Final Blog in the Achieving Your Dreams Blog Series

The Champions’ Blueprint: Success Stories and Takeaways

Inspiration from the NFL, NBA, and More

Welcome to the final blog of our series on achieving your dreams with special inspiration and insight from James Clear’s wisdom of “Dream big, execute small.”

In this final blog in the series, we’ll bring everything together with inspiring success stories from the NFL, NBA, and other elite arenas.

You’ll witness firsthand how the principles of dreaming big and executing small have propelled these individuals and organizations to greatness.

Keep on hand the key takeaways from this series to help you embark on your own journey toward achieving your dreams.

Drawing Inspiration from Champions

  1. Tom Brady – NFL Legend:
    • Tom Brady, often regarded as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time, didn’t start with a grand vision of winning multiple Super Bowl titles. He began by executing small steps—improving his throws, studying game tapes, and maintaining a rigorous fitness routine. Over time, these daily habits led to his remarkable success.
  2. Michael Jordan – NBA Icon:
    • Michael Jordan’s journey to becoming an NBA legend wasn’t an overnight achievement. He practiced relentlessly, honing his skills with daily rituals that included hours of shooting, fitness training, and mental preparation. His commitment to executing small actions laid the foundation for his greatness.
  3. Elon Musk – Innovation Maverick:
    • Elon Musk’s grand vision includes colonizing Mars and revolutionizing the electric car industry. His approach? Execute small, incremental steps. Musk started with small improvements in battery technology and gradually built his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, into industry leaders.

Key Takeaways for Your Journey

Now that we’ve explored the principles of dreaming big, executing small, mastering habits, and crafting daily rituals, let’s summarize the key takeaways to help you on your path to greatness:

1. Define Your North Star:

  • Begin by clarifying your grand vision. What do you aspire to achieve in life? Having a compelling North Star guides your actions and decisions.

2. Break It Down:

  • Turn your grand vision into manageable milestones. Break your goals into smaller, actionable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

3. Embrace the Habit Loop:

  • Understand the habit loop—cue, routine, and reward. Use this framework to build positive habits and break unwanted ones.

4. Design Your Daily Rituals:

  • Craft a daily routine that supports your goals. Prioritize your most important activities and attach them to existing habits.

5. Consistency is Key:

  • Success is often the result of small, consistent actions. Commit to executing small steps daily, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

6. Celebrate Small Wins:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, even if they’re minor. Celebrating small wins boosts morale and reinforces positive behaviors.

7. Learn from the Champions:

  • Draw inspiration from the stories of high achievers like Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, and Elon Musk. Their journeys prove that greatness is attainable through consistent, incremental progress.

Your Journey Towards Achieving Your Dreams

As you embark on your journey toward achieving your dreams, remember that the principles discussed in this series are not mere theories but proven strategies used by successful individuals and organizations. The path may be challenging, but with dedication and the right mindset, you can achieve remarkable success.

Your grand vision is within reach, and the journey starts with a single step. Dream big, execute small, master your habits, and design daily rituals that propel you forward. The champions before you have shown that greatness is attainable through consistent, incremental progress. It’s time to apply these principles in your life and unleash your full potential.

Thank you for joining us on this transformative journey.

Your future is yours to shape.

Go out there, dream big, execute small, and become the champion of your own story.

Your journey towards greatness starts now.

Blog #4 in the Achieving Your Dreams Series

Daily Rituals: Your Journey to Incremental Improvement

How to Craft Your Daily Routine for Success

Welcome to the fourth blog in our series on achieving your dreams with some extra wisdom from James Clear’s “Dream big, execute small.”

In this blog, we dive into the nitty-gritty of achieving your dreams by focusing on the daily grind.

You’ll discover the art of creating a daily routine that promotes steady progress. We’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on structuring your day for maximum productivity, using real-world examples from high achievers. By the end of this blog, you’ll have the tools to craft a daily ritual that propels you toward your goals.

The Power of Daily Rituals

Daily rituals are the building blocks of success. They provide structure, consistency, and momentum, helping you make incremental progress toward your goals. Creating a well-designed daily routine can be a game-changer, as it ensures you consistently invest time and energy in the activities that matter most.

The Science of Daily Rituals

Research in the field of habit formation underscores the importance of daily rituals. Here’s what science tells us:

1. Consistency Matters:

  • A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that consistency is crucial for habit formation. When you engage in a behavior regularly, it becomes ingrained in your routine.

2. Habit Stacking:

  • Habit stacking is a concept popularized by James Clear. It involves attaching a new habit to an existing one, making it easier to remember and implement.

3. Start Small:

  • Begin with manageable tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Over time, you can increase the complexity or duration of your daily rituals.

Crafting Your Daily Rituals

1. Identify Your Priorities:

  • Determine the key activities that align with your grand vision. These can include exercising, working on a passion project, learning a new skill, or spending quality time with loved ones.

2. Set Specific Goals:

  • Define clear, achievable daily goals that support your long-term objectives. For example, if you want to become a better writer, set a daily goal of writing 500 words.

3. Create a Schedule:

  • Allocate specific time slots for each activity in your daily ritual. Consistency is key, so stick to your schedule as closely as possible.

4. Utilize Habit Stacking:

  • Attach your new daily rituals to existing habits. For instance, if you already have a morning routine, incorporate your new habit into it.

5. Start Small, Build Consistency:

  • Initially, focus on one or two new habits. Once you’ve established consistency, gradually add more rituals to your daily routine.

Inspiring Success Stories

1. Benjamin Franklin – Founding Father and Polymath:

  • Franklin had a meticulously planned daily routine that included time for reading, reflection, and self-improvement. His commitment to his daily rituals helped him achieve remarkable success in multiple fields.

2. Barack Obama – 44th President of the United States:

  • Obama had a strict morning routine that involved exercise and reading before he began his workday. This routine allowed him to maintain focus and productivity during his presidency.

3. Maya Angelou – Prolific Writer:

  • Angelou’s daily ritual involved renting a hotel room to write in solitude. She would start her day with coffee and writing, maintaining a consistent routine that contributed to her prolific career.


Crafting a daily ritual is your path to incremental improvement and long-term success. With an understanding of the science behind daily habits and practical steps for creating your own daily routine, you are now equipped to design a structured, productive, and fulfilling life.

In our final blog, we’ll draw inspiration from the champions of various fields and summarize the key takeaways from this series.

Remember, your daily rituals are the bricks that build the road to your dreams. Start crafting your daily routine today, and you’ll find yourself inching closer to your grand vision, one day at a time.

Blog#3 in the Achieving Your Dreams Series

The Habit Loop: Your Path to Mastery

Mastering Your Habits for Long-Term Success

Welcome to the third installment of our series on achieving your dreams with some wisdom from James Clear’s “Dream big, execute small.”

In this blog, we delve into a fundamental concept that underpins sustainable success: the habit loop. We will introduce James Clear’s habit loop framework, trusted by elite athletes and professionals alike. You’ll explore how habits are formed, broken, and transformed, and learn how to harness the power of this loop to align with your grand vision.

The Habit Loop: A Blueprint for Success

James Clear’s habit loop is a psychological model that explains how habits work. It consists of three key components:

  1. Cue: This is the trigger that initiates the habit. It can be a specific time of day, an emotional state, a location, or any other signal that prompts you to take action.
  2. Routine: The routine is the habit itself—the behavior you want to establish or change. It can be as simple as going for a run, writing in a journal, or practicing a musical instrument.
  3. Reward: The reward is the positive outcome or feeling you get from completing the routine. It reinforces the habit and encourages repetition.

Understanding this loop is pivotal because it provides a clear roadmap for creating and modifying habits to align with your grand vision.

How Habits Are Formed

Habits are formed through a process of repetition and reinforcement. When you consistently follow a cue with a routine and receive a reward, your brain begins to associate these actions, making the habit more automatic over time. This process is supported by neuroscience research.

A study published in the journal Neuron found that habits are encoded in the brain’s basal ganglia, a region associated with automatic behavior. Over time, the neural pathways related to a habit become stronger, making the behavior more ingrained.

Breaking Unwanted Habits

To change or break unwanted habits, you need to identify and modify the habit loop. Here’s how:

1. Identify the Cue: Pay close attention to what triggers the habit. Is it stress, boredom, a specific time of day, or something else? Understanding the cue helps you become more aware of when the habit is likely to occur.

2. Replace the Routine: Instead of engaging in the unwanted behavior, replace it with a healthier alternative. For example, if you want to quit smoking, replace the smoking routine with deep breathing exercises whenever you feel the urge to smoke.

3. Reward Yourself: Create a new reward system to reinforce the desired behavior. This can be as simple as acknowledging your accomplishment or treating yourself to something enjoyable, like a favorite snack.

Building Positive Habits

To build positive habits that support your grand vision, follow these steps:

1. Define Your Cue: Identify a specific cue that will signal the start of your desired habit. For example, if you want to establish a daily writing habit, your cue could be a specific time, like right after breakfast.

2. Establish the Routine: Create a clear and achievable routine. Start small to ensure success and gradually increase the complexity or duration of the habit over time.

3. Reward Yourself: Celebrate your successes. Acknowledge your progress and reward yourself in a meaningful way, reinforcing the positive habit loop.

Inspiring Success Stories

1. Michael Phelps – Olympic Swimming Champion:

  • Phelps famously had a rigorous training regimen that became a habit. His cue was his alarm clock, his routine involved early morning training sessions, and his reward was the sense of accomplishment and progress in the pool. This habit loop contributed to his record-breaking Olympic career.

2. Maya Angelou – Prolific Writer:

  • Angelou had a daily writing habit. Her cue was a quiet room with a cup of coffee, her routine was writing for hours, and her reward was the satisfaction of creating beautiful prose and poetry. This habit loop allowed her to become a prolific writer and poet.

3. Charles Duhigg – Author of “The Power of Habit”:

  • Duhigg, the author who explored the science of habits, used his understanding of the habit loop to transform his eating habits and lose weight. By identifying his cues, changing his routines, and creating new rewards, he successfully modified his habits.


The habit loop is your path to mastery—a powerful framework that enables you to create and modify habits that align with your grand vision. With a deep understanding of how habits are formed and the ability to break unwanted habits while building positive ones, you’re well-equipped to navigate your journey to success.

In our next blog, we’ll explore the concept of daily rituals and how they can be harnessed to support your habit-building efforts. Remember, habits are the building blocks of your future. Start shaping them today to transform your dreams into reality, one habit at a time.

#2 in Achieving Your Dreams Blog Series:

How to Turn Your Dreams into Reality, One Habit at a Time

Welcome back to our series on unlocking your potential with James Clear’s wisdom of “Dream big, execute small.” In this second blog, we will delve into the science of execution. Here, you will discover the secret sauce of breaking down colossal tasks into manageable steps and maintaining consistent progress. We’ll explore real-life examples of individuals who used this approach to conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges. By the end of this blog, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to turn your dreams into reality, one habit at a time.

The Art of Execution

Having a grand vision and setting ambitious goals is crucial, but the true magic happens when you execute on those goals. Execution is where the rubber meets the road, and it’s the bridge between where you are now and where you want to be.

The Science Behind Small Steps

Psychological studies emphasize the effectiveness of small, consistent steps in achieving long-term success. Here are some key insights:

1. The Zeigarnik Effect:

  • This psychological phenomenon suggests that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones. Breaking down your goals into smaller tasks keeps you engaged and motivated.

2. The Power of Consistency:

  • A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit. Consistency in executing small actions is key to habit formation and goal achievement.

3. The Chunking Principle:

  • Chunking involves breaking down complex information into smaller, manageable groups. Applying this concept to your goals makes them more achievable.

Practical Steps to Execute Small

1. Create a Detailed Plan:

  • Break down your long-term goals into smaller, actionable steps. For example, if your goal is to write a book, start with outlining chapters, setting word count targets, and creating a writing schedule.

2. Prioritize Tasks:

  • Identify the most critical tasks that will move you closer to your goal and prioritize them. This prevents feeling overwhelmed and ensures you focus on what truly matters.

3. Consistency is Key:

  • Establish a daily or weekly routine to execute these tasks consistently. Habits are built through repetition.

4. Measure Progress:

  • Keep track of your progress. This not only provides motivation but also allows you to make necessary adjustments along the way.

5. Celebrate Small Wins:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how minor they may seem. This boosts morale and reinforces positive behaviors.

Inspiring Success Stories

1. J.K. Rowling – Writing the Harry Potter Series:

  • Instead of trying to write an entire novel at once, Rowling focused on writing a page a day. Over time, these small daily actions resulted in the creation of one of the most beloved book series in history.

2. Warren Buffett – Wealth Accumulation:

  • Buffett’s approach to investing is to make small, consistent investments over time. His patient execution strategy has made him one of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

3. Thomas Edison – Inventing the Lightbulb:

  • Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He broke down the invention process into countless small experiments, ultimately leading to the creation of the lightbulb.


The art of execution, breaking down your dreams into manageable steps, is the bridge that transforms your vision into reality.

Backed by psychological studies and inspired by real-life examples of remarkable individuals, you now have the tools and inspiration to execute your goals effectively.

Remember that success often comes from consistent, small actions rather than giant leaps. In our next blog, we’ll explore the habit loop, a powerful framework that will help you stay on course and build habits that support your journey.

Embrace the art of execution, and you’ll discover that small steps can indeed lead to big results.

Start executing your dreams today, one habit at a time.

The Power of Dreaming Big: Setting Your North Star

The Power of Dreaming Big: Setting Your North Star

Unlock Your Full Potential with a Compelling Vision

In a world filled with audacious dreams and colossal goals, the wisdom of “Dream big, execute small” by James Clear, the bestselling author of “Atomic Habits,” resonates as a guiding light for achieving success.

In this first blog of a 5-blog series, we will explore the critical importance of dreaming big and setting your personal North Star.

You’ll get practical tips, support from studies, and share stories of renowned individuals who transformed their lives through visionary thinking.

By the end of this blog series, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to set audacious goals and create a roadmap to achieve them.

The Power of Vision

Vision, often described as your North Star, is your destination—the place you aspire to reach. It’s a compelling and vivid picture of your ideal future.

Vision goes beyond simple goals; it’s a panoramic view of what you want to achieve in your life. It’s what keeps you motivated, focused, and resilient on your journey.

The Science of Dreaming Big

Psychological studies emphasize the importance of having a vision and setting ambitious goals.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, individuals who set clear and challenging goals are more likely to achieve them.

When you dream big, you create a sense of purpose and direction in your life, leading to increased motivation and a higher likelihood of success.

Practical Steps to Craft Your North Star

1. Reflect on Your Passions:

  • Take time to think about what truly excites and inspires you. What activities make you lose track of time? What are your deepest passions?

2. Imagine Your Ideal Future:

  • Close your eyes and vividly picture your life several years from now. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you feel? The more detailed, the better.

3. Set SMART Goals:

  • Specific: Clearly define your goals.
  • Measurable: Identify how you’ll measure your progress.
  • Achievable: Ensure your goals are within reach.
  • Relevant: Make sure they align with your values and passions.
  • Time-bound: Set deadlines to create urgency.

4. Break Down Your Vision:

  • Divide your long-term vision into short-term milestones. This makes the journey less daunting and more manageable.

5. Write It Down:

  • Put your vision and goals in writing. According to a study by Dr. Gail Matthews at Dominican University, people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them.

Inspiring Success Stories

1. Elon Musk – SpaceX and Tesla:

  • Elon Musk’s audacious vision is to colonize Mars and revolutionize the automobile industry with sustainable electric cars. His relentless pursuit of these goals has reshaped the future of space travel and transportation.

2. Oprah Winfrey – OWN Network:

  • Oprah’s North Star was to create a platform for diverse voices and stories. She transformed her vision into reality by founding the OWN Network, a groundbreaking media company.

3. Mahatma Gandhi – Indian Independence:

  • Gandhi’s vision was to free India from British colonial rule through nonviolent means. His unwavering commitment to this vision led to India’s independence.


Setting your North Star is the first step towards unlocking your full potential. By dreaming big, you infuse your life with purpose and passion, making every action you take more meaningful.

Backed by psychological studies and inspired by stories of remarkable individuals, you now have the tools and motivation to craft your own compelling vision. In our next blog, we’ll explore how to execute small steps to turn your grand vision into reality.

Remember, your dreams are the compass guiding you to greatness. Start your journey today, and never underestimate the power of dreaming big.


My Favorite Quotes About Success

  1. “Follow your passions, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.” – Ellen DeGeneres

  2. “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

  3. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

  4. “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford

  5. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

  6. “Chase your passion, not your pension.” – Denis Waitley

  7. “Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.” – Judy Collins

  8. “Passion is the fuel that drives the engine of success.” – Grant Cardone

  9. “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

  10. “Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.” – G.K. Nielson

Rick Leaman, Vice Chairman of Moelis & Company, speaks on “Ten Steps for Success”

– [Announcer] This is Duke University. – I’m delighted to be here on behalf of all of you, to welcome you to your graduation. Dean Boulding, faculty, thank you for having me. Family, thank you for being here to support your kids, and most importantly, to all of you, congratulations.

This is a big moment. I think any time you go through something like this, it is a big moment, you need to do something special for yourself. So I don’t know what that is for each individual out there, but figure out something special to do and do it quickly so you can really reward yourself for a lot of hard work in a degree that’s well-deserved.

This is a great thrill for me. You can’t even put this on your bucket list, speaking at Cameron Indoor Stadium. How do you do that? Who would’ve thought a kid that graduated from Duke in 1984 with a 2.9, (audience chuckling) I don’t think Dean Boulding knew that. I think I had a 3.7 at Fuqua so I made up for it. But, yeah, I had a 2.9 and here I am speaking at Cameron Indoor Stadium and per the student speaker, I’m still learning.

I learned something today which is, you should probably wear socks when you’re sitting up on the podium at graduation. So what are we gonna talk about today? Throughout my career, I’ve just noticed some things that people do that don’t make a lot of sense.

And as I accumulated these things, I’ve developed a presentation that I give to all of our incoming associates and analysts at Moelis & Company and prior at UBS. I call it my 10 tips for success.

They’re really not the kind of thing you learn in a classroom or in a training program, but they’re the kind of thing that, if you don’t catch on to them, they could hurt your career. So here we go, I’m gonna through my top 10 tips, and the first one is, take notes.

I notice you don’t have pen or pencil, or paper, so you don’t need to do that. But you’re gonna go into life as a junior member of a team. The junior member of the team takes notes in a meeting.

I cannot tell you how many meetings I go to, and I’m not taking notes anymore, where I expect the junior member to take those notes and they don’t do it. So grab a pen, get a good notebook, and make sure when you’re on your next job, wherever that is, you’re taking notes.

As an aside, when I give this presentation to the incoming class, the college, the analysts who have just come out of college, they grab their pen and they’re taking notes right away. What’s interesting is, the MBA students just sit there and stare at you.

Now they’re not Fuqua students, mind you. They tend to come from schools in the northeast that are in a division that has something to do with a plant, but anyway, just take notes. Number two, always admit what you don’t know.

It’s okay. You’re gonna get dozens of questions. What were same-store sales, what did the CEO say in the shareholder letter, what’s the credit rating at that company? Depending on what your job is, the questions will be different.

It’s okay to say you don’t know. You can say, I don’t know but I’m gonna get the answer. I don’t know, I’ll find that out. I should’ve known, I don’t, I’ll get the answer.

But don’t throw something out there that you think is correct. It’s okay to say you don’t know. It’s fatal, it’s fatal to make it up. It’s just not gonna work for you, so just admit what you don’t know and you’ll be fine.

You may get a little grief for it, but that’s okay. Number three, respect your elders. I’m not talking about the CEO, I’m not talking about the CFO, I’m not talking about an SVP. But the chances are, you’re gonna join an organization post your graduation here, where there will be people that have been working at that organization longer than you’ve been alive.

They’re administrative assistants, they’re in the mail-room, they’re in the copy center, it’s the receptionist that greets everybody every day with a smile when they come in. These people deserve the utmost respect and I’ve watched too many people come into a firm and establish what I would call an overly aggressive senior-subordinate relationship with these folks.

And let me tell you, my assistant, Ellen, I think she’s been doing her job for 40 years, she worked for my boss before she worked for me. If she whispers in my ear, Freddy’s not such a nice guy, Freddy is having a really bad day.

These people can help your career and they can also hurt your career. So please respect your elders. Any Freddy’s out there? Good, I picked a safe name. Number four, confidentiality. This is different by industry.

In my industry, it’s paramount, you have to maintain confidentiality. But what I’ve found is, it’s really not worth talking about what you do at work outside of work. You can talk in general terms, but you have information that’s important to people and you just don’t know how that information’s gonna be used.

So my recommendation to people is, don’t talk about what you’re doing outside of work. And I’ll give you a real-life example. We got a call in our Houston office years ago from a client who wanted to use us on an acquisition.

Very exciting call, it’s a call you wanna get. We were told that we’d be paired up with Morgan Stanley, so, while that’s not so great, we were gonna be co-advisors with Morgan Stanley. Young man went out that night at a bar, saw his buddy from Morgan Stanley, said, I hear we’re gonna be working together, that’ll be fun.

Somehow, Morgan Stanley figured out who the client was, what the deal was, they called the client and said, hey, I just wanted to let you know that UBS is blabbing about the assignment you just gave. All he said was, we’re gonna be working together, and think of how that transformed into what could have been a death sentence for that professional.

Now as it turns out, the client loved this kid, he didn’t get fired, but I just don’t think it’s worth talking about what you’re working on at work. Keep it to yourself, in fact, I don’t even think my wife really knows what I do.

Honestly, it’s okay, she can’t slip up. She knows what city I’m in, but she never knows who I’m meeting with. So, number five, listening is sometimes more important than speaking. I remember this story to this day, and I still wake up in the middle of the night sometimes on this one.

So we were presenting to Capital Cities. For those of you that don’t know, Capital Cities owned the network ABC and they also owned a little thing called ESPN and just as an aside, Capital Cities merged with Disney, Disney had no idea what ESPN was 20 years ago.

Think of what it is today. Anyway, I was doing okay, I had made some good progress on some deals and we were in front of the CFO and I was determined to make my mark. A question came to the team and I’m the junior guy in the room and I’d go right in and answer the question.

And the CFO looks at me and goes, that’s completely wrong. So what did I do? I doubled down. I told him he was wrong (chuckles). Yeah, oh boy. Good news is, I didn’t get fired and as I said, the negative is, I’m 54 years old and I still wake up thinking about that meeting.

It’s okay to listen, you don’t have to make a statement in the first meeting. Number six, be very wary of consensus. We all get trapped with consensus. Everybody agrees, this is correct. Please challenge consensus.

You’re young, aggressive, thoughtful, intelligent students, this is what we need you to do, challenge consensus. I’ve had two examples in my career where consensus was completely wrong and the results were devastating.

In 1999, we were valuing tech companies on clicks, a click of a mouse. Oh, it’s gotta be worth a billion dollars. Sometimes, we valued them on revenues if they had revenues. We didn’t value them on cash flow ’cause none of them had cash flow.

But the Nasdaq had gone to 4000, it was soaring and the tech revolution was on. Dozens, hundreds of bankers, said, I’m not gonna be a consumer banker anymore, utility banker, health-care banker, I’m going to Silicon Valley to be a tech banker, because that’s what the future is, it’s all about technology.

Well, lo and behold, two years later the Nasdaq hit 1400, by the way, it took 10 years to get back to 4000. Actually, cash flow did matter. People actually started looking at balance sheets, how about that.

And hundreds and hundreds of bankers lost their job because they’d given up their good job working in consumer or utilities, whatever the case was, and they had to be a technology banker. Consensus was wrong.

It was a tech bubble and it hurt a lot of people. Fast-forward to 2007, 2008, the only good news about the tech bubble was it was an equity bubble, it wasn’t a debt bubble. Equity’s bad but you don’t lose everything.

Credit crisis is devastating. And in 2007, the CEO of Citigroups was asked, how do you feel about the credit markets? I remember he was in Tokyo at the time. And he said, as long as this music’s playing, we’re gonna keep dancing.

Think about that. Three months later, he lost his job due to unexpected credit losses at Citigroup. Fast-forward a year after that and the CFO of Lehman Brothers was quoted as saying, our liquidity framework and funding have stood by us very well.

Five days later, they went bankrupt. Consensus was that the credit markets were sound, housing could never go down, and we know what the outcome was, a devastating crisis that we’re all still paying the price for in 2017.

So, challenge consensus, it’s what we need you to do. Number seven, don’t go it alone. Teams win, individuals are risky. Now it’s really interesting, you wanna make a statement, you wanna have an impact, but I’ll tell you, teamwork is the key to success.

A real-life example for me, I sat in a bullpen with four people my first year at Smith Barney, I was 23 years old, and I needed to keep my job, I had no savings, I was married, and it was really important that I did well.

So we formed a team among those four, and every time we had a project, I would give my project to Paul Hoffer, to Murray, to Stan, and we’d all check each other’s work constantly. So I had three sets of eyes looking at my work and they had three sets of eyes looking at their work and so on and so on.

That’s how we got ahead, we formed a team in order to be successful. But individuals are risky, teams win. So I always wanna work on a team and I encourage you to do the same. Number eight, this is a tough one, patience.

Everybody wants to have an impact. Everybody wants to make a statement. I know you don’t wanna be called millennials, so I won’t use the word millennial like I just did twice. There’s this great presentation of an individual walking into a boss’s office and saying, look, I’ve gotta quit, I’m not making an impact.

And the response is, well, you’ve been here eight months. It takes time to make an impact. Somebody very near and dear to me fell into, what I call, the grass-is-greener syndrome. She had a good job but the grass was greener over at that job.

And she started interviewing, didn’t tell me, told her mother and her brother, didn’t tell me, it’s my daughter. And I just kept my mouth shut, and thank goodness, thank goodness the people never offered her a job.

She was interviewing for things, frankly, that I think she was overqualified for. Now she’s three years into her job as an associate in investment banking and I’m not saying it’s because it’s investment banking that I’m proud of her, but she’s killing it.

She’s making an impact and to my mind, she’s operating at a VP, second-year VP level. So take your time, be patient. It’s frustrating ’cause everybody wants to get that trophy, wants to climb the peak.

But you may be surprised, if you take your time, what comes out of it. Number nine. (chuckles) We had a little prop set up, it’s not working very well. Anyway, (phone rings) oh, there it is. Thanks, Dean.

That was my fault. 919-452-26, I don’t know this person, send it to voicemail. Don’t let that happen in a meeting. (audience laughs) Do not let that happen. Phone on vibrate, don’t look at it, put it away, don’t put it on the table in front of the client or in front of your colleagues.

Put this thing away. It’s a great invention, you can ask Siri what a stock price is and she’ll give it to you. How that works, I’m not really sure. But don’t let this thing dominate your professional career.

Put it away, tell the person you’re meeting with that you’re focused on them. And if this goes off at a client meeting, I’m telling you, you’re dead. So just put it away. I have this problem, it’s vibrating in my pocket, I think it’s one of my kids texting me, I’m like, ooh, I’m getting a text from my kid, I’ve gotta look at it, I can’t.

So put it away. That’s number nine. Not as well executed as I’d hoped, that’s my fault, that’s my fault, my fault. I’d put it on silent ’cause I was worried that if I got up here and it rang before we got to that point, it would typically be my wife and then I’d have to answer it and then I’d have to tell her I’m busy and that would’ve been embarrassing, so I put it on vibrate and that’s why it didn’t (mutters), anyway.

Last but not least, attitude. I get asked time and again, what’s the one thing that differentiates professionals in my business, and I don’t think it matters that it’s my business, any business.

And it is a positive mental attitude. It makes all the difference in the world. It moves a three to a one, a two to a one. It makes your reviews more positive. It is the key, and by the way, it’s circular.

You’re more positive, people around you are more positive ’cause they see you’re so positive, they say, well, I’ve gotta be positive, too. It’s the one key to getting ahead in a career.

And I’ll give you an example of how I look at that in my business. In my business, and hopefully you guys don’t do this, we work sometimes 18 hours a day seven days a week. Nobody wants to do that, that’s ridiculous, but we do it for some reason.

So it’s Friday afternoon, you get a call from a client saying, I need you to work 24/7 the next three days, I need you in my office Tuesday morning. And all of a sudden, you go, oh that’s great ’cause I just got a piece of business and then you go, oh god, that’s awful, I’ve gotta call the junior team and tell them they’re not going to the beach this weekend.

So these folks are 30 minutes from hitting the shuttle bus out to the Hamptons and you gotta blow up their weekend. You don’t wanna make that call but you have to make that call, the client’s told you, you need to be there on Tuesday with a full deck.

You make that call to that junior person and you say, I’ll use Freddy since I picked on him earlier, Freddy, I’m sorry, I’ve gotta blow up your weekend, we’re running full steam from here on until Tuesday morning.

Freddy says, hey, not a problem, let’s get on it. When do you wanna meet? That statement alone is gonna move that person to the front of the class. So positive mental attitude makes all the difference in the world.

So there they are, my top 10 tips for success. Something to think about. Hopefully something to learn a little bit about as well. And then in closing, I would say, congratulations, you should be very proud of yourself, do something special for yourself.

I will likely be at Shooter’s on Saturday. If any of you are there, please stop by and say hello.

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