Skip to main content

Advice From Rich People

If you want to get in shape, turn to the fittest person you know. Do exactly as they do and you're on your way, right? Caution, I know some really fit people where pizza is half their diet. Following their footsteps will gain you nothing but pounds. We're all different (genetics and such). Them being in shape doesn't mean they know how to get you in shape. The same holds true for wealth.

The media loves to interview billionaires. Where are we in the cycle? Where are we going? What should we do with our money? 

There are definitely smart folks in the bunch we can learn a lot from. Warren Buffet is particularly quotable. But being rich in and of itself doesn't mean you have all the answers.

Most folks become successful through a combination of skill and luck. The spectrum goes from hard work and smarts (skill) all the way to being born rich (luck). Skill is often overstated while luck is ignored. Luck can't be taught. This is why lottery winners don't give TED Talks. 

Even if one's wealth comes largely through skill, things change. Successful tactics become outdated all the time. 

We're also playing a different game. Billionaires focus on big macro trends and complicated market timing strategies. Most of us will be just fine buying and holding. 

If you want to be successful, yes look to those who've already made it. But don't stop there. Go further. Find the lessons that are meaningful to you. Screen out the luck, the outdated and the irrelevant. Don't blindly accept advice. Be thoughtful so you don't equate pizza to fitness. 


Popular posts from this blog

The Art of Giving Feedback

Constructive feedback is an awkward affair. You don't want hurt feelings, but recognize the importance of honesty. You've tried the classic "hoping things will get better on its own" and unfortunately it hasn't played out. When giving feedback, here are a few things that I try to keep it mind. Start with empathy. Step into their shoes and understand their story. If you don't know, ask. Be genuinely curious. Feedback is a dynamic affair. Shared communication with a shared goal towards progress. Take the emotion out of it. Focus on the situation, not the person. Focusing on the person adds unnecessary weight to an already emotionally-bloated event.  Be specific. Give clear examples. Vague feedback equals dismissed feedback.  Doing above won't de-awkward things fully, but it will dampen it and increase the chance of better outcomes. 

Bias For Clarity

Bias for action. Gets things done. Go-getter. Traits companies big and small look for. And for good reason, you're being hired to do things! However, action is a secondary step that often overshadows the primary step, direction.   Clear direction is the foundation that enables our actions to takeoff. Without it, we're stuck in the mud.  Striving for clarity is an underrated skill. Having the courage to ask ( seemingly ) obvious questions, and to check in, making sure we're all on the same page. "O bvious " questions are a low risk, high reward way to add value. At worst, you'll add confidence to our actions. At best, you discover a misalignment that saves us from a dead-end.  The more people, the more clear we need to be. The bigger the initiative, the bigger the risk of reaching the finish line, only to realize expectations were off.  Success is always uncertain. But we can be certain about what we want and what everyone's job is. Things that can be clea

Negative Feedback, Positive Lessons

In the battle against plastic bags, a five-cent tax was shown to be much more successful at deterring usage than a five-cent credit for bringing your own bags. Carrots satisfy but sticks sting, and they sting hard. So we default to the less painful choice of avoiding loss. Loss aversion impacts the way we process information. A 2019 study  invited participants to learn through a series of multiple choice questions. Each question only had two options to choose from. Whether guessing correctly or not, they would still learn the right answer.  Despite the identical learning opportunity, participants were much more successful at recalling the answers they guessed correctly than those they got wrong.  "You're right!" feels good. We savour the moment, analyzing every detail.  "You're wrong!" stings. We want to quickly forget, dismiss, and move on.  When we succumb to loss aversion, we miss opportunities to learn. Failure is part of the process. We'll experie