I met Michael Bigger at a media function over the summer and the first thing that struck me was how energetic and enthusiastic he was. And I love people like that so I immediately started following him and reading his stuff.
And this week he wrote a gem of a post that with his permission appears below in full. Michael’s rundown of things he would do differently is neither regretful nor morose; it is inspirational and full of the type of wisdom that only comes from experience. Enjoy!
- November 18th, 2010
After graduating from college with a physics degree in the mid eighties, I went to work in meteorology at the Trenton Air Force Base located in Trenton, Ontario. It was an interesting job, but after a few years carrying my lunch in a brown bag to work, I had enough.
By the time I finally quit my job I had decided I wanted to make money trading. I enrolled in the York University MBA program and learned more about business and trading. Aside from getting me a few good interviews, the education program was a waste of time. The cramming was plentiful, but I had no time for thinking.
Anyway, I’ve done pretty well in business overall.
The younger people reading this blog might have an interest in finding out what I would do if I had to start over again. Here is some of the stuff I would do.
- I would adopt the tenets of the 5 laws of stratospheric success (Amazon.com link).
- I would seek out the dream builders and try to help them build their dreams and learn from them. Current dream builders in finance that I admire are Michael Bellafiore, Steven Spencer, Thomas Peterffy, Phil Pearlman, and Howard Lindzon, but there are plenty of others. Figure out what you can contribute to the effort. When I invested in Innovative Fibers, Benoit Lavigne, the company’s CEO, had big dreams about fiber optics and you felt he was going all in with this project. My investment helped him in small ways in the pursuit of his dreams. You can be helpful in many different ways.
- I would learn physics or engineering and complement it with some kind of computer science education.
- I would read Seth Godin, Chris Brogan and other luminaries on a daily basis.
- Education: I would learn from the money makers not the teachers. I would not get an MBA. I would not get a CFA. Actually, through my experience I would plant the seed to develop an education platform at a very early stage in my financial career. Here is what John Templeton had to say about the education system before he passed away. The traditional is toast.
- I would start trading my money right away.
- I would learn about APIs as soon as possible.
- I would learn to write better.
- I would start a blog as soon as possible and write down everything. You are media.
- I would be obsessive about compounding everything at a high rate. Knowledge, money, relationships, platforms, content, etc- Everything that has value. Everything that moves you forward.
- I would learn about trading and investing from the best with no pre-conceived views on the subject. I would be a sponge, absorbing everything. Then I would develop my own trading recipes.
- I would seek greatness and promote it with any chance I have.
- I would not build a career: I would build a platform.
- I would start a business as early as possible.
- I would adopt a minimalist lifestyle right from the get-go.
- I would turn off my trading screen more often.
I would isolate myself more frequently to cultivate hunches; write everything down; play more often especially in the trading sandbox; make plenty of mistakes; frequent liquid networks (Twitter, Stocktwits, etc.); experience creative flow often; and build platforms. I would let others build on what I’ve built. I would mash-up, create, invent, and re-invent.
It is so much fun to be a rebellious kid with big dreams! You are young. Go for it!