I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 277 - Lucky or Smart?

Daily Kup (My Life on the Slopes)
I occasionally post book reviews on Lunch.com. My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Wilson, would be proud of me, I hope. She bothered to yell at my mother for not letting me go skiing with the other kids, so I guess she liked me. My mother felt that Mrs. Wilson should "mind her own d*mn business" and so I did not learn to ski that year.

Perhaps with a few more book reviews under my belt, I'll belatedly take to the slopes.

There are no new traumas — just old ones with new tires. Your mileage may vary.

Here is my review of Lucky or Smart?: Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life by Bo Peabody. I've read many business books and this is one of the least egocentric first-person business memoirs I've come across. You can also read it in about an hour.


Are you smart enough to be lucky or lucky enough to be smart? Can you tell the difference?

Bo Peabody, one of the first Internet wunderkinds, was smart ... or lucky ... enough to make and take the money and run before the dot.com bust. In this slim volume, he lets us see behind the curtain into the Oz inhabited by the successful entrepreneur. A media darling in the late 1990's for his photogenic looks, mountain bike and ubiquitous use of the term "dude", Peabody co-founded Tripod, a pioneering social media site later sold to Lycos for $58 million in stock. He watched the stock increase in value tenfold and then sold it at the peak of the bubble. He went on to found or co-found six more companies and nurtured them to success. His current flagship is Village Ventures, a venture capital network.

In this concise manifesto of only 58 pages, Peabody captures the straightforward secrets of his success with lucidity and some self-deprecation. He reveals the truth that it is best to be smart enough to know when you are being lucky. And how to increase the chances that you will be lucky.

His main thesis is "Lucky things happen to entrepreneurs who start fundamentally innovative, morally compelling, and philosophically positive companies." The employees who flock to this type of working environment are the keys to generating a flow of opportunities. Of those many opportunities, the ones that pan out are chalked up to luck.

With tongue-not-so-in-cheek, the world is divided into the B-students (entrepreneurs) and the A-students (managers). Peabody explains clearly how these groups differ and how they absolutely need each other's skills to succeed. It's not all mountain bikes and press conferences -- there are hundred-hour workweeks and the very real chance of making very little money for a very long time.

Some of Peabody's advice is deceptively simple: Don't believe your own press. He illustrates this point persuasively with the stories of those Intranet pioneers who seemingly believed so strongly in their own genius that they crashed with their own companies that never made a dime in profit and never evolved to the next level.

In contrast with many business books that mix a pound of statistics with a dash of fear and a pinch of negativity, Peabody serves up a bright and surprisingly uplifting salad.

Read it once, Read it twice. If you're a B-student, dream up an idea and hire some A-students to manage it. If you are an A-student, find a B-student with a great idea, an open mind, and give him or her a copy of Peabody's book.


Kim Barron said...

Have you read the book 'The Luck Factor' by Richard Wiseman? http://www.richardwiseman.com/books/books.html
I haven't read that one yet, but I've read 'Quirkology' & '59 Seconds'.
'The Luck Factor' proposes that people that think they are lucky create a lot of it themselves. They tend to notice more opportunities and take more chances.

I also found the site Smashwords. It is a site that handles the ecommerce for authors that want to self publish ebooks. I found some interesting titles. You can get some coupon ytpe codes for free books on the B&N Nookbooks forum. www.nookboards.com

(Sorry for the single quote marks, it doesn't seem to work to italicize in comments)

Burning Khrome said...

Sounds interesting. I've put "The Luck Factor" on my reserved list at the library so I'll have it shortly.

Smashwords is terrific. One of the writing instructors has a "friend" who is self-publishing and not doing too badly once the dream of $100,000 advances from Random House or whomever are dashed.

Burning Khrome said...

And speaking of the ever more approachable electronic communication and social media that envelope us, a reviewer of reviews picked up my review and tweeted it. I thought that was pretty cool, particularly because she told me about it.

In a bizarre twist on the same theme, this website http://www.tablesoft.com/Tablecloth/Green-Table-Drape/
poached my Day 146 post and is using it as part of an ad for tablecloths after running the original English through a surreal translator program.

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