After finishing business school and starting another business, I think my mind wandered off a bit. There was simply too much going on and I always felt like I was behind.
Looking back, I think ran into a dearth of inspiration. As I anniversary my month-long stint in China last year,–a key inflection point in my life– I am seeing inspiration again. That means I’ll be putting more of my thoughts on the web so you– friends, strangers, and not-so-stealthy recruiters– can see who I really am.
Or follow me daily on Twitter.
Hello friends and surveyors of the internetz. My posts are gone, but I am still here. If you are looking for my MBA Chronicles, thoughts on big M marketing, and random life charts, I had to take them down for a while. I’m working on a redesign and I don’t want my old content running amok. If you’re really savvy or a super stalker, you can probably still find remnants of my thoughts floating around. I don’t have anything interesting to say, but I do have a video to share.
One of the best things I heard recently:
“Anything that looks simple is always difficult.” – Mickey Drexler
Flowchart + Pretty Colors + Social Commentary = Delicious Infographic
Not much I can say about this quote. I just like it.
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
You know how old you are when a publication interview is comprised of people you know. I just read an evocative interview by my old college roommate, a recent MIT Sloan graduate, about entrepreneurship. He interviewed our friend about his business, JetPens.com. The interview is a great read, especially if you want a practical perspective on entrepreneurship. I admire both my old roommate and my friend a lot. They are two of the smartest people I know, yet they are extremely modest about their accomplishments. They are also very deliberate in their actions which makes them both awesome people and great leaders.
I love how life gets really small, really quick.
My favorite quote from the interview:
With the benefit of hindsight, I’d highly recommend understanding psychologically why you want to be an entrepreneur, because there are several good reasons. Do you primarily want to gain financial freedom, to make a big impact, to become a billionaire, or to create your ideal work environment? You want to gear your business decisions to reflect this, and good decisions should flow out of your core psychological desire – especially the type and size of market you decide to pursue, decisions about raising money and setting your company’s level of aggressiveness. – Adrian Mak, co-founder of Jetpens.com
I recently read this quote from The Story Factor.
Cynicism and apathy are simply defenses against hope. People are afraid to hope. It opens us up to disappointment again. Hope demands action.”
- The Story Factor, Annette Simmons
I like it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I really wish I could have met Sam Walton.
Here’s how I look at it: my life has been a trade-off. If I wanted to reach the goals I set for myself, i had to get at it and stay at it every day. I had to think about it all the time. And I guess what David Glass said about me is true: I had to get up every day with my mind set on improving something. Charlie Baum was right oo when he said I was driven by a desire to always be on the top of the heap. But in the larger sense– the life and death sense– did I make the right choices?
Having now thought about this a lot, I can honestly say that if I had the choices to make all over again, I would make just about the same ones. Preachers are put here to minister to our souls; doctors heal our diseases; teachers to open up our minds; and so on. Everybody has a role to play.
- Sam Walton, Sam Walton: Made in America
In my last all-hands meeting at Walmart, I heard one of the most eloquent and genuine “talks” ever by an executive. I will spare my limited readership of the details, but I wanted to share one quote that really resonated with me:
A man who was reflecting upon his life and asked his mentor, ‘What is the biggest burden that any person can take?’
His mentored thought about it carefully and responded, ‘The biggest burden comes when there is no burden to carry.’
There have been many moments in my life where I have felt overcome by burden, obligation, or duty. Family, friends, or even work have all once disproportionately dominated an extended period of my life. So quite naturally, I’ve set out to find a way in which I can cast all of my burdens aside. In a biblical sense, I know that it is written: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” However, the verse implies that not everyone is weary and burdened from life. The question is not how we can deal with the burdens, but rather, what burdens can we take on in a way that it becomes manageable? And as the quote above suggests, those who do not have a burden will seek to find a calling, a purpose– and that, above all, will be the heaviest burden.
I don’t really have time to tie everything together into a closing thought, but I think the quote really gets me to think about burdens (and purpose) and little differently.
I’ve been thinking about lot about mentorship lately. I’ve been very fortunate in my life to have wonderful mentors, both inside and outside of work. The interesting thing is that the most valuable lesson is not a grand revelation about how to become a better leader, but rather, about submission. I think that’s the beauty of mentorship. You willingly admit that you have faults and that your mentor is there to help you out.
For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure. – Proverbs 11:14 (NIV)