I had the opportunity to do an interview with Pearl Lemon. We had a free-ranging discussion, covering good advice, bad advice, best investment, recovering from failures, and more.
Here are a few highlights. Feel free to see the full interview here.
What Is The Book (Or Books) You’ve Given Most As A Gift, And Why?
I am a big fan of learning from the life experience of others. Biographies are a terrific way to gain insight from the giants on whose shoulders we stand today. I turn to “Team of Rivals” to learn how Abraham Lincoln assembled a coalition of strong-minded and divergent people to create a successful government. I pick up Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” biography to think about how Jobs created a new industry by imagining how to give customers an “insanely great” new experience in technology. And I just finished T. J. Stiles’ “The First Tycoon” for insight as to how Cornelius Vanderbilt pioneered the American transportation network.
What Purchase Of $100 Or Less Has Most Positively Impacted Your Life In The Last Six Months?
What Are Bad Recommendations You Hear In Your Profession Or Area Of Expertise?
In the deal business, I often hear people say, “Turn over another card.” This is code for “I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but let’s spend some more time on it.” You can end up spending days, weeks or months on mediocre ideas, “turning over cards.” I would rather spend more time on the ideas I’m excited about!
When You Feel Overwhelmed Or Unfocused, Or Have Lost Your Focus Temporarily, What Do You Do?
What Is One Of The Best Or Most Worthwhile Investments You’ve Ever Made?
I bought a standing desk in my office. Then, after COVID hit, I bought a similar standing desk at home. There is something energizing about standing when I read and write. It forces me to engage, and to take a more active stance with respect to the subject at hand. I don’t know if the health benefits are as advertised, but I believe the mental focus boost makes a difference!
In The Last Five Years, What New Belief, Behavior, Or Habit Has Most Improved Your Life?
If You Could Have A Gigantic Billboard Anywhere With Anything On It — What Would It Say And Why?
I love the definition of entrepreneurship articulated by HBS professor Howard Stevenson: “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources.” This is fantastic! It means you should define your idea first, and then worry about how to get there. If you start with the resource question, you will always think smaller than if you begin with the opportunity
How Has A Failure, Or Apparent Failure, Set You Up For Later Success? Do You Have A “Favourite Failure” Of Yours?
What Advice Would You Give To A Smart, Driven College Student About To Enter The “Real World”? What Advice Should They Ignore?
Your end goal might be to do what you love. But to get there, focus on your reputation. If you work hard and do a great job, people will know they can rely on you. If people can trust you, they will give you more responsibilities. And as you earn more responsibility, you will gain more control over your time. This might sound simple, but it’s true.
See the rest of the interview here.