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

There is really very little difference between people, but…

photo: Businessweek 2/18/08 pg 36There really is very little difference between people but, over time, that little difference makes a big difference.

Business Week (2/18/08, page 36) states that 61% of Americans carry a balance on their credit cards (one of the most expensive forms of credit short of your neighborhood loan shark). Only 31% pay off their balances monthly (the remaining percentage do not have credit cards).

Embracing the habit of thrift is a basic and empowering financial skill. From the moment I understood the concept of money, I never understood why people would spend money differently the day after payday than the day before. My mother was not the world’s greatest money manager and we had our power turned off more times than I can remember, and even got evicted a time or two.

For me, even a wet-behind-the-ears kid, it was simple math. X dollars, Y days, Z dollars per day to spend. Budgeting did not require rocket science. So simple a child could do it. Rent is this much, utilities should be this much, groceries that much, car payment, gas, etc., etc. These were all known or at least estimable. What was left over went into savings, after savings was at a safe level, you think about some pocket money, some Friday-night money.


New Goal: Fail Often!

trash2.jpgFail often? Huh? What kind of goal is that?

You’ll find the answer in the remaining parts of the goal. In addition to fail often;

  • Fail quickly
  • Fail cheaply

In our rapidly-evolving world, where revolutionary change leaves disruption in sector after sector, the ability to innovate, flex, and adapt is vital. Innovate? Flex? Adapt? Great concepts, but how do I DO them? Today? In my world?

One way is by changing your mindset about failure. Can you re-frame failure so it is NOT failing? See failure NOT as bad but good? Failure as NOT the equivalent of ineptitude or stupidity or incompetence?

Instead see intelligent failure as a hallmark of GENIUS? Can you see an intelligent failure as a necessary step in the process toward innovation and ultimate success?


Fish Discover Water Last

fishdiscover2.jpg“I don’t know who discovered water,
but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a fish.”

~ Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980),
media critic & writer

Actually, fish would be the last creatures to discover water, simply because they know nothing else. They know no other reality so there’s nothing to compare it to.

So, too, we are the last to discover our assumptions about reality because we are so immersed in them. We need someone with a different perspective, a different world view, to point out the things we take for granted, those things we see as “givens” or “unquestioned norms,” which in other cultures vary tremendously. This is one very real value of diversity.

We do not understand what we do not know. We cannot comprehend “unknown unknowns.” I find traveling allows me to experience differently, then return home to see my old world with new eyes.