My investment track record, while limited in variety, has been pretty successful. They would be way more successful when I tune out my emotions. The times I didn't were led to outcomes that were less favorable outcome:
- Like how I signed away an entire company I built because I was angry at an irresponsible partner.
- Or when I purchased Microsoft (MSFT) stocks and sold it for a 20% profit at $25 right after it recovered after dipping from a low of -40% (from my entry point). It is now $140.
I am rational, until emotions kick in
Detaching myself from knee-jerk emotions is helpful beyond the realm of investments.
I met a mentor from my alma mater today and we were shaking our heads while recounting an old incident. It started with a presentation that I was giving for Spawt and I was presenting to the entrepreneur-in-residence at NUS Enterprise. He alone got to decide if NUS would invest in my startup. During the presentation, he dropped the F-word and was extremely dismissive, to the point that I stormed out of the board room.
I shook my head because I know older-me would have laughed it off, apologized, and asked how I could improve.
The mentor shook his head because he felt that the entrepreneur-in-residence threw away any goodwill that NUS has built with budding entrepreneurs like myself in a single meeting.
To be calm, I have to set and manage expectations
Today, I made an offer to a remote developer. Before the video call ended, I asked if he was working for another company. Of which he admitted that he was helping out with another startup. That is a potential red flag.
Younger me would be nice and say "ok, manage it properly and do not let it affect our working relationship." But that would emanate softness. Softness that signals two things:
"as long as it does not affect work."
- Permission for him to climb over my head since the rule of "not affecting work" is not clear.
- It sets a sky-high expectation within myself that my employees know what the right thing to do is.
So when employees breach my trust, I lose my cool. And they always do, because I was a softie.
Today, I told the new hire straight up that:
- He was not to work on another project during work hours. But he is free to do whatever he wants after work hours.
- If he is caught breaching this rule, he will be dismissed immediately.
With these said, the requirements are explicit and expectations crystal clear.
This is not something I would have said in the past. This time if/when shit hits the fan, I know what I will do sans the emotional turmoil.
The red-hot passion of youth fueled my mad development sprints in my 20s. In my 30s, I will prefer to be known as a great businessman instead.