Life Lessons for the New Year

Every year I like to read Byron Wien’s Top Ten (economic) Surprises for the year. I’ve written about Byron before, but for those who don’t know him, he is the Vice Chairman for Blackstone, a large wealth management firm with $554 billion in assets under management. While Byron’s list of economic surprises are interesting and helpful, I always find his “Life’s Lessons” commentary at the … Continue reading Life Lessons for the New Year

Gaining The Marginal Advantage in Today’s Competitive Environment

When Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the 2016 Olympics for the 100-meter sprint he did so at a time of 9.81 seconds. Justin Gatlin came in second at 9.89 seconds and the eighth-place finisher came in at 10.06 seconds. Usain Bolt is widely considered the best sprinter in the world, and justifiably so. He’s the first athlete to win gold in the 100-meter … Continue reading Gaining The Marginal Advantage in Today’s Competitive Environment

Give Back by Talking to Others About What You Do

I had the opportunity to guest lecture to the Student Investment Fund class at Oklahoma State University this week. I was there to talk to the students about the venture capital industry and what I do as a partner at Spur Capital. I prepared a list of topics to discuss just in case the students were disengaged, but I was pleasantly surprised by their keen … Continue reading Give Back by Talking to Others About What You Do

Expanding Your Frame of Mind and Thinking Bigger

I recently attended a conference for one of our fund managers and the keynote speaker was none other than Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and Co-Chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For the 0.0001% of you who may not know who Bill Gates is, he co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen and the two of them grew it to become … Continue reading Expanding Your Frame of Mind and Thinking Bigger

Improving Your Critical Thinking Skills Will Make You a Better Leader

One of the skills I’m trying to hone are my critical thinking skills. I majored in civil engineering and have been formally trained on the process of solving complex problems. When I worked as an engineer, the problems I was solving needed to have a definitive answer. Otherwise, there could be catastrophic failure. But now that I work with venture capital firms, the process of … Continue reading Improving Your Critical Thinking Skills Will Make You a Better Leader

How Saying “No” Makes You and Everyone Around You Better

When I was in the seventh grade I had just started to develop an interest in sports and decided I needed to find a sport to play. I had never played organized sports before, so I decided I would keep an open mind and just start trying things out. The first sport I attempted to play was baseball. I had never played before so naturally … Continue reading How Saying “No” Makes You and Everyone Around You Better

Pattern Recognition

Over the last several weeks my team and I have been in the process of marketing our next fund. Collectively, we have probably traveled over 10,000+ miles (by plane) in the last 60 to 90 days talking to potential investors. We’ve been to Boston, Chicago, Tulsa, London, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Austin, Oklahoma City, Houston, Baltimore, Portland, and Vancouver (WA). In each place we go we normally … Continue reading Pattern Recognition

The Art of War Series – Part II – Move Only When You Have the Advantage

It has been tremendously difficult to choose one topic per week to write about from the Art of War because the book is filled with SO many different topics to choose from that I think are all worth writing about. One theme from the book that I have been pondering is the strategy of staying in one place and not moving until you have a … Continue reading The Art of War Series – Part II – Move Only When You Have the Advantage

The Art of War Series – Part I – “Preparation”

At the start of the new year I made a decision to formalize my reading practices by committing to read a minimum of one hour each day. So far it has been going great and I find that I’m reading a lot more than the minimum each day. I start reading at 6am and usually wrap up about 7:30am or 8am. I find it relaxing … Continue reading The Art of War Series – Part I – “Preparation”