The best way to learn anything new is to study those who are already succeeding at it
I know, from prior experience, that the best way to learn anything new is to study those who are already succeeding at it. I learned to manage my finances that way, by talking to women who were smart investors for a project I was hired to do, years ago, as a freelance writer. My book Prince Charming Isn't Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money is based on those interviews. And that book spawned a whole new career for me, teaching women what I had learned.
Up until those interviews, however, I was financially oblivious. I voraciously clung to my father's worldview: Managing money is clearly a man's job. I was too ignorant and scared to believe otherwise. And since my father was the founder of I-18&11 Block, the nation's largest tax service, I figured he should know. My first hus-band, however, turned out to be a lousy Prince Charming, losing a fortune (of my trust fund) in reddess investments. After our divorce, he left the country, leaving me to deal with colossal tax bills, three small children, and a brain incapable of deciphering financial jargon. But those conversations with financially savvy women changed everything. I now invest with confidence.
Focus is saying no to 1,000 good ideas.
Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.” The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. The hard thing isn’t hiring great people. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things. The hard thing isn’t setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed. The hard thing isn’t dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.
The last 10% is 90% of the work.