Mean Professor Tells Student to “get your sh*t together” | Things Doanie Likes

One of the perks of the job.

xxxx, get your shit together. Getting a good job, working long hours, keeping your skills relevant, navigating the politics of an organization, finding a live/work balance…these are all really hard, xxxx. In contrast, respecting institutions, having manners, demonstrating a level of humility…these are all (relatively) easy. Get the easy stuff right xxxx. In and of themselves they will not make you successful. However, not possessing them will hold you back and you will not achieve your potential.

This is straight out of the Marcus Aurelius playbook. One of my favorite passages from Meditations comes in Book 5:

Display those virtues which are wholly in your own power–integrity, dignity, hard work, self-denial, contentment, frugality, kindness, independence, simplicity, discretion, magnanimity. Do you not see how many virtues you can already display without any excuse of lack of talent or aptitude? And yet you are still content to lag behind.

Mean Professor Tells Student to “get your sh*t together” | Things Doanie Likes

Marty Nemko: The Un-MBA: I teach the aspiring self-employed the opposite of what is taught in business school

Interesting ideas here on starting a business. Keep it simple. Keep it boring.

Biz schools focus on high-status businesses: high tech, biotech, medical devices, environmental technology, multinational corporations, etc. I teach my clients the opposite: start a low-status business, the grungier the better. That way you’re competing with less capable business owners. Few Stanford or Harvard graduates aspire to owning diesel repair shops, mobile home park cleaning, installing and removing home-for-sale signs from lawns, shoeshine stands, cleaning out and installing cabinets in basements and garages, gourmet food trucks, rehabbing tenant-damaged apartment buildings, carts selling soup, scarves, knockoff designer purses, French soap, or coffee, or placing and maintaining laundry machines in apartment buildings. It’s far easier to compete successfully in such low-status businesses. I teach my clients, “Status is the enemy of success.”

Biz schools focus on intellectually meaty, complex businesses like the aforementioned high-tech, biotech, etc.. Alas, the more complex the business, the more that can go wrong. I teach my clients to choose a simple business, such as those I list in the previous paragraph. Each business location may yield insufficient profit to support a family but, once you’ve refined the concept, as I said, just clone your simple business in another location(s.)

Reminds me of the Warren Buffett stuff I’ve read. See also being smart once, borrowing money, and sticking with what you understand.

Marty Nemko: The Un-MBA: I teach the aspiring self-employed the opposite of what is taught in business school