Leaders and kings

We often erroneously refer to those in charge as leaders, but having authority doesn’t make you a leader, it makes you the king. Let’s not confuse the two.

Leaders have followers, not subjects.

Leadership is earned, not anointed.

Leaders seek cooperation through shared interests instead of force.

They have the self-confidence to accept responsibility when things go wrong.

Leaders exhibit self-control.

A king who’s not a true leader will go down in history as being a toothless tyrant. Leaders leave behind a roadmap for future generations to improve their quality of life by learning from past mistakes.

Four ways to face obstacles

When met with an obstacle, there are four ways to react:

  1. Go around. Find a new path to get you to your ultimate goal.
  2. Plow ahead. Go hard and commit to persevere no matter what happens.
  3. Retreat away. Return from whence you came.
  4. Wait. Maybe things will clear up on their own?

They are sorted in order from hardest to easiest.

…and from least common to most prevalent.

…and from least likely to be regretted to most regrettable.

Obstacles are the gatekeepers of your goal, so see them as evidence that you’re one step closer.

Rocket science

I can see why people use the word “launch” to describe starting a business- it’s complex, risky, and is usually a pretty bumpy ride. However, I liken the experience more to building a rocket ship while in mid-flight.

Launching a rocket (I imagine) demands preparation for every scenario imaginable. No expense is spared since most failures are catastrophic.

Building a business, on the other hand, doesn’t offer the same luxury. It’s a clumsy process of building each piece just in time for when it’s needed. Thankfully, most failures are not catastrophic, and a welcome part of the process.

Is it affordable to live full-time in Airbnb’s?

After spending the past 14 months living in AirBnB’s up and down the east coast, I thought I’d share a few cost-saving tips for anybody crazy enough to try this.

Stay at least 28 days and look for places that offer sizeable monthly discounts.

The rate listed is often negotiable- it never hurts to ask politely.

Stick to cities that don’t enforce an occupancy tax on Airbnb’s. These taxes can be hefty.

Finding the best deal often takes a week or two of searching. Availability is constantly in flux- so keep digging.

Achievement vs. Recognition

Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his entire lifetime. It was only well after he died that he became recognized as one of the greatest painters of all time. Still, every day that he awoke and took to his canvas he was achieving greatness unbeknownst to the world.

Don’t confuse achievement with recognition. Achievement is earned, and it happens with the brush in your hand. Recognition is fickle- it may come before achievement (a tech startup raises a huge round of V.C. money), after the fact (in Van Gogh’s case), or never at all.

Yes, you can. But are you?

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you will.

Just because you can’t, doesn’t mean you won’t.

Just because you didn’t, doesn’t mean you couldn’t.

Pondering who can and who can’t is fruitless and irrelevant. History has proven that we’re terrible at judging ability in others, and especially in ourselves.

We brag about the things we can do, bemoan what we can’t, and make excuses for what we didn’t do. All that matters presently is what we are doing. Past results are not the best predictor of who will and who won’t- current actions are.

How to fail at achieving long-term goals

Don’t take the first step.

Say yes to every opportunity.

Keep it to yourself.

Fail to identify your “Why” (then, set the wrong goal)

Don’t take the second step.

Don’t establish daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines.

Heed the words of friends and family who love you dearly and don’t want to see you fail.

Ignore the words of uninvested people who have “been there, done that.”

Don’t take the twenty-seventh step. (you get the idea)

Don’t ask for favors.

Beat yourself up when you hit a slump.

Wait for the perfect time.