Wade had sex with Karen and now I had to fire him. She was our top designer. And he was also starting to make fun of one of my partners behind his back. He’d do that roll-the-eyes thing whenever my partner spoke.
I limped out of the meeting and said, “excuse me”, and took the elevator down 67 stories, went to Grand Central, limped home, and never went back to work at that job.
I never returned the constant phone calls and emails over the next month. “James, where did you go?”
For all I know my name is still on my office door and my name is still on their website. I’ve never checked.
I just didn’t feel like going back or talking to them ever again.
A few days earlier I had discussed with the managing partner how I would get paid if I brought in a huge deal. He smiled and said, “Trust me, James, I always take care of everyone.”
When someone says “trust me” or “I will make you rich” then I know general fuckness will result.
One time Barry Diller was visiting Sergey Brin and Larry Page. The topic of the meeting was to see how the greatest media mogul could work with the greatest Internet moguls.
It was like two galaxies colliding to create something beautiful when seen from light years away.
Larry Page was texting or doing something on his phone.
Barry Diller was disgusted: “Either choose me or the phone”.
Larry Page, without even lifting his head from his phone, said to the biggest media mogul in history, “I choose this”. Referring to his phone.
So Diller spent the rest of the meeting talking to Sergey Brin.
Rob told me JB was dead. JB was my best friend growing up. We sat next to each other on the bus. After school we’d play ping pong or pinball or monopoly or ride bikes.
Every single day we did this for eight years. Then we drifted apart.
Rob said, The last time I spoke to him he sounded like a ghost.
It was like there was nothing there, Rob said.
I sort of want to have sex with you. Or I want you to be my father. Or my best friend. I don’t know, I feel so nervous writing this letter. I hope you write back but you can’t because you’re God and God has to care for all of Her People and not just one tiny little person like me.
The other day I wanted to learn about “Vincent Van Gogh”. I saw a book in the bookstore but it looked boring and it was around 1000 pages. Who would read such a book?
I distinctly remembered we all threw our bodies on top of each other. We were making a mountain of bodies. We were all laughing and wrestling to see who would get to the top of the bodies. I was on top. I was three or four years old. We were in “Yellow Duck Nursery School”. Laughing. Having fun.
Then I took a shit. A big one.
And we were all in shorts. Something I like to describe on CNBC as the “trickle-down effect” began to occur.
Everyone started yelling. Everyone started insulting me and running away from me. A teacher hit me. The next memory I have was that I was on the “special kids” school bus in the middle of the day. My mom was waiting on the driveway. “What did you do!” she said and took me by the hand and brought me inside.
That may have been my first memory.
What we do with our bowels is very important to us. We basically viscerally remember the times we shit on others. The more people under us, the bigger the memory.
The government, the media, the advertising industry, society, culture, your bosses, your parents, continue this trickle down-effect.
BONUS SCAM: Trading stocks is a totally rigged scam. Anybody who doesn’t listen to me is just jerking off in a madhouse. I have so much proof the system is completely rigged that the only way to win is if you are on the side of the people doing the rigging. There are 300mm people in the country and probably about 200 people who are rigging the system. Good luck trying to fit yourself into the club of 200 while you lose all of your money.
Here’s other scams which involves groups of people doing massive poops on others (ok, I toned down the language):
I’m throwing out all my clothes and books and most of my projects and thoughts.
I’m sick of most of the things I own. What do I really need them for anyway. Are they really that important?
Most of my books were swept away in Hurricane Sandy. And all my pants have holes in them. What else?
I have some white shirts, some black pants and a sweater or two.
But I want to take it further. I don’t want to live in a home.
So Claudia and I have been doing a little bit of experiment. In the past few months we’ve stayed via AirBnB in Encinitas. Venice, Austin, Miami, and NYC. We’ve used Zipcar when we’ve needed a car. We use kindle when we read books. Eventually I will stop renting my place and just do short-term AirBnB everywhere.
I’ve mostly replaced my laptop and ipad and phone with the Samsung Note II (and random Kinkos or business centers).
I don’t really collect anything. And I don’t need any extra coffee blenders or whatever you call them.
Do I work? I like to deliver value. And value makes money. I get brain-gasms when I help people.
But I don’t believe in meetings. Or phone calls. Or emails.
When I am in a meeting I am specifically not getting anything done. I have one trick to get things done: I make 5 introductions a day. I listen to people’s issues and either help them on the spot or introduce them to people who could. Then I step out of the way.
This works out very well. I like doing my job.
I wish I could get a job that pays me everytime I wake up at three in the morning and worry. But I don’t think anyone wants to pay me for that. I would ROCK at that.
Sometimes “Less” get very granular. Like if I find myself worrying about the future, I whisper “Less” and remind myself I don’t need to be so anxious. I’m a horrible predictor of the future anyway.
Sometimes I remember old grudges I hold. Or regrets. But in 50 billion years this planet won’t even exist. So my old grudges won’t exist either. DEATH TO YOU ALL!
We’re the tiniest sliver of light that escapes when the door cracks open between death and life. I’m grateful for that tiny crack in the door.
Goals are too much baggage. Less goals.
Will it make me happier doing this? I have no idea. My stomach has been hurting me ever since I became an entrepreneur in 1995.
But since I have taken on this philosophy several things have happened:
- my stomach hurts less
- I’ve made more money
- more friends
- more creativity
- more quiet.
- less weight
- more smiles.
- more gratitude
Some people say, “less is more”. This is a slogan. I’m going to have less slogans.
Some people say “fewer” instead of “Less”. I like “Less”.
I want less breaths. Longer breaths.
Ok. Less words.
[What could you do less of?]
Made A Stupid Mistake? Own it.
Many people who make mistakes tend to skulk away in embarrassment and hide forever.
But we all make mistakes, and this is precisely the wrong thing to do.
That skulking could mean that others will forever judge you as weak.
Is the smarter strategy not to show up immediately after your gaffe, own it, and set a sincere, positive tone for the future?
My big bro Adam (pictured) has become a budding businessman after several years of thumbing his nose at commerce. This is a good thing as he’s very talented and competitive.
Adam now has to deal with frustrating client emails, the way I used to in spades running the Pacific Website Co.
I made a million mistakes as an entrepreneur in my early 20′s dealing with client emails emotionally. But then a few years ago I met an extremely successful real estate financier who taught me a different approach.
One of the most common ways to become wealthy is to come up with an idea that requires capital (such as buying a building or a company) and pitch it to a sophisticated investor.
If the investor wants to back the idea, the pitcher may get a piece of the action for coming up with the idea and seeing it through. This is the same as a ‘carried interest’ in the private equity world.
I learned this lesson from Fred Wright, a legendary Canadian investment banker, a few years ago when I asked him for advice on creating personal wealth.
Fred is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and Chairman of Capital West Partners, Western Canada’s leading independent investment bank. In his past life he was President of Pemberton Securities when it sold to RBC. Fred is a wonderful guy with a sterling reputation.
When I sought Fred out for advice few years ago, he told me his secret to institutional sales. His advice was this: “Never presume to know what smart money thinks is a good deal. Just be humble, say why you like it, and present your facts. They will always make their own decision.”
I took this advice to mean if you’re genuine enough, your buyer may appreciate your approach, and eventually become anchored to your success. At the least, he or she will have enough patience to hear you out and give you valuable feedback.
Fred’s advice applies to selling almost anything to a sophisticated buyer, not just private equity investments. Just be straight, and don’t pretend to know everything, especially not the appetite of somebody who manages money professionally.
If Fred Wright, one of Canada’s most respected financiers, doesn’t presume to know someone else’s deal criteria, Tommy Humphreys won’t either.
Neither should you.