Time Shares

| August 18, 2009

Commandment #5, “Wake Up Early—Be Early,” means making the most of the time you’ve got. That means starting your career early, starting your day early—and showing up for your meetings early. Fully 98 percent of the RMITs cited the ability to show up, and show up on time, as integral to their success. I saw this first-hand: Dennis Albaugh, famous within his company for saying, “Nothing is beneath me or beyond me,” was a typical example. When we set a phone appointment for our first interview, he called two minutes early. He respects his time and he respects the time of others. And having wrangled multiple interviews with a hundred RMITs in the course of researching and writing The Richest Man in Town, I can tell you emphatically—I really, really respect that. Perhaps the most important lesson to be taken from the fifth commandment is this: Your time is precious—and so is everybody else’s.

Up and At ’Em

| August 11, 2009

Every morning in my youth, my late father used to wake me by saying, “Get up, boy—you can’t make a crop lying in bed!” As a father now myself, I rouse my sons with the same saying. My parents instilled the importance of hard work in me from an early age, and it’s one of the most powerful advantages they could have given me. Virtually every RMIT told me that the biggest factor in their success was neither education—only ten of the 100 RMITs attended an Ivy League school, three dropped out of college (including Bill Gates), one went to community college, and fourteen didn’t go to college at all—nor a secure financial basis to start a business. The biggest success factor they all pointed to was the fact that they started early and hit the ground running.