Archive for October, 2011

  • The #1 Most Effective Habit
    Posted by on October 31st, 2011 at 6:55 pm, Comments: 0

    [This was a guest post I did over the weekend at TechCrunch].

    There was a girl at the party, Ona, who then started telling me how she met her current boyfriend. She just simply told him she liked him. I was insanely jealous right then of this guy. Here was this beautiful, hysterically funny girl who told a guy she liked him and now he was having regular sex with her.

    That doesn’t happen, right? It never happened to me. I sat there nodding, not being able to say anything but thinking, what if she said, “I like you” to me right then. I would’ve been happy. Instead, I got depressed and went to sit on the stairs.

  • I Surrender
    Posted by on October 30th, 2011 at 5:18 pm, Comments: 0

    I was going to go out of business or get sued.

    I had just started my fund of hedge funds and on our fourth month in business our main investor said, “I’m going out of business and I need my money back.” Apparently he had never told HIS investors that he was putting money in a fund of funds and he had promised them their money back right away.  I couldn’t give him his money back for at least a year. He had given me around $20 million.

    I had to do something.

  • ASK JAMES: ADULTERY, DECISION MAKING, INTERVIEW ANXIETY, and LIFE DEFINITION
    Posted by on October 28th, 2011 at 10:00 pm, Comments: 0

    Summary and more in depth answers from this Thursday’s Twitter Q&A. Every Thursday from 3:30-4:30 I’m around on Twitter answering any questions about anything. Even stuff I have no clue on. Try me.

    HOW DO I GET OVER INTERVIEW ANXIETY

    Michael Kane (@unionkane) asks: What are your tips for interviewing? I always seem to choke up and get performance anxiety. Thanks!

    ANSWER: Before an interview:

    - Know everything you can about the history of the business you are interviewing for. How did it start. The backgrounds of the founders. What were the goals of the business. How they’ve changed. When the business has faltered in the past. With any large company you can always find this out.

  • Are You a Dirty Entrepreneur?
    Posted by on October 26th, 2011 at 4:09 pm, Comments: 0

    The man was crying in my office.  He was interviewing to be head of sales at my company. We made websites for entertainment companies.

    It started out differently. He had come in confident. He wasn’t tragic yet and the mythology of all of our success still permeated the room. “How come you are no longer managing [insert magazine devoted to hip-hop culture that was funded by famous rap star whose name started with a “P”]?”

    “We got big fast and then P stopped paying the bills,” the aspiring head of sales said. “I loved that magazine. I thought I was going to do it for the rest of my life.”

  • The 9 Skills Needed to Become a Super Connector
    Posted by on October 24th, 2011 at 2:37 pm, Comments: 0

    [I did this as a guest post on TechCrunch yesterday and now publishing here.]

    I know why I’m not a billionaire. Other than having the consistent self-sabotaging quality of destroying money in massive bonfires every time I sell a company I also have a severe psychosocial disorder which makes me a horrible connector of people. Connecting people who can benefit each other is the most useful skill you can have on the entrepreneurial ladder of skills. When you help others make money by connecting them together, the world forces itself into the moeubius strip of success that brings the money right back to you times ten. Some billionaires are great at it. If I write Mark Cuban an email he responds in two seconds even though he doesn’t even know me. He’s a “Super Connector”. I know quite a few talented super connectors and they will be very successful as they grow into it. Future Mark Cubans.[See, "How I Helped Mark Cuban Make a Billion Dollars and 5 Other Things I learned from him".]