Success in Life

When you take a finance class, you learn the principle of asset diversification. Diversification means you’re able to maximize your overall financial return across a wide variety of market conditions while reducing your losses. By diversifying correctly, you achieve the same level of return as a less diversified set of assets BUT have a lower [...]

In school, it was generally assumed that the smartest people — the ones with the best grades — were the ones who would be most successful in life. Something interesting happens about 10+ years after graduating from school. You realize that this presumed relationship between success and intellect is NOT true. Here are a few [...]

When I left McKinsey to start my own company, a number of my McKinsey friends also left to do the same. My two back-to-back startup attempts failed. A number of my McKinsey friends’ startups succeeded, in some cases wildly so (one of them was StubHub). For the first time in my career (and actually life), [...]

When you’re the best in the world at something, there’s nobody left to beat. If you’re Usain Bolt, you’re (literally) the fastest human being on earth and in all of history (world record holder for 100-meter dash). With whom do you compete? If you’re Michael Phelps and have more Olympic medals than anyone in history [...]

One of the biggest revelations I’ve learned about relationships (professional and personal), I picked up years ago from McKinsey. It was such a simple yet transformative concept. Here’s the story. At McKinsey, when I worked with a new client, I would conduct a round of initial introductory meetings with each member of the executive team. [...]

A few days ago, the FBI charged dozens of high profile celebrity and wealthy families with attempting to use bribes to get their children admitted into elite universities, including Stanford and Yale. There’s been a lot of discussion around this topic, and I thought I’d add in my comments as well. My first (tongue-in-cheek) reaction [...]

Respectful disagreements are extremely helpful and productive. Arguments are a complete waste of time. But wait… aren’t they the same thing? Nowhere close. When two people have a respectful disagreement, they both share their differing points of view and both are interested in hearing and understanding the other person’s point of view. In an argument, each [...]

One of my former bosses, John Dragoon (@jkdragoon), had a great quote that I really like. “The difference between a goal and a delusion is the deadline.” That resonated with me. I’ve since modified it slightly to read as follows: “The difference between a goal and a delusion is the existence of a plan.” To [...]

Over the last few weeks, my kids and I have been asking each other, “Does this spark joy?” What a simple yet profound question. If you’re not familiar with Marie Kondo, she is an international home organizing sensation. Here in the United States, she has become a household name in the last 45 days. In [...]

Last week, I held office hours for members of my Inner Circle mentorship program. One of my members asked me for a process she could use to “find” her passion. She was having difficulty figuring it out and was looking for help. Some people are fortunate to figure out their passions early in life. My [...]

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