While weeding out notes I've transferred and kept with me across various cell phones and personal organizers over the years, I ran across some great guidelines that were given out at my wife's commencement from San Jose State University in 2003. (Ok, right, I take a lot of notes.)
A well-known local real estate developer named Barry Swenson was the speaker, and he offered the graduating class nine guidelines for going on to successful careers. I was so impressed with his guidelines that I wrote them in my Palm Pilot, only to discover them again recently.
They still sound pretty good to me.
- Use leverage. You don't hear this one all the time, but, as I recall, Mr. Swenson was advocating the use of loans on appreciating assets like real estate to build wealth.
- Study. Keep learning and keep educating yourself.
- Measure. Keep track of important things. Measure your progress. We only manage the things that we measure.
- Save. Be judicious about what you spend your money on. Try to save it starting at an early age.
- Invest. Not only save your money but invest it wisely.
- Timing. Be conscious of timing. There are right times and wrong times to do things.
- Join clubs. Network with others. Build good friends and get involved with worthwhile projects, even if they are not all profit-seeking.
- Marry happily. Who you marry is one of the most important decisions of your life. Choose wisely.
- Depend on yourself. Don't expect others to do everything for you. Depend on yourself and take responsibility for your own life.