Jack Cowin’s Lessons of Life

14 Sep 2017 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

1.     If you lose your health, nothing else matters, regardless of your success. How much money would Kerry Packer have paid to get a new kidney? Include techniques such as meditation or physical training into your life to maintain your mental and physical health.

2.     If you lose your integrity, no amount of success will be meaningful and it will produce a hollow feeling when you look in the mirror. What would Alan Bond, Eddie Obeid, and Rodney Adler say on this subject? What would they say is important to them today if they were around?

3.     Control your own destiny – most satisfied people I know have control over their own lives and affairs. We are probably all seeking the independence to do what we want to, when and where we want to do it. How many unhappy people are there? Ninety percent of the population are in jobs, activities or relationships out of economic necessity? They stay in a job they hate. Have a vision or dream of where you want to go. Develop your passion / work and play.

4.     Be prepared to take some risks. Life is an adventure and a challenge. When you are young, you can afford to fail because you can start over again. When you are old, you need the stimulation.

5.     Caveats to risk:

a.     Don’t bet the farm. Things go wrong with the best-laid plans. Spread the risk. In cricket terms, you don’t have to swing for a six on all occasions. Singles and doubles will get you there. Don’t underestimate the power of compound interest / 50 yrs.

b.     There is no shortage of good deals or ideas. Don’t fall in love with a business. Don’t put yourself in peril chasing something / Ego Dangerous.

c.     The number one priority of a CEO is to make sure that the company stays in business and survives. What threats can take you out of the game? What decisions, if wrong, could be terminal? What is your margin of error?

d.     Think through the worst-case scenario action plan. Accept that without risk, and the possibility of failure, maybe success will be limited.

e.     Don’t wait until the dogs are barking at the door to do things. Banks don’t give out umbrellas when it's raining. When they pass around the bickies ($) take some, as they probably won’t be passing them when you want or need them.

6.     Get some money out of a business that is risk or market adverse. Counter balance the existing investment in your business. You will sleep better at night.

7.     Keep some powder dry: / $1,000 start

a.     So that you have an opportunity fund, or the capacity to raise money when the right deal presents itself.

b.     Be prepared to model / test / prove that people will pay real money for the product prior to a boots-and-all commitment. Take a step-by-step approach rather then putting it all on the nose to win.

8.     Family:

a.     Find a tolerant wife/ husband who can appreciate your search for success and fulfilment.

b.      Be good to your kids as they will be the ones checking you into the nursing home.

c.     It can be very unfulfilling trying to enjoy yourself when nobody else likes your company.

9.     Never, ever give up if you think you are right. Big companies operate on the basis that the little guy will fold. Showing up eliminates 85% of the competitors who won’t go the distance. The flip side of this is don’t die on your sword in pursuit of mission impossible. Be prepared to cut your losses. As Kenny Rogers sang – you got to know when to hold them and when to fold them.

10.  Don’t get caught up on your own self-importance. Try to be humble even if you don’t believe it. Be able to laugh at yourself.

11.  Life is about dealing with people. You can solve the biggest problems if you can maintain a smile and a sense of humour.  Try and surround yourself with smart people who complement your skills.  Pay attention to the big stuff.  Delegate the mundane.  Delegate, but don’t abdicate.

12.  Focus: / Warren Buffett : Bill Gates

a.     Get a mainstream business that produces cash flow.

b.     Be a rifle not a shotgun.

c.     The tax man helps share in losses instead of capital.

d.     Beware of new girls/ prettier theories and diversions.

13.  Understand the business.  3 great bubbles: The paper deals of the mid-80s; the dot.com boom; and mid-2000 USA housing fiasco. Greater fool theory defied logic. Understand the fundamentals.

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it. It’s all about the journey / not the destination.

Richard Branson / via Hunter Thompson – Journalist – Rolling Stone Magazine

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride!” 

Life is an adventure.


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