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如何成为美国社会的1%?~华裔移民的30年奋斗

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发表于 2015-8-3 21:07 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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6 h/ g/ t5 C) z' |$ f本文是Quora(相当于国际版的知乎)上关于《How Can One Become Part of the 1%?》问题的高票回答,作者匿名。6 r5 g3 s% E7 ~$ E7 H
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  他在80年代从中国去了美国,三十多年间体验过了“贫穷不快乐,贫穷但快乐,富裕却不快乐,富裕也快乐”的人生心态,他的故事在Quora上获得了14万次浏览和无数好评。不管你是否有成为前1%富人的欲望,虽然这个故事有点长,但如果你能耐心的读完,相信一定会有所收获~
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  来源:Quora 翻译:@改变自己' h# s9 a) ^0 r! {3 L
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  迄今为止,我已经三次成功跻身于社会最富有的1%了。但是这一切没有捷径,除非你赢了乐透,否则别想一夜暴富。
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; O0 ^4 ?: @8 I# N7 q  上个世纪80年代中期,十几岁的我跟随我的父母从中国大陆来到美国——当时人们对中国漠不关心。即使在西雅图的华人中,我们也排在出生于美国的华人以及台湾人后面,被当作三等公民。% V% y$ r+ ?+ S. F+ O$ I

) d% E3 E3 e6 h% X/ H  我们没有专业技能,没有钱,也没有人脉,但是我们还可以出卖自己的体力。我的父母在中国时,都是大学教授。他们外语能力为零,也没有商业意识。所以,千万别说我在商业方面本来就领先于其他人。
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7 z; `! Q- T3 N9 K" T9 m7 p& j4 `  在这个新的资本社会,我的父母毫无用处,对钱也没有概念。在50多岁的年纪,他们不得不从底层做起,去当管家和门卫。所以,真的,我想对所有那些抱怨社会顶层的1%只是占尽了优势的人轻轻说一句:“去你的。”我唯一的优势就是我四肢尚且健全,并且时刻准备为生活战斗。( n5 o6 l" l; I* W+ [

. N; t# D) A; B. K  我的第一份工作是在当地的西夫韦超市,因为在这之前,麦当劳以我英语极差为由拒绝了我。那年我16岁。我拼命工作,总是盼望着周末、假期以及其它任何可能的加班机会以求赚更多的钱。我骑自行车上班,无论狂风暴雨(西雅图像疯了一般不停下雨),还是冰天雪地。有时候我直到凌晨两点才能回到家,而且还有作业要完成。; I; C2 J  _4 T4 ^. U$ d
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  我在两年之内马不停蹄地学完了高中四年的课程,这样,我才能和同龄人一起毕业(我所在的美国高中不接受中国的学分)。我不想到了20岁还待在高中,所以我要完成额外的课程。
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  u$ }0 s% a# q) K$ X& G, p  在这段时间里,我每天还同时打着三份工。我在附近的7-11便利店兼职店员,在呼叫中心接受电话的狂轰滥炸,参与焦点小组讨论,还卖血给当地的血库。能赚外快的方法我差不多都试过。
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$ m6 |3 N0 I2 t  所以,你们当中有人抱怨为了勉强维持生计而不得不加班、兼职,我完全理解你们的意思,但是我不会同情你们,因为一直以来我不断告诉自己,这些都只是暂时的。如果我努力工作,我绝对不可能走不出这这个地狱。
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  在西夫韦做了两年店员之后,我搬出了父母的房子。因为我有了第一个女朋友,而我父母不同意我们在一起。那年我18岁,考虑到未来必须挣更多钱支持自己的生活,还要存钱上大学,我便想找一份高中生能做的、工资多的工作,什么样的都行。而时薪超过5.25美元的唯一一份工作就是销售。2 e/ a4 I$ G$ r6 m

% a* f6 o5 f% {) [  ?# C" p  和其他很多男人一样,我喜欢小玩意儿。我对照相机很着迷。在中国,在贫困中长大意味着几乎没人有相机。玩相机是个很奢侈的爱好。我会在贝尔维尤的相机店闲逛,这样我就能摆弄其中一些令人惊奇的小机器。让我惊讶的是,许多店员对他们销售的设备的了解远不如我。
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( Q& a7 c3 g. I3 K  我意识到也许我能更好地完成他们的工作,于是便向经理提出想要一份销售的工作。但是没人愿意雇我,因为我的英语还是不够好,当然,我也没有任何的销售经验。这简直就像“先有鸡还是先有蛋”的问题。我知道我必须得积攒一点销售经验。' t  \2 T) d' y

# V2 B  E' ^! \$ r$ q8 G- @1 }" e  我看到主营厨房用刀、成套刀具以及厨房用器皿的Cutco公司发了招工传单,上面说一小时能挣9美元。结果,这原来就是挨家挨户去推销。我毫无畏惧,买了第一套刀具就开始我的销售工作。9 [, p. k! h( k& r. R1 Q) K: L
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  我找到一本通讯录,上面有居住在西雅图为波音公司工作的所有华人工程师的电话,便开始逐个打电话。我编了个故事,告诉他们向他们展示刀具是学校的市场营销项目,并当作他们都知道我那个同在波音公司的叔叔。大多数人都会认为高中生没有什么别的目的,有些人可能还对我叔叔的名字有模糊印象,极少有人拒绝我上门详谈的请求。
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  这个经历让我懂得,如果你不主动要求,你将什么都得不到。我甚至让我叔叔载我到某些“朋友”家门口,让我展示我要卖的东西。当然,并不是每个人都会买,但是买的那几个人直至今日还会提醒我那些刀具有多棒。6 D1 o6 t5 l2 Z) j; o( b8 @; P% i

% b/ {+ W$ n0 P7 P/ A& E7 Z  那年夏天有了这份销售经历之后,我把它写到了我的简历上,拿下了当地相机店的销售工作。但是这一份工作也来之不易。店里要求我必须免费工作一个月才能正式入职。我告诉经理如果我到月底没有完成他预期的销售量,我就走人。
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  后来我从Cameras West(现在关门了)到Silos(也停业了)再到Video Only(别想多了,只是卖录像带的),不管在哪里做销售,我基本上都是业绩最好的,因为我花了所有业余时间去了解我卖的东西。不上班的时候,我会去其他卖电子产品的店看看他们的产品,在他们的销售人员身边逗留,“偷师”他们的推销方法。) F& e' y8 f; ~" w
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  我也会在Tower Books的杂志上看产品评论。我只是想比别人更了解我所做的事。我很早就知道这种方法是可行的。不到两年,原来时薪5.25美元的我年收入超过了4万美元。那一年我20岁。
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- @7 a, M9 S! m. j% ?* A# \  在Video Only工作让我初尝娱乐业的甜头。 Peter Edwards,也就是Video Only的老板,为销售人员建立了一套基于销售利润的抽成系统。我们会拿到一张列着出售商品的“成本”和店里售价的单子,销售人员有权在这两个价格的范围内决定最后的售价。到了月底,谁的总销售量中利润值越高,谁就能得到最高的抽成。
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7 s5 K8 G0 M# S& M# Y  我喜欢这种自由,它教会我如何在手忙脚乱中做好生意。以后我要在我的员工身上效仿此法。& v3 O  {& b" Q- o+ ]
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  也是在这时,我开始对商业和金融特别感兴趣。我把我绝大多数的“娱乐资金”都花在了买书上。我从不参加派对,尽可能省下足够多的钱买了第一套房子,这样我就不用再每月付房租了。
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  21岁时我买了人生中第一套公寓。我在零售业做了这么久销售,而且做得还很不错,这让我发现许多和我一起工作的人年纪都大我一轮了,业绩却远不如我。想到余生都在卖场度过,我迫不及待地开始计划未来。如果我将来还是做销售,唯一能产生“规模经济效益”的方法就是出售价值更大的商品或是更快地出售商品。
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0 R: T" R+ U' e0 X9 R  这时候,股票经纪人或房产代理人的工作吸引了我。我拿到了房产代理人的执照但是发现这份工作节奏很慢,而且很无趣。所以现在就剩下股票债券的销售了。因为我是为数不多的中国人,又没有人脉(就是那些有钱的,可以马上带到公司的家人朋友),大多数招聘经理没有想招我的意思,更别提我大学还没毕业这件事了。$ t: F) ^; g) B+ l, ?7 s

: Y0 @2 C( G* s& }- i' d  我一直给各种潜在的雇主打电话,对各家经济行在当地的经理人死缠烂打。西雅图的交易所在时间上会比纽约滞后3个小时,这也意味着大多数经纪人6点就会开始上班。所以我每天早上5点钟就到经纪人办公室外面的大厅里等着,希望更有可能碰到他们的决策者。1 z% G! ?. V/ R6 @

* j. i! z, A9 G# O- y/ ]3 ?  就这样一天一天,三个多月过去了。终于,天道酬勤。我最终被保诚集团的Paul Wonnacott雇佣,在西雅图分公司工作。这是我第一次真正意义上碰见了社会上最富有的1%的人。尽管股票交易事实上就是销售,我也尽可能学习、吸收一切知识,包括金融、会计、交易结构、年度报告、调查报告,我对这些一窍不通,但我仍坚持学习。
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( h5 k0 Y0 R# s3 A1 I5 Y! W! K- w  我不断地阅读,也开始对股票交易的技术分析感兴趣。早期的彭博机成了我最好的伙伴,我简直不敢相信从这个橙色的屏幕里我能找到那么多信息。几年后,我有了6位数的存款,或者,用90年代早期的标准来看,我已经跻身于社会最富有的那1%了。: q; M0 [3 G# M2 z  Q
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  我为我的工作自豪,同时又恨着这份工作。我讨厌卖那些有一堆手续费的产品或是推销我们“知道”公司会获得既定利益的股票,这些令我觉得矛盾不已。说到底,这份工作只不过是销售,而不是真正了解交易与投资。因此我想辞了这份工作,去寻找生活的真义。
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  时间到了1996年,我新近结婚且对工作彻底厌倦了。我发现在线经纪人的市场生机勃勃。委托人买卖微软100股股票的这种生意,我会收取110美元的费用;而在线经纪人每笔交易只收取20美元。考虑到这种情况,我觉得传统的经纪人是不会有出路的。而且,每笔交易20美元,这比经纪行给员工每笔交易50美元的优惠价还低。最后,我看准了离开的时机,开始自己做股票交易。
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  96年的晚春,我辞职了。但我所拥有的只是做交易的两万流动现金。最初的6个月就是一场灾难,我在诸如Ascend,Shiva和其它许多现在已经不存在的技术股上几乎损失了所有钱。我的生活水平直线下降。我问自己在这件事上是不是认真的。
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: i" [0 m% L7 m: R8 g9 y1 `. i  为了继续做交易走出这个困境,我需要更多的资金,于是透支了所有信用卡获得现金垫款。幸运的是,市场转势了,我收回了损失。所有的努力过后,我有了5万美元的交易成本。但我知道得有个计划才能成功。我设定了每年至少赚10万美元的目标来证明我做的事情是可行的,这也就意味着我当时的5万美元股票一年内至少要翻两番。这看上去似乎是不可能的。7 s$ ^4 P8 w, _+ f

& F- s; e0 g" G$ T, b/ D, R5 a  经过了一些计算和对过去错误的反思,我制定了一个简单的计划。如果股票没有经历大幅下跌,一年内想翻倍或是赚三倍的钱是不可能的,但这种股票太不稳定。不过有许多股票每天上下许多个百分点,如果我能抓住他们的一部分动向,我就可以当天出售。) j' C9 i" r- ?% ?. }# i
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  每年有200多个交易日,10万美元除以200天等于500美元,或者说,我的5万美元股票每天差不多要有1%的收益。这完全行得通,关键是要控制损失。对了解股票交易的人来说,这就是当日交易的精髓。我一直奉行。到了1996年年底,我赚了10万多美元,目标达成。
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$ F" g+ {0 ^  M+ _% x0 r" O  一年之后我赚到了50多万美元并越赚越多。没错,我又回到了最富有的那1%的人当中。但是事情到这里就不对劲了。由于当天交易只需要花费早晨的几个小时(西雅图的时间比纽约证券交易所滞后3个小时),其它时间,由于无聊,我开始购物。我买了好几辆车和几套房子,花钱如流水。
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  没多久我觉得自己变成了购置物的奴隶。那是我每月固定花费达到5万美元到10万美元。作为一个每天都是新开始的交易者,我开始觉得我必须赚一定数额的钱才能维持收支平衡。我那时甚至还没有30岁。  L3 ~9 X8 R* _3 k! |
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  我的情绪不再高昂,我对自己很生气,于是把别人当作出气筒。我当时就是个脾气暴躁的混蛋,因为我眼里只有自己。但是我不知道为什么自己这么不开心。反观过去,我想可能是因为,钱并不能让我开心,尽管我达到了目标,得到的却只是内心的虚无感。3 X8 D, x$ Y* o  m; t" D1 z; C' P' P

! i5 }& e& u6 E# h/ }5 x& m6 O+ b  为了给奢侈生活买单,我必须想办法扩大交易金额。因此我回到了我讨厌的工作岗位,其实就是为了对冲基金跟在有钱人屁股后面。我并不擅长社交(当你明显是个混蛋的时候,社交确实很难),所以基金最开始只有少得可怜的一千万美元,其中一大部分还是我自己投进去的。在几个合伙人喋喋不休的唠叨中,我勉强进行着交易工作。我讨厌这样。我感觉自己时时刻刻都受到监视。交易进行得并不理想。; B" H1 J8 @$ P6 M

' x: V5 ]- ]" p3 ^  我没法再做以前熟悉的那种交易,回报总是滞后,我开始觉得很压抑。我抑郁了几年,一直待在家里上网,其他什么也不干。我的婚姻也受到了冲击。我责备自己的妻子和她的家人总是贪婪地想从我这里得到更多。即使儿子的到来也无法令我振作起来。* I5 g) x* J, F* i" ?1 c

- U3 ^" V' o+ Y5 y7 M' \. _  看到我的基金表现不佳,投资者们纷纷抽身。这逼得我不计后果,孤注一掷。我放弃了风险管理这个金科玉律,一笔笔交易全凭运气。到了2003年,我破产了,所有的资金都挥霍一空,而且还被好几套房子以及其他债务围困着。我告诉妻子这个消息之后,她整日以泪洗面。我觉得我的人生完了,甚至连自杀都想过。
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  x$ @- ~+ L- q  a: e  回望过去,那段日子很灰暗。我很孤独,没有人可以谈心。长久以来我封闭自我疏远别人,现在我也只能自己收拾残局。我还记得,那天晚上我们害怕被邻居撞见,快速打包好行李,从“公馆”中搬出来,住进比它小得多的租住房。我觉得又耻辱又绝望。那个公馆还有贷款没还完,我只能眼睁睁让银行没收了它。接下来几年我不得不学着躲避讨债人的电话。' l" |% a: X! X" q" ?) K
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  我最终醒悟,躲躲藏藏、自怜自哀完全无济于事,我必须振作起来,做点有建设性的工作。直到那时,我们家仅依靠我妻子的收入维持。年收入百万美元的日子已经一去不复返了,我们有的只是7万美元。所有的名车、大手大脚地花钱和假期也都不复存在了。我的精神状态重新变得稳定。是时候走出家门开始工作了。2004 年我加入一家科技创业公司做销售主管,毕竟,我还是可以做销售的。
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  这家创业公司没有真正地募集资金。注册金是创立者投入的,不足五万美元。我加入公司时,只剩下两个创立者。因为没有收入,所以公司实际上没有顾客。5 x! b% h  z+ C) n6 U2 v  I8 F
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  我们在西雅图南部Southcenter工业区的一个仓库里工作,这里其实还不如车库。卡车进进出出带来的持续噪音让打电话都显得很困难。当顾客或是潜在顾客问那是什么噪音,我会开玩笑地告诉他们,我们的生意发展得很快,所以他们能清楚地听到卸货的各种声音。
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& \* T. `; W! L  我设计了一个方案使我们能尽可能创收。我四处进行电话销售,几乎每个月都到中国和供应商以及合伙人处理生意。因为公司只有三个人,我一个人揽下了销售、商业发展、会计、金融以及营销的工作。第一年,我们的业绩达到了50万美元,第二年达到了两百万。这次,由于是我制定了公司的计划和方向,带来了销售业绩,我当上了CEO。2007年公司业绩达到三百万,* e" w1 h" }; P3 j4 a
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  我们觉得应该可以募集风投资金了。不幸的是,在西雅图没有人相信我们。我们三个和其它20多岁的创业者比起来老多了,我们中没人学过计算机科学,而作为 CEO的我,恰恰是最乏善可陈的,不过是个在技术界没有任何经验的大学肄业生。除了营业额之外,他们没有投资我们公司的理由。5 S* P" C- T' e* f' i9 g" B
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  西雅图的风险投资人们来的时候非常冷淡,不过他们确实指出了我们生意中的问题。那时他们反复问的问题是我们究竟占有什么特别的竞争优势。我不能直接告诉他们我们没有保护产权,不过即使我们有,这也不是重点。事后想想,真正的原因是我们全心投入了。) W2 m& z5 _$ V$ W7 n" [

0 ]8 b' O( I% Y: `& U" Y2 N  这次募款,我受到了深深的污辱。我们得向天使投资人展示我们的公司,而有时他们不过是因为幸运成为了诸如微软、谷歌这些成功公司的早期员工,或是公司里退休的有钱主管、医生等等。大多数人一生中从未创过业,却自恃有资格傲慢。
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  有一个投资小组叫做Zino社区,我们展示的时候,他们像社会俱乐部聚会一样吃吃喝喝。我觉得自己像极了在舞台上作廉价表演的。我发誓,如果我可以让公司真正壮大,我会尽一切可能改变他们对待创业者的态度。现在可不是霸主掌权的中世纪社会了!. u% B3 l  G: v: p$ Q7 v

* C5 \4 K; x( z( X. x3 d4 E  我们募集资金是为了想办法脱离旧的商业模式,也就是研发科技卖给原始设备生产商(基本上是有自己品牌和产品的公司)。我们的顾客会对我们研发的科技进行包装然后以他们的名义出售。一段时间后我们发现,每卖出一件产品,会拿到50到60美元,结果,终端买家实际上要支付一千到一万美元。我们感觉到旧的商业模式将会走入死局,必须与时俱进。所以尽管没有募集到风投资金,我们在2008年还是决定转型。这意味着要完善产品剩余的特点,然后直接推销给终端客户。6 s  m+ `' e( Z2 |0 c
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  用行话说,就是我们想爬上价值链的顶端。这也意味着我们不再是和销售收入在五千万到一亿的公司竞争,而是和收入为十亿美元的大公司竞争。这要求我们创造出完整的一套产品,结合企业级硬件设施,并负责产品配置、服务与支持。要是我去说服投资者,说这样一家不起眼、没经验甚至没有腰缠万贯的老主顾人脉的小公司在拼命完成转型,那我绝对是疯了。
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  我们的时机简直糟透了。放下一年300万美金的生意,试图用少的可怜的资金创业几乎只是美好的想象。我们还需要给十几个员工开工资,创始人和我从没领过工资,因为我们需要把那些现钱重新投入到生意中。那段时间的压力真的是非常大。我的婚姻几乎走到了尽头,五年没往家里拿一分钱彻底地改变了我在家中的地位,我不再是这个家的“顶梁柱”了。( V& @* [2 K& d0 ?! b+ W* v
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  2009年的时候,我的世界一片黑暗。我没有收入,新旧生意的承接不尽人意,新生意的进款无法抵消之前生意的亏损。市场经济停滞不前。如果说在重重压力下必须要妥协什么的话,毫无疑问,那就是我自己。0 ~8 d7 Y7 T0 }- H3 ^+ ]' Y

# K2 y* Z6 e3 ?. }- h5 R  我离婚了,并且解雇了大部分员工。财产分割之后银行账户里只剩下2万美金,可我还要付给员工工资。我还被自己原来的家赶出了家门,但我不想把钱花在房租上,于是我带着气垫床搬进了公司的清洁间。(下面的图片是用鱼眼镜头拍摄的。普通镜头不能完整的拍出这狭小的空间。我的头挨着房间的另一面墙。)& r3 ~% t" K: V7 q3 g* ?
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  事情变得越来越糟。我们交不上办公室租金,被供应商中断了合作,还欠了银行一屁股债。我又一次跌到谷底:破产,无家可归。1 Q$ r6 `+ K+ v1 A" A9 G
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  后来,我6岁的儿子来办公室看我。他非常清楚他的爸爸住在公司清洁室里,但从来没有表现出一点羞耻或尴尬,好像他知道我一定能摆脱这样的处境。看到儿子这样的反应,我如何能不受到激励呢?当然了,我们除了在这里寻点儿乐子之外也做不了什么了,于是我们像两个傻瓜一样在气垫床上蹦来蹦去。- ^( d5 _" r: X4 i

# _) Q$ P  C3 l  {  当人住在一个狭小的空间,只有一点个人用品的时候,他/她会意识到其实物质并没那么重要。我感觉自己变回了一个孩子,头脑清晰简单。4 h9 f6 p% M( C1 o

6 I9 [' y5 n8 x: K' [  我的员工知道我住在清洁室里,但没人谈论这个,生活和生意还是继续着。虽说整个经济体系处于水深火热之中,但每一天,我都会告诉大家,坚持住。在商场中,能生存下来就是成功。为了“不死”我们要尽全力去做我们能做到的任何事。1 W+ w9 Y3 W* H
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  很明显,那段时间我处于生活和事业都非常严峻的境地,但有意思的是我并不难过也不生气,事实上我感觉这非常戏剧性。我总是向别人吹,我出生时一无所有,所以也不害怕再失去什么了,因为我也没什么可失去了。
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  我说的话成真的了,然后呢?我知道我不能久住在清洁室里,这违反建筑规范。我在健身房的会员卡(我每天洗澡在那儿洗澡)也要到期了,因为我前妻在那儿工作,我用的是家属卡。我被迫重操旧业:股票。
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  我知道用2万去炒股挺讽刺的,但我还是那么做了。那是2009年,股市震荡。对于短线投机者,这是非常好的机会,但我还是需要非常小心,因为那时隔夜风险极高。幸运的是,我还记得着我之前炒股时候的技巧,,很快我就赚到足够的钱来开工资,这样就可以留住核心员工了。, h9 S+ V% S% ?4 D  O

" i3 {- J- b8 p! J  我和房东,银行以及供应商重新谈判,再给我们一些时间。凭着直觉,我知道很多对手会被这50多年以来最糟糕的经济衰退击倒。我们只需要“活着”。我要做我能做的一切,只为了“活着”。+ J/ S9 H  J1 K2 e

7 q8 u7 K! s! j( [/ H  那段时间我帮助了一个对手公司的技术支持,就叫他Joe吧。Joe那时失业了,他的房子被取消了抵押赎回权,他们有着3个青少年的五口之家不得不搬去和祖父母同住。在他财务落魄后,我在他身上嗅到了那种对成功炽热的渴望,和我身上的一模一样。我给了他一份销售的工作,而不是技术支持。通过Joe的关系,我们成功地把他老东家的客户挖过来了几个。1 ]2 j2 p+ E4 U

8 B& S. q0 R* r* t  2010年的早些时候,我搬出了公司的清洁室,把2万美金的股票变成了25万。这给了公司更多可以呼吸的空间。我们用最新的核心产品成功地钓了第一位大客户。这个公司家喻户晓,业务遍及全球。2 ^$ S% O, h' g3 P( ~9 A9 F1 `

. J- O$ ^6 q$ ^7 X" q  那么问题来了,这个只有6个人的小公司如何服务他们?我用了帮助我得到我第一份销售工作的手法,也就是提供他们通常在试用期间很难得到的免费服务。6 X2 W6 u) K! A0 k7 b
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  我们将我们的程序和他们之前使用的程序合并,添加了软件层,使得操作更简单,还有可扩展的工作流,这为客户省了一大笔钱。这花费了我们几个月的辛勤工作,但我们完成了规模几乎是我们的100倍的竞争对手也无法完成的事。
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  为了服务和支持那位客户,我们外包了发布和安装部分,不过我们掌控了整个逻辑进程,这可以保证他们有更好的客户体验。更进一步,我们写了整个一整套管理程序来监控他们的操作并检查我们的产品质量,以保证所有的失误和漏洞都立即汇报到我们这里,这样我们可以抢在顾客意识到问题之前修复。关键是,这可以保障顾客始终和我们的产品有着最好的互动。那年我们年底有了100万美金营收。
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  有了雇佣Joe的成功经历,我想让公司里充满像Joe和我这样的员工——处在弱势,不被人看好,却渴望成功的人。公司里一半的人是开发人员,他们来自世界各地:俄罗斯、罗马尼亚、印度、中国、拉托维亚、德国、意大利等等。  X8 x) ~; B/ V3 Y9 x7 w

; c& F5 h% l8 ^* n4 \8 J9 c# L1 O  有些员工没有专业计算机背景,用非传统的方法学习。他们中有地理专业的,数学专业的,甚至还有一个以前是渔夫。销售和支持人员一样多元,大多数没有高等教育文凭,有些甚至有严重的家庭问题和失败的个人经历。但他们都知道我们在一起,这个紧密团结在一起的团队把事业推到了我想象不到的新高度。
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  四年之后,市场经济复苏,我也缓过来了。公司在过去的12个月里销售业绩达到2000万美金,明年,我们要向5000万迈进。大部分的功劳都要归于那个从技术支持转行做销售的Joe。2010年Joe的年薪是4万美金,去年是75万,明年他能从他的提成中挣到300万以上。5 O7 N* E( W2 w8 t4 j
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  2015年的早些时候,Joe解决了所有的债务问题,用现款在西雅图的郊外买了一个上好的养马场(但还是没人给他贷款)。他买房子的那一天,我们拿着他买房子的支票坐在公司里的会议室里,互相看着对方,几乎快哭出来了。我们都懂得我们一起经历的坎坷。会有一天,Joe会在Quora上讲他自己的故事。5 Z# j' z' ]7 y( W4 J
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  总盈余80%的利润差现在银行账户里有很多现钱,我给自己开了100万美元的工资。在我写这篇文章的时候这生意在私募市场里估值是2到3倍的价格,大概是 100-150万美元。基于我们的订单,我确信在接下来的几年里我们能做到3亿,所以10亿对我们而言是完全可能的数字。现在说我稳当地回到了1%也是算是可信的,我希望这次我能留在这个行列里。& o3 z0 `! p9 A9 s9 Z% \
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  我知道我写得糟糕冗长,但这都是我自己的起起落落里。下面是我总结的一些经验教训,取你所需。
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  如果你想成为这个社会的1%你需要做到:5 h# M' a! p0 p1 I/ U. p! B# }8 b7 n

( G. D5 v8 g: N; c& W6 N2 Q  1.意志坚强。学会克服你的恐惧。' G; ]1 y/ Y) W/ z1 B
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  我算是幸运,出生在文化大革命快要结束的时候。8 q9 ?9 n5 @( S5 s: f
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  不论是从意象还是形象而言,那都是一段支离破碎,异常混乱的日子。我也有幸拥有那些要是放在保守的亚洲社会里会导致人生不幸的特征,比如天生的叛逆,标新立异,不把权威放在眼里等等。
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  被带离那个地方,我真是幸运。我想说的是,我早年的生活动荡也让我多多少少习惯了这样的环境。这段经历让我明白,大多数人生活在恐惧之中,不理智的那种恐惧。在你害怕的时候你会做什么?
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3 M9 h" w% b8 {4 {  你会退缩,你止步不前,犹豫不决,你拖延。更糟的是,你变得更偏见,甚至会有极端的仇恨。你会错失所有的机会,你被囚禁在自己的不理性之中。所以,当你因为某事而感到不舒服的时候要学会问你自己一个简单的问题,我还能失去掉什么?没什么,大多数情况下,你输不掉什么。( r+ g. e( o' _: h

9 ]4 V* K1 Z0 z  也许只是心跳加速,脸上的炙热感,被击打的自尊心。当你明白了自己的那些恐惧除了荒唐就是荒谬,你就会意识到你身边的大多数人也都被这样的愚蠢的恐惧缠绕着。所以,如果你真的想要领先于其他人,你不需要长的更好看,不需要更有钱,不需要有更高的学历,不需要… …" a! i7 C- b1 a5 M) d2 A8 z' h
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  这儿能写很多很多。你真正需要的只有一个,其实每个人都有,那就是拉得下你的颜面的能力。你有那个胆量,你够坚韧,你的脸皮够厚,你就会意识到你的时间越来越少,这样你就克服它了。- U+ `5 {% R( ^  D. l

" x2 u+ v6 _& f  2.生活取你所需就好,别像我一样犯傻。9 H0 e' y& o/ I0 [3 i3 a( o: \3 ^

2 J* K  l9 w, C  3.学会赚钱,而不是怎么省钱。9 _0 A4 c4 Z( V0 U

3 Y$ I  I& M1 K7 [1 D! K6 ^- W  你永远不会通过省钱来发家致富的,但这并不意味着你去愚蠢地花钱。
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7 H/ D0 ~) \* k2 [; e+ q$ p  4.学会在生意中如何自我定位。
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# l" g* x" i7 J4 j' G  这意味着学会如何授权,如何激励他人,招聘那些会能做你做不了或者不会做的事的人才。公司团队是我一手组建起来的,而且其中的大多数都获得了不同寻常的成功。Joe就是一个极佳的例子。没有他们的努力,就没有我的今天。8 U3 b, t+ N" X) r; X( {

2 I& {- A$ C8 N9 x  5.保持学习的心。9 a6 `' Q9 @( O4 N
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  我一个月在kindle和Audible(亚马逊旗下有声书软件)读10到20本书。我知道没有什么能比阅读更能让你保持领先,提高自己。9 u0 I1 Q  S; r7 e  H0 t

. _/ }! F: A) Z9 L1 G5 K  书籍有不同的主题和类目,还有不同的形式(纸质,电子,音频等等)可以选择,真的没有不去读书的借口。我在开车或在做其他日常杂事的时候“读”Audible或者其他有声书。把朗读速度调到2倍,这样我用几个小时就可以消化一本书。
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& f4 e: r$ H2 F' z( ~- `  再说一下我读的书的种类,20年里我只读过2本小说类读物。读书并不一定要读最新的或者流行的商业书。今天流行的,时髦的也许在明天就一文不值。更不用提很多商业书作者根本不懂商业。我还记得在上世纪80年代,商业书最主流的话题就是日本要控制世界了。整天就是日本这个,日本那个的。; p' n& g; c: B; d
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  现在呢?变成了中国这个,中国那个的。那些流行的商业理论也一样。六西格玛?“excellence”?你明白我的意思吧?用你自己的辩证思维好好想一想。( k) Q3 \; {( r' c/ U

& W/ U/ ?% N: o% _% q- D  6.从历史和之前的成败中学习。
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  7.多问为什么。1 W" u8 i( C( p' Z

; e! G, d( S: Q0 K* r5 C6 S4 a  通常5个为什么能帮你挖到事情的真相。
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0 Z2 @2 ^: f4 X4 }1 `/ L# X  8.和比你聪明的人共事,这些人大多喜欢打破常规。
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  学习,“偷”他们的想法,他们不会介意的。$ e; I3 Z0 B# i2 d$ R
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  9.尽最大可能去旅行,这会拓宽你的视野。; l& y* g) ], A- N/ d8 O8 Q

) r& ?' i7 U6 E; l# C+ `  准备好你的护照吧!
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  10.笑看逆境,从中享乐。1 r0 u- D. X2 o8 e% A

2 s" K( Q6 c; V$ h7 B; z  生活有时会变得很艰难,别太当回事。比尔盖茨也曾有特别特别苦逼的日子。事情总会变好的。
6 |. s0 K5 v8 i, z9 L$ c6 O7 w0 G' D! N4 \) O$ }- d* K2 f/ H
  11.别当弱者,别找借口。
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  没人会在乎你的困难。
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  12.学一门技能,让你在繁荣或者糟糕的经济市场条件下都能赚到钱的那种。9 ]. c5 M5 ~' w% O- ~: @* K# B
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  无论发生什么,我总有一门技能可以依靠,这让我无所畏惧。% O' n' x$ U8 g$ @( ?
4 c. p7 t( v8 V. E! R  U
  13.找到你压力的发泄口。
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  当我感到我真的没法解决这事儿,或者不想面对任何事的时候,我就钻进我的车里,然后一个人上路。我十分幸运,住在世界上最美丽的地方之一,所以我并不需要去到多远地方来寻找内心的宁静。% G2 u3 x8 N$ ]  M
# `; R; }+ S1 s1 i' E% E+ M
  我最喜欢开车去的地方是“死亡谷”,高速公路1号以及美国西海岸边。或者我会去海里划皮艇。当我坐在皮艇里,在海里扑腾的时候,我根本感觉不到压力。当我没什么钱的时候,我会在我修禅时间里用来听音乐,尤其是古典音乐。
7 {" W1 i8 p) Z" T6 b% s: I0 T! R6 l1 c$ S* O! t0 _, v
  14.对过去耿耿于怀其实是一件好事,这会激励你。, m6 R; M+ w- m0 l( S
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  但这同样会让身边人感到不舒服,所以你要平衡好。
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  15.也许你可能天生就没多大动力。! h4 [% ^  ]& ?+ G) H: f' ]: T+ _
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  我哥哥就一点都不像我,他就特别满足于做一个普通人,也对于我的挣扎和成功不屑一顾。别因此给自己压力,如果你没有动力,就学会满足。4 v8 |. v9 x4 q& J. ~, n& U0 e
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  16.西方国家从几个世纪以前就领先是因为他们是人类历史上首先允许具有创造力的阶层,也就是商人们可以留下自己的钱。
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8 i4 M$ @+ g: J  v  这使得所有来自不同社会群体的人们都尽其所能的创造更多的财富。不幸的是在世界上很多地方仍存在通过强制执法和威胁的手段被剥削人们的劳动成果,如果你发现你身处这样压抑的环境,那你得决定你是要留下来和体系斗争还是离开。我幸运的在我认为是这世界上最好的体系下发展我的事业,如果我留在中国我肯定做不到。. W+ N; J  K, ~7 U3 U: z
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  17.别信什么狗屁不平等。. w: b5 T' B. J
+ m. W& x/ R, y# d5 @
  真正的不平等是在个人驱动力和才智上。我曾经一无所有,从大学退学,智商也不比乔治布什高。如果我能3次加入1%人群行列,很多人都可以做到。
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# X, a: n: D7 m) f4 D  18.没错,你在和这个世界对着干。
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  这世上一定会有什么事什么人在你背后做不利于你的事,但那又如何?即使在我人生中最黯淡无光的时期,我也在寻找能激励我向前的事。这是我最喜欢的诗,你可能觉得这像是陈词滥调,不过,这是英国诗人William Ernest Henley在遭受严重的肺结核折磨时候写下的(疾病导致了腿部截肢等等)。3 w: ]) N6 d: v. X# }6 B
* e/ B2 g! x3 n+ B  @
  透过覆盖着我的夜幕1 c$ x) @7 K- _7 b' m9 t- v6 E

6 F4 k: X1 N0 O, T& J  黑暗层层无底1 D. H5 l2 e. v- U6 Y; \: c) l
* N( z1 b- G  g/ B
  感谢万能的上苍6 B4 q, Y9 S' o  t, H  a( s

/ s' r8 d' m% P9 u4 [! w* p  赐给我不可征服的灵魂; e! S2 F, A- K1 a" ]3 H+ B

: d4 D- t" y) n( J6 c  就算被地狱牢牢抓住
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0 I- S1 C5 d0 [  我不会畏缩也不会哭叫
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  任凭命运百般作弄4 `) H3 p% k' f' o0 J0 |0 t& q

$ N  M2 D- T) b: u. I  我头破血流但绝不低头
; h9 ?5 K: o2 n, C! n# W  d1 Q) I: n) h0 G. O
  在这充满愤怒和眼泪的土地之上! ]. S8 `4 C; I

9 T% T! a3 Y9 Y3 ~0 E7 @0 p% b  恐怖阴影阴森地逼近
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  不过,即使岁月不停恐吓/ ~* X* m3 E/ ~! Z3 P) R

8 r3 q* h) Z# J/ @5 v) z  亦将发现我毫不畏惧7 X$ e# e3 w( @; E9 V' f# Q' q5 Y
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  无论大门何等狭窄, @9 `1 Q' J: U) G

: H( \* A+ S8 I! L" A; i  无论承受多么深重的责罚5 Y* V) C: m  a* _' z

# |+ y( R: Z2 d, ^  我是我命运的主宰
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  我是我灵魂的统帅
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% G0 l/ v# H% n; n  19.学会如何推销。
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5 e, @# K4 D" |2 r, p  R4 X9 [  这估计是领先于其他人的最简单的办法之一了。无论你是一个医生,律师,会计或者其他专业人员,你会注意到领域里的精英通常都懂得推销。他们推销自己,推销自己的想法,推销让别人为自己做事的念头。关键是,销售并不需要特别的专业技能,但他们却能拿到最高的工资。
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7 x2 }( ?+ o$ L# d  20.对待自己,别那么严肃。+ O3 v5 u) I, u3 S0 [! d0 f

; N* }7 u4 V. ^) u' E5 h  要确保自己过得快活。那些美国老话夸大了做自己所热爱事业的重要性。做那些你能从中享乐的事就简单多了。生意完全可以很有趣。有时享乐和让自己轻松些可以成为你生意成功的关键。谁想要和无聊,臭脸的人做生意?* ^. m* P, R" ^+ I/ ^# x! y% S

1 p, {7 v+ E8 R1 h& N  T% o' j) z  21.对很多人来说,这一点很难做到,那就是:你为别人干活,永远不会发迹。$ m# G0 \1 {. Y
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  如果你有一份高收入的工作你可能可以加入1%行列,但你仍然是薪水的奴隶。无论公平与否,资本主义就是关于对资金和生产方法的拥有权。在一个长期发展相对静止的世界里(欧洲,日本,甚至美国),所有权更加重要,因为获取资本的渠道有限,回报又低(试着在这年头获得小额商业贷款,你就明白了)。4 X3 \& t' U: P0 Z+ @5 A

( h/ {6 d" c" I: q& N  对于大多数而言,唯一的方法就是创业。试着在你年轻的时候弄懂这些。我很幸运,在20年前我并不是通过思考和分析懂得这道理,而完全是天生的。2 W+ y) d% ~6 I, ]( ]
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  22.关于这一条,我可能会冒犯到很多人。没错,我是华人,或说是美国的少数群体之一。但我从来没有这样看待过自己,认为自己有什么不一样。; K5 a" n9 r! v" T

: T" t1 Y8 V/ R  这种想法对于在美国这样一个有多个种族和文化的国家里很有帮助。但是,种族和文化这方面已经被少数群体玩的过火了。我不是说这儿没有种族歧视,我也没说这儿没有天花板。; Z6 g2 z+ U1 K# E/ w( \1 q
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  你可以公开谴责你生命中所有的“不公平”,你也可以忽略这些然后继续奋斗。我感激像马丁路德金这样的人,他们为少数和弱势群体的权益铺了路。但人生苦短,你不想因为你的天生境况而沉溺于自怜之中吧。
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6 P6 A' J0 v; s& C  种族,肤色,你来自的地方,都只是你生命中奋斗过程的小困难,所以不要理会它。我有一些算得上是种族歧视的经历,但我从来没因为这些事而感到困扰。我会变得更努力。你会惊奇地发现,即使是有种族歧视的人也欣赏那些不把种族歧视当回事的人。努力是可以传染给他人的。2 G$ b9 D; Z% V# i
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  23.你得知道自己有多想成功。2 H2 x" Q4 ^4 q* C
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  我注意到有一些评论认为我不是普通人,或者是托了运气的福我才获得今天的成绩。我得承认我是无比幸运的,但是这大多数的幸运都源于我对成功的渴望。我在高中与大学期间,从未去过从没party,从未醉酒,从未嗑药,从未旅游。我只是工作工作,再工作。我一有空闲便去学习和阅读。2 z. z% e' v4 }% U
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  事后想来,做到这个程度对大多数人来说是要求过高了,但是这些事情成就了今天的我。你得坦诚地问问自己,你有多想成功?在大多数的西方国家,平庸并不是那么让人厌恶与不舒服,所以通往成功的旅程也许对许多人来说并不那么值得。  z5 J- c& u' z2 }$ c' A

. t0 A$ j! ^* Y  最后一点,只有圣徒才能和我这样的人相处。起起落落必定会给人际关系带来致命打击。如果你没有一个能够理解你,包容你的朋友,你会经历长达数几年的孤独的并且可能得不到回报的战役。有人觉得我的故事鼓舞人心,但同时这也是一个警醒。即使你带着最美好的愿景,你的生活也有可能被彻底击碎。; k" s+ G. D6 [2 _4 A  i

2 W" q+ @. e# c0 n8 e  24.成为多面手没什么不好的。
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& t! J, ~" L/ x* z3 F3 E  我父母的年代很喜欢给人贴标签。你是一个医生,律师,工程师等等。我在16岁的时候来了西雅图,我的叔叔那时还在给波音当工程师。他是那种让我仰望的,是我理想生活模范的人。但在我目睹了1990年波音公司的全面裁员中,我的叔叔被提早退休了的事之后我掐灭了这个想法。
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5 q5 o+ d7 ^. ^2 ]. a3 M( A  在那时他只有50几岁,但此后他再也没有工作过。我当时甚至尝试过去申请一些工程师方向的大学,并成功被加利福尼亚理工学院录取。我认为他们犯了错误,因为事后想来,那时数学让我恶心,而且我一点也不享受任何一堂工程课。我铁定会彻彻底底地失败。% k# {  i! t- i  n9 }( u

7 _  ~6 K5 s4 z, g: r  幸运的是,我太穷以至于支付不起加利福尼亚理工学院的学费,所以我去了华盛顿州立大学,但即使是这样我也没有顺利毕业。回想起来,我的工作涉及过销售、财务、贸易、商业发展、会计、人力资源和管理。我的头衔数不胜数。我曾是“事务专员”,后台专员,销售员,股票交易员,财务顾问,投资顾问,对冲基金经理,创业公司CEO以及风险投资商。7 L! @+ z% F4 B% t( m7 Y! V& Q
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  如果你问我专长是什么,我回答不出。多年以来我的父母认为我靠坑蒙拐骗来谋取生活,他们甚至都不想把我介绍给他们的朋友。我只是最近才被他们认可,因为我的办公室又大、又坐落在一个不错的大楼里。真相是,我之前的所有经历带我走到了这里。没有人能复制我的经历。
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  我注意到最近风潮认为像我这样的多面手并不是不能接受的,反而变成了一个正面的标签。实际上那些我尝试了但失败了的众多事情才让我成为了多面手,也正是这点成就了今天的我,更重要的是,它让我拥有能够综合全面地分析工作和生活的能力。
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  k+ a8 u( R3 p" |( d7 X5 g  25.“追求你所热爱的”这句话过誉了。
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  如果我听从内心的召唤的话,我可能会去追求艺术领域的成就。我的父母和我的哥哥都是古典音乐家。我从小浸润音乐,并且深深地热爱它,我画画,我在摄影上花过大量的工夫和一些钱。但是所有上述的爱好都会轻易地让我陷入贫困潦倒的境地。我对商业领域成功的如火热情才最终让我真正有可能去追求我的梦想,因为我现在有了足够的时间和金钱。但是这说明我厌恶我这些年所做的事情吗?1 v% P$ U  x1 E$ Z
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  当然不是。我热衷于交易,我热爱参与并发展生意,我喜欢激励他人,并看到他们做到了自己都没预料到的成就。我沉醉于商业的全过程,但我极度厌恶在这过程中必须要经历的令人抓狂的细枝末节。我对会计一点也不感冒,但我不得不花大量时间阅读财务报表去挖掘其中的机会。: {: j1 g: L7 v* d
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  我真正想说的是,一个人得怀着开放的心态,学着去热爱与享受商业的全过程,即使你更想要追求的是其他事情。如果你在商业上获得成功,你会有足够的资源和时间去追逐你真正的热爱。
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9 M3 m7 y# G/ m& Y& j  26.如果你是一个刚刚开始人生的征程的年轻人,我有一些过去学到的并且仍然今天在使用的建议想与你分享:( W- {9 W  M/ H. M7 h

/ p# a- w# P+ @7 P, ^  在你20岁的时候,探索所有可能性吧。因为无论如何你做不好任何事情,而且人们对你的预期很低,你没有失败和被人厌恶的后顾之忧。去玩吧,尝试一切!. Q% S! i( p" S6 k" @. X9 U$ c

2 B8 a& U8 p. y  在你30岁时要去搞清楚你擅长什么。
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% W! i- q& F  k9 L* S2 J$ ~" Y$ K% H  在你40岁时把你所擅长的东西发挥到极致。
% T# T& [6 L& u; ^/ h9 N* x5 j, b% k4 {0 V2 Y
  因为我现在正处于4字头的时期,我告诉不了你更多了!- q+ z* t8 Z; V' Q9 r

4 y: Q( \3 b$ v! u# y  27.如果你从底层做起,无论你几岁,记住这个简单的诀窍:总是交出超出预期的答卷。* X2 b  G' \+ n/ O
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  无论你是什么职业,什么行业,或者工作内容有多细小,努力做到超过任务基本的要求。如果你总是做得更多,贡献更多价值给你的上司、你的雇主、你的伙伴、或者你的其他重要的人,你必将在你正在做的事情上成功。
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* w0 t7 I: a0 `1 o! U& j. ?& u4 @4 ~  但是记住我并不是指你必须得长时间工作,加班加点,更重要的是学会聪明地工作。在小事情上的成功将引你去未来更大的成功。如果你在心态上的总是倾向于做得更多,提供更多,思考更多,这将让人们印象深刻,而且乐于和你一起工作,并且提供更多机会给你。
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  我还记得我的第一份工作是在Safeway,我知道我做着两到三个人的工作量却不要多余的回报。这让我快速地被提拔,薪水从每小时3.5美元涨到5.25美元。这个经历告诉我努力终有回报。当然,如果你的雇主没有认可你,这说明他是个傻瓜,换个坑吧!
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  28.变得与众不同,就算是为了不同而不同。
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' l  h, |: g5 M" M" r  对于那些在集体性文化中成长起来的人来说做到这点是困难的,意味着长时间是一个被排斥者、反抗者、异议者。但是与众不同是有意义和价值的。& d! \7 P: v2 O. @) h$ L
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  在商业中,公司需要变得更创新,更与众不同才能获得消费者的青睐并且打败竞争者。遗憾的是,大多数的人和公司仍然一而再再而三地犯这个错误,换言之,他们总是抄袭那些被认为是成功的案例。4 J9 O0 N  M8 T9 B
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  问题的关键是,那些已经被认可的人与公司已经擅长做他们正在做的事情,而且也有更多的资源和能力去改进完美现有的水平。如果你模仿他们所做的,你只是在玩他们创造的游戏。即使你玩得很好,工作很努力等等,你也不可能在他们的游戏中打败他们。你应该换个游戏,一个由你制定规则并不断升级的游戏。这就是我为什么总是热衷于寻找并雇用那些出格者,怪人以及反抗者。在一群平淡无趣的人之中尝试创新,这难道不比登天还难吗?/ ?: R" X5 M3 h* l* x+ [3 B
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  29.金钱不能定义你。; L+ |4 m' G$ R7 `/ O

& n& b8 j2 J; V6 C) V7 f  从我的错误中汲取教训吧!在我20岁末尾的时候,我是一个让人火大的多金混蛋,我愚蠢到认为钱等于我。许多人都在犯同样的错误,你能在任何地方看到他们。他们用自己拥有多少钱来定义自己,这里有个绝佳的例子:Dan Bilzerian (美国前海豹突击队成员,美国富豪,靠赌博发家,生活极其奢靡混乱,还喜欢在社交网站上炫耀,被称为“花花公子之王”。)3 Q9 S6 ~6 d9 V" N- b& L* M
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  虽然我比不上Mr. Bilzerian多金,但是在态度上曾经的我和他很相似。把你的自我和钱划等号的问题在于,当你失败的时候,你的自我也会随之粉碎,我就是一个例子。
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  W+ Y. Y9 t/ Q; h. p  不是所有人都能和我一样做到重新爬起来(更不用说爬起来的过程有多艰难了),如果没做到,你便会因此断送了一辈子。回顾过往,最令我骄傲的时期是我跌落谷底的那段时光,而不是我活得像个人渣的时候。
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1 c& \7 b" u% `" A4 Q  30.学会说不。
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& k, m5 s3 E% J' `1 M  大都数人都希望被爱,被肯定,被接纳,受欢迎等等。不幸的是这也意味着你会因恐惧冒犯他人而违心地说了很多个yes。我虽不是一个棒球迷,但是知道有一个棒球的术语叫做fat pitch。2 k" ]" ~& e6 H/ K& }
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  这个术语的意思是一个击球手不需要为每个迎面而来的球一次又一次地挥杆,因为挥动次数是有限,要耐心地等待那些更高成功概率的球。
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  人生和商业也可以用这个角度去想。有太多的让人分心的事情和低质量的会面,你并不需要一一回应,否则他们会拖你后腿。你得经常地问自己,你是不是在那些真正能帮助你发展事业的事情上花时间?6 L8 l& X3 m$ v9 w+ v

  r; b9 R1 S: Q& d9 C3 O. r1 w) i  如果答案是否定的,你为什么要做它们?我训练我的销售员去炒掉顾客,是的,开除顾客。如果一位顾客没有足够的经济能力来承担我们的服务费用,那么我们并不是在真正地在服务他们,但却紧紧抓住他们不放,我们也必定不是在做一个可持续的生意。# }5 e7 D4 A1 e  L# O7 Y
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  人也是这样,你想要变得更出色,那么就花更多时间在那些高质量的人上,不要忍耐泛泛之辈。如果你发现你在圈子里是水平最低的人,那是天大的好事!你可以从任何人身上学习。如果相反,你是最强的,那么你得换个环境了。" ~/ k( J8 L9 |" r
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  我非常鄙视一句成语:比上不足比下有余。这个词的意思是当你比不上那些更强的人时,如果反过来和那些比你弱的人比较,你做得已经不错了。不,你总是能做得更好,只要你管理好自己的时间和精力。
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9 `3 C9 N( P* y. }) J, g5 }  31.如果我不聪明怎么办?. G% f, T2 `% ~( i& c) O; N4 A

6 y$ u4 v6 o/ Q$ h  别为这点感到心虚!我不确定在金钱上的成功和智力有没有很强的关联性。但是如果真的有的话,那也是是负相关的。
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  这不是说你越蠢就越可能成功。3 S( M1 J1 a9 u" c; i0 ]; ]

# `" C2 M  A0 v3 @2 O  x( o8 ?  我并不智力超群,我可连大学都没有顺利毕业,在学校的时候我也是一个典型的吊车尾。当我是一个交易员时,我发现了一个显而易见的定律,那些“聪明”的常春藤们也通常是糟糕的交易员。
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; N* t0 Y8 F: Q6 v, x/ u  当我是一个代理人时,我们常常嘲笑那些医生和工程师们是差劲的投资者。我公司的总工程师是一个聪明的家伙,但是作为一个投资者他糟糕透顶。这也许只是一些特例,但这也许也说明了一些事情。我遇到过的许多成功而富有的人并非是最聪明的。
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$ o% T& M2 H7 }" \& j4 M. H  为什么?因为一次又一次,那些聪明蛋们太有头脑了,他们分析,对比,然后他们就和绝好的机会擦肩而过了。机会可往往并不是那么有规律而明显的。而且,那些聪明人总希望能拥有小道消息。你会看到许多交易员和对冲基金经理总是在捕风捉影。+ a% X7 T! K2 a, }4 ^' ^$ H

; k0 |. a4 S2 w# L  Z  同时,愚笨的人,就像我,知道真正有价值的东西不一定非要靠小道消息得来。坚持做那些看起来不那么迷人的东西也能获得很大的回报,但是需要等待。我曾经嘲笑过龟兔赛跑的故事,觉得自己宁可当那只兔子。但是我现在成熟了,我意识到持久成功的秘诀在于留到最后。
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  32.变成一个长期贪婪鬼吧!
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7 R9 H, d0 c4 t! R  g8 y  许多人是自私而贪婪的,他们不想承认这点。我不觉得贪婪有什么坏处,但是我对短期的结果并不贪婪。对于从中国来的我来说,西雅图是一个人口稀少的城市(和大多数中国城市相比),这导致了双方在商业思路上有很大的差异。当你在中国和典型的中国商人做生意时,他们会习惯于问你:这笔订单有多大,数量是多少,时间是多少等等。
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  他们会事先计算出好处再签约,他们通常很少考虑长期的事。这就是我说的短期贪婪鬼,这让生意变得单笔交易导向。原因很简单,因为中国人太多了,服务和长期价值并不那么重要,毕竟总是有新客户出现。
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" V+ g8 D- W1 j5 M: l0 L+ A  与此相比,在西雅图或者大多数的西方国家中,你没有庞大的潜在消费者可供挖掘,你被迫更加注重长期关系,希望随着时间推移,现有客户能带来更多生意。事实上,这个方法一点也不坏。
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  所有的生意都需要寻找客户。我们有一个术语叫做新消费者取得成本,用来形容吸引一个新消费者的成本:如广告,一对一销售等等。典型的中国式交易就像仓鼠滚轮,他们需要不断的获得新客户因为老客户在不断地流失。
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! T9 W" i+ C1 {$ M3 S; C6 P! X  但如果你做相反的事,对每个消费者提供最好的体验和谦逊的态度来服务他们,那么你实际上不用一个劲地转轮子,因为他们会持续光顾,你还因此省了新消费者取得成本。
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' r1 w% M9 y( u. j" R  所以西雅图是一些消费者友好企业的聚集地也不奇怪了:好市多(Costco)、诺德斯特龙(Nordstrom)、星巴克(Starbucks)、亚马逊(Amazon)、还有REI都在这里起步。他们都有一个共同点,那就是优质的服务!
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$ r# T. J$ c8 ^, g  变成长期结果贪婪鬼意味着你做的事情可能不能很快得到回报,但是这会帮助你建立一个可持续的长期的健康的生意。如果你用这样的心态对待客户时,你会变得不那么紧张(你不用总是踏动轮子了)。经常问一问你自己,在生意上和在生活上,你和人交往时你是一个短期贪婪鬼还是长期贪婪鬼?你要的是一次性的交易还是长久的关系?/ L9 Q7 J0 L/ g

/ X5 Y2 n6 Y3 ]. a: _  33.金钱只是工具。
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  当我第一次来到美国时,我被这个伟大国家的富裕程度所震撼了。我幻想着,有一天我能有机会成为中产阶级的一员。当我看到华盛顿州立彩票的广告,上面写着头等奖高达一千万,当时的我觉得如果我有那么多钱,我一定衣食无忧了,我能拥有一个房子,一辆风光的车子,永远也不用去工作,当然这一切幻想是在我真正有一份工作或者赚过钱之前的事了。% i0 B: i' k0 O

- r2 Y& C2 `6 @5 i; H  我怀疑大多数的人,甚至中产阶级的人都有同样的想法:如果我有XXX那么多的钱,我就能买所有东西了!错了!就像我之前说的那样,是的,钱可以给你带来物品,而且伴随而来的幸福感会让你感觉良好,但是随着时间的推移,钱所带来的愉悦感会不断降低,之后你不得不买更多更贵的东西来让自己体验到之前一样的感觉。9 d# K6 ]0 X! r2 Y* e0 v; J/ E
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  我没有吸过毒,但是我觉得这个情况和吸毒一样。不幸的是,你对物质的渴望会比你赚钱的能力发展地更快,这件事就发生在我头上!
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  所以,最后我陷入了麻烦。当我经历这些的时候,我的母亲问我,你要拥有多少钱才满足?我从来没想过钱数的问题,看起来物质是永远不够的。没过几年,在我努力建设我现在的生意时我找到了答案:我不需要许多的钱才能做成一桩生意(提醒:这桩生意花了我4500美元的成本现在已经发展到价值10亿美元了),我不需要那么多的物质上的东西来保证安全感,。为什么我仍在不断地赚那么多的钱?!!
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, ~7 I! w( L/ ^, G$ L& a  m+ n1 i  答案很简单,我要的不是钱这个东西,而是要钱的效用。我从未想过我能走到今天这一步,一个没有大学文凭的家伙经营着一家软件公司。
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  不过现在我每日探寻着我的员工、我的朋友、我投资的创业公司的极限,追寻着做这个做那个的可能性。在写这篇文章的时候,我同时经营着四家公司,10个迥异的产品。
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& p0 ]3 {) {8 ^4 K- j, `4 \  我每天都洋溢着创业者的激情。我不需要风险投资商,我就是我自己的风险投资商!我不需要任何人的首可来判断自己的想法是不是可行的,我只是想到了便去做。我变得比以前更加投入每一天的生活,而且拥有了更多的乐趣。8 u  X3 V" F: Y, H

9 [$ B  m) |8 f5 S6 R/ s  是的,我不是一个工程师,但是这不能成为我想出众多千奇百怪,疯狂的点子并去实现它们的阻碍。比有实现那些疯狂点子的途径更重要的是能一直有能力去实施它们。
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  我真诚地相信,我们现在处于一个奇幻的年代,一个技术风行的年代。我从使用技术来实现创意中得到的愉悦感胜过一切。我现在知道为什么理查德德德布兰森进入了那么多的领域。因为这经历妙不可言!8 I2 t' }+ O" ~2 [$ r' z5 b! x/ g
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  我或许应该加一条花边新闻在这。我的儿子在2009年被确诊患有一种罕见的血液疾病,那时候我正在处理我的离婚事项。如果没有西雅图儿童医院的努力,他可能已经离开我们了。他接受了整整一个月的化疗,现在已经渡过危险期了。* a' b  x! n+ y2 a& ^' J6 u

# P7 y6 m# C& e- i% y2 o: a8 F  我现在还不是一个老男人,所以接下来的话会有些狂妄:如果我一直能呆在1%里,甚至成为一个亿万富翁,我不会再想回到我年轻时愚蠢的生活方式。我现在住在中产阶级社区中一个小于1500平方英尺的房子里。
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# n$ P3 ?, P0 g" l  d; f- V  我没有拥有多处房产或者一堆豪车,我唯一的挥霍就是旅行。我量入为出地生活着,并且在我死后我会把所有钱都留给那家儿童医院。但这不意味着当下我不会尽力去赚更多的钱。
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  我万分感恩我过去所经历的,我可以诚实地说,即使我明天出门会被车撞死,我也已经拥有了很值得的一生了。这和我达没达成什么事没有关系,虽然这就是这个问题的指向——如何成为1%的人。实际上这个问题它彻彻底底放错了重点。
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, I3 K- @9 h5 M  真正的目标是活好你的一生,追求你的最大可能性,无论你现在的短期目标是什么。即使你循着我的道路拼搏,我也不能保证你一定会成功,但是我承诺你一定会有所发现。9 s1 ?, _" m7 a

6 I1 J3 J* i. v; F8 D# ^  如果你在一直不断地激励自己变得更有趣更耀眼的人,那么继续这么做吧,尝试挖得更深。如果上述的话让你觉得我太自恋了,我也不会否认。我简直等不及开始下一个冒险了。
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9 M/ ?: \3 P4 ]- ~原文: http://www.quora.com/How-can-one-become-part-of-the-1
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I have done it three times thus far. But there is no short cuts, so unless you are going to win the lotto, there is no get rich quick scheme here.
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' N. Y. i  ?7 x  N( j5 [There are some real bitter counter to CamMi Pham's posts, most are along the lines of how lucky she was and so on. My personal view is that I would agree with about 90% of what CamMi wrote, but people probably want specific examples.
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& Y' S* h& D! ^# aI came to US along with my parents as a teenager from mainland China back in the mid 1980s, a time no one gave a fuck about China. Even among the Chinese here in Seattle, we were considered 3rd class citizens behind other Chinese, namely American born ones, Chinese from Taiwan and so on. We had no skills, no money, no connections, but we had our physical labor we could sell. My parents were college professors from China with no language ability and zero business sense. So, no, you can't accuse me of having some kind of head start in business. They were utterly useless and had no concept of money in this new capitalistic society. They had to work as housekeepers and janitors, starting fresh from the bottom in their 50s. So yes, I want to say a gentle fuck you to all those whiners about how some of the 1% had all the advantages. The only advantages I had was I had my four limbs in tact, and chip on my shoulder.
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My first job was at the local Safeway for the simple reason McDonalds turned me down due to my poor English skills. I was sixteen. I worked my ass off, always looking forward to weekends, holidays, and any overtime shifts if possible so I can earn more. I biked to work in the rain (Seattle rains a shit load), snow, ice, sometimes not getting home until 2am in the morning, and I still had homework to do. I finished 4 years of high school course in 2 years so I can graduate on time with my age group (my high school in US didn't accept credits from China). I did not want to stay in high school until I was twenty. So I had extra course load too. During this time I worked as many as three jobs at a time. Moonlighting as a clerk at the neighborhood 7-Elevens, got abused at call centers, participated in focus groups, sold plasma to the local blood bank. Pretty much anything I could do to earn extra money. So for those of you who complained that you have to make ends meet to work extra hours and take on extra jobs, I understand exactly how it goes, but you will not get any sympathy from me because the entire time I kept telling myself this is all just temporary. There is no way I won't get out of the hell hole if I worked hard.
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Two years into my Safeway clerk job I moved out of the house because I met my first girlfriend, my parents didn't approve. I was eighteen. Faced with the prospect of having to make more money to support myself, saving for college, I looked for anything that would pay more for a high schooler. The only thing that paid more than $5.25 an hour was selling. + f* r( T" b. Y* g9 q
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Like a lot of men, I like gadgets. I was fascinated by cameras. Growing up poor in China meant virtually no one had a camera of any kind. It was a very expensive hobby. I would hang out at a camera stores in Bellevue so I can fondle some of these amazing machines. To my surprise a lot of the clerks knew far less than I did about the equipments they were selling. This made me realize I could probably do their jobs better. So I asked their managers for a sales job. But none would hire me because my English was still not so great, of course I didn't have any sales experience. The classic chick or egg thing. I knew I had to get sales experience somehow.1 n( e$ j/ ]6 Z

! g: B1 _- _7 i- r+ `I saw this flyer from Cutco ( http://www.cutco.com/home.jsp) promising that I could make $9 an hour. As it turned out, it was all about door to door sales. Undaunted, I bought the starter knife set and started selling. I found a directory of all the Chinese engineers in Seattle that worked for Boeing and started dialing away. I would make up stories about how showing them knives was for a school marketing project, and assumed they all knew my uncle who also worked at Boeing. Most assumed a high school kid would just be harmless, and some might have vaguely remembered my uncle's name, but few would turn me down for a house call. This taught me a lesson, if you don't ask, you won't receive. I even went so far to ask my uncle to drop me off at some of those "friends" houses so I can do my sales demo. Of course not everyone bought, but the few who did still reminds me to this day just how good those knives were! " m6 E( _/ C& s3 ?" W: l, p
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Having had this sales experience in one summer, I used it on my resume and got a job selling cameras in the local camera store. But even this first sales job didn't come easy. I had to offer to work for free for one month just so I could get in. I told the manager if I didn't sell as much as he expected by the end of the month, I wouldn't get the job. I went from Cameras West (now out of business) to Silos (gone too), to Video Only  (http://www.videoonly.com/).  I was always nearly the top sales guy everywhere I went because I spent all of my spare time learning about all the products I was selling. During my off days, I would go visit other electronic stores to learn about the product they were selling. I would linger around other salespeople to listen in on their sales pitches to learn. I hung out at magazine racks at Tower Books to read about product reviews. I simply wanted to know more about what I am doing than the next guy. I learned from early on that solution selling worked. I went from making $5.25 an hour to making $40,000 plus a year in two years. I was twenty.
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& g8 X% J) p- {0 ~" w: DMy job at Video Only also gave me a small taste of entrepreneurism. Peter Edwards, the owner of Video Only instituted a margin based commission system for salespeople. We would all get a computer printout of the "costs" of all the items for sell along with the displayed price on the floor. The salespeople get to decide what the item actually gets sold at between those two data points. By the end of the month, the higher the profit margin of ones overall sales, the higher the commission payout. I loved the freedom this gave me and it taught me how to do deals on the fly. I would later on copy some of this approach with my own employees.7 q) B% h" y3 l+ M! G( b

, q# h( H' z% W9 c) N, m9 i$ eThis was also the same time I got really interested in business and finance. I spent most of my "entertainment" money on books. I never partied, I saved whatever money I could so I can buy my first piece of real estate so I can avoid paying rent. I bought my first condo at twenty-one. Since I worked in retail sales and got pretty good at it, it quickly made me realize most the people I was working with were twice my age or older, and I was already doing better than them. The thought of spending the rest of my life on the sales floor made me looking further ahead. If I was going to be doing sales, the only way to "scale" was to move merchandize with much bigger dollar value or speed. So the idea of being a stockbroker or a real estate agent seemed appealing. I got a real estate license but found the pace too slow and boring. So stock and bonds sales it was. But being a minority with no connections (rich friends and family you can immediately bring to the firm) was not so appealing to most hiring managers, not to mention the fact I have yet to graduate from college.$ ^3 c" I. F" i$ m8 f
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I kept cold calling, pestering the local branch managers of various brokerage houses. Since Seattle is three hours behind NYSE opening time, it meant most brokers show up to work around 6AM. So I would camp out at the lobbies at brokers offices at 5AM in the morning, hoping to improve my odds of intercepting the decision makers. This went on day after day for more than three months. Eventually it paid off, I finally got hired at Prudential Securities by Paul Wonnacott in their Seattle branch. This is the first time I have actually encounter the 1%. Despite the fact stock brokerage was really just a sales job, I tried to learn and absorb everything I could. Finance, accounting, deal structure, annual reports, research reports, most of these were Greek to me but no matter. I read and read some more. I also got interested in technical analysis for stock trading. The early Bloomberg terminal became my best friend. I couldn't believe how much information I was able to find on this orange tinted screen. In a few years I was making six figures, or by early 1990s standards, I was in the 1% myself. I was proud but also hated my job. I hated the conflict of selling products loaded with fees or promoting stocks that we "knew" the firm had a vested interest in. After all, it was all about selling and not actually figuring out how to make trades and investments. I wanted out and started looking for a reason.
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' G$ N* H5 V4 Q' i2 F5 KBy 1996, freshly married and sick of my job, I noticed online brokers starting to flourish. Considering the fact I was charging clients $110 a trade to trade 100 shares of Microsoft, the online brokers were charging $20 a trade, I thought my business as a broker was going to be toast. Besides, at $20 a trade, it was cheaper than the $50 a trade the firm charged employees. I finally saw the chance to leave and trade for myself.
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% P+ L6 U" u- T- S8 R1 |I quit my job by late spring of 1996, but all I had was about $20,000 liquid cash to trade. The first 6 months was a disaster, I lost nearly all of my $20,000 on stocks like Ascend, Shiva and a host of other bygone tech stocks. I had to drastically scale down my lifestyle and asked myself if I was really serious. In order to trade out of my hole, I needed more capital. I maxed out all of my credit cards for cash advances. Fortunately, the market turned and I recovered my losses and some. When all said and done, I had $50,000 to trade. But I knew I needed a plan to make it. I set a goal of making at least $100,000 a year to justify what I was doing. That meant making at least 200% a year from my then $50,000 stake. It seemed almost impossible. 5 [: q/ H6 |7 V/ s2 {
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After some calculation and observing what I did wrong I came up with a simple plan. It would be impossible to look for stocks that can double or triple in a year without major downside, these kind of stocks are volatile. But there are plenty of stocks that moves more than a few percentage points a day, if I can capture just a chunk of those movements I didn't need to hold stocks overnight. Since there are more than 200 trading days a year, it meant 100,000/200=500, or roughly 1% return a day on my $50,000 stake. This was entirely doable. The key would be to contain my losses. For those of you who knows trading, this is day trading in its essence. And off I went. By the end of 1996 I was up more than $100,000, I reached my goal. ; O2 Y6 \; ~# X
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A year later I made more than $500,000 and never looked back. Yes, I was back in the 1%. And this is also where things got crazy. Since day trading only occupied a few hours in the morning (Seattle is 3 hours behind NYSE time), and I was done usually by 10AM, I had plenty of time on my hands. I started shopping out of boredom. I bought multiple cars, houses, my expenses quickly got out of control. Pretty soon I was feeling like a slave to my purchases. The monthly fixed cost to my lifestyle was $50,000-100,000. For a day trader starting fresh everyday, I started to feel like I had to make certain amount just to stay afloat. I was not even thirty at the time. My mood was no longer upbeat, I was angry at myself and took out on people around me. I was this raging asshole because I was so full of myself yet I couldn't figure out why I was so unhappy. Looking back, I suppose it was because money didn't make me happy, despite the fact I reached my goal I had nothing but an empty feeling inside. 6 N3 y% `. l( E0 Y  M; ]' j, J

: u; ?8 I4 X& d$ T7 z; zI had to find a way to scale my trading to pay for my now lavish lifestyle. So I went back to do what I hated, namely going after other rich people to raise funds for my hedge fund. I wasn't particularly good at networking (hard to do when you are an obvious asshole), the fund got started with a very small pool of $10,000,000, a good chunk from myself. I struggled to trade under the nagging of limited partners, I hated it. I felt like I was being watched all the time, my trading suffered. I could no longer do the same style of trade I was used to, the returns lagged and I started to feel really depressed. I went through a couple of years of depression, spending days doing nothing but staying home and browsing online. My marriage suffered. I blamed my spouse and her extended family for being greedy and always wanting more from me. Even the arrival of my son didn't cheer me up.
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  @, ~6 E3 J9 hDue to my underperformance, people started to pull money out. It compounded to me starting to trade recklessly. I no longer had my old discipline of risk management, it simply went from one Hail Mary trade to another. By 2003 I was insolvent. I burned through all of my capital while still stuck to multiple homes and other obligations. I gave my wife the bad news and she spent days crying. I thought my life was over. I tried to kill myself. * @0 V0 O# ^7 M' Z3 r/ s( h' l+ I* ~

! j1 S+ [" r5 s; }9 DLooking back, those were pretty dark times. I was completely alone with no one to talk to. Since I alienated everyone around me for a long time, it was now up to me to pick up the pieces. I still remember quickly packing up our belongings from my "mansion" to move into one of our much smaller rental properties one night so the neighbors couldn't see me leaving. I felt so ashamed and desperate. The mansion had a mortgage, I let it slide into foreclosure, and for the next several years I had to learn how to dodge calls from debt collectors.
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3 u. X; _6 b3 G7 PEventually I came to the conclusion that hiding, feeling sorry for myself wasn't going to solve my problems, I had to get up and look for something constructive to work on. By now we had to depend on my wife's income to support us. Gone are the days of $1M plus a year income, say hello to $70,000. Also gone are all the fancy cars, unnecessary spending and vacations. My mental attitude started to get hardened again. It was time for me to get out of the house and work. I joined a tech startup in 2004 as head of sales, after all, I could still sell.; ^/ o" ]4 ]. m: h
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The startup had no real funding, it was started with less than $50,000 seed by the founders. When I joined, there were all of only two founders left. It had no real customers since it had no revenue. We worked out of a warehouse in Southcenter, an industry area south of Seattle. It was actually worse than a garage, the constant noise of trucks coming and going made it difficult to even conduct phone calls. Whenever a customer or a prospect asked about the noise, I would jokingly tell them our business was booming since they can obviously hear all the commotion from the loading. I devised a plan to generate revenue anyway we could. I went around the country on sales calls, traveled to China almost monthly dealing with vendors and partners. Since there was only three of us, I did sales, business development, accounting, finance and marketing. In our first year we had revenue of $500,000, the next year we got to $2M.   It was during this time I took over as the CEO since I came up with the plan and direction, generated all the sales. The business grew to $3M by 2007 and we thought we should be able to raise venture capital. Unfortunately no one in Seattle bought our story. All three of us are older when compared to the twenty something startup guys. None of us had a computer science background, as a CEO, I was the least presentable. A college dropout without any experience in the tech space. Despite the revenue, we were unfundable. The VCs in Seattle are about as WASP as they come, but they did point out flaws in our business. One of questions the VCs asked over and over again at the time was: what unfair competitive advantage did we possess. I could never give them a straight answer because we didn't have any differentiating IP, but even if we did, it wouldn't have mattered. In was only in hindsight now that the real answer was that we had heart.
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1 K6 T8 [4 v9 }* Q5 D- z) O& x. F6 EIt was during this fund raising process I really felt insulted. We would present to "Angel" investors, which often times made of people who got lucky to be some of the earlier employees of successful companies such as Microsoft and Google, or they retired as wealthy corporate executives, doctors and so on. Most never ever ran a business in their lives, most carried this entitled arrogance. One of the investment groups is http://zinosociety.com/, we presented while they were wining and dining away as a social club, I really felt like cheap entertainment on the stage. I vowed that if I ever make it big, I will do everything I can to change how startup guys are treated, we are not in medieval society with overlords anymore!, T' R/ p1 W% D2 z2 @
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We were raising funds to find a way out of old business model, which is to develop technology to sell to OEMs (basically companies with their own brands and products). Our customer would package our technology and sell it as if it is their own. We discovered over time that we were getting $50-60 per license for our product, when it is all said and done, the end customer actually pays anywhere from $1,000-10,000. Sensing the old business model was running into a dead end, we felt we needed a change. Despite not being able to raise VC funding, we decided to pivot by 2008. This meant building out the rest of the product features and market it directly to the end customers. In business jargons, we want to climb the value chain. What it also means is that we are no longer competing against companies doing $50-100M sales, but billion dollar companies instead. This would require us building a comprehensive suite of products, integrate it with enterprise grade hardware, be responsible to deploy, service and support the product. It is utter insanity if I tried to convince investors that a dinky little company with no prior experience, no direct relationships with large accounts dare to pull it off.% i( A. E, k' L) R9 C! ~5 k
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Our timing was horrible. Walking away from $3M a year business while trying to build a new one with little funding was more wishful thinking than anything. We also had a dozen employees to feed. The founders and I never took a salary because we needed to reinvest all the cash back into the business. This was a real stressful time. My marriage went down the toilet. Not earning an income from me for 5 years changed the dynamics of my marriage. I was no longer the "man" of the house. ' z8 i( z( V; @$ C2 r& c7 d
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The world nearly came to an end by 2009. I had no income, the pivot wasn't going well because new business didn't pick up fast enough to offset the lost revenue from the old business. The market and the economy came to a halt. Something has got to give, as it turned out, it was me.2 r0 F# M. q1 n6 g
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I got divorced, laid off most of my staff. With my divorce finalized, I was back down to $20,000 in the bank. But I had to fund payroll. I was also kicked out of my former home. Not wanting to spend money on rent, I moved into the office broom closet with an air mattress (the picture below was taken using a fisheye lens, a lens with a normal angle of view couldn't capture the whole tiny space. My head was against the other end of the room).. ^% L" g& [. z( R0 p

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To make matters worse, we were late on our office lease, got cut off from our vendors and owed the bank a pile of money. I finally hit bottom again. I was broke and homeless. ! O9 ^/ K' J0 i3 P6 n

4 A: V: m6 N1 V& |There were days when my then 6 year old son came to visit me in the office, knowing full well that I lived out of the office broom closet, yet the little boy never displayed any shame or embarrassment, it was as if he knew I can work my way out it. How could I possibly not be motivated if my little boy is unfazed?!!  Of course we couldn't help but turn a bad situation into something fun, so we would bounce up and down on the air mattress just goofing off.
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Living out a tiny space with a few possessions makes one realize just little material things matters, I felt like a child again, my head was clear and uncluttered. My employees knew I was living out of the broom closet but no one talked about it, life and business went on as if nothing is going on, even though the whole financial system was in a train wrack. I kept telling everyone day after day just hang in there. In business, success is all about survival. We have to do anything we can to just not die!
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+ U* a2 c, U) G1 _It was obviously a dire situation in my life and business at the time,  but the funny thing is that I wasn't sad or angry. I actually found my situation comical. I had always bragged to others that I came from nothing and I wouldn't be afraid to go back to nothing. I got my wish, now what? I knew I couldn't stay in the broom closet for too long, it was against the building code. My gym membership (where I took shower everyday) was going to be cancelled because it was a family membership from my ex's workplace. I had to get back to trading again.
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( x6 j% }4 S8 p+ @  SThe irony of starting with $20,000 to trade didn't escape me. This was 2009, a time with extreme market volatility. It was great for a day trader, but I had to be extremely careful not to get stuck. The overnight risk was tremendously high. Fortunately I still had some of my old trading moves, pretty soon I was making enough to make some of the payroll and hang on to my key employees. I renegotiated with our landlord, banks and suppliers to allow us to float a bit longer. I intuitively knew at the time that the worst recession of more than fifty year was going to wipe out a lot of our competitors. All we had to do was to stay alive. I needed to do anything possible to do just that.
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It was during this same period I helped out a tech support guy from a competitor of ours. Let's call him Joe. Joe was recently laid off, his home was foreclosed and the entire family with three teenage kids had to move back in with the grandparents. I sensed the same burning desire in this guy to succeed after his financial failures. I offered Joe a job in sales instead of tech support. We worked together on the company's sales efforts by going after some of old accounts he supported at his prior job, we managed to poach a few this way. It gave us much needed confirmation that we were on the right track. ' |* X# d2 m* H4 `3 i9 ?4 V% J

1 F, ^1 \& @& v5 jBy early 2010 I was able to move out of our office broom closet, I turned $20,000 trading stake into $250,000. It gave the company much needed breathing room to survive. We were also able to land our first big customer with our newly pivoted product. The large customer has far flung operations all over the world (it is a household name), so the obvious question for them was how this little company with now only 6 employees can support them. I went back to something I learned from getting my first sales job, namely offering them something that is very difficult to do for free as a trial. We integrated our product with their legacy vendor's product while adding a software layer to allow easier, scalable workflow while saving the customer money. This took us a few months worth of sweat labor, but at the end we were able to deliver something a competitor nearly 100X our size couldn't deliver. To service and support the customer, we outsourced the deployment and installation while managing the entire logistical process to ensure a superior customer experience. To go one step better, we wrote an entire manage suite to monitor their operations and the health of our product to make sure all failures and bugs flow back to us immediately, so we can proactively fix the problems even before the customer is aware of any issues. The bottomline, making sure the customer always interact with our product in the best possible light. We finished the year with $1M in new sales.
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, B" q6 q, b0 N3 m$ WWith the success of hiring guys like Joe, I wanted to model our company after guys just like him and me, underdogs with attitude. Half of the company are development staff, people from all over the world. We have Russians, Romanians, Indians, Chinese, Latvians, Germans, Italians, and so on. We also have people with non computer science background who learned in unconventional ways too. Folks with majors in geography, math, and even an ex-fisherman. The sales and support staff are equally diverse, most do not have advanced degrees, some with serious family problems and personal failures in the past. But they all know we are in it together. This tight knit group has push the business ahead much better than I could have imagined.
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Four years later, the economy has recovered and so have I. My company did $20M in sales in the past 12 months and we are on pace to do $50M next year. Much of this had to do with the effort of tech support turned sales guy Joe. From a starting salary of $40,000 back in 2010, Joe made $750,000 last year and he will bank more than $3M this year from sales commissions. In early 2015, Joe took care of all the bad debts from his past and bought his family a nice horse ranch right outside of Seattle with cash (no one would finance him still). The day he bought his house, we sat in the office conference room with a check for his new home, we looked at each other and nearly cried. We understood each other for the shared journey we both went through. Some day Joe should be telling his own story on Quora.
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/ c$ @) {0 q0 ^  K, _1 rWith gross margin in the 80% range and plenty of cash in the bank I paid myself $1M. The business is probably worth 2-3X sales in private market value, so anywhere between $100-150M as of this writing. I am pretty confident it will be able to do $300M in sales in a few years due to our backlog. So the number of $1B is entirely possible. It is probably safe to say that I am firmly back in the 1% again. I hope to stay there this time.
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I know I went long with my crappy writing. But here are some of my lessons for myself, you can take away whatever you can from my ups and downs. If you want to be part of the 1% you have to do the following:' d  N! a8 @1 A
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1. Be mentally tough. Learn to get over your fears. I might have been lucky to have been born what is the tail end of the Cultural Revolution, a time of mass chaos and destruction, both figuratively and literally. I might also have been blessed with a natural tendency of being rebellious, going against the grain and paid no respect for authority, all qualities that could have made life miserable in a conservative Asian society. But I was lucky, I left not by my choosing. The point is, I had plenty of personal turmoil at an early age, where there wasn't a lot of security and stability, so you sort of get use to it. It is also this experience that made me realize that most people are afraid, and for the most part, irrationally afraid. What happens when one is afraid? You retreat, you hold back, you dither, you procrastinate. Worse, you become more prejudice, or even take on extreme forms of hate. You miss out on opportunities, you become a prisoner of your irrationality. So learn to ask a simple question when you are uncomfortable with something, what have I got to lose? In most cases, nothing, nothing but that quickening of your heartbeat, nothing but that little burning sensation on your face, nothing but that ego of yours getting pinched. Here is thing, once you realized the absurdity of those fears, you soon realize that vast majority of people around you are pre-occupied with those same idiotic fears! So if you really want to get head and shoulders above the rest of people, you don't need to have better looks, you don't need to have more money, you don't need to have better education, you don't need .... well the list goes on and on. But you only need one thing that is actually in all of us, just reach down a bit more. You have the courage, the toughness, yours skin is thick enough, your time here is only getting scarce... so get over it already!' ~8 K1 }# N2 ]& R0 F; q

* l( J7 U) Z$ k, F2 X2. Live within your means. Don't be an idiot like me.
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3. Learn how to make money, not how to save money. You will never save your way to riches. Again, this doesn't mean you need to be an idiot with money!
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4. Learn how to scale yourself and the business. This means learning how to delegate, how to motivate others and recruit great talent to do works you don't know how or can't. My company is filled with people I recruited and most of them are unconventional successes as well. My sales guy Joe is a great example of this. Without the efforts of others, there is no way I am where I am today.
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6 @, P5 V/ U5 H  Z& W5. Learn all the time, I read 10-20 books on Kindle or Audible a month. I know of no better way to stay ahead and improve yourself better than reading. There is really no excuse not to read, considering all the available titles and topics, not to mention delivery mechanism. I use Audible or audiobooks to "read" when I am driving or doing random chores. By changing the reading speed to 2x I can digest an average book in only a few hours. One more note about the types of books to read, I have read only two books of fiction in the past 20 years. Reading doesn't mean reading the latest or popular businesses books. What is popular or faddish today might be worthless tomorrow, not to mention a lot of the authors have no clue about business anyways! I still remember back in the late 1980s, the most dominate topic in the business section was how Japan was going to take over the world, it was Japan this, Japan that. Guess what is popular today? China this and China that. The same goes with faddish business theories. Six Sigma anyone? How about "excellence"? You get my point. Use your own critical thinking!) }! D9 e( M! G0 t) F* Y1 C7 e" X
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6. Learn from history and previous success as well as failures.5 Z, j, O$ I5 y( ~: V
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7. Ask a lot of whys. Usually 5 whys in a row will help you dig out the truth of the matter.
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8. Work with smarter people, people who like to hack mostly. Learn, steal their ideas, they won't mind.
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9. Travel as much as you can afford, you will have a much broader perspective. Go get your passport already!7 c" @  [! T5 W' t* @1 T8 e- n

" W! E: `" S' k3 k$ z10. Laugh at adversity, have fun. Life can be really hard, don't take it personally, even Bill Gates have really really shitty days. It always gets better.
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1 D/ O! ?) P( L' V1 ]7 ]( ^6 |11. Don't be a victim, don't make excuses. Nobody gives a shit about your problems.
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) J& g5 ?1 W/ o; w8 E12. Learn a trade that can make you money in good times and bad. I personally can always fall back on my trading no matter what. This makes me fearless.1 T! J( e6 r1 V; _
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13. Find an outlet for your stress. When I really really feel like I can't deal with things anymore, or just don't want to face anything I get in my car and go on a road trip, all by myself. I am fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful part of the world, so I don't have to venture far to find peace. So of my favorite places to drive have been Death Valley, Highway 1 up and down the West Coast of USA. The other option for me is to go sea kayaking. There is no way I am going to get stressed when I am sitting down in a kayak paddling around the ocean. When I didn't have much money, I spent my zen time listening to music, mostly classical music to escape. 3 |6 A$ ~( u7 R% Q8 g4 i7 F

2 e; E; v$ X; a% G3 T$ F14. It's good to have a chip on the shoulder, it gets you motivated. But it is an annoying personality quirk too, so balance it well.5 ^! y" h* O  [5 D8 \$ U: R
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15. Maybe you are just not born with it, I mean motivation. My brother is nothing like me, he is perfectly happy being average and couldn't give a shit about my struggles and successes. Don't stress yourself out even more, if you aren't motivated, learn to be content. 1 O6 X! C* M4 b2 @2 x# w

; |- H. {6 x' |+ V, H9 B+ T- \16. One of the reason the West lead in development for the past few centuries is the fact for the first time in mankind's history they allowed the creative class, the entrepreneurs to actually keep their money. This allows wealth creation and built in motivation for people from all walks of life to strive to push themselves to accomplish more. Unfortunately confiscation and coercion that loots the fruit of labor still going on in much of the world today, if you find yourself in this kind of oppressed environment, you have to decide whether you want to stay and fight the system, or just leave. I was fortunate to be able to thrive and prosper in what I consider the best system in the world, I certainly couldn't have done as well in the old China I left behind. % C/ B* z" y9 n8 ~. @9 L& h7 w
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17. Don't believe the BS about inequality. The real inequality is the level of personal drive and intelligence. I came from nothing, dropped out of college with IQ no higher than George Bush. If I can join the 1% 3 times, so can a lot of people.& a' t& M& Y" U4 R9 y- f' _
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18. Yes, it is you against the world. There will be all kinds things that "conspire" to put you down, but so what?  But even at my darkest moments, there are inspirations I look for to lift myself up. Here is my favorite poem, you might find it a bit cliche, nevertheless, here is what English poet William Ernest Henley wrote while suffering from severe tuberculosis (lead to leg amputations and so on)* o. K) o- k* x) b1 y( f- c
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Out of the night that covers me,& V3 A3 k# n2 e6 ?* W7 @2 Z( P
Black as the pit from pole to pole,% Q1 O/ H" ?1 V0 z
I thank whatever gods may be
, V, C0 Z; w2 w% RFor my unconquerable soul.
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In the fell clutch of circumstance
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Under the bludgeonings of chance8 C5 u! [  X* l' W3 M4 a
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
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7 W  v1 m, _! \Beyond this place of wrath and tears6 x4 m1 U, r; w: Q
Looms but the Horror of the shade,  o' C' s- k9 ~1 v
And yet the menace of the years7 u9 O& K5 c6 T7 a, ?, r8 B
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
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; ?% x( n6 @6 IIt matters not how strait the gate,. D% A- e! ^8 B& m6 ~
How charged with punishments the scroll,* K2 u) ^. H$ D: I$ c2 a
I am the master of my fate:
7 M, t( y- @- I/ H' QI am the captain of my soul.
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4 P6 M7 n/ @( @5 T/ S19. Learn how to sell. This is perhaps one of the easiest way to get above everyone else. Whether you are a doctor, lawyer, accountant or any other professional, you will notice the ones on top are usually people who can sell. They sell themselves, they sell their ideas, they sell and motivate others to do their bidding (this is scaling). Bottomline, sales people are some of the highest paid out there, and it requires no specialization or education.
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20. Don't take yourself too seriously. Make sure you are having fun. The American cliche about working on something you love or having passion is grossly overrated. It is far easier to find something you can fun in. Business can certainly be fun. Often times fun and not taking yourself too seriously can be the key differentiator for your business success. Who wants to do business with a bunch of boring and sour puss?5 t- o9 v& `  |, T9 \* ~

$ r1 j& [- ]: O! p7 @9 Y, D- V21. For most people this is the part that is hard to take: you will never get rich working for someone else. You might still be able to join the 1% if you have a highly paid job, but you are still someone else's wage slave. Fair or not, capitalism is about the ownership of capital, the means of production. In a world where long term growth stagnates (Europe, Japan and even America), ownership takes on even more importance because access to capital is constrained and return on capital is low (try to get a small business loan these day). So the only way out for most people is through entrepreneurship. Try and figure this out early in your life. I got lucky because I didn't arrive at this notion twenty years ago through thought and analysis, it was pure drive.
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* N* g6 }7 e- i22. I am probably going to offend a lot of people with this one. Yes, I am Chinese, or what might be considered a minority in US. But I never view myself as such. I mean I never considered myself as Chinese, Asian, yellow-skinned and so on. It absolutely helps to be in a country such as US where there is such a mix of race and culture. BUT, the race and culture aspect has been played far too much by the minority groups, including the Chinese. I am not suggesting there isn't racism, nor am I saying there isn't a glass ceiling for some. You can decry all the "unfairness" that is in life or you can ignore it and fight on anyways. I am grateful for the likes of MLK who helped to pave the way for minorities and the disadvantaged, but life is short, you don't want to wallow in your self-pity just because your circumstances. Race, skin color, where you are from are just some of the small bumps in your long struggle in life, so get over it. I have personally experienced what some might considered racism, but I never let it get to me. I simply try harder. You will be surprised that even racist appreciates someone who doesn't give a fuck and simply out hustles. Effort is infectious!( E0 Z7 F& O0 S' Z
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23. You have to know how badly you want to succeed. Some of the comments I see out there regarding this more or less suggests that I am not the norm and I got to where I am by luck. I will admit that I have been incredibly fortunate, but much of it had to do with the desire to succeed. I went through high school and college years never going to parties, never drank, never touching drugs, never traveled and so on. I simply worked and worked some more. Any spare time was spent learning and reading. This in hindsight is perhaps a tall order for most people, but it laid the foundation for where I am today. You have to be honest with yourself just how badly do you want it? In most Western countries, it isn't that hard or terribly uncomfortable to be average, so the journey to success might not be worth the price for a lot of people. Lastly, it takes a saint to live with someone like me. Some of hours and some of the ups and downs are absolutely brutal on relationships. If you don't have someone who can understand and tolerate it, you are looking at years of lonely struggle with no real prospect of paying off. Some might find my story as inspirational, but it is also a warning. Even with the best of intentions, it can wreck your life too.( N. f$ M& V( q. i2 g6 z- M. `

* T8 u+ Q' U$ l- X: X5 b" P2 Q24. It's OK to be a generalist. My parent's generation liked to label people. You are a doctor, lawyer, engineer and so on. When I came to Seattle when I was sixteen, my uncle was still working at Boeing as an engineer. He was someone I looked up and wanted to model my life after. That thought went out of the window when Boeing did a round of layoff in the early 1990s and my uncle took the early retirement package. He was still in his mid 50s at the time and he has never worked since. I even went so far to try and apply for some engineering oriented colleges and somehow managed to get accepted by Caltech. I think they made a mistake, because in hindsight I really sucked at math by the time I got to college and I didn't at all enjoy any of the engineering classes. I would have failed miserably. Fortunately I was too poor to be able to afford Caltech anyways, I went to University of Washington instead, but even then I didn't finish. Looking back, my work involved in sales, finance, trading, business development, accounting, HR and management. My titles were all over the place. I was a "courtesy clerk", back wall clerk, salesman, stockbroker, financial consultant, investment advisor, hedge fund manager, startup CEO and venture capitalist. If you asked me what is my specialty, I have no idea. For years my parents just assumed I BS for a living, they didn't want to introduce me to their friends. I have only recently gained respectability in their eyes because our office is larger in a nicer building. Truth is, all of my experiences brought me here today. No one should copy me. It would be almost impossible anyways. I suppose it is a recent fad that generalists like me are not acceptable but somehow thought as being a positive attribute. Being a generalist because I tried and failed at so many things is the real reason I am where I am today, but being able to synthesize all the things I learned from different aspect of work and life is the ultimate triumph.
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25. Pursue what you love is so overrated. If I were to be left to my own devices, I probably would have pursued something in the arts. My parents and my brother are all classical musicians. I grew up listening and loving music, I painted, I spend a lot of time and a small fortune on photography. But most of these pursuits would have easily landed me in the poor house. My burning desire to succeed in business is what will actually allow me to pursue what I love, now that I have the time and resources. But does this mean I hated what I did all these years? Absolutely not. I loved trading, I love being engaged and building business, I love motivate people and see them do amazing things with abilities they didn't think they have. I loved the process of building a business. I absolutely despised the little tasks required to get there though. I don't care for accounting at all, yet I have no qualms spending a ton of time reading financial statements and reports to spot opportunities. I guess what I am trying to say is that one needs to have an open mind and learn to love and enjoy the process of a business, even if you rather pursue your "passion" somewhere else. If you get some success in business, you will have far more resources and time to go after your real love.9 p6 |) f. R5 c% B

% V8 a7 y0 }7 i# c& T$ j# h3 y26. If you are a young man just starting out in life, this is the advise I got from someone years ago and I still try to live by it today: 9 N# r5 Y; m! F4 }% k6 N: x) E' c
Try everything in your twenties, you aren't going to be any good at anything anyways, people have low expectations from you so don't worry about failing or being lousy at what you do. Have fun, try everything!
8 `6 Y1 T! c2 _+ J7 u5 ~Try and figure out what you are good at in your thirties. 5 y0 k. D% }7 h4 w' [
Maximize what you are good at in your forties.
; u2 Y& H/ Y  m8 V5 `9 y7 cSince I am still in my forties, I guess I can't really tell you any more!
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27. If you are starting at the bottom, regardless of your age, remember this one simple rule: always deliver more than what is expected. I don't care what job, what industry, or just how menial the task is, go above and beyond what is required. If you always do more, or delivering more value to your boss, your employer, your partner, your significant other, there is no way you won't succeed at what you are working on. Keep in mind this doesn't necessarily mean working long hours and working late, working smart matters even more! Success in one small task can lead to success in something much bigger down the road. It is the mental attitude that you are just going to do more, offer more, keep coming up with more that will impress people and make them want to work with you and offer more opportunities to you. I still remember at my first job at Safeway, I knew I was taking on the work load of 2-3 more people without getting paid more. It got me a quick promotion and raise from $3.50 an hour to $5.25 an hour. It taught me that effort does lead to recognition and payoff. Of course, if your employer doesn't recognize this, he/she is an idiot, you should move on.
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28. Be different, even if it means being different for spite. For someone who grew up in a culture where conformity is expected, this is hard. It meant being an outcast, rebellious and being disagreeable a lot of times. But there is a real purpose and benefit by being different. In business, companies are being told to be innovative, differentiated in order to be more appealing to consumers and be better competitors. Unfortunately most people and companies still make the same mistakes over and over again, namely copying others, especially people and companies that society deem "successful". The problem is this, the people and businesses who are already "successful" are good at being themselves, and most likely already have more skills and resources perfecting what made them successful. If you copy what they do, you are merely trying to play a game that is perfected by them! Even if you are good, work hard and so on, you are not likely to beat them at their game. You should play a different game, a game played on your terms, perfected by you! This is why I intentionally look for and hire people who are considered misfits, weirdos, and malcontents. It is awfully hard to be "innovative" when surrounded with a bunch of generic, "boring" people, isn't it? ( J; H( v3 S1 [: b
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29. Money doesn't define you. Please learn from my mistakes! When I was this raging asshole with money back in my late 20s, I was foolish enough to think money is my identity. Plenty of people make this same exact mistake. You see them everywhere. They carry themselves based on how much money they have, here is one example https://instagram.com/danbilzerian/ Although I went nowhere near as far as Mr. Bilzerian, I can identify with the attitude. The problem with having your ego tied up with money is that when you fail, like I did, your ego will get crushed along with it too. No everyone can get up like I did, (and boy was it difficult to get back the first few rounds) then what? It might well ruin you for good. Looking back, I am proudest of the periods of my life when I was down and out, not my douchebag days :)
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30. Learn to say no. Most of us want to be loved, approved of, fit in, popular and so on. Unfortunately this also means saying a lot of yes when you really don't want to for fear of offending others. I am not a baseball fan, but there is this expression in baseball called the "fat pitch". It basically means as a batter you don't swing at every pitch that is coming at you, you patiently wait for the statistically high probability pitch because you only have limited chances at swinging. You need to think life and business the same way. There are too many distractions and low quality encounters, you cannot partake in all of them, otherwise you will be dragged down. Constantly ask yourself if what you are about to spend your time on actually help you advance your cause, if not, why are you doing it? I have trained my sales staff to fire customers, yes, fire customers. If the customer isn't economically viable for us to service, we are doing them a disservice by hanging on. We would certainly not able to run a business in a sustainable manner either. With people it is the same, you want to get ahead, then spend time with quality individuals, do not tolerate mediocrity. If you find yourself the lowest caliber person in the group, that would be fantastic! You can learn from the rest of the group. If the opposite is true, you need to move on. I absolutely despise the Chinese expression 比上不足比下有余, which means when compared to those who are better, you can't measure up, but compare to those who are worse, you are doing just fine. No, you can always do better. Take charge of your time and effort.' l+ y2 E& p9 t. l; q4 P

" V  V# V  D! B3 Q/ P31. What if you are just not smart! Don't sweat it! Well, I am not so sure there is a strong correlation between monetary success and intelligence. If anything, there might even be somewhat of inverse correlation! This is not to say the dumber your are the more likely you will succeed. I am not particularly smart, considering the fact I couldn't finish college, it is further proof I am your typical slacker in school. When I was a trader, I noticed a clear pattern. The "smarter" ones, you know the ones with advanced degrees, went to the right Ivy League schools and so on usually lousy traders. When I was a broker, we laughed at the doctors and engineer types because they are usually terrible investors. The head of my company's engineer is a brilliant fellow, but he is a terrible investor. Again, this might just be all anecdotal, but there might be something to it. A lot of the rich and successful people I met aren't exactly the sharpest tool in the drawer, but why? Over and over again, the "smarter" ones tend to be too logical, which leads to analysis to paralysis, and they miss great opportunities because opportunities don't always present themselves as fully formed and obvious. Smart people also tend to want to pursue an "edge". You will hear a lot of traders and hedge fund types go around and around looking for one. Meanwhile, the dumber ones like me understand the real tangible value isn't always an edge. Persistence and doing the things that just aren't glamorous can pay off big too, but it tend to take time. I used to scoff at the turtle vs. hare story and thought I rather be the hare. Now that I am much older, I realize the secret to enduring success is winning over time. 1 c2 c- ^+ x, x  N. M8 p# A

2 f' ^7 ^3 e% I( X7 B! T" k. ^# A3 h32. Always be long term greedy! Most people are selfish and greedy, they just don't want to admit it. I have no problem with being greedy. But what I cannot stand is being short term greedy. Coming from China to Seattle, a place that has a relatively sparse population (compared to most places in China) made me realize the vast difference in business mentality. When you do business in China, or when you encounter a typical Chinese businessman, the common scene is right on the surface. The Chinese business or businessman always asks how much business are you going to bring to them, what is the quantity, how fast and so on. They want to gauge the upfront upside for them before they will commit. They usually couldn't care less about the "long" term. This is what I call short term greedy, which leads to businesses that are transaction oriented. To me the reason why is simple. There is a lot of people in China (duh!), customer service and long term value isn't so important, because there is always more coming! Meanwhile, in slow going Seattle, or much of the West for that matter, you don't have the vast pool of people you can dip into. You are forced to value longer term relationships, hoping for more businesses over time. As it turns out, this isn't a bad way to do business at all! Because all businesses need to acquire customers, so there is this cost of actually getting a paying customer which we call customer acquisition cost. It can be in the form of advertising, personal selling and so on. The stereotypical Chinese businesses is very much like a hamster on a wheel, it needs to be acquiring new customers all the time because they are disposing the old ones fast! If you do the opposite, which is take care of the customer with great service and humility, you don't actually need to be spinning your wheels all the time because they come back over and over, thus reducing your overall customer acquisition costs! So is it a wonder Seattle is the home of some of the most customer friendly businesses in the world? Costco, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Amazon, and REI all started here, and they all have one thing in common, great customer service! Being long term greedy means you do the things that might not pay off right away but it will help you build sustainable business and hopefully wealth over time. If you treat your relationships with people with this mentality, you will be far less stressed out (you are not spinning your wheels all the time). Always ask yourself when you engage with people in business and life, am I being short term greedy or long term greedy? Do I want a transaction or do I want a relationship?
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33. Money is a tool. When I first arrived in US, I was blown away by the wealth of this great country, I fantasied one day being able to reach middle class status. I saw this ad for the Washington State Lottery, which only had a top prize of $1M at the time, and I thought to myself if I had that amount of money I would be completely set for life! I would have a house, a nice car and never have to work again! This is all before I really had a real job or made any money of course. I suspect most people, even middle class people think along this same logic, only if I had XX amount of money! I can buy this or that! Wrong! As I have suggested earlier in my story, yes money can buy you stuff, and the pleasure that comes with it might be great, but as time goes on, the amount of pleasure diminishes, so you look for more and more expensive items to buy to get that some amount of pleasure as before. I have never done drugs, but I suppose that is pretty much what a drug addict must feel like. Unfortunately, your desire for material goods might run faster than your ability to make money, it certainly happened to me! So eventually I got into trouble. When I was going through all this, my mom asked me just how much was enough, I never gave it much thought then, it seemed no amount of material possessions was enough. It wasn't until years later, after my struggles of building my current business that I finally got it. I didn't need all that much money to build the business (remember, it took us $45,00 to build what is now a $100M business), I didn't need all that much material possessions to feel safe and secure, but why am I still trying to make so much money?!!! The answer is simple, it really isn't about the money, it is about having the tool to do things. I never thought I could be in my position today, a guy with no formal degrees in anything running a software company. But here I am tinkering, wondering about possibilities everyday with my staff, my friends, the startups I have invested in, possibilities of doing this and that. As of this writing, I am working on four companies and nearly 10 different products at the same time. I am having the entrepreneur's high everyday! I don't need a venture capitalist, I am my own venture capitalist! I don't need approval from anyone to see if my idea is sound, we simply brainstorm and start going at it. I am more engaged and having so much more fun today than I have ever been. Sure, I am not an engineer, but it hasn't stopped me from coming up with all kinds of wild and crazy ideas and pursue them. Having the means to pursue all the crazy ideas but more importantly keep having the means is more important than ever. I sincerely believe we live in a fantastic age of technology renaissance, the pleasure I derive from expressing creativity using technology is a much better high than I can get from anything else. I now understand why Richard Branson gets into so many businesses! It is just plain fun! $ ^! i; o( y5 B" j. e# J

  |1 F) f* R; o! N  b) v/ t. N) CI should add this little tidbit. My son was diagnosed with a rare form of blood disease in 2009, while I was going through my divorce. He nearly died if not for the efforts of Children's Hospital in Seattle. He spent a month in chemo at the time he is now in remission. I am not exactly an old man yet, so this may be presumptuous at this point. If I get to stay in the 1% and even get to be a billionaire, I have no intentions of going back to my former young and stupid lifestyle again. I'm living in a middle class neighborhood this time around in an apartment smaller than 1500 square foot. I don't have multiple properties or a bunch of fancy cars. My only splurge is travel. I want to live way beneath my means and leave all of my money to Children's Hospital when I die. This doesn't mean I won't do my best to make as much money as I can at the meantime :)
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9 U6 E4 Q7 O4 ZI ran across http://www.death-clock.org/' a" w0 K0 f, N4 z
The other day. Out of curiosity I answered all the questions, it tells me I should expire at age 92, which puts me at exactly at the half way mark as of today. I have much to be grateful that I made it this far, I can honestly say if I get run over by a bus tomorrow I would go out having a life well lived. It isn't about what I have or have not accomplished, which is what the contentious debate about getting to the 1% is focused on. It is absolutely the wrong focus. The goal is to live life and reach your full potential, whatever your goal may be. Just because you struggle and follow paths like mine to strive for financial success, you will not be guaranteed of success. You will be guaranteed of discovery, I promise you that. If you push yourself you just might find the most interesting dazzling person yet, so go ahead, start digging. If this all sounds a bit narcissistic, so be it. I can't wait what adventures lies ahead for me for the next 46 years.; L$ _$ t" ]. Z- U+ ~7 _+ O
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0 }4 f: D1 G6 e171,501 views • http://www.quora.com/api/mobile_expanded_voter_list?type=answer&key=dPaTYFbTNn6 • http://www.quora.com/How-can-one-become-part-of-the-1/answers/8734078; D4 E$ {7 _% |# Q0 o, \
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More Answers Below.
" [  b2 g$ X' U! O$ NRelated Questions
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  • http://www.quora.com/Are-cryptocurrencies-part-of-the-M1-money-supply4 a8 V% I( _& e  l1 G
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  • http://www.quora.com/What-should-I-do-with-my-career-if-I-aspire-to-become-one-of-the-1
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  • http://www.quora.com/Is-Norway-part-of-the-global-1# U  X* ^4 }+ o7 J# j

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  • http://www.quora.com/Becoming-a-Millionaire/If-reading-does-not-make-me-rich-what-will& x& t, C: S! }5 ^% u( @% A* t
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6 K: z8 k: O8 J7 Ghttp://www.quora.com/CamMi-Pham; c3 a! r& h+ X

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  I. \  F3 p" Hhttp://www.quora.com/CamMi-Pham, eCommerce Business Consultant5 C- ?* H: N: \' J. ?
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http://www.quora.com/CamMi-Pham has http://www.quora.com/CamMi-Pham/answers/Wanting-and-Making-Money in " P" E  c. b+ C& S
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Love http://www.quora.com/Hajar-Bouazzaoui's answer "Start by not asking the 99%".  On an average day, I would write that answer too. But I am in a good mood today.
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I am not the 1% yet. My answer might not be perfect, but it will give you some ideas. I grew up with the 1%. I am of royal descent. My great grandfather was very close with the president. His house is in the heart of my city, right next to the United Nations office, a few embassies, and a high-end hotel. I come from a somewhat affluent family in my country. I joke around sometime, "let's read history and learn about our family." If I am not wrong, there was a movie about one of my great grandfathers.
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My father used to distribute half of the country's prepaid phone cards with cell phone stores in every city. Later, he became a consultant with high-end clients who are the 0.01% in the country. That should put us in the lower upper class in our country (third world country) and the middle class in the world.
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9 D0 c" Q0 J5 c* x5 f. _6 w1 \1. Unlearn
  G( z. o4 q2 [6 f, SYou cannot become the 1% if you think like the 99%.
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"School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is."-  Ivan Illich
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The fewer questions people ask, the easier it is to control them. The 1% use education and media to control the 99%.3 G5 B) {, P- n# E; Z
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When I was small, my mother told me to listen with two ears. Let things come in one and go out the other. Don't believe everything you hear. DON'T TRUST ANYONE.' p" W( m6 G7 b
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$ \" W) _" R% h( L) }9 }, D, D0 RAlways ask questions. Even if you agree with something, try to look from the other side. If you disagree with something, do the same. Don't just listen, think critically.
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It is hard. Very hard. You will get the messages for the 99% and have to decode them. You don't want to believe what the 1% want you to believe., H2 Y" E: O: C9 i5 ^
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One summer, my father sent me to follow this talented entrepreneur to learn how to create a market and start a real estate bubble. We spent pretty much every other day chatting about the market and strategies in high-end restaurants. If someone tells you something, you find it out too late. You need to calculate all the moves before everyone else. Don't let mainstream media and education distract you.2 }# W: j, i5 H  K$ a  p
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2. Never Stop Learning& @5 u. i& @+ W, D: k# y, w

6 \2 [5 x% ^: ]) P' ?6 SWhen I was a little kid, every new year day, the first thing my mother told me to do was to study. She told me that one day I will use my pen to change the world. Now you know I am old :) and that I am trying to changekill the world with my keyboard. The 1% knows the importance of knowledge. If you know how to use knowledge the right way, it is the most powerful weapon.& {$ W# |" [4 i+ }  l, u, h
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a. Read a lot+ D$ R  |: G5 k. C7 D3 G
My parents are extremely frugal. But there was always one thing I could have as many as I wanted ... BOOKS.  c: L' m$ D9 S+ U

2 n1 c4 B" g, G& n1 KI remember when I was small, I had all the fairy tales you can find. I went book shopping every week. My father bought my first business book when I was 8. It was a comic about business strategies. By the time I was 10, I got bored with children books and started reading my parents' history, philosophy, war strategy, and business books. My parents have never had to force my sister and me to read. Everyone around us read a lot, and we just picked up the habit ourselves.
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11% of rich people read for entertainment, compared to 79% of poor
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& g6 H: S1 D; P' B7 ^( H- j, ^94% of rich people read news publications including newspapers and blogs, compared to 11% of poor people
' K$ n/ S7 p6 u- X& j* f) c$ f' ySource:  http://www.businessinsider.com/rich-people-read-self-improvement-books-2014-6#ixzz38pCQKDdg

$ T( m* d8 O8 e: d" j  }Poor people read for pleasure. Rich people read for self-improvement. It doesn't mean fictions are useless. Some of the most important books in Eastern are novels. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dream_of_the_Red_Chamber was my first book about power. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Kingdoms taught me history, philosophy, culture, war strategies, management etc. It doesn't matter what you read, if you don't have the right mindset, you won't learn anything. 5 x2 ^9 Y5 P$ V( P3 L
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Don't read just for fun. Read to acquire new knowledge. Always ask questions and ask yourself what you can learn from the book.. f3 L6 m! L& ^: p. M, h- _

0 h" G- G: q) k# R6 jDon't just collect knowledge like baseball cards and hide them somewhere in the back of your brain. Find ways to turn them into actions., B; R- {1 x" m7 [+ m
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Knowledge is useless unless you can figure out how to convert it into action.
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" w- F1 w! Q: w+ w) @b. Observe' K# w! e* ]- _6 U8 x
Observing others is the best way to learn. Pay attention to the way people think, behave, and treat other. You can learn so much more than you think.% M3 M/ N4 E5 R

2 `' v8 F; b. `- `8 x$ I( h. _When I visit my father, he takes me to important business meetings with his top clients. One time, I was with a group of people who were planning to build "the next Hong Kong" (their words, not mine). I wasn't a fan of their strategies. That project never happened. ' V" I# B, [( M6 j' ^
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My father always treats me equally when it comes to business. He would ask me a bunch of question such as:
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- What do you think about the project? If you were me, what would be your strategy?7 m! B( j' m. ?0 q' [2 U
- What do you think about ____ (this person)? How would you use him?% X) a; B8 _. Q9 R! K: O
- Do you agree with ___? Why/Why not?
' Y( k1 |$ d2 O1 s" M& S- What would you do differently?8 t* l" x, P( X! [( O  \* G( R

. [- r9 g( S' p% I) VHe would treat me like a partner instead of his daughter. Those projects were multi-million dollars projects.
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- b: I7 u0 F0 @% o3 [$ e0 jOne day I asked my father why he never taught me anything. I couldn't understand why he taught his employees all the time but not me. My father replied, "What I can teach you, you already know. What you need to learn, you have to observe by yourself. That is why I bring you everywhere."
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/ Y' m) N5 d( |$ p9 g. z7 dThat day I learned the most important lesson my father has taught me. 1 o& M  |2 ]& Y2 w# y

: W6 j; Z8 }* `$ s3. Understand your relationship with money- o" a, ?  C" Y

) q0 z1 [0 p5 j! lRich people are not rich because they spend money all the time. They are rich because they spend money wisely and that money ends up working for them.
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"Don't work for money, make money work for you," my parents have told me all my life. That is why I am working hard to build my own empire, http://www.thinkrenegade.com/, so that one day it will work for me. If you want to trade time for money, you will never have enough time.
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Never let money define you. If you do, you will only be worth as much as you have. I never knew how much money my father made at his best. I only know how much my father had at his worst. But according to his former executive, he used to make 50-100K a day (on paper before the market in Asia crashed). I don't know if this is true or not. But I can tell you he made a good living. If you are plotting a plan to kidnap me, I have to break the bad news ... all that money is paper now. If you can get any money out of my father now, I will match the amount. I think he will tell you to keep me, so there's one person less to feed.
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One day during his best years, we walked into a supermarket (the Asian version of Wal-Mart), and my father picked up a pair of jeans.  I asked him why would he buy a $5 pair of jeans. He replied it has everything he needs. That is the way my parents live. They could spend a lot of money on something very important like education but they would never spend a few dollars on something we don't really need.1 o, h( y% u; s6 E' D; F. P9 G
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They always tell me, "Don't buy what you don't need, one day you will have to sell what you need."
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4. Focus on solving other people's problem instead of yours.
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Feed the masses, eat with the classes.

+ D0 G4 E/ @  nBenefit #1
8 Z4 V  x! B: c, {! a/ J, QLet's do the math. If you are the 1%, your problems can only represent 1% of all the problems in the world. By helping others, your chance to become successful is higher.
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, Q4 l2 Q% B9 F( }4 iBenefit #2  N  {- N; r5 u
One of the biggest lessons I have learned from managing people is....
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$ M* V6 B* m" ~, R  m* o/ g" WWhen people have their own problems, they cannot help me solve mine. 6 S" z0 }6 I4 U5 U- j9 `, }
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If you are going through a divorce or a loved one is dying in the hospital, do you think you can focus and help me plotting my evil plan to build the next big digital marketing agency? NO.% p/ ~* [* @1 B+ ?- h, U- h
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Instead of yelling at people all day (I have an anger problem), I learned to ask them about their problems and offer help when possible.
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  j: y" [/ N/ T8 }+ kI am not nice. I just want people to focus on things that are important to me.& g; Z6 y7 `$ Z% ^
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Benefit #3
+ E1 S3 z0 y4 M9 o/ V0 v( e1 ]Making money is hard, keeping money is harder. What if tomorrow you are no longer the 1% and all your 1% friends ignore you? You will need at least one of the 99% to help you.
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- p$ \0 |' \1 C  D: IBe selfish. Invest in people. If one out of a thousand people you have helped return the favor one day, it is a great deal.
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+ ~. L7 \4 _4 E& `. n2 @5 _My parents don't share about all the inspirational messages. They don't sugarcoat anything. They don't tell me to help people to be the next Gandhi. I am too narcissistic for that. They taught me to help others to create a safety nest when I fail. We are realists.
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' d: L) T; K( E* rWe are selfish. At least we don't pretend we are not.  ' `6 S8 s( F$ p2 r- Q
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5. Work smart, work hard and stop complaining
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My parents taught me to always look up instead of down. If you are happy with what you have, it will be very hard to move forward. You need something to push you to work smarter and harder.
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9 s: H9 D* ^' h( V6 }a. Work smart
3 P2 I8 v  [1 Z: FWorking hard is not enough. There are a lot of poor hard-working people. If you are planning to trade time for money, you will never become rich. You need to figure out how to get the most out of the time you have. 9 }: }, k8 f& k9 v; K( p- m' {% [
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It doesn't matter what you need to do even if you have to lie, cheat, steal, or kill, figure out the shortcuts and the best ways to do things. If you cannot find ways to optimize the way you do things, you haven't thought about it enough.
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  • Lie to yourself to get work done.
  • Cheat on everyone and yourself to achieve something bigger. Stay focus.
  • Steal knowledge.
  • Kill Bad habits. Kill your own ideas. If you waste time with the wrong idea, you will miss opportunity to turn the right idea into reality.. w8 y; H" @# t9 p$ y
(I believe every word is neutral. It all depends on how you look at them.)
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  u% {& x% t# j7 q% {: a* Eb. Work hard
5 v: c( [; g) w* p2 ZWorking smart is not enough. There are a lot of smart people who work smart.
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. \+ g8 w; B- d- NHard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.- [  q; O/ D$ j* q% V

) y- P9 r6 T  K- PSome of the most successful people I know work crazy hours. They have more money than they can spend, but they still work a lot. They didn't get to where they are today by sitting around and waiting for luck.0 y7 R' c- p$ G& e

* w, h8 t# M: _1 Qc. Stop Complaining+ ^* w' U5 n1 U9 f6 `0 h7 D
If you are the 1%, people don't feel sorry for your high class problems. Rich people problems are as annoying as poor people problems. Problems are problems for a reason. The 1% often don't have a privilege to complain all day long like the 99%.
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* m1 u# a8 _) t7 ^Because of that, they have to learn to zip their mouths and find ways to solve all their problems. That is why they stay the 1%.) M$ n% [, d0 f# P& l

1 b# v2 @) Q! qIf you complain about life, you are losing time. Complaining doesn't change a thing. If you don't like something, change it. If you fail, at least you learn something. If you just complain, you will end up with nothing.
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5 q3 B0 g  `6 hIf something doesn't work out the way you wanted it to, it is your fault because you did nothing to change it.
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If I tried to change it and it didn't work out, I haven't tried hard enough.: V/ S9 Q2 v; _- I' X  V5 G. ~
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Always blame yourself. It is the best way to make yourself a better person. Always aim for better.
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: k- ~& i) |; j6. Surround yourself with the 1%- _  H2 \/ [( h0 v- ~
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You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
- Jim Rohn

! V' ]5 F0 P0 O- Z/ c3 j- Z6 MThe 1% like to help people around them (see #5). If you have access to the 1%, you will have more access to higher quality opportunities to find your way to become one. ! \& U+ u1 i  z, i# W0 Z5 m% c
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Also, if you keep hanging out with the 99% they will hold you back. You need to get out of the 99% bubble.
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I am not saying you should cut all your connection with the 99%. They are great people, and you need them in your life. HOWEVER, in order to move forward, you need to figure out to surround yourself with the 1%. It will increase your chances for you to become one of them.7 b* D$ O6 o- H5 G, X% W3 ?

7 G2 ], S  P) w  q7 @3 ?+ H0 X6. Be persistent
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Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race 9 G* k8 M5 n3 q9 c; j" ?
- Calvin Coolidge
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Things don't always work out. It is okay./ l% _3 _8 H% U

) X! @8 G! }+ O+ e3 ~# L, X' j4 [Most successful people have failed many times before they found their success. If you want to be part of the 1%, make sure you stick around longer than the 99%.+ Q3 ^4 b2 a6 I$ ~* R/ U
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+ b2 b. ~# q5 U3 v+ vIf you want to be the 1% for the lifestyle, don't do it. The price you have to pay is way too high. It requires a lot of work. Making money is hard but keeping it is even harder. People will have very high expectations of you. People expect me to be very successful or become the next Jackie O. It is hard living with so much pressure. You will be responsible for so many lives. 2 [" n( r) [2 ]' T) Z. y% o; H5 t
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Try to be the 10%, and you still can have a decent life with less pressure. You will never be happy with what you have anyway. If you are a millionaire, you are still poor compared to your multi-millionaire friends. If you are a multi-millionaire, you are poor compared to a billionaire. If you are a billionaire, you are still poorer than an even wealthier billionaire. What is enough?
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284,260 views • http://www.quora.com/api/mobile_expanded_voter_list?type=answer&key=4GKNFXQhnqS • http://www.quora.com/How-can-one-become-part-of-the-1/answer/CamMi-Pham1 e( s" x$ P' O& g6 s9 i

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转载请保留当前帖子的链接:http://www.beimeilife.com/thread-1030-1-1.html 谢谢!
发表于 2015-8-3 21:27 | 显示全部楼层
是一则励志的好文章~~但也要看到:1 ?3 [7 v! T2 c$ _  E
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1:家庭分崩离析了, 起落三次, 最后成功了,但只能说是资金财富上成功了.' e. ~1 }1 x6 S- [) v& t/ [
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2: 为何追求那1%?, 直观意义上还是归于获得了财富, 可是话说两回:世界上最富有的人就是引领生活最幸福的人?) F9 D) ?; ]4 ~
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3:我们身边太多的例子, 漂泊在外, 依靠个人打拼, 有的卖服装, 卖滑雪板, 卖LED,都在四五年时间积累了上百万财产,财富的成功积累靠的是毅力和辛苦, 中国人推介的是本分营商, 若挖空心思走捷径(如炒股,期货),会容易偏斜。

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