Recently, Warren Buffet said that folks are a success when they do what they love. That’s it.
See, the thing is this. You can try to convince people that you’re something that you’re not, or you can actually be the thing you want. It’s that simple. A number of smart folks back it up, including Fred Wilson (both here and here), the fabulous Anne 2.0, and Matt McCall. The common thread in each of these, for me, is that all really define success against internal measures, not how much money flows to the bottom line. Sure, the money often follows, but it’s not the first consideration in any of these cases.
In business, too often, when we focus on what’s going to make the most money, we achieve poor results. I think it’s more effective to focus on what inspires our passions. At the very least, if it doesn’t lead to fame and/or fortune, you’ll have enjoyed the process along the way.
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One of the cooler memes running right now is the concept of a manifesto (see here and here). Not wanting to miss out on all the fun, I wanted to take a crack at it, too. Here’s what I got:
- When you stop listening, you stop learning
- When you stop learning, you die
- Nothing is less interesting to other people than what’s important to you
- …Unless it’s also important to them
- Creativity is overrated
- Execution is underrated
- Creativity is nothing more than outstanding execution against what people actually want
In other words, if you want others to care about what’s important to you (your business, your cause, your life, whatever), you sure as hell better understand what’s important to them, then work like mad to deliver on it unfailingly.
Here are a handful of examples. The iPod works because it takes what’s important to its primary consumer (lots of music for a relatively low price, simple interface, “cool” factor) and delivers on it. Same with Starbuck’s (and Dunkin’ Donuts, for that matter), Google, and Warren Buffet.
Thanksgiving is later this week here in the U.S. It’s my favorite holiday by far. There’s a lot to be said for taking a moment every so often and giving thanks for what you’ve got. Here’s my quick list:
- My family – First, last, always
- Work – Good for the soul; also good for the first item in this list
- Writing – I’d write this blog even if no one read; it provides me an outlet that I didn’t know I needed before I started it
- Readers – Of course, it’s nice that some folks read
- The web in general – Anyone know what we used to do before? How in the world did we get anything done?
- Writers I admire – I’m a huge fan of Anne, Sam, and Fred. Also, this Jo chick can write a little bit, too. (What, you don’t read for pleasure?)
- People who commit themselves to the greater good – Thanks for saving my mom’s life
- Even more people who commit to the greater good – Bill Gates might not always fight fair, but isn’t that exactly what you want on your side in a fight with lives on the line?
This list is by no means exhaustive. If I described all the many things about my family I’m thankful for, that alone might stretch to thousands of words. Still, you get the point. My question for you is, what are you thankful for?
Have a safe, happy, wonderful Thanksgiving.