🧭13 Most Important Lessons of My Career So Far

Tue Aug 25 2020

🎲 Take risks

Choosing the hard way leads to an easy life, taking the easy way leads to a hard life. Also, risks are proportional to reward so they are the only way for my path to be compounding instead of linear. The more I had at stake, the harder I had to work and the more I was forced to grow.

🔥 Emotions and thoughts multiply

If I give in to feeling sorry for myself, I will find more and more reasons to feel sorry for myself. If I commit to feeling gratitude, I will find more and more reasons to feel grateful for my life. If I focus on what I love, I will attract more of what I love, If I focus on what I fear, I attract more of what I fear. Cultivating positive emotions are the key to building self-confidence and momentum.

🥇 Nothing beats persistence + courage

In other words, the strength to keep getting rejected without losing confidence. The human quality with the highest ROI is courage. In my opinion, I still suck at these but I'm trying to get better. This is why it's so important to do something that I really care about. If I want to win, I have to be able to hold on through the tough times.

🏈 Run it straight

Go as direct as possible. If I want to do something, start doing it as soon as possible. Whether it's Sales, Engineering, Marketing, etc. Just try to do it, fail miserably, and try to do it a little bit better. The faster I start doing it, the faster I'll learn and find the most relevant information - which is usually free. The worst way ever is to waste 3-4 years doing a degree that only teaches self-inflating theories and how to bullshit my way through fake simulated assessments. Do the real thing, don't get permission and don't let anyone tell me I'm not ready.

💩 It's okay to suck

I'll suck at something for a long time before I can start doing it really well. Don't let expectations and disappointment kill my motivation, learning is supposed to feel like play.

🔫 Put a gun to my head

The easiest way to do something is to make yourself have to do it. Knowing what to do is easy but actually doing it is really hard because willpower is weak and fickle. For example, I know exercise is really beneficial but it's hard. "Put a gun to my head" means creating commitments that force me to do the things that are good for me.

⌛️ Never wait for the perfect opportunity

As a natural prospector rather than judgment maker I'm HORRIFIC at this. Life is a very long race. If I fully embrace the opportunities I get, I will attract better and better ones. I will go much further making the most of small opportunities than trying to get the perfect opportunity from the beginning.

🏁 Be a finisher

If I finish the things I start, they will catapult me forward into more opportunities. If I don't carry things through to completion, fewer and fewer opportunities will come my way. Try to resist the boredom for a bit longer and see things through.

🤝 Relationships are even more important than ability

Reputation is the thing that brings opportunity and leverage in a negotiation, and it's just a lagging indicator of current ability and output. Companies with great reputations sustain prices way higher than their competitors. Relationships are so important because they have a distributive effect on my reputation. They will always be the best pathway for opportunities that make a difference for myself and others. Loads of talented people fail because they didn't create relationships with people that could give them opportunities. In contrast, loads of people with little ability do well thanks to friends and family in high places.

⚔️ Don't dodge hard work

I did quite well in school and uni because I was extremely good at finding shortcuts and hacks for bullshitting my way through assessments. Formal education taught me that it's more important to look like I was "doing the work" than actually doing the work. The real world is the complete opposite. Anything worth doing is hard and only worthwhile if done properly. In fact, the harder something is, the more satisfying its pursuit becomes, and the less competition I'll have.

🎪 Be as unique as possible

Normal people get normal outcomes, abnormal people get abnormal outcomes. It's just supply and demand, the universe disproportionately rewards rare abilities and discounts common ones. The more unique my perspective, the more I'll see solutions and generate ideas that others won't. I try to combine hobbies and interests that don't compliment each other. I must seek social circles with very little overlap. It pays to cultivate skills and talents that are rare.

💵 Earning is a lot less fun than learning

Learning happens through trial and error, testing and reflection, iterating until I get something right. Learning is incredibly satisfying and fun. Earning, on the other hand, is about replication, repetition and refinement of things that already work. Earning is extremely boring. I still don't quite know the solution to this yet!

🚀 To make money, get on a rocketship

Find a high growth industry that's aligned with the future. I can easily do 5-10x better by getting in the right team and being around the right people. Pick a fast-growing industry, pick a company growing faster than the industry, in a role that is growing within the company.

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