Those of you reading my blog for the last several columns have figured out by now that I believe that the traits and character required for an entrepreneur are very similar to those a good value investor should have.
I am going to add to that.
As you think deeply about the kinds of behavior, instincts and thought process that result in success in these areas, you will no doubt find that many of those ideas are transferable to life itself. This is something I have termed “Right Thinking” in prior posts (not my term, but one I think is appropriate).
Understanding this and applying this thinking to your project(s), you may find you are “doing better” in other parts of your life. (Oh the horror! I have become my mother!)
Think of this as a welcome side effect (As a doctor, I think in these terms…what can I tell ya!)
By no means am I a fan of Rudyard Kipling (I can tell you where he should stick his “White Man’s Burden”!).
But credit where credit is due. I believe his poem IF, reproduced below is a graphic and exact description of what you need to succeed as an investor, as an entrepreneur and at life.
I will discuss aspects of what he says in this column over time, but I am unable to summarize the whole as elegantly as he has done.
You can do much worse than read it carefully, ponder and apply to your situation! Rinse and repeat!
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
Now tell me thats not the most amazing advice you ever got!