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Weekly Reflection: Week Two Hundred Four

This is my two-hundred-fourth weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:

  • Delayed results – This week was a reminder that sometimes it takes longer than anticipated for a decision to be proven correct or incorrect. When the results are clear, accept and learn from them to improve future decisions.
  • Home Depot – At the suggestion of a friend, I looked into Home Depot’s cofounders. One, Ken Langone, caught my attention. His role as VC investor and investment banker for Home Depot in the ’70s and for various companies after that intrigued me. I’m in the early stages of researching him, and I’m excited to learn more about him.
  • Reading – I’ve read a few books this month that give historical context on specific topics. These are good books for me to read, as they help me zoom out and learn about a topic over a longer time period. I still get more value from books that detail someone’s journey, the knowledge they acquired on that journey, and how they applied it in pursuit of their goal.

Week two hundred four was another week of learning. Looking forward to next week!

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Schweitzer on Wisdom Being Color-blind

I read a quote today from the German missionary Albert Schweitzer that caught my attention:

An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while the pessimist sees only the red stoplight . The truly wise person is colorblind.

This got me thinking about my experience. I’ve learned to balance my thinking in any situation by considering the counter to my natural instincts. For example, if I’m super excited and see lots of upside, I try to think about the downside. Conversely, if I’m hesitant and see lots of risk, I try to think What could go right? and see the upside potential.

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Feedback on My Posts

A friend, who’s also an investor, gave me some feedback on my blog. This doesn’t happen often, so I was excited to hear what he had to say. I view any kind of feedback as an opportunity to get better, which is important to me.

Sharing topics that I’m thinking about is helpful to him. But he gets more value from the posts where I go deeper—specifically, when I share personal examples of how I’m acting on what I’ve learned or lessons I’ve learned from past actions related to the topic.

This was timely feedback, as I’ve recently been thinking about knowledge vs. wisdom. I get more value from wisdom and have decided to focus on reading to acquire wisdom this year.

Similarly, according to the feedback from my friend, he gets more value from the posts where I share wisdom and unique insights. I appreciated hearing that. It motivated me. Going forward, I want to write more posts where I share more of what I’ve learned from my successes and failures and the actions I’m currently taking based on what I’ve learned.

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Weekly Reflection: Week Two Hundred Three

This is my two-hundred-third weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:

  • Financial history – I’ve been reading books on financial history lately. It’s been a great exercise in zooming out to see the big picture, understanding human behavior, and understanding some of the complexity of the financial system. I’m excited to keep learning in this area.
  • Weekly learnings – I’m thinking about ways to share some of the things I learn each week. A friend suggested an idea that I like, and I’m going to solicit other people’s thoughts about it.
  • Practical learning – This week was a reminder that the best way for me to learn is by doing—and that I learn the most when things don’t go as planned.

Week two hundred three was another week of learning. Looking forward to next week!

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Ad-Revenue Business Models

While researching a business, I learned that it generates significant revenue from ads. Digging deeper, I found out that it’s charging 10x more than I’d envisioned for ads. The coveted (and most expensive) ad slots are sold out for the next six months. I don’t have any inside information, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this business is generating eight figures in annual revenue from ads.

I don’t know a lot about ad-based business models, and this project has me curious. I want to learn more and will dive deeper into this space.

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Reading for Wisdom

Yesterday I shared my thoughts on wisdom vs. knowledge. I have a daily habit of acquiring knowledge, which I enjoy. I’ve noticed a pattern as I’ve been reading more long-form content, mainly books. Some books add considerably more value than others. I’ve been thinking about why this is the case for the last few months.

The most helpful books I read last year have a common trait. They were about how people took action toward a stated goal. The books explained their thought processes as they learned by trial and error, detailing their learnings and how what they learned changed their behavior during their journey. These books were about how people acquired and applied knowledge. They were books that contained the wisdom others had accumulated (often over decades).  

This year I want to refine my reading a bit. I enjoy learning about new concepts and ideas, but I want to focus more of my time on reading books that contain wisdom, not just knowledge.

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Weekly Reflection: Week Two Hundred Two

This is my two-hundred-second weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:

  • Exiting venture capital – I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of VCs I’m talking with who are considering doing something outside VC. Many are looking at the prospect of returns, the number of years required to realize them, and the challenging exit environment for IPOs and M&A.
  • Complexity – This week was a reminder that explaining complex concepts simply is a way to give value to others and enhance your own learning at the same time.

Week two hundred two was another week of learning. Looking forward to next week!

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Weekly Reflection: Week Two Hundred One

This is my two-hundred-first weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:

  • Curveballs – This week, I was thrown a few curveballs. It was a reminder that the unexpected can happen anytime. Flexibility and focus helped me navigate the week.
  • Optimism – Entrepreneurs I’ve talked with are very optimistic about 2024. Most have plans to grow businesses or launch new ones. Entrepreneurial sentiment appears to be starting the year off strong.
  • History – I learned some fascinating things from historical events and people in business this week. As I read, I was able to see how current times are mimicking history.

Week two hundred one was another week of learning. Looking forward to next week!

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Weekly Reflection: Week Two Hundred

This is my two-hundredth weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:

  • Learning – My learning survey started out as a silly exercise, but it’s turning into something resembling customer discovery. I’m surprised how interested people are when I ask about their learning habits.
  • Focus – I paid close attention to how often people’s attention is pulled in multiple directions every day. The ability to focus appears to be becoming less common. Those who have it and use it will have a leg up on life.
  • Trends – Jeff Bezos started Amazon after learning that the internet was growing at an insane annual rate. I’ve been thinking about new trends that are growing rapidly but aren’t well understood.

Week two hundred was another week of learning. Looking forward to next week!

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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Ninety-Nine

This is my one-hundred-ninety-ninth weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:

  • Idea – This week I listened to someone share an idea they used to build their business. The idea isn’t new, but the insights he shared about the idea were new to me and resonated. Something clicked in my head as I listened and got my wheels turning. I’ve been thinking about it the last few days, and I’m excited about digging into it more next week.  
  • Reading tool – I played with this new tool. It’s going to be a lot more work than I originally thought to digitize the highlights in each book I read. Not the outcome I hoped for, but I think the value in doing this will far exceed the effort. Most people who read books rarely review their highlights. When they do, they usually have to go to each individual book to find the highlights. I think the value from aggregating highlights from various books, having them be searchable, and regularly reviewing them could be big.

Week one hundred ninety-nine was another week of learning. Looking forward to next week!

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