success in life

The Red Line

In every system, there’s a point where the system can not do more. In a car, this limit is denoted by the gauge that measures the engine’s revolutions per minute (RPM). When you step on the accelerator, the RPMs zoom up. However, you’ll notice the top end of the gauge is marked in red. This [...]

The Perceived Detour

Sometimes, life throws us an obstacle. In the moment, most people’s reaction (mine included) is to get irritated at the obstacle and at the detours needed to overcome it. To paraphrase the late Steve Jobs, all the “detours” (my word choice, not his) make sense in hindsight, even if they don’t in the moment. Through [...]

Lacking Confidence

I was recently holding office hours for my Inner Circle members. One of my members asked me what to do about a lack of confidence in his financial modeling skills. He was concerned that his insecurity around this area would hold him back. I asked him a simple question. “Are you good at financial modeling [...]

Decision-Making Bias

Some people make decisions based on their intuition or “gut” feeling. Others make decisions based purely on data and logic. Neither is wholly right or wrong, as both have problems with bias. Intuitive decisions are usually based on two things: 1) a mental model of the situation at hand; and 2) our emotional feelings about [...]

Confidence vs. Ignorance

Many of my students have been told that they need to have “confidence” and “fake it until you make it.” I only half agree with this sentiment. I think it is important to be confident. This is especially the case when you don’t know what you’re talking about. Instead of faking competence, I encourage you [...]

The Dumbest Person in the Room

My oldest daughter and I have been taking a training class together for some volunteer work we want to do together later in the year. It was the first time my teenager and I have been classmates. The class consisted of 20 students, half of which were teenagers, with the other half being people in [...]

Diversified Self-Identity

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 [...]

The Power of a Strong Peer Group

When it comes to both your personal life and professional life, your peer group profoundly impacts… well, everything. Your peers influence whom you socialize with, who becomes members of your professional network, what socially derived expectations you do or don’t have for yourself, and the filter by which you consider all life decisions. If you [...]

Lessons from my "Lazy" Daughter

When my oldest was eight years old, she decided that she wanted more money than the allowance she got from me. She thought about who else had money and noticed that her younger sisters did. She decided to figure out a way to convince her sisters to part ways with their allowance in a way [...]

Being the Best vs. Your Personal Best

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 [...]

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