A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.“ - Gandhi. There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. “I failed my way to success.“ - Thomas Edison. It pays to take risks and think outside of the box. Sometimes the truth alone is an enough. Having a little fun in the office can brighten everyone's mood. Be patient and think long term. Hubris or an exaggerated sense of pride or self-confidence lead to the downfall of many heroes. Humility is very important. Crowdsourcing is powerful. Owning and running your own business can be a lot less fun than the idea. You're in the best negotiating position if you don't care what the outcome is and you're not afraid to walk away. Build something fun and exciting. Large amounts of money have a strange way of getting people's true colors to come out. We are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness. Happiness is really just about enjoying life. There will never be another today. I didn't know exactly what I was going to do, but I knew then what I wasn't going to do. I wasn't going to sit around letting my life and the world pass me by. I decided to stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion. Separate short term and long term thinking. Which table you sit at is the most important decision you can make. It's OK to switch tables if you discover it's too hard to win at your table. If there are too many competitors, even if you're the best, it's a lot harder to win. Your brand is important. Help shape the stories that people are telling you. Always be prepared for the worst possible scenario. The guy who wins the most hands is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run. Go for positive expected value, not what's the least risky. Make sure your bankroll is large enough for the game you're playing and the race you're taking. Play only with what you can afford to lose. Remember that it's a long game. You will win or lose individual battles, but it's what happens in the long term that matters. Don't play games that you don't understand even if you see lots of other people making money from them. Figure out the game when the stakes are low. Don't cheat. Cheaters never win in the long run. Stick to your principles. You need to adjust your style of play throughout the night as the dynamics of the game change. Be flexible. The players with the most stamina and focus usually win. Differentiate yourself. Do the opposite of what the rest of the table is doing. Hope is not a good plan. Don't let yourself go on tilt. It's much more cost effective to take a break, walk around, or leave the game for the night. Educate yourself, read books, and learn from others who have done it before. Learn by doing. Nothing replaces actual experience. Learn by surrounding yourself with talented players. Just because you win, doesn't mean you're good. You've just gotten lucky, you have more learning to do. Don't be afraid to ask for advice. You've got to love the game to become really good. You need it to live it and sleep it. Don't be cocky. Don't be flashy. There's always someone better than you. Be nice and make friends. It's a small community. Share what you've learned with others. Look for opportunities beyond just the game you sat down to play. You never know who you're going to meet including new friends for life or new business contacts. Have fun. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you're trying to do more than just make money. It doesn't matter how flawlessly a business is executed if it's the wrong business or is in too small a market. If there isn't a big enough market for what you do you won't get very far. I started to force myself to think again about what I was trying to get out of life. I asked myself what I was trying to accomplish, and what I wanted to do, and whether I should be sitting at a different table. I knew it was never too late to change tables. It's a bad idea to invest in an industry you don't understand, companies you don't have any control or influence over, or on people you don't know or trust. Never lose sight of the value of tribal people who truly feel connected and care about the well-being of one another. Experiences are much more important than material things. Stop trying to network in the traditional business sense and instead just try to build up the number and depth of your friendships. The friendship itself is its own reward. Envision, create, and believe in your own universe and the universe will form around you. A great company is more likely to die of indigestion from too much opportunity then starvation from too little. You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf. Be humble. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts mind there are few. If changing our business model is what is going to save us, then we need to embrace and drive change. It doesn't hurt to try asking around. What's the worst that can happen? All they can do is say no. Be cash flow positive. Know that you have done everything you could to chase a dream you believe in. Deliver well through service. Embrace and drive change. Create fun and a little weirdness. Be adventurous. Be open minded. Pursue growth and learning. Build open and honest relationships with communication. Do more with less. Be passionate and determined. Be humble. It's more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long difficult words, but rather short easy words. For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny. Do the right thing. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. If you have more than three priorities, then you don't have any. If the person you're talking to isn't listening, be patient. Maybe he has a small piece of fluff in his ear. In the pursuit of knowledge, something is added every day. In the pursuit of enlightenment, something is dropped every day. Be passionate. Tell personal stories. Be real. Everyone's goal in life is happiness. Ask why. For most people, finally reaching their goal in life, whatever it was, whether it was making money, getting married, or running faster, would not actually bring them lasting happiness. Be a part of something bigger than yourself. Happiness is about perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness, and vision/meaning. Three types of happiness in increasing order: pleasure, passion, and higher purpose. Are you working toward maximizing your happiness each day? When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny. Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.