Philosophizing

Learning Through Play (for Adults)

People ask: "I'd like to learn about XYZ thing. How?" The obvious answer is to go get some books and read. As we all realized in school, that's the opposite of fun. I use another technique: Invent a way to "play" with it. In other words, find some way to make the learning fun. For example, in 2012, I wanted to learn about angel investing. So, I just went and started making some investments with a small percentage of my net-worth. I knew I didn't know what I was doing…

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My 3 Best Travel Tools of 2017

I've been flying about 20,000 miles a year recently. This year, I made a few discoveries that have made a big difference in my travel experience. 1. Global Entry If you're not familiar, this is the US Customs program that gets you automatic TSA PreCheck so you don't have to take off your shoes and remove your laptop at security. You also get a separate screening line at most airports. 2. AMEX Platinum Card I'm late to the game on this one but I got the $450/yr business…

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How to Email Like a Boss

Here's the secret to getting the highest ROI from email: Write less. That's it. This is easier said than done. It takes hard work as demonstrated in this clip from the great movie, A River Runs Through It: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXZxZxgouPo You'll see the most influential people respond to tons of email with just a handful of words in each. One method I've learned recently to hone this skill: Take an idea and describe it in 25 words. Then, do it again in 12 words. Finally,…

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In Defense of Being Prolific

This morning, I came across a songbook of the compositions of the Beatles over a two-year period in the 1960s. Flipping through the pages, I was surprised to see two things. First, they wrote tons of songs. Second, I was amazed at how many mediocre songs Lennon and McCartney actually wrote over that time. Here was the most celebrated songwriting team of the twentieth century and they had a success rate of 5% or so. What? I think many of us expect our success rate to be high or we're…

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Central Texas Winning the Amazon Sweepstakes

The Amazon HQ2 RFP announcement swept through the news in the past few weeks. https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=17044620011 Many pundits put the Texas cities well behind other candidates. This New York Times piece has Denver as a clear favorite: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/09/upshot/where-should-amazon-new-headquarters-be.html?mcubz=1 As much as I love my hometown and state, San Antonio is at best a long shot candidate. Austin, just down the road, has better chances given the recent Whole Food acquisition…

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