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Meaning of Success Stories

 The Harvard MBA and the Fisherman

Origin: From the book The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Lesson: Always ask “then what” before undertaking any long-term endeavor

 Character: Harvey the Harvard MBA

Synopsis: When Harvey’s blood boiled from overwork in the big city, he went to Mexico for a vacation. After attempting to teach a lesson to a local fisherman, Harvey himself learns a valuable lesson.

 

Don’t Lose Your Head over El Dorado

 Origin: From the book The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Lesson: Improvisation can get you killed, instead, plan to the end. 

Character: Vasco de Balboa

Synopsis: Vasco de Balboa went out in search for the land of gold: El Dorado. There were many obstacles in his path, and most of the created by his own impetuosity.

 

The Birth of Modern Architecture

Origin: From the book Mastery by Robert Greene

Lesson: Create your own ideal mentorship program

Character: Frank Lloyd Wright

Synopsis: Wright would revolutionize modern architecture. Even at 20 years old he had a grand vision for what the field could be. Yet he was still too young. He knew he needed to develop certain skills he did not have. To accomplish this he conscientiously chose mentors that could teach him the skills he needed to acquire.

 

The Apron Man

Origin: From the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Lesson: An immigrant’s secret recipe to achieving meaningful work

Character: Louis Borgenicht

Synopsis: Many immigrants flee their home countries for the land of opportunity. The Borgenicht family was no different. They arrived in the early 1900s New York City. Though overwhelmed, Louis and family navigated the busy life by performing the tasks that most immigrants were doing. Then one day, after watching some young girls play a game outside, Louis was struck with a vision for a business. He would find not only financial success, but also the feeling of achieving meaning in his work.

 

The WHATDOYOUDO Monster

Origin: From the book The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Lesson: The new rich invest in lifestyles today rather than pining for a dream lifestyle to be attained at the end of one’s life

 Character: Tim Ferriss

Synopsis: A story about how Tim Ferriss answers the most boring question ever: “So, what do you do?”

 

The Fearless Lawyer 

Origin: From the book The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Lesson: You must face your fear in order to overcome it 

Character: Hans Keeling (the lawyer who quit his job after jumping off a mountain)

Synopsis: For some people quitting and following your passion is the easiest thing in the world, for most it is the hardest. For Hans Keeling he had to jump off a mountain and lose consciousness at 3,000 feet.

 

Darwin's’ Smarter cousin

 Origin: From the book Mastery by Robert Greene

 Lesson: Talent and intelligence are not indicators for future success

Character: Charles Darwin and his cousin 

Synopsis: No one has ever heard of Sir Francis Galton, but he was Charles’ smarter cousin. As children Galton excelled the father of evolution in every field imaginable, especially science. He had a successful career—for the time. But it was the less intelligent Charles who changes the course of human events.

 

Amazon’s Black Box

Origin: From the book The Alliance by Reid Hoffman

Lesson: Create a company culture that values the founder’s mindset

Character: Benjamin Black

Synopsis: Disney fired John Lasseter for his “wild idea” of creating a feature length film done completely on a computer. He joined forces with Pixar. Disney lost a multi-billion dollar company deal. At Amazon, Benjamin Black had a wild idea to utilize Amazon’s efficiency to build computer servers that could be used by smaller companies. Thus was born Amazon Web Services, a 10 billion dollar breadwinner.

 

The Dragonfly in Silicon Valley

Origin: From the book The Alliance by Reid Hoffman

 Lesson: To stay competitive, the modern employer, and the modern employee, must seek transformative “tours of duty” rather than traditional “lifetime employment”

 Character: David Hahn

 Synopsis: Hahn began as a lowly analyst in Silicon valley. But by building strategic alliances through shorter-term tours of duty, he eventually became the most sought after executive in California.