I have always enjoyed reading. I will read books, manuals, pamphlets; anything with words is interesting to me. This pays off by actually being able to sit down and read though a technical manual, or delve into the small print where all the dirty details are found. It also means I read a lot of literature that is not directly related to my profession.
One book I highly recommend reading is Rework, a business book written by the team of 37signals
. Rework makes sense and speaks from experience instead of a politically corrected reference. One of my favorite chapters talks about dealing with the byproducts we produce. Everyone has a byproduct that is being ignored, overlooked or tossed out as trash. When I look at what we do as surveyors, I see wasted potential. Aspects of surveys could be sold to interested third parties: a roads layer could go to Garmin (which claims to have the best maps) or a boundary layer could be sold to a city council for their parcel database.
Since experience is the best way to find these potential profit boosters, my own ability to recognize them is, I assume, fairly low. After thinking about it for a minute, what are the things that you perceive as waste that might be worth something to someone else? Or do you have something you do that would be considered “unorthodox” with what we do in our profession?