Thursday, March 31, 2005

Part of poker (life) is figuring out what cards your opponent thinks you have. In the real world it is called paranoia. In competition it is called anticipating your opponent's next move.

So when I am playing the poker game of life, I know that those around me always think I am holding 1 of 2 cards. They think I am holding the "The King of Confidence Card" or the "Ace of Cocky Card, aka Acehole."

And they are right. I am always holding one of those cards. I am always, each and every hand, holding the confidence card. No matter what hand I am dealt, that card always pops up. (aside: The confidence card should pop up for everyone. I am not special. There is no reason why I should be more or less confident in my abilities than anyone else...) So I am holding that card every time. Yet people with weaker hands (aka insecure people) always think I am holding a cocky card. They are so consumed with themselves that they convince themselves that I am something I am not.

Could I be wrong? Sure. Always, and of course.

But here's my reasoning. I have NEVER ever EVER heard a successful person, or anyone with pride say that someone else is cocky. Never ever. The word cocky or overconfident (which is impossible, mind you) is only used when looking up the totem poll.

Confident people are concerned with the game. Insecure people are concerned with individual players.

Confident people are concerned with winning. Insecure people (people who call others cocky) are concerned with losing.

As everyone knows, people with a positive attitude find a way to come out on top. Winning is coming out on top. Thus Confident people win, because they are confident. People that call me cocky lose because they are not confident.

Don't call me cocky because you feel that you are a failure. Get some pride in yourself. Wake up knowing that you can do anything. What fun is life, if you are not proud of yourself, and what you've accomplished no matter how great or how small.

Be proud of who you are, and what've you've done. Learn from your mistakes, and keep growing.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Prepare to be Depressed

There are many theories on the what caused the Great Depression. Was it unemployment? I doubt it. Unemployment now is probably about the same as it was before the Depression. It is an easily manipulable number. For example, how did women and minoritys play into the 1920s unemployment figure? Its pretty interesting if you think about it rationally, instead of just read what we're taught.

I think credit had a large thing to do with the Great Depression. People bought lots of things on credit, especially stocks (aka margin). When they could not come up with the money to pay their debts, things went haywire. People freaked out and started taking all their money out of banks...but guess what, banks work off of credit too. They don't have any money, its all lent out. Most of the money is on paper.

Which brings me to the title of this post. If I were a betting man, I would buy Hedge Funds. Hedge Funds bet on the the direction of stocks, indices, etc. They sell short (sell stocks now, buy them later) and they buy stocks with loans (don't quote me on that). They are HEAVILY leveraged. Some of these suckers are in the Billion Dollar range. Hedge Funds are very popular right now. I'm afraid if they continue to gain in popularity, we will have another Great Depression. Think about it. These Funds have billions of dollars in loans. Lets say the stocks do the opposite of their bet? They are wiped out. They wipe out all the fundholders in that fund, AND they wipe out the shareholders that they borrowed short from. That is alot of people wiped out of ALOT of money.

But they can just disolve the fund. Bail out. Screw everyone involved. Very few gamblors win conistently. This is no different. These fund are playing with so much money that the ripples will be dramatic. And unless there are regulations to stop it, than I expect another Great Depression in the near future (3~15 years).

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Summer of 2006 II

A good Point Guard makes everyone else on the court better. He sees the lanes. He sees passes when noone else does. He can not be afraid to have the ball in his hand. He knows how to distribute the ball, to give people a chance to shine. He relentlessly defends. He takes the big shots when its all on the line (if a better option is not open).

A good point guard puts everything on his shoulders. All the risk. The entire team rises or falls depending on him. But a good point guard never thinks he can lose. He always has the swagger, the confidence, the determination to do great things, to lead his team to victory. Failure is never an option. Challenges are hurdles. Hop them, and keep running.

A good point guard puts his players in position to grow. To hit the big shots. He gets everyone to reach for their potential. He gets everyone to come together as a team. To eat, breathe, and shed tears of effort over the same common goal.

There is a 70% chance that I am starting up a new company. I am going to be surrounded by very strong and talented people.

I am humbled at the level of free agents (or soon to be free agents) interested in joining the team. As the point guard, I will not sleep or blink until we win the championships. I refuse to let my team down. It is not about me. It is about the team. The good point guard doesn't want to be in the paper with stats. He wants to be in the paper with wins. Box scores don't matter. Wins matter.

We will win. We will win.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Summer of 2006

1) A few months back I had to make a decision. Should I stop going to grad school? My problem was I could learn more on my own than I could in a structured school setting. I chose to learn more on my own and pursue the CFA charter. I am starting to realize that that same logic applies to working for someone else. My KSAs are limited to where I fit in the puzzle. The larger the company the less chance that the company is taking advantage of my abilties. (because of regression to the mean). I can contribute more to this world if I am not working for someone else. I want to develop people. I want to make good people great.

2) A few weeks back I met with the owner of a successful company in St. Louis who I have gone to for career coaching a few times over the last few years. Amongst other things I asked him at what point he knew it was time to walk away from his job and start his own company. His reply was when it became a better idea than the alternatives.

1 + 2 = Summer of 2006.

p = 55%

(if this is cryptic than you should reread "What's Next." Learn to add the premises to see the future.)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Breaking out of Email Jail

Noone emails me to ask how I'm doing. Noone ever emails to find out whats new in my life, or asking if I want to go get drinks in a few hours. Its always people asking questions. I don't mind that. I like it. I like finding answers.

But sometimes I am busy. So I have a solution.
Alot of times people reply with hyperlinks. If I email my roomie, and he is busy he just gives me a link. Nothing more, nothing less.

So here's the solution:
Create some html code in an autoreply. The code will simply insert the persons email body into a google search box and reply with a link. Why not do the subject? Well because they always start off with "yo" or "can you help with", etc.

I can even have it setup to where if they reply to that, then it takes my autoreply off, and then I answer them myself...unless it says "thanks" in there. Which no one says thanks now a days, so I guess I dont have to worry about that.

This will work on so many of the emails I receive.

Noone will ever know that I am not even reading me emails!



Sunday, March 06, 2005

What's next?

"Stupid people do stupid things, smart people outsmart each other. Then themselves." -System of the Down.

Alright, so half the people in the world are stupid. That is fact. I am not going to talk about stupid people here. When I say anyone here I mean any non stupid person.

There are alot of smart people are out there. Alot of them. I have been friends with alot of very smart people. I have met a lot of very smart people. I am not talking about college grads. That does not impress me. College is assembly line education. You put in your time on the line and you walk away with a piece of paper to show you did it. (College is GREAT for those people that go to refine how to learn, but most people go because they think they should).

Here's the deal with smart people: for the most part EVERYONE has access to the same information. You are an expert in "X"? Great, give another smart person a few years and she will be too. Any smart person can learn anything. We all have the same data. Same books (by the way, books are opinions). Same ability to find knowledge holders. Knowledge is easy to get. Smart people tend to think that having knowledge makes them smart. Wrong. It makes you knowledgable. (Knowledgable people are the worst! They are the ones that want to argue with me to prove to whoever that they are knowledgable. Guess what I care so little that I have removed myself of the company of alot of these people.).

Knowledge is cool. But who cares? You retained some stuff that anyone can retain. Great.

Where am I going with this?

Dear smart people, there is another level. Anyone can compile data. Anyone can know the past. Anyone can know the present. The next level is using that information, and reading the future. Its out there. Anyone can know the future. You have the variables. You have the formulas. You have the relations. You have everything you need. Take it to the next level. You can gather data. I know because you tell everyone the data.

For example, you know that you have 1. You know you have 2. You know the formula for addition. But you all miss out on the future. Some see the 1s. Some see the 2s. Some see 1+2. Open your eyes. See that 1+2=3. See the next level. If that didnt make sense, than you prob fall in the second stanza of this blog...sorry to confuse you.

Change the world. Open up your eyes. Use your intelligence. See what's next. Quit wasting time. The answers are right there. Some people are color blind. Don't be future-blind. Just look.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Congratulations, you're a cliche.

Congratulations, you're a cliche.

You are the same as everyone else. What have you done to make "you" different?

(you is noone in particular!...if you think you is you then get off your ego-centric delusion, you is every person individually speaking....errrr why do I bother!)

How is this society any better (or worse) off because you lived here.

I look around, everyone has the same complaints, everyone has the same accomplishments. Everyone is the same.

Yea you're a punk. Yea your parents don't understand you. Just like everyone else at the concert you are at. You're all so different, even though you have the same pseudointellectual conversations, you all have the same piercings, same shirts, same hair, you're trying to be so different that you are the same.

Yes you've tried your share of drugs. Yes you're hooked on drugs. Yes you never touched any drug.

Great you got a house. Great you live at your parents house. Great you live in an apartment. So what?

Yea you're good w/ computers. Yea you're comptarded.

Yes you have a good job. Yes you have a shitty job. Yes your boss is an ass. Yes you are on the fast track. Yes you will never get anywhere. Yes its your race's fault. Yes it's some other race's fault. (its not a race if you're not in it!)

Yes you graduated college (who in the hell cares? gave most of you college grads confidence and nothing else. Guess what, you're still a dumbass. You don't know how to use what you learned. If you don't recognize that college taught you how to learn, than you are who I am talking to.) teaches most of you how to be the exact same as everyone else. Its assembly line education. You know the same thing as the people in your classes. Your resume is the exact same as your classmates, and the other millions of people that graduate from college EACH year. Your dumbass probably had a professional help you create your resume, to assure that it looked like everyone else's that he helped! Cliche. College=cliche. (bitch all you want about this. If you think I am wrong, and you put that much weight into college, then consider this: I might have more degrees than you, so I must be more right than you, right?...your dumbass probably did not even follow that logic.)

Its always someone else's fault. its never anyone elses fault (you internalize).

Yea you have insomnia. yea you sleep like a baby and love to tell everyone.

Yea you're an alcoholic. Yea you never drink. Sorry your dad beat you. Sorry your dad was never around. yea your dad was always there for you. Yes your dad never missed one of your games or concerts.

Yea high school sucked. No one liked you. You were so different. You used to always think about suicide. Guess what, your story is so common they made a movie mocking you...its called Heathers.

Yea high school was great. You dated all the hot girls...(I miss that!) You hooked up with anyone you wanted. Yes you didnt have to study, or go to class. Yea you're getting married. Just like everyone else.

Yea you never went to college. Yea you worked your way through college. Yea you had a 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0. Yes you're in a band. Yes you're an athletic mofo. Yea you've had a girlfriend hurt you. Yea you dropped out of college/high school.

Yes you love me...(this is one cliche I am sick of and miss at the same time!) Yes you hate me...(that will never get old).

Yea you have a sports car. Yea you have a hoopdie.

Yes you were good at football in High School. Congratulations they made a show about you and the other million people like you created each year. Its called Married with Children.

Yes you have great ideas. Yes you have no ideas. Yes you're good looking. Yea you're ugly. I'm sorry you're too fat/too skinny.

Justin Timberlake said it best (or was it Dr. Phattie Phil?). "Cry me a River"

This could obviously go on and on. The bottomline is I am only 25 and I have seen your story over and over and over and over again. People are artists, their lives are the canvas. I'm tired of seeing the same dozen paitings. I'm tired of everyone being the same. Can someone talk to me and tell me something I haven't heard? I'm tired of seeing through you. I'm tired of knowing what you're going to say before you do.

Be yourself.

How is your life's story any different from someone else's? Are you just wasting time until you die?

Make a difference in people's lives.

Don't be a cliche.

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