Dear Financial Samurais, part of being rich or successful is believing you deserve to be rich or successful. Yet so many of the most talented folks fail because they lack belief. Maybe it's because they have nobody to look up to. Or maybe it's because nobody told them they were good enough.
Well, I'm here to tell you that you are good enough. There are mind-boggling things going on every day that prove it. Here are three examples from the week I wrote this post that should give you all the confidence in the world:
People Fail All The Time And Can Still Make A Lot Of Money
1) Hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital was down 18.6% year-to-date because his longs went down and his shorts went up. Even my 16-month-old son could do better. Meanwhile, David's fund was only up 1.6% in 2017 when the S&P 500 was up 21%. In 2016, he underperformed the S&P 500 by 3%.
Yet, who cares because David is worth about $1.5 billion and we aren't! Despite significant underperformance over the past several years, he's still been able to convince his investors to stick with him. Even just earning a 2% management fee on Greenlight's $9.5 billion in assets under management generates $190 million in revenue a year.
Lesson: Image can often be more important than performance. Work on your communication skills. Figure out how to sell air. Learn to keep hope alive in your customers despite the house burning down.
People Say Really Dumb Things And Still Have Huge Followers
2) President Trump insults Lebron James after Lebron opens a school for underprivileged kids, right before he goes to Ohio to campaign for Troy Balderson for the Congressional special election on Tuesday.
Ohio is perennially a swing state during Presidential elections, along with Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Lesson: You, too, can be the President of the United States and publicly insult good people. Who cares if Lebron is Ohio's favorite son and brought Cleveland its first NBA championship. Now imagine how great you could be if you build bridges instead.
Hypocrisy Abounds And People Keep Going
3) The New York Times decides to hire Sarah Jeong after her racist tweets against white people, despite the Times being a staunch opponent of racism. One of her tweets said, “Are white people genetically disposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.” But there's more.
Lesson: You can insult a large percentage of your readership, bag on your future employer, and still get hired by that very same employer you bagged the very next year! No matter what your views, you can always find your tribe of people who will look the other way.
Believe In Yourself Because You Can Do Better
Nobody is perfect. We all know this. Whatever your opinions about these three people, I hope they show that truly anything is possible. Now it's time for you to go get it!
Always believe in your abilities. Half the battle of succeeding is believing in yourself. Because if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will.
Don't let any disability, fear, race or age difference stop you from doing great things in life. You may look different than the people around you, or even think a lot differently than those around you, and that's perfectly ok.
Believe in yourself! The world is becoming a more diverse and accepting place. And hopefully, we'll have more harmony and less dissonance in each year that comes.
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