It's not whether the glass is half empty or half full, it's who is pouring the water. The key in business and success at any endeavor is doing your best to control your destiny. You can't always do it, but you have to take every opportunity you can to be as prepared as-and ahead of-the competition as you possibly can be.
My first company was MicroSolutions. I worked 20 hours a day. I didn't take a vacation for 7 years. I didn't even take the time to read a fiction book. It was all about work. When I sold it, I promised myself I would never wear a watch and only wear a suit to weddings, funerals and to meet the President.
It doesn't matter how many times you fail. It doesn't matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.
I was a beast in college. I worked hard and I played hard. I was relentless learning about business. I actually snuck into MBA classes my freshman and sophomore years. I wanted to challenge myself to see how I compared to the smartest kids at Indiana University so I was 18 and pretended I was an MBA student.
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It takes a lot of things to work together in order to be wealthy but with a little luck, a lot of luck... You've got to be good at something. For a 20-year-old, you don't have to know exactly what you want to do, you've just got to go find something you can be great at, and then go be great at it.
It is called working your ass off. The difference is what you are willing to sacrifice. For every writer who wants balance in their life, there is a guy like me who gives up a lot to make their dreams come true. There is always going to be someone out there that knows they have to compensate for maybe having less talent with harder work and preparation.
Tech stocks were the cubic zirconium of the market. They looked good and were sexy, but they just were a way for the company selling them to make money. That's always going to be transient in terms of the stock market. What's real is that companies have to compete. Technology used well is a great tool to enable that if only because most companies dont use technologies well.
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I'm not the type to pat myself on the back and all that, but somebody has to be lucky, right? When I got to Dallas, I was struggling - sleeping on the floor with six guys in a three-bedroom apartment. I used to drive around, look at the big houses, and imagine what it would be like to live there and use that as motivation.
On the Internet, there are an unlimited number of competitors. Anybody with a Flip camera is your competition. What makes it even worse is that YouTube is willing to subsidize the cost of your bandwidth. So anybody can create and distribute for free basically, but the real cost is marketing. And that's always the big cost - how do you stand out and what's the cost of standing out? And there's no limit to that cost.
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In these times of the 'Great Recession', we shouldn't be trying to shift the benefits of wealth behind some curtain. We should be celebrating and encouraging people to make as much money as they can. Profits equal tax money. While some people might find it distasteful to pay taxes, I don't. I find it patriotic.
The same applies to the music and film industries. Until the heads of the labels start wanting to make money rather than creating controversy, tension, and excuses about why piracy is making the job so hard that no one could do it but them - and oh by the way, they need a raise to really focus in on the fight - the music industry is going to have a very tough time of it.
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I look at my annual budgets for everything and anything, and I look to see where I can save the most money on those items. Saving 30% to 50% buying in bulk - replenishable items from toothpaste to soup, or whatever I use a lot of - is the best guaranteed return on investment you can get anywhere.
With every effort, I learned a lot. With every mistake and failure, not only mine, but of those around me, I learned what not to do. I also got to study the success of those I did business with as well. I had more than a healthy dose of fear, and an unlimited amount of hope, and more importantly, no limit on time and effort.