"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

Who ARE You?


More specifically, what is your self-concept? Who do YOU think you are? Who do you WANT to be? A self-concept is different from a Mission Statement which is focused more on your PURPOSE in life. Writing out your self-concept is also different from setting goals which involves what you want to DO, what you want to achieve and accomplish. Writing out your self-concept is a terrific way to increase your self-awareness and focus your thoughts and efforts and I would strongly encourage you to do so, the benefits are many. Since I sincerely believe that thoughts held in mind attract in kind and what we focus on expands, my self-concept is oriented to the positive and definitely includes aspirational aspects!

Below are two versions I’ve written, the first is from the late 1970’s, when I was somewhere between my mid to late twenties. It was written on an IBM Selectric typewriter; I know I got my first computer, a Kaypro II the size of a sewing machine, and dot matrix printer around 1980. The second was written recently at a 3-day YPO retreat in South Beach.

Circa late 1970’s

He was the most upbeat, enthusiastic person I’d ever met. He was always alive with energy and ideas… Going places, doing things, making things happen. He kept busy with project after project… meeting people, making friends everywhere he went. He had a zest, an appetite for life that never seemed quenched… he was tall, good looking with a rugged face and gentle eyes…there was an undefinable air of confidence about him, he met everyone’s eyes straight on and his face always seemed to have a smile on it. Sometimes it was just a hint but often it was a wide, breezy grin. He was a winner, he had a sense of being in command of his life…he genuinely cared about people and enjoyed talking with them. I guess you could call him a charmer. He was good at small talk, asking people what they did, who they were, how they felt, did they like what they were doing. He was a man who could be anything he wanted to be, do anything he wanted to do… and he always knew just what he wanted…and he always went right for it, wearing that great big happy grin of his.

January 2017

I am a task-oriented, DRIVEN workaholic who has chosen to re-orient my life centered on my family: my beloved son and wife. I am a leader, a role model, a high achiever who respects the social contract and believes in giving back and honoring all stakeholders in proportion to their stakes. I am a goal-focused, solution-oriented, disciplined, continuous learning positive thinker. I awake every day with the goal of going to bed a better person having made the world better.

My Sense of Self is Anchored Deep within, from which Flows a Wonderful Sense of Peace. I cheerfully release all thoughts that hurt; forgiveness offers me ALL that I want. I Live Serenely in the Present Moment; I greet the Present Moment fully, I greet each moment as a friend. Peace of Mind is my only goal; I am responsible for the world I choose to see; I choose to see myself surrounded by a loving, supportive network. I fully understand the power of my thoughts, I use them to attract all the good I want into my life. I have an “Attitude of Gratitude” and the Habit of Happiness, I carry the Sun in my Pocket!

Wikipedia (edited for brevity)

One’s self-concept (also called self-construction, self-identity, self-perspective or self-structure) is a collection of beliefs about oneself and embodies the answer to “Who am I?”.  One’s self-concept is made up of past, present, and future selves. Self-concept is distinguishable from self-awareness, which refers to the extent of one’s self-knowledge. Self-concept also differs from self-esteem: self-concept is a cognitive or descriptive component of one’s self (e.g. “I am a fast runner”), while self-esteem is evaluative and opinionated (e.g. “I feel good about being a fast runner”).

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

“The Upward Spiral”

upward spiral

We all have gotten in a downward spiral; fears and worries and a bad event or two can knock us off course and it is easy to get on that slippery slope of stinking thinking. It is key to internalize coping mechanisms, habits, and rituals that snap the cycle and put us on an UPWARD SPIRAL.

1) Count Your Blessings!

List them out, review them, appreciate them, let the important people in your life know how much they mean to you. Adopt an “Attitude of Gratitude” and make the “Habit of Happiness” second nature. If you for a single moment don’t think you have anything to be grateful for, start imagining things disappearing from your life and how much you would miss them.

2) MOVE!

Get active! Exercise! Do something or go somewhere different, it will make a difference! Often a change of scenery can revitalize us and mood is often impacted by motion. Exercise invigorates the body which powerfully impacts the mind.

3) Eat the Frog!

Frequently, we are avoiding facing some decision or situation that is weighing on our mind. A tremendous relief occurs when we finally put it behind us and it is rarely as bad as our fears make it out.

Closing Quotes:

“Life is like a spiral of good and bad experiences. You are never static. You are either moving up or down the spiral. The choice of direction is yours.” – P. D. M. Dolce

“Moving along the upward spiral requires us to learn, commit, and do on increasingly higher planes. We deceive ourselves if we think that any one of these is sufficient. We must learn, commit, and do; learn, commit, and do; learn, commit, and do again.” – Stephen R. Covey

“Being successful is like a spiral. The more you eat healthy, the better your brain works. The better your brain works, the better you feel. The better you feel, the better you focus. The better you focus, the more successful you become.” – Owen Cook

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier



Mentor’s Reply to Young Entrepreneur’s Questions (Part XVI)


Thanks for responding to my email Mr. Collier!
Your answers sincerely help me become a better business man, real estate investor and I also believe a better man.
I have some follow up questions to obtain some additional insight and understanding.

When I read your incredible, insightful answers and you refer to yourself, in any regard for an example you recently said “gunslinger”. You seem to be really self-aware. Where did that strong self-awareness come from?

Self-awareness is simple! Just took me 30 years of journaling, setting goals, writing mission statements, a bit of therapy, 12 years of YPO Forum, one soul-searingly painful divorce, a great wife not the least bit shy about giving it to me straight, a LOT of personal growth books and I’m still just scratching the surface!

Did you enjoy chess? Do you still play?

I used to play a lot of chess with my dad; it was a great structure for us to spend time together and I still play a bit with my son however these days I spend my time making decisions and doing things that require critical thinking skills, much less “doing” than in my earlier days so I can’t say that when I get home playing a game that requires those very same skills is my idea of relaxing.

What do you mean when you say “loss leader”?

Loss Leader is a service or good that you deliberately sell or price at direct cost (eating your overhead and fixed costs) or even a loss to get customers in the front door. Many retail stores do so on Black Friday after Thanksgiving (55 inch TV’s! Only $399! One per Customer!).  At a high level, many banks have “wealth management services” that they offer initial no cost high level consultations in order to entice High ($10M or more of investable assets) or Ultra High ($30M+) net worth individuals to do business with them.

What do you mean when you say “let the other guy eat the marshmallow”?

Google “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow”! Among other things (books, articles) you will find hilarious videos of kids trying to resist temptation! Basically, it means “Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now!” Or put another way, do you have the ability to Delay Gratification” for sufficient future reward? Most don’t! Most whenever they get an extra buck or pay raise instantly spend it, always allowing their standard of living (borrowing?) to rise to or above their income with nary a dime saved for a rainy day. The marshmallow test is to leave a 4 or 5 year old kid in a room alone with a marshmallow for 5 minutes after telling them that they can have TWO marshmallows if they can resist the temptation to eat the one in front of them for 5 minutes. Some can, some can’t. Studies show that the kids who have the ability to delay gratification go on to do much better in life.

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier