Here are “20 Important Lessons I Learned When I Had Lunch With Carl Icahn”:
1. Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today. If you procrastinate now, you may end up panicking later.
2. When instigators try to cause trouble, instead of lashing out, string them along until they think they have you, but really you led them right in to their own noose.
3. Try to fill your personal and professional life with the people, places and things that you love/care about. If you do that, then you will feel more comfortable, more at peace, happier, not dread certain activities as much, etc.
4. Know the limit of crap that you are willing to put up with, and never let the line be crossed. Find out what your personal and professional ability limits are, and always try to push/break through those limits.
5. Always know the data/information, but always follow your heart.
6. Make sure the people that you love know exactly how you feel about them.
7. Never fight a battle that isn’t worth fighting.
8. Stand with the people who have stood with you. Stand beside them, in front of them, behind them. Wherever they need you to stand, stand there, no matter what. Loyalty above all things but love. Because loyalty in today’s world, is more rare than flying unicorns.
9. If you have regrets from your younger years, it is your responsibility to make sure that your offspring don’t have to have the same regrets you do.
10. If your wife and/or kids have to wonder about when the next time they are going to see you is, then it’s too long of a time.
11. Invest in people, not companies, because companies are people. Not one single company logo, asset, or piece of equipment ever made a good or bad decision. The #1 secret to making the right investments, is investing in and/or with the right people.
12. There are 24 hours in a day. You should work at least 8 hours and sleep at least 8 hours. That means you have 8 choice hours. You can add more hours to work, to play, or to family. The amount of time you spend working does not count towards time you spend with your family, even though you are working those hours to support your family. The time you spend with your family, is the time you spend with your family.
13. People who cheat on their wives or husbands will cheat you. I don’t do business with them. They changed the laws, so now I can’t ask someone if they’re married, so now I ask them to tell me about themselves, and if they don’t mention their wife and/or kids, they are either still young men and/or women, or they aren’t worth doing business with.
14. Let other people make excuses while you get things done. The excuse makers may get away with looking like they actually did something once or twice, but eventually the right people will notice, and you’ll appreciated for making things happen, and not for making excuses.
15. Give everything that you care about and do 100% of your effort. Start to finish 100%. Anybody with a little bit of brains, and 100% effort, is capable of just about anything.
16. Sometimes you might have to face off with someone. Do what you have to do, but never go behind their back. Your enemy’s will grow to respect you. They may not like you, but they will respect you. Sometimes they become allies, but having respect from your enemies, shows everyone else you are a man or woman of your word.
17. Women and men can be equal but take it on a case by case basis. Sometimes a woman is superior, and sometimes a man is superior, but it’s not all women or all men are either superior or inferior. That’s the fair way to look at it.
18. Race, same thing as women and men. It’s a case by case basis. Always look deeper than the skin color. Skin color is a trait, not a talent, a skill, an ability, a drive, a passion, a potential, or some other valuable tool or skill set that a person may possess. If you only look at race, you will lose the race. Point made. Let’s move on.
19. Don’t give your time to anybody who isn’t worth it. Work is time, but you have to pay that time. Your family, friends and you, deserve your time. If you give your time away to unworthy people, you are giving your life away. Don’t do that.
20. Don’t compromise your beliefs. You might be a cog in a wheel to earn a living. That is doing what you have to do. What I’m talking about is with your time, your body, your mind. Compromising is a choice. When you are at work, you are selling your time for money. That’s what you have to do, but never compromise your personal time, your body, and your mind.
I live by these principles. A person with principles knows what they want. They respect themselves and they respect others.
Thank you for a wonderful experience, from the great conversation, to the incredible food at The Mansion Restaurant on Turtle Creek, to the way that you were ready to get started working together as soon as possible.
Cheers my friend, and I’m looking forward to coming to visit you in New York next year.
Michael “MJ The Terrible” Johnson
Founder & Owner of Masters of Money, LLC.