Adapted from “Three Generations from the Outhouse” a book by Fred Hanish of Republic Wealth Advisors
The Charles Schwab Corporation, which today has over $2.6 trillion in assets and serves over nine million client brokerage accounts, was, of course, founded by Mr. Charles Schwab. Now, while Charles Schwab did in fact graduate with both a BA in economics and an MBA from Stanford University—today considered one of the best schools in the world—he managed to get these degrees while having a substantial case of dyslexia which remained undiagnosed until he was 40 years old (when his own son was diagnosed and he created a foundation to assist children with this disorder).
So how did he do it? Well, he almost didn’t, barely graduating from Stanford and flunking English twice. In a 2003 interview in USA Today, Schwab said:
“I didn’t quit, because I was really good in other things, terrific in math and science and anything that didn’t deal with words. I was good in sports. I had good skills in dealing with people…. Many things are important. Character, ethics, communications skills, consistency, analytical skills, relationship skills. Those are important for leaders…. It was painful, but not completely debilitating. I made sure I worked damn hard on things I could do well. You find out what you can do well, and you focus on it and work double hard. I worked hard on this company and the creation of different financial services over 25 years. But I don’t think it was a reaction to overcoming dyslexia. Everyone likes to do well in life. We aspire to do the best we can with what we’re dealt with.”
Let’s re-read that last line: “We aspire to do the best we can with what we’re dealt with.” That’s why it’s so important to invest in yourself, so you know what you can and can’t do, and so you can compensate in whatever ways are necessary to guarantee your success. In fact, many successful entrepreneurs—including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs—became entrepreneurs because they had no choice. They had to do something, and that’s when they were forced to go out and start their own business. In fact, many very successful people who have ADHD or dyslexia or other challenging conditions realize early on the importance of hiring competent staff members who can handle all the tedious administrative paperwork, technical details, and computer-related time killers that would otherwise drive them insane.
Essentially, these folks have learned to outsource their weaknesses and focus on their strengths. In my last four or five years at Russell Investments this concept really struck home. I discovered I didn’t want to finish my career in a big-time corporate job, especially with regard to many of the day-to-day tasks I was charged with. I retained a life coach back then, and he said to me, “Why are you doing that? You stink at it. Find a way to outsource it. Do what you’re good at instead.” This can be kind of tricky, because we have a natural instinct to try to concentrate on what we’re bad at so we can do a better job of it. But my coach said, “Look, Fred, there are people who make a small fraction of what you make that do this function a thousand times better than you do. Hire them, and have them do it.”
The same principle applies to managing your wealth. You might enjoy researching investment ideas. You might even be good at it. But is it the best, most profitable way to use your time? Probably not. Your highest payoff will more likely come from doing more of whatever made you wealthy in the first place.
Far better, then, to outsource your wealth management to specialists like Republic Wealth Advisors. This will free you to focus on your best work, and to enjoy time with your family and friends.
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