Make sure that whatever you love doing is something other people don’t love to do.

Career advice from Steve Levitt co-author of Freakonomics

“Make sure that whatever you love doing is something other people don’t love to do. The worst thing in the world is to find some kind of job that everybody wants to do – like being a rock star.”

“You have to find something that is idiosyncratically something you love but everyone else despises. So if your dream is to be a garbage man, for instance, you’re guaranteed to have success in life.”

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Take risks when you can

From a CNNMoney feature titled The smartest advice I ever got by Chris Larsen Founder, E-Loan.com and Prosper.com …

“Cut the lifeboats.” I heard this from Jim Collins, who wrote “Built to Last” and was the best M.B.A. professor I had at Stanford. He pleaded with the class, saying, “You’re young. You can fail two or three times, even lose all your money two or three times, and you’ll be just fine. Taking that risk puts you in the path of wealth.”

If he hadn’t said that, I probably would have taken a job, like a typical M.B.A., instead of founding a company. Starting my own business seemed so risky, but maxing out credit cards or even going bankrupt isn’t so risky if you do it at a young age. You’ll never regret taking those risks, but you might regret it if you don’t.

“Sometimes quitting is strategic, and sometimes it can be your best possible plan”

From the a podcast titled “The Upside of Quitting” on Freakononmics.com

“To help us understand quitting, we look at a couple of key economic concepts in this episode: sunk cost and opportunity cost. Sunk cost is about the past – it’s the time or money or sweat equity you’ve put into a job or relationship or a project, and which makes quitting hard. Opportunity cost is about the future. It means that for every hour or dollar you spend on one thing, you’re giving up the opportunity to spend that hour or dollar on something else – something that might make your life better. If only you weren’t so worried about the sunk cost. If only you could …. quit.”

‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

From a commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005 …

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

“Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it”

From a post titled The best advice I ever received by Bob Borson …

“This has everything to do with you making someone elses life easier. You manage to do that on a consistent basis, people come to rely on you and know that you can be counted on. Eventually, you move beyond being the first choice and become the only choice.

The caveat to this advice is if you can’t follow through, you need to let someone know the instant you realize it.”

“You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”

From Dr. Phil’s book titled Life Strategies

“Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it. Be truthful about what isn’t working in your life. Stop making excuses and start making results.

If you’re unwilling to acknowledge a thought, circumstance, problem, condition, behavior, or emotion–if you won’t take ownership of your role in a situation–then you cannot and will not change it.”

“Arguing Is Pointless”

From Peter Bregman of the Havard Business Review Blog Network titled Arguing Is Pointless …

“Think about it. You and someone have an opposing view and you argue. You pretend to listen to what she’s saying but what you’re really doing is thinking about the weakness in her argument so you can disprove it. Or perhaps, if she’s debunked a previous point, you’re thinking of new counter-arguments. Or, maybe, you’ve made it personal: it’s not just her argument that’s the problem. It’s her. And everyone who agrees with her.

In some rare cases, you might think the argument has merit. What then? Do you change your mind? Probably not. Instead, you make a mental note that you need to investigate the issue more to uncover the right argument to prove the person wrong.”