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If Not This One

A friend of mine founded a company with another guy. When they started out, their lives and ambitions were very similar, even if the principles bubbling below the surface weren't. One thing they both had in spades was hustle. They did what it took-- no matter what-- to keep their business going forward.

Over time, their motivations diverged. My friend stayed on his grind and pushed the company forward because he liked producing excellence. His cofounder, on the other hand, became enamored with the money the company made. Not enamored enough to keep it, though-- he spent liberally and foolishly. I once saw him use company money to pick up the tab for thirty people at an expensive restaurant.

Nothing is entirely black and white. Although it was obvious that the spending was excessive, he was also contributing to the company at the same time. I don't really know enough of the specifics to know whether he was taking more than he was putting in, or vice versa. What was clear, though, was that it wasn't a great situation for my friend. He was the heart and soul of the business and the fire in its engine.

I asked him once why he didn't quit. Early on, he could have very easily quit and started his own company. He was the brand. Later on it would have been more complicated, but still doable.

Habits are Bullshit

On Mental Models

I'm reading The One Thing by Keller right now. It's a little too pop-science and a little to fluffy rah-rah speech, but I do like many of the themes. However, there is this ridiculous chapter on habits.

You've read those self-help blogs that promise you that any habit will be forever ingrained into your personality if only you keep it up for 21 days? Fight for three weeks, and you'll never have to fight again! It'll be so easy!

Bullshit, says The One Thing. It's actually 66 days.

Wait, what?

There's of course the one anecdotal example, this time it's Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps swam 365 days a year ever since his 14th birthday. He is very good at swimming. Therefore, habits are true!

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