I woke up this morning, wrapped myself in the warmth of the substantial and soft terrycloth Brooks Brothers bathrobe, and went to have breakfast. Instead of the usual, I chose a blueberry muffin topped with brown sugar crumble and a cup of strong black coffee as I started reading Atlas Shrugged immediately, my eyes barely…
The most important part of success in life is: Get Started. Too many people wait until things are “perfect” or until they are completely confident in themselves. They are paralyzed by fear. They worry about the judgment of others; about public embarrassment if they fail. Don’t. Set your sight on your future and what you…
The best advice I ever received came when my parents dropped me off at college. As they were getting in the car, my dad looked at me and said, “Your mom and I have done everything we could for you. We fed you, we clothed you and you have a high school education. From now on, it is your responsibility to make your dreams come true. We can’t do it for you, and no one else can either. If you want it, you have to do it on your own.”
A fantastic passage from page 97 of The Richest Man in Town: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth. It talks about how success in life comes down to execution of the work that is sitting your desk, right now. That means getting it done right, getting it done quickly, and getting it done with pride so that your name becomes synonymous with quality.
As you can probably tell from my recent posts, I’ve been working my way through a compendium of Chinese proverbs. This type of reading has always been among my favorite – to take an observation and think about it for days, weeks, sometimes even longer, extracting every lesson I can from it. Here are some of my favorites.
There is a traditional Chinese proverb that goes something along the lines of, “Do not take the seeds and throw away the melon”. Though there are many ways you can approach this, and multiple lessons that can be extracted from reflecting on it, it can be particularly sage when it comes to running a business and allocating the cash flow from that business. One of my favorite examples comes from The Coca-Cola Company.
When you are managing your business, your life, or money, the true test of your ability and talent will come during the bad times. Have you managed your liquidity well enough so that even the worst depression won’t wipe you out? Have you conducted yourself with restraint so you don’t find yourself buried under interest expense on credit cards and store accounts?
I have a theory that true intimacy, whether in friendship, business, or romantic entanglements, is based upon the degree to which one must censor himself or herself. People are happiest when they do not have to censor or edit what comes out of their mouth and they don’t have to concern themselves with the possibility of being judged.
In his dairy, John Quincy Adams wrote, “La molesse est douce, et sa suite est cruelle.”, which translates into, “Idleness is sweet, and its consequences are cruel.”
A family member came by today and the course of the conversation got me thinking about the reasons that I have managed to achieve everything I set out to do with far less effort than should be required, and succeed, whereas most people never do. One of the secrets, I think, comes down to the way I frame questions.