Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 4th, 2015


Too much doing, not enough knowing?

You don’t know Lefsetz?

I was talking to someone dedicating his career to working in newspapers.

I asked him what he thought of the work of Jeff Jarvis. He had no idea what I was talking about.

I met a musician the other day, and asked her how her work without a label was going, and referenced something by Bob Lefsetz. She didn’t know who I meant.

The last time I was at an event for librarians, I mentioned Maria Popova. Blank stares.

A podcaster asked me a question, and I wondered if he admired the path Krista Tippett had taken. He had no clue.

A colleague was explaining his work in memetics to me. I asked about Dawkins and Blackmore. You guessed it…

Or Kenji on food, Cader on publishing, Underhill on retail, Lewis on direct mail copywriting and on and on…

We would never consent to surgery from a surgeon who hadn’t been to medical school, and perhaps even more important, from someone who hadn’t kept up on the latest medical journals and training.

And yet there are people who take pride in doing their profession from a place of naivete, unaware or unlearned in the most important voices in their field.

The line between an amateur and professional keeps blurring.

For me, the posture of understanding both the pioneers and the state of the art is essential.

An economist doesn’t have to agree with Keynes, but she better know who he is. (And what were his positions?)

If you don’t know who the must-reads in your field are, find out before your customers and competitors do.

Too much doing, not enough knowing.

One characteristic all Millionaires have in common?

After studying over 500 millionaires, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and Charles M. Schwab, journalist and author Napoleon Hill found that they shared a single quality: decisiveness.

“Analysis of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark disclosed the fact that every one of them had the habit of reaching decisions promptly,” Hill wrote in his 1937 classic, “Think and Grow Rich.”


In addition to making decisions quickly and confidently, they also change decisions, if and when needed to, slowly, Hill noted. On the flip side, “People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, if at all, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”

Decisiveness plays such an important role in accumulating wealth that mastery of procrastination — which Hill defined as the opposite of decisiveness — is the seventh of his 13 steps toward getting rich.

To become a better decision-maker, start by focusing on your listening skills, Hill explained:

Keep your eyes and ears wide open — and your mouth closed — if you wish to acquire the habit of prompt decisions. Those who talk too much do little else. If you talk more than you listen, you not only deprive yourself of many opportunities to accumulate useful knowledge, but you also disclose your plans and purposes to people who will take great delight in defeating you, because they envy you.

Your actions count more than your words. “Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it,” Hill wrote.

If you do master this quality, it can reap incredible rewards, Hill observed: “Those who reach decisions promptly and definitely know what they want, and generally get it … The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”

Since Hill’s time, others have pinpointed qualities and habits shared among people who make millions, such as rising early, exercising regularly, making the time to read, and associating with others who are successful.

Note: All the “good characteristics” of a person do not math the essential timing, environment and conditions of doing business.

Najat Rizk shared a link.
Napoleon Hill interviewed over 500 self-made millionaires and here’s what he found out.





July 2015

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