The most important lesson I’ve learned about business and investing is that its ALL about the people. Whether as a partner, an employee, or a co-investor, the most critical factor for success is the quality of the people involved. What does “quality” really mean? This most certainly doesn’t refer to a person’s educational pedigree; candidly I’ve dealt with many people with impressive credentials that I wouldn’t trust to take care of my neighbor’s dog (and most certainly not my dog, Toby). For me its really about integrity and honesty, a shared sense of commitment, a focused and unwavering work ethic, and an adaptability to change on the fly. Give me a team of people with these characteristics, and I’ll go to war knowing that I’m coming home a winner.

I have a partner who regularly shares his management philosophy with me: 1) winners win and losers lose; and 2) assume that everything people say is a lie, unless proven otherwise. Granted that’s a very jaded view of the world, but it constantly reinforces the message that success in business is about more than surrounding yourself with smart and nice people.


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