My Music

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Here's my SoundCloud link:

Just kidding. This is a different kind of music.

In April 2013 I was finishing up a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I was listening to a sermon when I heard this phrase:

"Don't die with your music still in you."

That phrase has always stuck with me no matter what experience is taking up the focus of my life. I walked away from that with an intense to desire to take what I've learned and make sure it gets heard. Not just for me to make sure I get my moment, but to leave what I've learned to future generations.

This page is an opportunity for me to look back at the times when I've captured "my music," the things I want to leave behind for others.

This is also an archive for me to capture the ideas that are true regardless of my circumstances. My guiding principles.

My Principles

"Whatever you are, be a good one." (Abraham Lincoln)

The first time I heard this was actually in a joke by Mike Birbiglia specifically pointing out how it was a stupid quote. But the more I've thought about it, the more it resonates with me. I don't want to be the person who has biased expectations of what people should or shouldn't be. Whatever you want to be, you should strive to excel at that thing and become the very best you can.

"Don't rain on somebody's hustle." (Alex Spencer)

I wrote an article called 🛶Is The Lean Startup a Stupid Way to Start a Company? where I critiqued a book that I disagreed with. A friend of mine, Alex Spencer, mentioned that he didn't disagree with me, but that he tried never to "rain on someone's hustle" when they're working hard towards something. Interesting debate between constructive criticism vs. "raining on someone's hustle" when I used it in a twitter thread a while back.

"Prepare for the worst, and expect the best to come from it." (Lori Harrison)

When I was a senior in high school I ran for Student Body President. My Mom helped me work hard to prepare, to campaign, to talk with people, and position myself well. The result of the election was going to be announced in a big assembly in front of the whole school. My Mom told me that if I lost, I could just slip out the back and we could go to lunch. That wasn't a lack of faith in my ability to win. It was a conscious decision to understand all the possible outcomes and put in place a good plan.

“Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive.” (Chris Hadfield)
“Don’t look for a partner in someone who completes you or who needs you to complete them. Be two complete people who love being around each other.” (Lori Harrison)

I have seen this be true both in finding a spouse and in working relationships.

“Don’t look to complain. Look to improve.” (Clint Topham)

My Music: The Greatest Hits

At the end of my mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:

After hearing this quote on my mission I sat down to capture what I had learned that I wanted to leave behind for other missionaries. This was very specific as something I left with people who were still serving their religious missions.

At the end of college:

I looked back at college as a transformative experience that has shaped a big part of my life going forward. I tried to shove just about everything I thought I had learned into one presentation without holding back much.

After my first job:

When I left my first job as an analyst at TCV I wrote a guide to becoming the best PE analyst you could. I've redacted a lot of the stuff that was very TCV specific but still share this sometimes for people going right into investing after undergrad.

I also wrote a more generalized guide in the Investing 101 2.0Investing 101 2.0 wiki: Sourcing a DealSourcing a Deal

Other Examples