Monday, December 1, 2008

Bruce Berkowitz Conference Call

Bruce Berkowitz, from Fairholme Funds, participates in a public Q&A conference call. He gives insight into his holdings, what the future holds, and some of his theories on investing. A great call from one of the best value investors recently. It's good insight into value investing theory in these troubled time, especially because not many value investors talk about their holdings this openly.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Focus (Part 2)

As a follow up to my previous post "Focus", this post is derived from a book I have recently been reading called The Snowball - Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder.

While having dinner with some very successful people, the story tells how Warren Buffett (Biography) met Bill Gates and described what is meant by "focus", their key to success.

Excerpt from The Snowball:
"Then at dinner, Bill Gates Sr. posed the question to the table: What factor did people feel was the most important in getting to where they'd gotten in life? And I (Warren) said 'Focus'. And Bill (Gates) said the same thing."

It is unclear how many people at the table (Katherine Graham, Tom Foley, Jerry Grinstein) understood "focus" as Buffett lived that word. This kind of innate focus couldn't be emulated. It meant the intensity that is the price of excellence. It meant the discipline and passionate perfectionism that made Thomas Edison the quintessential American investor, Walt Disney the king of family entertainment, and James Brown the Godfather of Soul. It meant the depth of commitment and mental independence that led Jeannette Rankin to stand alone as the only representative in Congress to vote against U.S. entry into both World Wars in the face of widespread ridicule. It meant single-minded obsession with an ideal. "Focus" meant the kind of person who could earn billions by allocation capital (referring to Buffett), yet to be baffled by a sign that said "No TP."
"TP" refers to a note on the door of a bathroom which Buffett had not understood what it meant when he saw it.

It is clear what they mean. Focus is putting all of your efforts mainly into one thing. Something that you are extremely good at, something that you have unlimited motivation for, something that you are or could be the best at in the world. Gates is undoubtedly one of the best businessmen in the world, Buffett is the best capital allocator and they both achieved these heights because of one word - Focus.

Intense focus on something will likely achieve you insurmountable results, and the above two heroes are proof of that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Book Review)

(Source: Userkind.com)

Here's a brief summary of what a Tipping Point is, as defined by the book, from Wikipedia:
Tipping points are "the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable."[1] Gladwell defines a tipping point as a sociological term: "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point."[2] The book seeks to explain and describe the "mysterious" sociological changes that mark everyday life. As Gladwell states, "Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do."[3] The examples of such changes in his book include the rise in popularity and sales of Hush Puppies shoes in the mid-1990s and the dramatic drop in the New York City crime rate in the late 1990s.
The Tipping Point was a great book. The book examined certain epidemics and events and the impact that they had on entire societies, in many cases.

The most influential story to me involved one of these epidemics that occurred in the New York subway system where crime was out of control. One event changed the crime dramatically when what people thought was a normal, everyday guy shot 3 gang members and killed them. Although tragic, the point is that this specific event changed crime there. Criminals were now scared of getting killed or hurt now by normal everyday people and the crimes dropped off dramatically. It was incredible to me that an event such as this could ring all across the city and change something as bad as crime in the subway system.

I would highly recommend the read and I don't want to spoil the book any further.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10 Traits of a Successful Human Being

Taken from "10 Traits of az Successful Human Being" on Pick the Brain.

1. An Independent Nature

If we rely too much on those around us for assistance and/or support we will be setting ourselves up for disappointment in the future. This is not to say that we shouldn’t look to others for help when the time is right, but crafting our pursuits in such a way that requires the intervention of another is like handing over the keys and getting in the back seat. Our friends and colleagues may help open the doors of opportunity, but it is our own responsibility to take the wheel.

2. Self Confidence

Every decision we make in life will have some kind of effect on future outcomes. If our choices our filtered through fear and doubt, we can be assured of the life we are trying to avoid. Trust your instincts and listen to your heart. When you make a mistake, don’t look at it as reason for doubt, but instead, realize the opportunity for wisdom as you continue to push ahead.

3. Persistence

It’s been 5 years since I started my consulting business. 5 years of long hours and hard work. Many times did I consider throwing in the towel when things didn’t go my way. But every year that’s gone by, every road block I’ve pushed through, my business has grown as my resolve to make it a success has strengthened. Persistence is not an optional trait for those who desire success, but an essential attitude that must be embraced!

4. A Big Imagination

When I think of some of the greatest ‘achievers’ in American history I see great innovators and people of purpose. Names like Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Bill Gates come to mind. From cars to cartoons to computers, their personalities were as diverse as their pursuits. But one thing they share is the wonderful ability to see what’s not yet visible to the naked eye. It was the imagination of Henry Ford that first painted the picture of a car in every garage, and Bill Gates, a computer in every home. And it was Walt Disney who continues to inspire millions with the idea that ‘anything is possible’.

Those with inevitable success can see the unseen. They’ve become successful in their minds before they laid their first brick.

5. A Thick Skin

I’m a people pleaser at heart and can be devastated by disappointment. But as a necessity in business, I’ve grown a thick skin that allows me to deflect defeat while maintaining my focus. Whether in corporate conflict or the liabilities of life, it is those with a strong armor who will maintain their momentum.

6. Clarity Of Self Understanding

If you don’t know who you are, you will never truly know what you’re capable of. It is in our daily pursuits that we need accurate information on our strengths and weaknesses to succeed. Because being blind sided by your own inability or missing out on your true talents will bring nothing more than failure and frustration.

7. Clarity Of Intent

Continuing with the analogy of Ford, Disney and Gates, we can see three individuals with very clear intentions. No one ever questioned Ford’s intentions of filling the roads with his Model T’s. Disney was never far from his pursuits of capturing our imaginations. And even when no one believed in his dream of populating every home with a PC, there was never a question of Gates greatest goal.

8. Focus

There’s a lot of talk about multi-tasking and single tasking when it comes to getting things done. But however you go about accomplishing your goals, focus must be at the core of your character. Successful people have the knack for deflecting distraction and keeping their nose to the grindstone. It is our drive that pushes us forward and keeps our momentum, but without focus we will just be moving for the sake of motion.

9. Optimism

Many of the traits mentioned thus far would not be possible without this key ingredient. Without being able to constantly see the cup as half full, we would never be able to stay focused. Being blind to that silver lining would paralyze our persistence. So it is absolutely crucial that our minds maintain a positive outlook on life and never give in to the destruction of defeat. Optimism is at the heart of a successful human being!

10. Passion

Success can be obtained by many, but maintaining the drive to reach our goals requires a passion for pursuit and a lust for life. We can create a to-do list and set our goals with the best of them, but without this necessary habitual hunger, we will most certainly fail to bring to the table the results we imagined.


All ten of these traits are very important in being a good person, being liked by others, and being successful at anything you do.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Focus

Source: Photobucket.com

Focus (definition):
  • concentrate: direct one's attention on something;
  • maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea; "the controversy brought clearly into focus an important difference of opinion"
The Most Important Ingredient to Success

When asked what the most important thing that led to their success, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates replied "focus".

I have always been told to do well on everything and if I become really good at something I would be successful. I have been told to find something I have a relentless interest for and success will eventually follow. I think the secret to success breaks down to "focus". To be the best at something in the world, you have to have the physical and mental capacity first. If you want to be the best business man/woman, you aren't born with the knowledge of business. You may have the attributes to be a great business person as you grow up, but the knowledge has to be learned. I feel the more you learn on the topic the better off you will be.

My goal is to be a great investor and businessman. How do I get there? I have determined that I have the physical and mental capacity to be one of the best. Step 1, complete. Step 2, obtain and gain knowledge in those areas. My knowledge comes from experiences in investing and business (both success and failures), talking to others and getting their opinions, building scenarios and possible outcomes, joining clubs and associations, and reading on the subject (books, blogs, audiobooks, podcasts, internet sites, seminars, studying for certifications, news stories, and following the advice of others who are great in the field or fields).

Never stop learning about your topic, to be the best you have to have the best, most accurate information from the past and present. The better your information, the better assessments you can make now and for the future. Focus on what you want to be and how you are going to get there and what you have to do. Constantly focus on the topic and dream about where you will be in the future. Don't get lazy, put time, effort and focus into it. Think about what you are doing and build a scenario on what someone else in the world is doing and compete against them. If you are not thinking about it at least once a day or at minimum most days out of the week, you probably will never be the best, because chances are someone else is thinking about it on a daily basis and acting on how to be the best.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Stock Market is the Worst in 80 Years

The stock market is going crazy. What am I doing about it? Standing strong and adding to my positions.

From CrossingWallStreet.com - The Worst Decade since the 1930s.

Bespoke points out that this decade has been one of the worst in history for stock returns:

Unless we get a major rally to close out the year (15%+), this will only be the third time since 1900 that the Dow Jones posted negative returns in the first nine years of a decade (excluding dividends).
I am adding to some of my positions and have put about 20% more money in the market, than I had previously, in the last few weeks. The US is in trouble, banks are failing, there is not very much credit available. People are scared and pulling their money out.

A bear market doesn't come around very often and this has been a big one so far. Big enough to be compared to the crash in the 1930s. I keep buying, my emotions are turned off and I am buying great companies on the cheap. The stocks I own are pretty risky but have solid balance sheets. They can hold on for a while and if and when we come out of this I hope to make a bundle. I am still young and can afford to lose some if it doesn't work out. I am not financing my investments by debt or by betting payments that I owe and have a cash reserve to cover me for a while in case things get really bad.

"Be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy". - W. Buffett

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

10 Ways to Get Rich by Warren Buffett


In Parade Magazine, Warren Buffett listed ten ways to get rich.  Here is the list and my comments are below.
  1. Reinvest your profits.
  2. Be willing to be different. 
  3. Never suck your thumb.
  4. Spell out the deal before you start.
  5. Watch small expenses.
  6. Limit what you borrow. 
  7. Be persistant.
  8. Know when to quit.
  9. Assess the risks.
  10. Know what success really means. 

Reinvest your profits.
  • If you make a little money, refrain from spending it on unnecessary things.  Instead, reinvest your profits in the asset or other investments.  Typically the more you invest, the better off you will be.  Compounding interest as quoted by Albert Einstein is "the most powerful force in the universe."
Be willing to be different. 
  • Don't always follow the crowd, be a contrarian.  This is where you will make your money.  Place bets on what the crowd doesn't like and the calculate the risks in doing so.  If the benefits outweigh the risks and you are correct in your assumptions, you will make a bundle when the crowd starts to follow the idea again.
Never suck your thumb.
  • Buffett also calls this "unnecessary sitting".  A form of procrastination, determine what you need to do, and DO IT.  Action and execcution are really all that matter.  If the task is large, break it up into pieces and set deadlines to get those pieces done.  It will seem like a much smaller task once you break it up.
Spell out the deal before you start.
  • The ability to see scenarios of what can happen and planning on your responses is the best way to get what you want out of negotiations.  Always be prepared.  Understand what the other party wants from the deal and both sides can win.
Watch small expenses.
  • Sometimes we lost sight of the little things in life, and in this example are the small expenses.  In general, the more we make, the more we lose track of the little expenses because we feel they don't matter.  Managing your little expenses can save you a lot down the road.  This also applies to doing business.
Limit what you borrow. 
  • Living on credit cards and loans will not make you rich.  It may appear to other people that you are for a short period of time until all of the debt becomes apparent.  Work on being debt-free and investing the excess.
Be persistant.
  • Don't give up what you believe in and stand for.  
Know when to quit.
  • Know when to walk away from a loss.  If the business is a failing business, leave emotional ties behind.  The ability to think clearly and knowing when to cut your losses is crucial to being successful.
Assess the risks.
  • Crucial to Berkshire Hathaway's business, Warren has to constantly evaluate possible risks when owning companies.  Evaluate all possible scenarios so there will be no surprises.
Know what success really means. 
  • Buffett doesn't measure success in dollars surprisingly.  He lives an extremely humble live and doesn't own many lavish things.  This is how Warren measures success "When you get to my age, you'll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That's the ultimate test of how you've lived your life." 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warren Buffett on Charlie Rose - May 2007


Monday, August 4, 2008

Follow the Leader


What ever happens to our heroes and heroines? Most, if not all, kids have heroes that they look up to and want to be when they grow up. Whether it's a superhero, a character on a television show, a sports figure, or someone they know.

As kids grow up, they lose sight of their heroes, probably because most of them mature and wouldn't want to be seen carrying a Batman or Scooby-Doo toy, understandably. But regardless, everyone needs a hero to model for different aspects of their life. It's easy to attempt to be the best at something when you are doing things like the best. If you want to enhance your life, take lessons from the people that are the best at it.

If I want to be a good investor, I look to greats like Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Eddie Lampert, Bruce Berkowitz, Monish Pabrai, etc. If I want to be a more generous person, I look to philanthropists like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and John D. Rockefeller. If I want to be a great public speaker I look to Dale Carnegie, Steve Jobs, and Steve Ballmer. If I want a good sense of humor I look to George Carlin, Dennis Miller, and many others. Modeling these people will help you drastically and makes life a lot easier. They have found a way to be excellent at something and can be your teachers as you grow.

Some suggestions I would suggest on how to learn how your heroes did it would be to read their biographies, wikipedia, websites, books that they have stated they have read or are reading, atricles and books they have written, online videos, and DVDs.

It's not really that hard to be good at something. You just need to be passionate and focus and model what the greats are doing or have done.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Recent Book Readings

I have completed reading a few books over the last few months.
  1. Security Analysis (Classic 1940s Edition) by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
  2. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
  3. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (my second time reading it)
Security Analysis (Classic 1940s Edition)
To date, Security Analysis (Classic 1940s Edition) is my most accomplished reading. This 841-page behemoth is a work that any investor would respect. Co-written by the father of value-investing, Benjamin Graham gives in-depth insight to the world of value investing. Reading this book is on par, in terms of technicality, with many of the college textbooks I have used. Written originally over 80 years ago, this book still had amazing validity in the stock market today. The basic premise of value-investing is still intact and the theory remains much the same. It's amazing the knowledge I have learned through reading it and I will definitely apply it to investing. Many great investors have followed Graham-style investing including Warren Buffett, Eddie Lampert, Monish Pabrai, among many others.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich - My Thoughts
Great book about outsourcing your life. Probably not relevant to many people due to the fact that Tim talks a lot about getting rid of your 9-5 job, starting a successful, non-demanding business, and traveling the world, working 4-hours a week on the business that runs itself. What I really got out of the book was traveling while you're young and not waiting until retirement to start traveling. Tim refers to his travels or vacations as "mini retirements" and details many of the adventures that he has been on. These adventures struck a nerve in me and made me want to act on my ideas for traveling and doing adrenaline-pumping activities.

Other things that I took from the book were the ability for anyone to hire a virtual assistant for $5-$10 an hour from India to assist you if you need anything. They will research a topic, pay your bills, reply to emails, etc. for a minimal charge and most of these virtual assistants have MBA's and are incredible educated. This maybe something worth looking into.

The Intelligent Investor
Referred to as the best investment book written by Warren Buffett, this is a great book for controlling your emotions in the stock market. The theory of Mr. Market in the book depicts that the market is full of people's emotions and prices wander to cheap or expensive levels, in which intelligent investors can capitalize on. The book believes holding great companies for the long-term. If you are truly interested in the stock market and the pschology of human emotions, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Success is Always Challenged

(Photo: bp0)

Are you or someone you may know successful? Do other people recognize this success? Are you or they ever challenged because of your or their success?

It seems as though the more successful you become, the more people will challenge your ideas and thoughts. Does the challenge stem from the personal gratification of the challenger justifying their lack of success? Is the challenger trying to make themselves feel better about their life by challenging others?

I believe the thought stems from one word, jealousy. Humans are jealous by nature, they want more, more, more. People constantly think and look after themselves, and themselves alone. They compare themselves to other people and wonder, why is this girl successful and why am I not? Everything is a competition and they start rationalizing, making lists of that person's negatives; All they care about is themselves. They work too hard. The list is never ending.

I am one to always do my best at everything. I search out the best possible solution to everything and execute. Living this way has done me well and recently attitudes have changes about me from others. I have the same personality but certain success attributes are become more apparent, not in terms of lavish, material items, but underlying things like job experiences, investment opportunities, etc. There is now a constant challenge of my ideas, anger from others for not being included in certain investments, and fierce competition.

It is a constant battle and the resolution is difficult. Do you stop talking about investments with certain people? Do you keep your business to yourself with certain people? Do you not talk about your work life? Do you not talk about your future dreams and goals? It is certainly a challenge worth looking at.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

I have recently starting reading (listening actually from the audiobook) The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. It's been a thought-changing book so far and he has a lot of great ideas to tackle your fears and your passions in life. He started off working in an office like many Americans and made a dramatic change to alter his life and travel the world, all the while working only 4-hours on his own businesses.

His book is broken out into the following chapters:
Definition means to figure out what a person wants, get over fears, see past society's "expectations", and figure out what it will really cost to get where a person wants to go.

Elimination is about time management, or rather about not managing time. This is achieved applying the 80/20 rule to focus only on those tasks that contribute the majority of benefit. There's a difference, Ferriss says, between efficiency and effectiveness. The books emphasis is on effectiveness.

Automation is about building a sustainable, automatic source of income. This includes techniques such as drop-shipping, automation, Google Adwords and Adsense and outsourcing.

Liberation is dedicated to the successfully automated of one's lifestyle and the liberatation from a geographical location and job. Incidentally, Ferriss notes that if somebody has a regular job, the order of steps will be DELA, not DEAL.

The book asserts that technology such as email, instant messaging and internet-enabled pda's complicate life rather than simplify it. It advocates hiring virtual assistants from developing countries such as India to free up personal time.

Source: Wikipedia
Timothy Ferriss also writes a blog and maintains a website. Check them out! You can also check out my previous post - Timothy Ferriss, American Author and Speaker.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Warren Buffett Rap

This guy made a rap about legendary Warren Buffett.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Secret to Happiness is No Secret

See The 'secret' to happiness... is no secret at The Financial Philosopher.

The blog post gives some great advice on finding happiness from the following quotes:
  • "Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy." ~ Lau-tzu
  • "All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • "My opinion is that you never find happiness until you stop looking for it." ~ Chuang Tzu
  • "If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires." ~ Epicurus

  • "Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you will miss it. For success, like happiness, can not be pursued; and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see -- in the long run, I say! -- success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it." ~ Viktor Frankl

Friday, June 27, 2008

Morningstar Interview with Bruce Berkowitz

Truly an inspirational investor, Bruce Berkowitz discusses his new investments.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Best Advice I Ever Got: Thomas S. Murphy

Thomas S. Murphy, Former CEO of Capital Cities/ABC

Always do the right thing and you will have nothing to worry about:
I got two pieces of advice I have always remembered. The first was from my father, Charles E. Murphy, who was a justice of the New York State Supreme Court. It was a point about ethics. He said, "Doing the wrong thing is not worth the loss of one night's good sleep."

Some things in life cannot be controlled. Spend your time on things you can control:
The other came from Benjamin Selekman, a Harvard Business School professor who taught labor relations. The last thing he said, at his last lecture to my class, was, "Here is something to remember for the rest of your life: Don't spend your time on things you can't control. Instead, spend your time thinking about what you can."

Source: Best Advice I Ever Got

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quit Smoking

I have never been a smoker, but here is some motivation to quit for those who are unable to and are trying.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Three Ways to Motivate People

Motivating people is one of the key attributes that makes great leaders. There are three useful ways to motivate people, by command, negotiation, and persuasion.

Command - To direct with certain authority or prerogative.
  • Often useless, command is used when neither negotiation or persuasion works as a last result. Command is used in the military and is used to tell people what to do or what not to do. It is a one-sided communication and should be avoided when another method can not be implemented.
Negotiation - Mutual discussion or arrangement of the terms of the transaction or agreement.
  • More useful than command typically, you usually have to give something to get something in negotiating. Identifying what the other party needs and what you have to offer are the challenges. If you are able to identify these two, people will then try to get what they want while giving up as little as possible themselves.
Persuasion - The act of influencing the mind by arguments or reasons offered, or by anything that moves the mind or passions, or inclines the will to a determination.
  • The most desired method of motivation, persuasion will usually get a positive result at little cost on your part. Great leaders are typically always great at persuasion and getting others to do what they want and are great listeners. Leaders create ideas and persuade others to enforce them. Gaining respect from others and then using persuasion will enable the people who respect you to want to help you and will have a better attitude then the previous methods.

  • There are four steps to becoming a great persuader and four things to avoid. (from HBS - The Necessary Art of Persuasion)
    • Effective persuaders:
      1. must establish credibility;
      2. frame their goals in a way that identifies common ground with those they intend to persuade;
      3. reinforce their positions using vivid language and compelling evidence; and
      4. connect emotionally with their audience.
    • Ineffective persuaders:
      1. attempt to make their case with an up-front, hard sell;
      2. resist compromise;
      3. think the secret of persuasion lies in great arguments; and
      4. assume persuasion is a one-shot effort.
Definitions are from Dictionary.com.

While each method can be used in most situations, persuasion is the most useful generally, as it results in a positive output and requires very little of the leader. Great leaders press on to persuade people even when they feel it is impossible and resort to commanding or negotiating as little as possible.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Business and Economies

Here is a recent reply to a friend that is an avid Ron Paul supporter and feels that the U.S. economy is going to fail soon due to the large amount of debt that America has amassed. Although I believe him somewhat, I also believe the following:

Business is what keeps economies running and efficient. You have to realize that people in general and people running these companies adapt as they encounter problems. If there are problems, changes occur until they are solved. If a company has problems, it finds ways to fix them. If they aren't fixed they get acquired or go bankrupt. They are then absorbed into other companies or a new company is created that is more efficient than before if there is still value in that particular business. This is good, it takes inefficiency out of the system. Being that we have the most knowledgeable and educated population in the world currently we have a significant advantage here. We will seek out these problems and adapt.

Many US companies are global, therefore generating revenues from many sources of the world, not just here anymore. Smaller US companies may fail due to China's influence, so these companies will eventually go away. Another fact that remains is the assets that these companies hold. They hold real estate, not just in the US but all over the world. They hold short term investments, long term investments, domestic companies, foreign companies, brand names, etc. which are hardly subject to inflation, so their value is tangible and concrete. As populations increase there is a need for more goods and services, so there is always an increasing need for real estate and consumer products and other goods, that will not change.

The fact remains that we are in a global world now. Money exchanges hands across the world at incredible speeds, wealth is transferred almost instantly. Our knowledge base is huge. Americans will continually invest in foreign countries, foreign companies, global companies, build wealth, and cash out. People will adapt to the problems at hand and find a way to fix them.

The secret is to diversify, no-one knows what will happen in the future.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

10 Things to Learn this Year

From Guy Kawasaki's blog, How to Change the World:
I’m on the campus of UCSB this week at family camp, and it's inspired me to blog about what students should learn in order to prepare for the real world after graduation. This is an opportune time to broach this subject because the school year is about to begin, and careers can still be affected.

First, take this little test about the state of your understanding of the real world right after you graduated from school.
Here are the top 5 things Guy thinks you should learn this year and my advice under them:
  • How to talk to your boss.
    • The importance is obvious here. If you are unable to communicate with your boss then you will hardly be recognized when promotion time comes around. Just communicating with your boss will not be sufficient so try quality communication. Quality communication could be not taking up his/her time when he/she is busy by asking for advice from others or working on the task yourself. Quality communication is making your point accurately and quickly, giving him/her status updates, and sending him/her interesting material through email. If you find an interesting article and send it to your boss stating you found the material useful and is applicable to a project you are working on, you will be recognized. Most importantly... do not treat your boss like he/she is better than you. Treat him/her with the utmost respect, but if you are unable to communicate to them because you are terrified then that gets you no where.
  • How to survive a meeting that’s poorly run.
    • Look at the bright side, "is there anything that I can get out of this meeting that I am not seeing?" If the meeting is incredibly boring to you maybe there are some underlying things that you can learn from. Ask yourself "what would I do if I was the presenter right now, or what wouldn't I do?"
  • How to run a meeting.
    • Prepararion is the largest thing here. Prepare, prepare, and prepare. Take your time when you speak, it is not a marathon. If you see that your audience is bored or not comprehending you, clarify your points and dig deeper. The purpose of you presenting is to teach your audience something. Think of it this way, they are there for you.
  • How to figure out anything on your own.
    • Study. If you don't understand a concept, break it into smaller pieces. What are the pieces that I understand? What are the pieces that I don't understand? Seek out the answers to the ones you don't understand and the puzzle will eventually fit together. Do your due diligence. Google the topic, read books on the topic, and ask your peers and superiors for help.
  • How to negotiate.
    • Negotiation falls into many aspects of life, asking someone to stay late to work, getting a pay increase, a promotion, not being able to go to dinner with your spouse. If you need help on a project or task, you have to negotiate with others into helping you. Start out with the problem or solution, and ask "what do I need to get there?" If you need help for x days from x people, who are you going to ask? Who has time? How am I going to convince this person if they are available? If they aren't available, can I convince them to help by working late? How? You should be asking yourself all of these questions to these scenarios and how you are going to answer them. Preparation again is the key to success in this area. Always remember that you can't willingly get people to do things by forcing them. Think about what they want and how you can help them when they help you. It's a two-sided scenario always and can usually be a win-win result if you put some time into thinking about it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Fear of Failure

"After a lifetime of making money and observing better men and women than I fall by the wayside, I am convinced that fear of failing in the eyes of the world is the single biggest impediment to amassing wealth. Trust me on this. If you shy away for any reason whatever, then the way is blocked. The gate is shut -- and will remain shut." - Felix Dennis

This is a great quote on how to get rich. Motivation for wealth stems from fear - the fear of failing in the eyes of the world. The eyes of the world could be composed of your family, friends, work associates, people you will meet someday, etc. Until you take the chance to fail, you will never fail, nor will you complete your goal. The goal discussed here is wealth but can be utilized to many other aspects of life (finishing college, being a good parent, getting a certain job, taking care of your family, traveling the world, etc.).

Take a chance at something... anything. If you fail, find out why you failed. Maybe you failed because the idea just wouldn't work, maybe you failed because of lack of effort, branding, knowledge, resources. Whatever the case, fix it or move on to something else you might fail at. Those who succeeded at something always failed along the way.

The Effect of No Alcohol

I'm not a alcoholic by any means, but I don't mind a few drinks when the weekend comes around. Drinking during weekdays has almost vanished since my college days - a step in the right direction.

I have noticed that drinking a few drinks or not at all for a week has promising effects. I have more energy, ambition and drive throughout the week and feel much more rested. Laying in bed the next day with a headache after a long night of drinking doesn't just affect my activities that day but it seems to spill over into the rest of the week. It's good to take a break every once in a while and let your liver rejuvenate too.

If you always seem to have a lack of energy and motivation, try taking care of your body first by eating healthy and exercising. They may give you the small jump-start you need.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Getting Rich in America, by Brian Tracy

Based on the audiobook "Getting Rich in America" by Brian Tracy.

Here are my favorite high-level points from the book:
  • Whenever you see an opportunity to sell people something greater than the price than you can do it for, you are capturing value. The value is what makes you wealthy.
  • Knowledge is what makes your value more useful and profitable.
  • Always strive to succeed to do your best.
  • Networking is crucial to success.
Another interesting topic -

At the time the book was written, the majority of self-made millionaires were in the following industries:
  1. Commercial Machine and Equipment Wholesaling
  2. Commercial Printing
  3. Designing Computer Programs
  4. Data Processing Services
  5. Dry Cleaning Establishments
Very seldom do people ever look into these industries. Everyone wants the "exciting" technology businesses or the next big thing. Maybe try something in the tried and true businesses above and you will have better success.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wesley Autrey, Subway Samaritan

Wesley Autrey (b. 1956) (dubbed by the media as the "Subway Samaritan", "Subway Superman", "The Hero of Harlem" and as the "Subway Hero") is a New York construction worker and Navy veteran who in 2007 achieved international recognition after he saved Cameron Hollopeter, a 19-year-old film student who had suffered a seizure and fallen onto the tracks, from being struck by a New York City subway train.

He was on the 2007 Time 100 most influential people in the world list made by Time magazine and had the text about him written by Donald Trump.
The Subway Story
On January 2, 2007, Autrey was waiting for a train at the 137th Street and Broadway station in Manhattan with his two young daughters. At around 12:45 p.m., he and two women noticed a young man, Cameron Hollopeter, having a seizure. Autrey borrowed a pen from someone and used it to keep Hollopeter's jaw open. Following the seizure, Hollopeter stumbled from the platform, falling onto the tracks.

As Hollopeter lay on the tracks, Autrey saw the lights of an oncoming train. As one of the women held Autrey's daughters back away from the edge of the platform, Autrey dove onto the tracks. He thought he would be able to take Hollopeter off the tracks, but he realized there was not enough time to drag Hollopeter away. Instead, he protected Hollopeter by throwing himself over Hollopeter's body in a drainage trench between the tracks, where he held him down. The operator of the train applied the brakes, but two cars still passed over them, close enough to leave grease on his cap.

Source: Wikipedia.org
The simple act of caring and doing something nice for a complete stranger is what gives this story meaning.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold gives advice to the contestants of the TV Show, "The Apprentice".

Here are a few quotes from the video:
  • "Never listen to -- it can't be done"
  • "Pain is temporary, the result may be permanent"
  • "The more you succeed, the more people will attack you"


Friday, May 23, 2008

Lessons from Richard Branson

After launching his first business at 16, a magazine called Student, Branson went on to establish a mail-order record business that turned into a chain of music shops and eventually became Virgin Megastores. Today, Virgin has grown to include some 250 companies, including airlines and mobile phones. Last year, Branson launched Virgin America, a stateside domestic air service.

Never criticize anyone, it looks bad on yourself:
"My parents would never let me criticize anyone, saying it would reflect badly on me. To this day, I look for the best in people who work for Virgin and believe that as a result I only get the best back. 'Flowers flourish when watered,' they'd tell me. The same applies to people."

Source: BusinessWeek.com

See Richard Branson's Bio for more information.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Teen Millionaires

Stories of two teen millionaires. One of the teens had 12 businesses before age 21.

Here are some of the lessons from the video:
  • Put yourself out there.
  • Start with small goals.
  • Focus on something you know.
  • Adapt or die, continue to change.
  • Read books and study successful people.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Motivation from Knowing

The following is from the blog of author, Seth Godin, who has written many books:
I like reading magic books.

I don’t do magic. Not often (and not well). But reading the books is fun. It’s a vicarious thing, imagining how a trick might work, visualizing the effect and then smiling at how the technique is done. One after another, it’s a pleasant adventure.

A lot of people read business books in just the same way. They cruise through the case studies or the insights or examples and imagine what it would be like to be that brilliant entrepreneur or that successful CEO or that great sales rep. A pleasant adventure.

There’s a huge gap between most how-to books (cookbooks, gardening, magic, etc.) and business books, though. The gap is motivation. Gardening books don’t push you to actually do something. Cookbooks don’t spend a lot of time trying to sell you on why making a roast chicken isn’t as risky as you might think.

The stakes are a lot higher when it comes to business.

Wreck a roast chicken and it’s $12 down the drain. Wreck a product launch and there goes your career...

I’m passionate about writing business books precisely for this reason. High stakes, high rewards. My guess is that there are more business books sold than most other non-fiction categories--it's not just recipes.

The fascinating thing is this: I spend 95% of my time persuading people to take action and just 5% of the time on the recipes.

The recipe that makes up just about any business book can be condensed to just two or three pages. The rest is the sell. The proof. The persuasion.

Which leads to your role as the reader. How to read a business book... it’s not as obvious as it seems.
  • Bullet points are not the point.
If you’re reading for the recipe, and just the recipe, you can get through a business book in just a few minutes. But most people who do that get very little out of the experience. Take a look at the widely divergent reviews for The Dip. The people who ‘got it’ understood that the purpose of the book was to get you to change your perspective and thus your behavior. Those that didn’t were looking for bullet points. They wasted their money.

Computer books, of course, are nothing but bullet points. Motivated programmers get amazing value because for $30 they are presented with everything they need to program a certain way or in a certain language. Yet most programmers are not world class, precisely because the bullet points aren’t enough to get them to see things the way the author does, and not enough to get them motivated enough to actually program great code.

So, how to read a business book:

1. Decide, before you start, that you’re going to change three things about what you do all day at work. Then, as you’re reading, find the three things and do it. The goal of the reading, then, isn’t to persuade you to change, it’s to help you choose what to change.

2. If you’re going to invest a valuable asset (like time), go ahead and make it productive. Use a postit or two, or some index cards or a highlighter. Not to write down stuff so you can forget it later, but to create marching orders. It’s simple: if three weeks go by and you haven’t taken action on what you’ve written down, you wasted your time.

3. It’s not about you, it’s about the next person. The single best use of a business book is to help someone else. Sharing what you read, handing the book to a person who needs it... pushing those around you to get in sync and to take action--that’s the main reason it’s a book, not a video or a seminar. A book is a souvenir and a container and a motivator and an easily leveraged tool. Hoarding books makes them worth less, not more.

Effective managers hand books to their team. Not so they can be reminded of high school, but so that next week she can say to them, "are we there yet?"
In reading business books, Seth is absolutely right - the gap between most how-to and business books is motivation. Business books stimulate you to do something, while how-to books do very little in this regard.

The thrill that I get from reading business books is the risk. The risk comes from not knowing when I am presented with a problem. If I am presented with a problem and have previous knowledge in the area for alleviating it, I feel better off about myself. If I do not know a resolution to the problem, I am determined to find one. For me, it's not just finding a resolution to every problem that I face in my life, it's putting the maximum effort forth to finding the best solution.

I absolutely bask in certain topics that are important to me in my life. The reason for this is the motivating thought of 'being the best at something in the world'. For example, if I want to be the best at investing in the world, I look for ways to accomplish this. I mimic investing gurus, I read investment books and business books, I email owners of businesses that are selling, I ask questions to people in the profession, I look at what others are doing and try to do them better, etc. My motivation stems from the thought of putting my maximum effort forth, knowing I will be very good at it eventually. That simple thought is what keeps me going.

Monday, May 19, 2008

From a Homeless, Drug Addict to Millionaire

Bob Williamson fled a broken home in Mississippi at age 17 to hitchhike around the country. He landed in Atlanta in 1970 at 24, homeless, broke, and addicted to heroin and methamphetamine. When he got a job there cleaning bricks for $15 a week, no one would have guessed that he would start a $26 million software company someday.

Change your life around if what you're doing isn't working:

Successful businesses often spring from a combination of hard work and dumb luck, and Williamson credits both. Not long after arriving in Atlanta, he was injured in a car wreck and spent months recovering in the hospital. While there, he read the Bible, converted to Christianity, and decided to straighten up his life. It wasn't easy: He had a criminal record, no college degree, and few job prospects.

"I was either going to commit suicide, which several of my friends had done, or I was going turn my life around," says Williamson, now chairman and chief executive officer of Horizon Software International, a 180-employee maker of software for food service systems used in schools, hospitals, and other institutions.

Promoted Eight Times in Two Years

Be the first one there to work, and last one to leave:
Williamson eventually landed a job putting labels on paint cans in the basement of the Glidden paint company in Atlanta. He cleaned up the labeling department and helped Glidden move to the company's first computer system. His work ethic, he says, was: "First one there, last to leave." Glidden promoted Williamson eight times in two years.

He went on to work at two other paint companies. By then a paint expert, Williamson started working in his basement to develop a better formula for his hobby: airbrush art. "I borrowed $1,000 on my Visa card and bought a bunch of chemicals and made a bunch of paint," he says. At a trade show, artists flocked to his booth to buy the paint he developed, called Polytranspar. He quit his job and started his own paint company, Master Paint Systems, in 1977.

He spun that into several other businesses: a magazine for artists, how-to books, an art supply manufacturer, and a mail-order business, teaching himself as he went along. As the business grew, so did his need for organizational tools. It was the early 1980s, and he realized he needed systems for his warehouse, inventory control, and supply-chain management. "Back then you couldn't buy software, so I hired a couple of programmers, and we wrote software for all these different companies," Williamson says.

Recovering From Bankruptcy

By 1986, when he was selling 6,000 different art-related items, Williamson prepared to take the company public. But during the audit for his IPO, he discovered an accountant had been embezzling money from the company. "We fought our way through it, and my accountant and my lawyer and everybody told me to just take bankruptcy and forget about it," Williamson says.

Never give up:
But he was convinced he could recover. Williamson urged his creditors not to file lawsuits that would force a liquidation. "Every week I would send them a letter and tell them what was happening, and we rebuilt it up beyond its former stage," he says.

Focused on School Cafeterias

After recovering, he sold off his previous ventures, and in 1992, founded Horizon. The company was built on the back-office software Williamson spent years developing for his own businesses. "We wrote a system for our mail-order business, we wrote software for our manufacturing company, a point-of-sale system for retail," he says. "We weren't selling that to anybody. We had just written in-house for our own use."

The company focused on systems for school cafeterias when Williamson found no one had written back-office software for that market. He was soon selling into other institutions like hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, and military bases. Horizon recently won the contract for the Los Angeles public schools, the nation's second-largest system.

Williamson's son, Michael, who is Horizon's chief operating officer, says his father succeeded by jumping on opportunities that chance presented. "You would never have thought that we would be in food service software when we started Horizon, but the path just kind of led that way and we took advantage of it," he says. "He's always had a great ability to look out into other markets and other products."

The Element of Chance

Be an honest and straightforward person:
Williamson, now 61, presides over Horizon's 44,000-square-foot headquarters in Atlanta. The company had $26 million in revenue in 2007, and he's projecting $32 million this year. Still, Williamson says, "I'm the first one there and the last one to leave." And he ascribes his business success to his conversion. "I have always tried to run my business according to the way that God would want me to…I've always tried to be honest and straightforward, and not lie and not cheat, and not try to take an easy way out."

Hard work was certainly part of Williamson's improbable personal turnaround: He recalls years of working 20-hour days and says he still only sleeps four or five hours a night. But chance guided his entrepreneurial success as well: a car accident that jolted him out of a destructive life, a paint recipe that became a hit, and early exposure to the burgeoning software industry.

And in some ways, Williamson's arrival in Atlanta at the nadir of his life set the foundation for his rise. "I'd been through so much in my life, I don't get discouraged," he says. "The trials I've had in business are mild compared to what my life was like."

Source: BusinessWeek.com

Friday, May 16, 2008

Abraham Lincoln, Former U.S. President

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809–April 15, 1865), the sixteenth President of the United States, successfully led his country through its greatest crisis, the Civil War, only to be assassinated less than a month after the war's end. Before his election as President, Lincoln was a lawyer, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Senate. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he helped preserve the United States by leading the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.

Lincoln closely supervised the victorious war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including Ulysses S. Grant. Historians have concluded that he handled the factions of the Republican Party well, bringing leaders of each faction into his cabinet and forcing them to cooperate. Lincoln successfully defused a war scare with the United Kingdom in 1861. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war. Additionally, he managed his own reelection in the 1864 presidential election.

People will criticize your ideas. Stand strong for what you believe in:
Opponents of the war (also known as "Copperheads") criticized him for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue. Conversely, the Radical Republicans, an abolitionist faction of the Republican Party, criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery. Even with these road blocks, Lincoln successfully rallied public opinion through his rhetoric and speeches; his Gettysburg Address is but one example of this. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation. His assassination in 1865 was the first presidential assassination in U.S. history and made him a martyr for the ideal of national unity.

Source: Wikipedia.org
Abraham Lincoln's "Failures" and "Successes"
Abe Lincoln became one of the greatest success stories in history, here are the things he had to overcome to get there:
  • Lost job
  • Defeated for state legislature
  • Failed in business
  • Sweetheart died
  • Had nervous breakdown
  • Defeated for Speaker
  • Defeated for nomination for Congress
  • Lost renomination
  • Rejected for land officer
  • Defeated for U.S. Senate
  • Defeated for nomination for Vice President
  • Again defeated for U.S. Senate
In the 56 years (1809 - 1865) of his life, Abraham Lincoln had many failures and successes along the way. How many people do you know that could overcome the losses and failures that he has and still become one of the greatest success stories in history?

Famous Failures

A video of a few of the most famous people of the last century and their failures. Among the people mentioned are Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, Ulysses S. Grant, and Abraham Lincoln (Bio). "If you've never failed, you've never lived."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Top Gear: Bugatti Veyron

If you're into supercars check out the speed test for the Bugatti Veyron by Top Gear. This should get you pumped up! If you work hard and smart maybe someday you will have one.

Top 20 Quotes for Success




Here are some great quotes on success:
  1. "The secret to success is deferred gratification." - Me
  2. "Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
  4. "The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…. One step at a time." - Anonymous
  5. "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone." - Bill Cosby
  6. "The steps to success are simple. Decide what you want. Determine the price. Pay the price." - Burker Hunt
  7. "There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: Those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed." - Ray Goforth
  8. "The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore." – Dale Carnegie
  9. "Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success." – Thomas J. Watson
  10. "When a man feels throbbing within him the power to do what he undertakes as well as it can possibly be done, this is happiness, this is success." - Orison Swett Marden
  11. "Success: willing to do what the average person is not willing to do." - Anonymous
  12. "You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong." - Warren Buffett
  13. "It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final." - Roger Babson
  14. "You and your opponent want the same thing. The only thing that matters is who works the hardest for it." - Anonymous
  15. "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." - Pablo Picasso
  16. "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that is why we recommend it daily." - Zig Ziglar
  17. "A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm." - Charles Schwab
  18. "Success comes from constant and never ending improvement." - Tony Robbins
  19. "Some people dream of success, while other wake up and work hard at it." - Anonymous
  20. "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Timothy Ferriss, American Author and Speaker

Timothy Ferriss (b. 1977) is an American author, public speaker, and "productivity guru." In 2007, he published The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich which was a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.

Ferriss is known for his application of the Pareto Principle to business and personal life. He has also taken the position that technology such as email, instant messaging and internet-enabled pda's complicate life rather than simplify it. His teachings fit under the umbrella of what he calls "lifestyle design" which he positions as an alternative to the "deferred-life" career path where one would work a 9 to 5 job until retirement in their 60's. This involves breaking what he calls "outdated assumptions" and finding ways to be more efficient so that 'work' takes up less of people's time.

Ferriss delivered guest lectures on High-Tech Entrepreneurship and Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, where he is also a graduate.

Source: Wikipedia.org

Timothy Ferris on Compounding Time:
I met David Kutoff in Omaha at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, and he asked me an interesting question:

Do you think that the value of time can compound like interest?

Three glasses of wine into a post-event party with Cirque du Soleil performers, I didn’t have a good answer, but David recently sent me a thought-provoking e-mail I thought I’d share.

How might better use of your time compound? David explores:

Bear with me, this is somewhat rough at the moment — my initial quandary was whether time, like currency, could be invested to produce a compounding effect. After a bit of thought, my conclusion is that the value of ones time could experience a significant gain, and perhaps a compounding effect over time, given an investment of [that present-state] time in knowledge, skill or other capacity, and a reinvestment of future gains (just like currency).

Money and currency — accumulated excess money — represent one part of your capacity to transact in the marketplace, and can be exchanged for help from others in the form of products or services, including “things” like consumables, depreciable and appreciable assets. Similarly every action you take, whether it be transaction-related or not, requires the expenditure of some amount of time, which is roughly fixed for all of us (say 10,000 working days between the ages of 22 and 62).

Much like currency can be exchanged for appreciable assets that can grow with a compounding effect over time if the gains are re-invested, my theory is that time can be thought about in a similar way, which may lead to more effective action.

To put this in terms of your thinking from your book, lets say you work 40 hours per week simply performing tasks requested by your employer, none of which produce any additional future potential for generating income for yourself.

Think of your time as compounding, and continually reinvest it:
This is the equivalent of spending your money on consumables or living expenses. It’s single use, and gives you no real future gain, aside from whatever currency you might earn in the moment. Now, you decide to outsource 50% of your tasks to India, producing the same outcomes with 50% of your time. You just doubled the value of your time compared to before (less the additional expense for the help). Now, with that free time, you get more rigorous about working out, studying, and building your networks. You increase your energy, skill, and capacity working with others and manage to produce yet the same results that were taking 50% of your time with only 30%. If you keep reinvesting some of your time in additional gains in your capacity to act, you can theoretically have a compounding effect with the value of your time (rather than time itself). Just like investing currency, the earlier you start this process, and continue to invest in your capacity, the more time your capacity has to compound, and the greater outcomes you can produce during your lifetime.

Positivity and Success

What effect does positivity have on success? Can you be successful without being positive?
It seems as though it would be very difficult to be successful without being positive. How will you stick to one idea and believe it will work if you are an entrepreneur? How will you work with great enthusiasm at your current job without being positive? How will you manage your life without having some positivity in it (something good to look forward to)?

You don't have to be positive all the time, it is good to challenge your thoughts and instincts and as it's a great way to become better at what you do. I have found happiness and success through staying positive a majority of the time in my life and taking some time to challenge my thoughts and ideas a minority of the time. It has proven to work for me.

Next time you are unsure of something, or a decision you've made in your life, attempt to believe everything is going to be alright. Believing things will work out in the end shouldn't be difficult if you've put time and effort into making every decision in your life. The decisions you have made over time will turn out to be the best for you, so everything has to turn out right. Right?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Al Pacino's Inspirational Speech

An inspirational and motivational excerpt from the movie "Any Given Sunday." (Caution: NSFW because of Language)


Here's the full script (thanks to EssaysFromExodus).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Part of the job of a leader is motivating people and changing their attitudes and behaviors. Here are some great suggestions on how to accomplish this without offending them:
  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be "hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise."
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
From the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.