Think at Your Best and Work (Consistently) Hard

So, I was listening to CNN on my drive this morning when a guest came on to talk about his book: Rich Like Them.

Here’s a short description of the book…

While academics frequently conduct research to try to unlock the secrets of garnering great wealth, Esquire editor D’Agostino took a more direct—and more entertaining—route: he picked the 20 wealthiest neighborhoods in America and went door to door, garnering interviews with 50 very wealthy, very different individuals—including doctors, art dealers, real estate moguls and one shrimp-peeling–machine manufacturer. Many of the author’s subjects confessed that they have been less motivated by a drive for wealth than a desire for a certain lifestyle, an obsession with a certain field and a need for independence, and that focus, passion and street smarts have contributed more to their success than luck or any formal training. Several of his interviewees leveraged their success through reinvestment, often in real estate, raising the question of how well their net worths have survived in the current credit crunch. While D’Agostino freely admits that his sample is far from scientific, weighted heavily to friendly people who happened to be at home when he went calling, his debut is witty and inspiring. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



D’Agostina highlighted two ideas that came out in his interviews: 1) have good ideas (by thinking about what’s needed to make the world, or a particular world, better, and 2) work hard (and long). He found these two ideas to be central to the success of those he interviewed.

It’s the working hard and long that intrigues me. Successful people tell us that hard and long work is part of the deal. Psychologists and spiritual mentors tell us rest and reflection, “getting away,” from the daily routine AND limiting how much energy we give work (in order to avoid burn out) is critical to a full life.


Who is right?

Is there a way really a way to combine them? What do you think? Stay tuned for more on this…


One Comment

  1. KC January 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Dave- this is a very interesting post. I think Aristotle said it best: where the needs of this world and a man’s passion intersect, that should be your vocation. To that end, I think many of these wealthy people have hit that sweet spot where their work is in fact their relaxation. It doesn’t feel like work and long, hard hours. It is their place to relax, reflect. My two cents anyway. Have a good weekend!

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