A Little Philosophy About Money And Life

CNN Money recently had a slideshow of financially successful people all answering the same question "What was the best advice you ever got?" The answers are what you’d expect: kind of general, a little profound, and applicable to money and life in general. Here are a few favorites:

Focus on things you do different than others. (Peter G. Peterson)
Get out of your comfort zone (David Petraeus)
Always be the person who signs your checks (Tina Fey)

To be honest, a lot of other people I didn’t know. A lot of older white guys who run large companies (at least I’m assuming, a lot of the companies were not recognizable to me). I would have liked to see a broader spectrum of different types of successful people.

Most of the advice that was stated came from fathers or bosses. I wish I could remember advice my father gave me. He was pretty tight lipped on finances in general. (According to the New York Times, it’s a movement among young people to not keep their finances to themselves but with the popularity of personal finance blogs, I’m highly doubting it’s just younger people.) I had long wanted to pick my dad’s brain for financial advice in particular because he ran a successful business and was loved by his family and community at the same time. How did he build his money early on? What were the best things he did for the business and for his life? But sometimes you can’t wait too long to ask… As far as bosses, I do remember an old boss who taught me how to "manage up", meaning to manage yourself when your direct supervisor can’t or won’t give you feedback.

The slideshow is a little superficial but does the job of getting your mind going on what you’ve gotten for financial advice (both good and bad).

What I always keep in mind, in finances and in life: 1) Everyone is doing the best they can. and 2) If it will make a good story, you should try it.

(And from the Freakonomics blog, some computer-related proverbs for these technological times.)

Have you gotten any really good advice? Maybe CNN Money forgot to ask you but I certainly won’t.

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