platforms: Welcome back. This is the last section. We'd taken a journey from who we are, how we want to lead, how we want to generate new ideas, how we want to create blueprints around those ideas. Now, we get to actually create a platform to manifest our ideas into a reality. Now, this notion of platform, by the way, is very standard vocabulary in technology world. Meaning, and I come from technology world, so it is quite natural for me to talk about platforms because you create a platform that allows you to create a lot of different things around this platform, and that's where the notion of platform comes in. But in the context of what we're talking about, it's the idea of how can you continuously invest in your capability so that a lot of different capability gets created from your ideas so it can manifest into lots of different streams of successes, and that's what really platform boils down too. So, think about vision is an expression of the soul of an organization or an idea, platform is the body, it's the collection of your core competency that mix it up. Let me give you an example, a non-technology example. So, artists and journalists, especially journalist, now creates platform. So, what does a journalist do? Journalist embodies a lot of different knowledge. So lot of journalists are also now authors, they also have speaking engagement, they become thought leader. So from the genesis of their journalism they create a platform of many different successes. It's embodiment of the knowledge and however many ways they are distributing their core competency and generating economic value to another value, it creates their platform. The more you know your core competency by understanding your authentic self and you're aware of it and you're able to gather people around those ideas like we talked about, the more and more platform you're going to be able to create and you may end up creating many different platform in your lifetime and what is more better than able to express yourself in a 100 different ways and actually add value to the people that you want to add value and also have economic success behind it. So, that completes this part three. In part three exercise, you're going to write down your idea of a new thing that you want to create, how you're going to blueprint that idea into a set of decisions and how does those decision turns into a platform that is supported by a ecosystem that can take it out to the market, and the notion of the ecosystem is set of partners that helps you to manifest that idea into a reality. You'll be able to repeatedly perhaps reinvent yourself, like I have to do time and time again despite whatever adversity that I have encountered, and most likely, each one of us are going to encounter many different adversity and along with our resiliency, if we are mindful about what we're capable of doing and follow some of these tips and tricks that I outlined in the book and just talked about, perhaps it will accelerate your process. Thank you for spending the time with me.