Right this second someone is stealing from me. He is robbing me of a ton of money.
One of my co-investors from 2011 recently told me, “He’s a scam. I got my money back.”
So I wrote the guy and asked for my money back. The email bounced. I wrote him on Facebook. No reply. I called him. Phone disconnected.
OK. That happens. I’m an idiot. What did I do wrong? I didn’t follow my basic two rules.
And these rules apply to every area of my life. Not just investing.
Past = Future.
Invest in someone who has done the exact thing before.
I know what it’s like to be a CEO. It’s not about having an idea. It’s not about execution. It’s not about motivating people. Those are the easy things.
Being a good CEO boils down to: can you handle it when your employees are having sex with each other?
Because if you can do that, you can handle when clients are asking for bribes. When a landlord is extorting you. You can handle sales with people who hate you (really…the key to all success).
You can handle when you sell your company and at the last minute they change the terms. You can handle raising money.
Being a CEO means having one vision, but dealing with 1000 irritations. It’s how you deal with the irritations that define you.
Be The Stupid One.
Second thing: Invest with people smarter than you.
If you invest with people smarter than you, then they did all the work and asked all the right questions.
There are very few things I know how to ask the right questions on. Maybe nothing actually. So why not co-invest with people who ask the right questions.
Then I can just trust they did the work and follow them.
This applies to everything.
Side note: I have a whole cheat sheet for investing that you can find here.
If you want a committed relationship, be with someone who has been in a committed relationship before.
It doesn’t mean it had to succeed. Just if they stuck around for awhile, you know they know how to do it.
They know the basics of how to communicate when things are tough. They know how to ride the waves of jealousy, happiness, differences, mystery, and no mystery.
They know how to be happy for your successes. This is maybe the most important thing.
Find out who their friends are. Since we know we are the “average of the five people around us,” see who they are the average of.
If their friends are nice and smart and make you laugh, then the potential love of your life is probably nice and smart and will make you laugh.
That’s it. What else do you need to know?
When I’m 80 years old, if I find someone now who is good in a committed relationship and is good at making me laugh, then I might be happy and even healthier.
Why healthier? Because If I never laugh and the person is not trustworthy then I know I will be dead by 80. Or in a wheelchair with a stroke or in a bed with cancer.
Apply this to friendships, relationships, investments, bosses, everyone who enters your life.
I’m being robbed right now because I didn’t do that.
Sometimes I’ve lost everything because I thought I was smart enough to skip those two rules.
How can you get smart? I don’t really know. I try to write down ten ideas a day to sharpen my idea muscle. I try to be grateful for difficult things that happen to me.
I try to treat everyone as if they are going to die tomorrow. Then I will be extra nice to them.
I’m grateful this guy is robbing me. Else I would have had no post today. Else, I would have forgotten the two basic rules that I need to always follow.
My daughter was a difficult thing for me to be grateful for when she was born.
I’m grateful I’m old enough to have visited my daughter before her prom yesterday. She’s more beautiful than me and she gives me pretty solid relationship advice.
Thank god I have people like her, smarter and funnier than me, in my life today.
When she was born, I thought she was annoying. She was my new roommate. She didn’t speak English. She was pretty damn demanding, she shat on the floor whenever she wanted, and she would latch onto my wife’s breast every day.
Any other roommate and I would have kicked her out.
I was hoping her mom would have had an abortion instead of giving birth.
Now I’m infinitely happy she is alive. She’s a cool kid. Way cooler than I ever was.
And she teaches me how to be a nicer person and how to pick the right people in my life. One day I hope to be as nice and smart as she is. And maybe as good looking.
It’s important to have dreams in life, even if they have no chance of coming true.