It has arrived. That wisdom that comes with a birthday that is divisible by 10.
What’s crazy is that I find myself ruminating on the past 10 years – thinking back to how turning 30 made me “legitimate,” and started a decade of, well, lots of stuff.
Is ruminating the right word?
Well, the very last thing I want anyone to do is be subjected to a load of crap on this site. So, instead, here are a few things I’ve picked up in the past decade:
- Your significant other is likely definitely smarter than you.
- Trust your gut.
- If you have to choose between two or more opportunities: take the job (or gig or client engagement) that pays more money.
- Some people will never get what they deserve. Get over it.
- Often, the job that no one else wants is the job that provides the best opportunity for you.
- Don’t be afraid of failure. (I ran a startup called U Sphere; it went under. People still ask me about it, want to know what I learned.)
- Ideas are like water: the only way you’ll know if your idea is worth anything is to try to do something with it.
- Remove toxic people from your life.
- Working by yourself has its pluses and minuses. Consider both.
- Don’t get hung up on what you name the product or service or business. Give it thought, sure, but there are more important things to worry about.
- Avoid companies that are traded on the pink sheets.
- Pick up the phone.
- Don’t leave a voice mail message unless you absolutely have to.
- Don’t read your own press clippings, if you have any.
- When launching a business, think about sales cycle. If you call a prospect and they ask you to call back “next year at this time,” you are in the wrong business.
- Put the Blackberry down when you’re eating dinner. (Kid #1 told me this in 2005. Stuck with me.)
- The direct route is the best.
- Being a Cubs fan is torture. Think long and hard before subscribing.
- Being a Bengals fan means you don’t have to worry about watching the NFL playoffs.
- A plus for someone in your circle does not necessarily mean a minus for someone else. Happiness is not a zero sum game.
- If your business card is not a conversation piece, then you probably don’t need to hand it out.
- Guys: on a two-button sportcoat, button the top button. On a three-button sportcoat, button the middle button.
- If the boss asks you to lie, don’t do it. You may well lose your job, but you’ll be able to live with yourself.
- If the other side in a negotiation won’t tell you who they are, who they are working for, or what they want with you, move on. It’s not a negotiation, anyway.
- Adoption is just another way to build a family. Doesn’t make adoptive parents or kids any more or less special than anyone else. Just different.
- Corporate America loves to say they’re “entrepreneurial.” However, at the end of the day, Corporate America hates hiring “entrepreneurs.”
- Empathy is a nice trait.
- So is politeness.
- Belt and shoes should match.
- You can wear an inexpensive suit – but if you add a pocket square, you’ll make it look much more expensive than it is.
- Socks are an extension of the pant. Same color is best.
- Your children may think someone else has a cooler job than you. That’s okay.
- The best emails are sometimes the ones never sent. Ditto for tweets and Facebook posts.
- Some people don’t want to have kids. Asking them why they don’t have kids is not cool.
- Ditto people who are single.
- The best way to build a business is to actually build a business.
- Never turn down a chance to sit with a VC person, even if only for 10 minutes. And don’t waste their time: be succinct.
- Life’s about way more than business. Maybe your passion is business, maybe it’s something else altogether.
- Faith, Hope and Love are very important things.
- The greatest of these, without a doubt, is love. (Yes, that’s Biblical.)
I’ve made connections, made friends, learned a ton, and am so very grateful for your time, your thoughts, your comments, and you just being you. All of you. You know who you are.