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How’s your cheese?

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I was having a chat with someone the other day and lamenting the loss of open travel. My job was reliant on travel, going to conferences worldwide as a keynote speaker. Locked up at home: (a) how am I going to generate keynotes at conferences that don’t exist; and (b) how am I going to learn anything about what’s happening out there if I’m not networking with everyone?

The guy told me to stop being a spoiled brat and find my cheese. I always use the metaphor of who moved my cheese? so I knew what he was on about, but spoiled? Moi?

I then realised that even with the lockdown, I was still busy and productive. I’d received a couple of research projects, which I’ll be rolling out the results shortly; written a white paper of 20 pages for a client; delivered several keynotes and panels via Zoom; and still networked just as much over the internet as I ever did.

I was still globally connected and productive. Sure, it’s not like it was before but, in other ways, it’s better. I’ve lost weight as a result of stopping stuffing my face with airline food, cheese, nuts and crisps. I’m drinking less – unlike most – as I’m not stressed out travelling and knocking back the free champagne in the BA lounge. I’m spending more time with the family and doing quite a bit of home schooling of my boys, who are amazed how much dad-time they’re getting.

In many ways, life is good.

But, like anyone involved in hospitality and travel, I worry about my future work. My stock-in-trade is knowledge.

Q: How do you generate knowledge when locked in a room?

A: You read, write and research.

Q: But, when people are paying a good wad of cash for an on-stage keynote, what will they pay for off-stage?

A: Knowledge.

Q: How do you generate knowledge when locked in a room?

There’s my cheese and there’s where it’s moved. I spend my days sniffing around the internet, gaining more knowledge, writing more blogs, writing more white papers and research reports, conducting more meetings one-on-one and one-to-many on video and voice, and so on and so forth.

The world may have stopped but business hasn’t. FinTech marches on, banks still scramble to get digital, media is still reporting, and life moves on.

In particular, in another conversation, a guy said: if you always did A, and you stick to doing A, you will find your world ends. You need to focus on B, C and D today.

Who moved my cheese?

I did …

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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