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November 13, 2009
A Ticket to the Limit
 
 


As many of you know, I’m an avid reader and life-long learner. 

Every once in a while I happen across a book that I really think is a worthwhile read.  This last week a classmate and dear of mine (we’re both in an entrepreneurial MBA program at MIT) sent me his new book called "Ticket to the Limit".

Randy Cohen is a consummate entrepreneur who has passion like no other.  He absolutely loves what he does and it shows in everything he does and stands for. 

In Randy’s new book he discusses several "Rules of Reason" that help remind us what it’s all about at the end of the day.  I thought that I’d share a few of his ideas with you as I believe that they accurately reflect my own philosophies.

I.  BE PASSIONATE.  LOVE WHAT YOU DO

If you don’t love what you do, you’re not going to be very successful.  Maybe that sounds painfully obvious, but there are an awful lot of people out there who are miserable.  Maybe they’re in dead-end jobs and slogging along through life.  To escape that trap you’ve got to find something you love to do and do it with passion.  It’s not easy, but the alternative is a life unfulfilled, void of pizzazz.

II.  LIVE YOUR VALUES

At some point in your life (now is a good time), you’ve got to look inside and reflect upon your core values.  Then, you’ve got to walk the walk and live those values!  You’ll know whether you’re on the right track, because your conscience will be your guide.  Do you feel in sync and on your game?  If so, then you’re living your values.

III.  PUT FAMILY FIRST

With today’s frenetic schedules, maintaining balance becomes a real challenge -- especially when it comes to family.  You’ve got to keep things in perspective and make your family your top priority.  You’ll have many jobs or careers throughout you life, but you’ve only got one family.  Always put them first.

IV.  TAKE CARE OF YOUR PEOPLE.  FIND THE AMAZING

You’ve got to look out for your people -- this includes your family and friends.  Take care of your people at the office, and they will repay you with loyalty and treat you like royalty.  After all, most successful people didn’t get t the top on their own.  They got there by standing on the shoulders of other.  Be good to your people and they will do good for you!

V.  HAVE FUN.  LEARN TO LAUGH

Life can be a lot more fulfilling and enjoyable when you laugh often, have fun, and smile.  Laughing is like exercise for the soul.  It actually reduces stress and will help you to live longer!  Everybody wants to have fun, but believe it or not, fun doesn’t always happen by itself.  You’ve got to plan to have fun in your day and find plenty of reason to laugh, even at yourself - especially at yourself!

VI.  HAVE A BIG HEART.  MAKE A DIFFERENCE

To live the life you truly desire, you’ve got to have heart!  Heart is that special something that separates Joe Montana or Joe Nameth from the average Joe.  It’s that magical quality that keeps you going and puts you over the top.  Having a big heart also means giving back and being kind.

Closely related to having a heart is making a difference.  If love comes from the heart, then I suppose you could say that making a difference comes from the soul.  In my less that humble opinion, you were not put on this Earth just to take care of yourself.  You’re here to enrich and enhance the lives of others.  You’re here to leave the world a little better than when you found it.  You got to try and make a difference.

VII.  NEVER STOP LEARNING
 
One of the things I really look forward to everyday is learning and growing.  Learning is not a goal; it is a lifelong process.  I believe we’ve all got an opportunity and an obligation to learn as much as we can while we’re here.  Knowledge breeds understanding, confidence, and compassion--all traits required for great success.  As far as I’m concerned, when you stop learning, you stop living.

VIII.  TAKE CHANCES.  PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE.

One of the ways you can live "on purpose", is to simply put yourself out there.  Take risks.  Big bold.  Try new things.  Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself from time to time--especially in pursuit of a worthy goal.  And don’t be afraid to fail, because no matter what, you’ll make mistakes and you will fall down.  The trick is getting back up again.  One of my favorite quotes simply states, "Success is falling down nine times and getting up ten".  You’re not going to get ahead unless you put yourself out there.

IX.  BE A ROCK STAR.  WORK HARD AND PLAY HARD.

I guess I’m from the old school:  I agree with the simple and time-tested advice to work hard.  Unless you were born into royalty or win the lottery, you’re going to have to work hard to succeed.  The old cliche has never been more true.  Work hard--and play hear.  Why?  Because how you do anything is how you do everything!

X.  FOLLOW THROUGH.  MASTER THE GAME

Another key quality that separates the winners from the losers is follow-up and follow-through.  It’s simple:  You’ve got to do what you say you’re going do!  Keep your commitments.  Fulfill your obligations.  Deliver on your promises.  Better yet, over-deliver!  Once you become a man or woman of your word, people will begin to know, like and trust you.  Then you’re really on your way!

I truly appreciate friends like Randy.  They help me to remember the "why" rather than the "what, when, how and where".  Hopefully his words will strike a chord in you as well as you spend this weekend with friends and family.

Thank you very much for supporting OptiFuse as we to try and make a difference in this world...


Jim Kalb
President
OptiFuse
jimk@optifuse.com

 

 
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