One of the best lessons of my life is:
The cost of the status quo is hidden
We never get to see what we miss by NOT changing.
In my early 30s, I made a decision to leave my life in finance and it turned out well. However, I will never see the life that I missed by leaving early.
Recently, I came across a glowing account of Blackstone’s acquisition of Hilton Hotels. The story is written in the style of the hero’s journey.
As I read the article, I realized that the hero was my best-case scenario from an old life in private equity. In the article there is a photo of the hero, sitting in a chair, he has set a personal best performance that’s going to be tough to replicate. In business, and in sport, I’ve had a few of those moments.
Flying back from a Couples Retreat, I asked my wife to read the article. She found it to be an amazing story.
I said, “You just read my best-case scenario from the life I had before I met you. I’m so grateful I got out.”
Similar to what I see when I watch elite sport, my view of elite finance is different than most.
- Buy at the top with other people’s money
- Pay off bank employees to pass my losses through to their shareholders/taxpayers
- Provide massive financial incentives for management to work their tails off
- Let time bail you out
- Bask in the glow of my peers’ envy
When you look at the life you’re living, what do you see?
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