2014

Big 4 Financial Interview

Question: I have recently become aware of your website and all the wonderful help that you offer . . . thank God!!! I have been following closely and have recently purchased LOMS. I now have an interview in a week’s time with one of the big four firms. It’s a miracle that I even got [...]

The Ultimate Strategic Life Decision

The premise behind being strategic is simple – begin with the end in mind. My first encounter with this principle came from Stephen Covey’s classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When I worked at McKinsey, much of the client work was focused on this principle — begin with the end in mind. [...]

How to Accomplish... Anything

I recently wrote about the purpose of having a purpose and how it provides clarity in decision making. In response, I received a question about how one goes about going from Point A to Point Z when nothing seems to be working. I used to adopt a lone ranger mentality, whereby I would insist on figuring [...]

The Purpose of Purpose

In business, career, and life plans, one common factor exists that determines whether such a plan is strategic or not. What is this X factor? It is PURPOSE. Most plans of any type lack purpose. Purpose is the end game you are trying to achieve. It is the “WHY” behind any plan — at least [...]

When Life Kicks You to the Curb

There have been times in my life when I felt completely beat up by life. I’d close myself in a room, curl up in the fetal position, feel sorry for myself, and hope life would stop kicking my *ss. I learned the hard way that hope is not a strategy, but taking action is. The [...]

Actual vs. Perceived Market Differentiation

To succeed in business and your career, it helps for two things to be true: To be differentiated from the competition To be perceived to be differentiated from the competition Differentiation helps because it reduces the scope and intensity of direct competition. This is true when a business competes for customers, and in careers amongst [...]

How to Overcome Extreme Adversity

One of my favorite questions to ask my teachers and mentors is “Who are your teachers and mentors?” Today I wanted to introduce you to one of my teachers and mentors. His name is Ryan Holiday. Ryan’s very unusual. He’s one of the most well read people I know. He has a voracious appetite for [...]

How to Develop Unshakeable Self Confidence

I’m often asked how one can project self confidence in a case interview or with senior level clients. I’m also asked how one can develop a sense of confidence after an enormous setback of some sort — “failing” at a case interview, messing up a meeting with a partner or a client, and so forth. [...]

Deconstructing Entrepreneurship

I’ve received numerous requests from readers to deconstruct entrepreneurship much like I have done for case interviews. Unlike case interviews where there’s a narrow range of “correct” approaches, entrepreneurship is infinitely vast in how one can succeed. That being said, in my work with small business ranging from solo entrepreneurs to Inc 500 companies, I’ve [...]

Do you Play to Win or to Not Lose?

I find strategy concepts that I would typically use in the business realm are often surprisingly useful when moved to determine strategy for one’s life and vice versa. One idea in particular I’ve been thinking about over the years is developing a strategy to “win” as opposed to one designed to avoid loss. The two [...]

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