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It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be

To the trend following skeptics who have whined up a storm here in the last week, I offer a quotation from Paul Arden:

“Nearly all rich and powerful people are not notably talented, educated, charming, or good-looking. They become rich and powerful by wanting to be rich and powerful. Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without a goal it’s difficult to score.”

I bet there are some people who have arguments why that is not true!

Let me take it a step further with controversial Mark Cuban:

“With every effort, I learned a lot. With every mistake and failure, not only mine, but of those around me, I learned what not to do. I also got to study the success of those I did business with as well. I had more than a healthy dose of fear, and an unlimited amount of hope, and more importantly, no limit on time and effort…The point of all this is that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and either should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”

Larry Hite extends:

“Most of the Ivy League guys I know are so used to being ‘right’ they get very uncomfortable dealing with uncertainty – when there is no right answer. Their ego often makes them so afraid of being ‘wrong’, that they’re unable to make good bets. They are not comfortable with the idea of risk, because they don’t know how to assess it or measure it. [They have been] taught to absorb knowledge, not what to do with it.”

And Hite takes brings it home with even more clarity:

“There are just four kinds of bets. There are good bets, bad bets, bets that you win, and bets that you lose. Winning a bad bet can be the most dangerous outcome of all, because a success of that kind can encourage you to take more bad bets in the future. You can also lose a good bet, but if you keep placing good bets, over time, the law of averages will be working for you.”

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