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Things they never taught me at Columbia Business School…

Despite my numerous comments about how much I owe Bruce Greenwald, Mark Broadie, Don Sexton and Ralph Biggadike on this blog, there are a few thing that they didn’t get around to covering in my all too short stay in school. Here is my list

  1. The link between dropping kids to school and closing deals in the parking lot. Who would have thought that a work life balance strategy of spending a little quality time with my children would turn into early morning sales calls in flip flops and Sharia compliant shorts?
  2. In a slow economy, the most productive part of the day is spent in collection calls. As Shane used to say, this is the right problem to have, at least people owe us money.
  3. Play nice. You can skip the blood pressure medicine if you speak gently and slowly. Plus you have no idea how much you can scare people when they are used to your screaming and shouting matches and you suddenly turn into a pseudo psychotic passive gentleman.
  4. If you are truly evul, work on making your screaming fits even more unpredictable. It will scale the scare factor of your passive behavior.
  5. The only regrets worth living with are the ones you can live with. Every now and then you end up making a call that will not work out. That is all right; just don’t make calls you can’t live with.
  6. Don’t let that stop you from making a crazy bet every once in while! Crazy bets make for great conversation starters.
  7. Decide early on in life if you would rather be poor and a great conversation starter (read: interesting) or rich and boring.
  8. Unless you are Richard Branson and be both.
  9. Spending money is easier than borrowing money. Borrowing money is easier than generating revenues. Generating revenues is easier than raising capital. Raising capital is a member of the canine species.
  10. Go forth and spend. Somebody has to jumpstart this economy. It might as well be you.
  11. Big dreams start with smaller visions that may have nothing to do with your core business. The reason why I ended up in the risk management industry is because I wanted an office with a ping pong table and a swimming pool and people who could help me improve my game and teach me how to swim for free. It took me six years to realize parts of this dream.
  12. I am still working on the pool. If we can get through this slow down, it will be up and running by next summer.
  13. Making it through to next summer is not interesting, rewarding, motivating or the least bit uplifting. Just the thought can bring about an attack of depression in a slow down. But making it to next summer so that you can be around to enjoy your new custom built pool is very much so.
  14. Focus on the pool. It is the little things in life that make it worth living.
  15. On a side note, I ended up at Columbia because I wanted to run the New York Marathon, do a play on Broadway and write a book.
  16. Six years later I wrote a book. One out of three, even half a decade late, isn’t too bad when you are thirty seven years old.
  17. Learn to accept and act your age.
  18. Cancel that; just accepting your age is good enough.
  19. And finally with full credit to Quellist Falconer and Richard Morgan, make it personal.

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