May 14 2009

A thought provoking e-mail from an advisor…

Published by at 1:47 pm under Uncategorized

widman family

Recently, I met with a VP of a major software company (trust me, you’ve heard of it) and pitched him on creating a position for me as a go-between the corporation and the startup community.

In the weeks prior to the meeting, I spent about forty hours researching the company’s strategy, the VP (how do you pronounce that name?) and listening to numerous friends and acquaintances provide valuable advice.

While the guy didn’t have room on his team, I think we both enjoyed the meeting and that door might be open in the future.

Afterward,  Sean Murphy, a very thoughtful advisor, wrote me this e-mail–kinda out of the blue, but it certainly made me reflect.
Perhaps you will enjoy it as well…
(He gave permission to post publicly.)


Thanks for the update. You are too well rounded and spiritually inclined to become a billionaire.

I am confident that you are going to meet with considerable success in this life, I think you should be true to yourself. I have seen too many people compromise hoping that the right job or car or salary increase or big bag of cash will allow them to move to a better lifetime.

The Irish have a saying “there are no pockets in shrouds.” It’s one I try to keep in mind. H Jackson Brown’s 21 suggestions for success are a little trite, but having observed a number of folks at Cisco and some other firms become multimillionaires I must tell you that for the most part they become more of whatever they were before.

If there weren’t happy before it didn’t help a lot. Many many got divorced and became estranged from their children.

One of the saddest meetings that I attended was about five years ago with some folks who had been mid-level managers in a semiconductor firm, they were all millionaires, all divorced, none of their children had managed to graduate from college and once they stopped talking about how much money they were making in the market or as Angel investors their lives were dust. They all had had the expectation that they could ignore their children until about 14 or 15 and show up with a big bag of money to make it all better. Needless to say it didn’t work.

I know that you will find whatever it is that you seek, just make sure when you get it that it’s what you really want. /SeanM

“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

3 responses so far

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