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.

Eighty Percent of Success Is Showing Up—and Showing Up, and Showing Up

| July 28, 2009

In my last post, I said that addiction to ambition is a good thing: Find your perfect pitch, a great idea, believe in yourself, and work, work, work. That’s all well and good, but it can’t be that simple, can it? What if you don’t have that brilliant, category-killing idea? Not all of us can be business geniuses. David Rubenstein, who became the richest man in the nation’s capital through his investments in private equity, is widely considered one of the smartest people in Washington. Not so, he told me: “When you get older in life, you realize there are very few geniuses in this world. Most likely, you will never meet one, and Randy, you did not meet one today.” Rubenstein is certainly no dummy, but just as there are brilliant successes who are less than brilliant, there are also plenty of smart, unsuccessful people. Brains is part of the equation, but it’s not the determining factor in becoming an RMIT.