Great Life Guidelines from an Old Commencement Speech

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Study. Keep learning and keep educating yourself.
  3. Measure. Keep track of important things. Measure your progress. We only manage the things that we measure.
  4. Save. Be judicious about what you spend your money on. Try to save it starting at an early age.
  5. Invest. Not only save your money but invest it wisely.
  6. Timing. Be conscious of timing. There are right times and wrong times to do things.
  7. Join clubs. Network with others. Build good friends and get involved with worthwhile projects, even if they are not all profit-seeking.
  8. Marry happily. Who you marry is one of the most important decisions of your life. Choose wisely.
  9. Depend on yourself.  Don't expect others to do everything for you. Depend on yourself and take responsibility for your own life.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.