At dinner with one of my friends and former bosses he told me that all of the bankers in his group had seen my videos.
So, naturally, I asked him, “what do they think?”
Now, not to be one to pull punches, and because we know each other well, he just said to me, “well, it’s mixed.”
And waving his hands side to side like the French do when they use the phrase, “comme ci, comme ça,” he went on to say, that some of the bankers in his group think my work is very interesting and the rest think I’m smoking crack.
Who Does That?
Now. Just for the record, truth be told, I’ve never smoked crack, but more than once I’ve heard the accusation…
And so I asked him, roughly, what percent of people do you think fall into the category of me not smoking crack? He thought about it for a bit and then said, about 25% (although I think he was being generous).
And I tell you that felt pretty good to me.
That’s because for as long as I can remember almost all people I’ve met have thought my work to be pretty out there. Not because my ideas are, they are of course very logical, but moreso because they tend to look at me like, “who does that?”
And they’re right! Who does that?
Who Goes Beyond Bitching And Moaning Every Day?
Who wakes up at Goldman Sachs, with an awesome job in investment banking and begins to question it all?
Who then goes beyond just bitching and moaning about working too hard and not getting paid right or what-not, and actually then seeks out the answers to change it?
Who goes beyond putting your head down and working hard, and spends thousands of hours modeling the career of investment banking, plotting your career, developing skills, then making the moves to make your career what you want it to be?
Who is willing to pour through thousands of books to find the answers they need?
Who takes 18 months away from The Street to train mixed-martial arts and ponder life from a completely different perspective?
Then, having “survived” going off that “deep end,” and landing a plum job at the Carlyle Group, who then leaves a seven-figure career on Wall Street to go out and teach this stuff?
Really, who does that? If you had presented that person to me 20 years ago, I would have thought that all sounded nuts.
So, I do get it.
Getting What You Want Isn’t For Everyone…
Of course I get that my work isn’t for everyone, but I have found it is right for a certain type of person—
Those of you who are serious about getting what you want!
You’re different to the types of people who will just keep slaving away doing what they’re doing and hoping it works out.
You’re different to the types of people who will just keep whining about not getting this or that or being good at this or that, and instead go out and learn it.
And you’re different to the types of people who figure they have it all worked out on their own.
Because, you know what?
Those people who think they have it all worked out on their own, well, they’re typically the types of people who are afraid of what it means if they don’t.
I used to be that way and you know what, it means you’re human if you don’t have all the answers!
Top Athletes Live It
Think about it this way.
Even the best athletes in the world are constantly seeking out the best coaches and trainers.
Like Manny Pacquiao, a phenom in the ring, well, really, his fight game went to a whole other level when he began training with Freddie Roach. I know that because I saw him stepping into the ring at Wildcard fighting round after round with five different opponents.
But, again, my ideas are certainly not for everyone, and what I’ve found is that the percent of people who are interested in my ideas is roughly the percent of people you might call first-movers.
That is, the early adopters of ideas and those who are likely to move first, somewhere around 18% the research suggests, who un-encumbered by skepticism and cynicism and driven by the excitement of what may be, are the early birds who get the worm, while the rest of them, really, the thundering herd, they just keep crossing the line a mile behind.
It strikes me this is also true in my work.
That’s because almost everyone you ever meet will fail to get what they want in their career and life. I mean, many of them will make it to successful enough, they’ll be a good enough MD amongst the herd of MDs, or they’ll be a good soldier making it through their career without getting shot, but very few of them will ever achieve out-sized success.
What I Do Will Become The Norm
Really. Look around you. How many of your colleagues have the career you want?
Too few because most people are unwilling to ever change their game.
They’ll keep playing the same way, doing the best they can based on making it up as they go along, and they’ll fail to heed the title of one of my favorite books, by leading executive coach Marshall Goldsmith—What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.
It’s obvious to me that my work will become “normal” and highly paid professionals will increasingly seek out expert advisors.
That’s because the bar has been raised. It’s simply gotten harder to succeed in your professional career and that is particularly true on Wall Street. And when the stakes are raised, the only way to keep competing and winning is to keep getting better and better.
It’s like one of my friends tells me. He said, when he applied to business school he knew he was coming from behind.
He didn’t go to an Ivy league college. He didn’t have a big banking or consulting job before applying and he knew he needed to find a way to distinguish himself in his applications.
So, this was back in the late 1990s mind you, he hunted around, and he came across this one guy who would help him do his business school apps. And he paid this guy $5,000 to help him succeed, which he did, getting into Wharton. The best $5k he’s ever spent, says my buddy.
And back then that was a leap of faith by him, yet today its become standard for people to seek out experts when applying to business school.
Does that make him a first mover? A pioneer? Someone smoking crack? Hell no. It just makes him smarter than the other 75%.