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THINK BIGGER

And 39 Other Winning Strategies from Successful Entrepreneurs





Michael W. Sonnenfeldt,

Founder, Tiger 21

















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Acknowledgments

Writing a book like this was a challenge beyond what I could have imagined. I have learned things about the unique nature of some very successful entrepreneurs through the intimate experiences I shared with fellow members of Tiger 21 over the past two decades. Translating and clarifying those insights into a book that would be of interest to others was where the real challenge lay.

I knew I would need to partner with a writer who not only could focus more intently on this project than my schedule would allow but also bring skills I did not have. My agent, Jim Levine, introduced me to Ed Tivnan, a deeply experienced reporter and writer. Ed had the skills and experience writing books and interviewing people—something I simply lacked. Our original focus was to capture the insights I had been developing and see what was there. As we built an initial collection of ideas and themes, it was clear that we needed to conduct more interviews with Tiger 21 members to see how their experiences could lead us to further insights. We spent a full year pursuing and digesting interviews. Ed handled the majority of them and eventually realized the best way to organize all of these insights was through the vehicle of a lesson book. What seems obvious now was not at all obvious then.

While my own story is woven throughout the book, and I knew of or identified many of the interviewees through the help of the Tiger 21 chairs who lead and facilitate each of our 35 groups, Ed did the heavy lifting for much of the book. Yes, it is my story, but his efforts are all over it. I could not have made the progress I did without his terrific work on the project.

When I thought we were done, I had the good fortune, through my close friend and book mentor Seth Siegel (who helped with just about every major decision I made on this book), to be introduced to Bari Weiss, a young superstar book review editor then at the Wall Street Journal. I was curious how she thought the book would be received, but after reading it, she immediately commented that we had not included enough stories about women entrepreneurs and any unique lessons they might have to share. Bingo! In my initial rush to capture as many stories as possible, I didn’t think about the mix of the interviewees. Fortunately, Bari and I were able to capture a few important stories from Tiger 21 members who were women. I am enormously grateful for Bari’s additional insights and the interviews she did that added the voices of more of our female members.

In addition to the many editing changes Bari made, I also received important editing suggestions from Arthur Goldwag at a critical time in the book’s development, and from Christina Verigan, assigned to me by Wiley. Then the production team at Wiley really put the finishing touches on the book with their deft editing.

Throughout the project, Kathleen Dunleavy, with whom I have had the pleasure of working for 30 years, kept me on track with all the details I would have otherwise have missed. As usual, her assistance was simply invaluable, and I could not have gotten through the myriad of details without her. She has been the most constant professional colleague of my career, without whose help I would be lost most of the time.

However, my deepest appreciation goes to the many members of Tiger 21 who were kind enough to share their stories with me and share the insights that their extraordinary careers allowed them to develop. Not all of them made it into the book, but even those that didn’t have helped me learn important lessons I might not have ever been exposed to. Learning from fellow members has been one of the primary joys of my life for the past 20 years. I am endlessly fascinated by my fellow members’ stories and ever grateful for their willingness to share in a way that I, and other members, can learn from and grow. Not only were the many chairs at Tiger 21 helpful in identifying members with great stories, but a few of them also shared their own important experiences. (Thank you, Cal Simmons, Barbara Roberts, Charlie Garcia, and Chris Ryan, for your stories and insights.) I also want to recognize the key professionals on the Tiger 21 staff with whom I have worked for the last decade and more. We could not have created the platform from which this book springs without your creativity, dedication, and brilliant execution.

A first book project is an entirely new experience, and at each stage, expectations have to recalibrated. My agent, Jim Levine, has been a great guide along the way. We were extremely lucky to have received interest from Steve Isaacs at Bloomberg Books, and Tula Weis and Sheck Cho at Wiley. I am indebted to the whole Bloomberg and Wiley teams for giving me this opportunity.

I am sure I have forgotten or omitted many others along the way whose insights added immeasurably to the finished product. Over the past three years, I sought and received input from countless people, many of whom made critical differences along the way. Thanks to all of you.

While I am primarily responsible for the creation and evolution of Tiger 21, as an organization, it has grown far beyond my specific contributions. My initial partner, Richard Lavin, ran Tiger 21 for its first five years. His attention to detail and commitment to the concept allowed us to get up and running. He taught me a lesson based on his deep restaurant experience: Kiss your customers on all four cheeks. We simply could not have grown into the organization we have become today without Richard’s initial participation. Then Tommy Gallagher stepped in. In a remarkably short time, Tommy took a small New York–based organization and created a national footprint. We saw remarkable increases in our membership and our staff during his tenure. Tommy has been a steadfast partner for almost all of Tiger 21’s history, and one of my best friends to boot. I have been pleased to share this journey with him. In 2009, Jonathan Kempner joined Tiger 21 as president and brought experience we simply never had. While providing a steady hand for the six years he was at the helm, he was almost always a real pleasure to work with. When he insisted on developing our annual conference, despite my objections, it turned out to be one of the most transformational activities in our 20-year history. Jonathan forever changed Tiger 21 with his insights about how to build a large organization and how best to serve our members interests’. We now are being led by Barbara Goodstein as CEO, and under her leadership, we are growing even faster. We have just opened London, and I can’t wait to see what evolves in the coming years.

I have had the good fortune of being associated with Harley Frank for almost 35 years. Over that time period, we have worked together in almost every business I have been involved with, and he has always brought a unique perspective and unmatched creative energy. The idea of translating the wisdom from our members’ experiences into a book was Harley’s, and for a number of years he relentlessly pushed me to write it. Without Harley’s initial energy pushing me forward in the early stages, there would never have been a book. Harley impresses me with his interesting, creative one-off marketing, branding, and promotional ideas more than anyone else in my orbit. While I hope this book turns out to be the best of them, it is only one of many of his ideas that I have benefited from over all these years.

Finally, it is my wife, Katja, and our four children to whom I am personally most indebted. All the sacrifices, schedule changes, trip cancellations, missed dinners, interrupted dinners, and endless distractions that my personality has driven me to accept have most often come at the expense of spending time with each of them, and most of all, with Katja. Without their support, encouragement, acquiescence, and acceptance, the activities and events I have shared in this book, and the book itself, would never have come to be. For that and so much more I am forever grateful.

Introduction

Every year in the United States, half a million men and women decide to take the biggest risk of their lives in pursuit of a dream. To get there, some of them take out a second mortgage on their homes. Some of them wipe out their savings. Others borrow money or seek investments from friends and family. Some drop out of college. Others uproot their families. And some leave high-paying jobs with corner offices at prestigious companies.

They all do this in order to start a business of their own. To be their own boss. To create jobs for people in their communities. To make something entirely new, or perhaps just something much more efficient. And, yes, frequently with the hope of making millions of dollars.

These risk-takers decide to leap despite the fact that the odds they face are, by any reasonable measure, absolutely dismal. About two-thirds of the businesses they start, according to the Small Business Administration, will fail within 10 years. And that’s a sunny estimate! Forbes magazine claims that the number of deaths is closer to 90 percent.1 A Harvard Business School professor recently studied 10 years of data on more than 2,000 startups that were so well planned and positioned that they received venture capital funding. But even 75 percent of these best picks failed to return their initial capital.

When you read those statistics it seems a miracle that so many Americans even try to start a business, knowing it might mean going broke; losing money borrowed from family, friends, and investors; or potentially damaging or destroying their reputations.

Who are these seemingly delusional people who dwell among us? We have a fancy word for them—entrepreneurs—but that title doesn’t begin to capture this unique breed of exceptionally gritty people.

Chances are when you hear the word entrepreneur you think of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard dorm room or Apple’s two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) tinkering in a Los Altos garage. Or perhaps the scrappier startups of Shark Tank leap to mind.

Me? I think of people like Gary Mendell, who started flipping burgers and went on to build a hotel management and development company that sold a $300 million hotel portfolio to Starwood. Or of Pete Settle, a lawyer and engineer, who founded a school-bus company that became one of the nation’s largest student-transportation providers. I think of Will Ade, who lost his job at a Texas oil firm and started his own wildcat exploration consultancy based in Singapore, giving him a net worth beyond anything he could have ever dreamed of.

If you’ve picked up this book, chances are you see yourself as a future Zuckerberg or Jobs or Mendell or Settle or Ade. Or perhaps you’re wondering if you have what it takes to become a professional daredevil.

Maybe you’re a bit further along your journey—5 or 10 years into your successful startup. You’re wondering whether or not to sell or go public and finding that even though you’ve got lots of friends in finance, their advice is coming up short. Or maybe you’re like me: a person who’s built a successful career on taking risks that others deemed crazy.

I got in the game at 24 years old after two jobs. I wanted to pursue a real estate development opportunity that I had been noodling on since I was 17, right after I dropped out of freshman year at the University of Michigan. That summer, I was working in a warehouse on the Jersey City waterfront. Only a few thousand feet across the Hudson River from the end of the pier where I took my lunch breaks, Wall Street was bursting at the seams with new data centers and expanding operations. Those expansions were starting to leapfrog the Jersey waterfront to remote suburban campuses, which felt like Siberia to employees. The railroads had owned most of the Jersey waterfront across from Manhattan, and their midcentury bankruptcies and reorganizations had blinded developers to the obvious advantages of setting up data centers and back offices five minutes from Wall Street.

My idea was so bold that most real estate veterans did not think anyone could pull it off—never mind a no-name twenty-something who’d never developed anything in his life. I wanted to convert a rundown, 2.5-million-square-foot warehouse into the new home for lower Manhattan’s high-tech office expansion plans.

After 18 months and a couple of false starts, the $25 million deal went through and the Harborside Terminal quickly became America’s largest commercial renovation project. Little could I have known that the project, which over the next three decades evolved into a mixed-use office, retail, hotel, and condominium complex, would be viewed as a vanguard in terms of waterfront development and one of the most successful real estate deals in New York metropolitan history.

Four and half years after we bought Harborside, my partner and I cashed out. We had achieved a level of success beyond anything we could have imagined.

In the decades that followed, I had a few more victories, but I also endured some painful defeats. Along the way I was forced to come to grips with my own limitations. If you’re smarting from a business that went bust or learning the hard lesson of what risky really means, trust me. I’ve been there.

One important lesson I realized early on was that the undergraduate and graduate degrees I proudly earned at MIT’s Sloan School (after returning to college following an 18-month stint of work I did after dropping out of Michigan) rarely provided the critical difference in the making of a deal. Don’t get me wrong, having B.S. and M.S. degrees from MIT has been one of the fastest ways to build credibility during my career, and the amazing education I received there gave me perspective and knowledge that I could not have easily duplicated elsewhere, and I am proud, to this day, to be an MIT alum. But what saved me, time and time again, wasn’t my education, but the wisdom of other people who had already been through something I was wrestling with for the first time and their perspectives gained over decades of experiences I was yet to have.

See, that first deal of mine would never have happened without my mentor and partner, David Fromer. He was twice my age: I was in high school while the Vietnam War was raging; David had won three Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star during World War II. He’d then spent 30 years buying, building, and selling real estate in Los Angeles, London, and Saudi Arabia. Without David’s wisdom, experience, and penchant for risk taking, that New Jersey waterfront project, and all the dozens of deals that came after that for me, wouldn’t have been possible.

Common wisdom has it that the best teacher is experience. Indeed, in my 40-year career as an entrepreneur, I have found that the best teacher is experience—someone else’s experience. Each and every time, what helped me build multiple businesses (and nonprofit organizations, too) was the hard-won advice of other entrepreneurs.

Nineteen years ago, after I sold my second company, I felt that I was more than a little at sea, and I was in desperate need of advice from others who had traveled the same road before me.

I decided to do something about it.

The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century (Tiger 21)—what is today the premier peer-to-peer learning network for high-net-worth wealth creators in North America—was the result. It began with a single group of six entrepreneurs in New York City who had all sold their businesses. All of us were post our liquidity event, and we all felt challenged to wisely preserve our wealth, while also exploring issues of relevance, legacy, family, philanthropy, and the big what’s next.

It turns out that I wasn’t the only entrepreneur who craved the advice and community that only fellow entrepreneurs could provide. Unlike those who work in hedge funds, banks, or traditional businesses, entrepreneurs lack the structure and institutional knowledge that these more established businesses provide.

Entrepreneurs need guidance—and not just when they’re starting out. They need guidance when they’re growing their companies and pulling them through the inevitable crises that pop up. Those lucky few whose businesses become valuable enough to sell need it even more. The right advice can position a sale to yield multiples of after-tax or philanthropic dollars that might have been lost because of poor planning or missed opportunities. It can save an entrepreneur from jumping into a sale prematurely and help prepare him or her for what comes next—which is often even more challenging. There are any number of people and firms who will offer you investment and management advice for a price. But objective, disinterested guidance from fellow entrepreneurs who have already built and sold companies of their own is awfully hard to come by.

Today, Tiger 21 has grown beyond my wildest expectations. We have 40 groups in 35 cities across the United States and Canada. All told, our 500-plus members have a collective net worth of over $50 billion (and control assets with value in excess of $100 billion, when you add the financial and real estate assets some of them manage for others). We are currently expanding around the globe. Our first London group convened in the spring of 2017.

Although we have our share of current and former partners in Wall Street firms and major real estate companies who bring critical insights from the front lines of finance to our meetings, the majority of our members—some of whom you will meet in these pages—made their fortunes on Main Street, in fields ranging from coin-operated washing machines and medical supplies to payday loans, tax liens, and legal services. The majority of them come from working- and middle-class families; many are still friends with their high school classmates. Most are justifiably uncomfortable about discussing the unique challenges and opportunities that come from having made it big, and when they do open up, they tend to be more inclined to talk about their screwups than their successes.

Once a month, all of us break away from our businesses, investments, philanthropies, hobbies, and families to spend the day speaking frankly and confidentially with one another about everything relating to our businesses and even our lives and families. Many members refer to Tiger 21 as their “personal board of directors”—their most reliable source for honest, no-holds-barred advice in just about every important aspect of their lives. I’ve come to think of it as a one-of-a-kind laboratory of success.

This book started when I asked myself a question: What have I learned from my nearly 20 years of intimate connection to some of North America’s most successful and creative entrepreneurs?

A lot, it turns out. Beyond the business tips and investment advice and support that I was looking for in the beginning, I’ve gained a deep and highly personal understanding of what makes me and other entrepreneurs tick—knowledge that would be incredibly useful to anyone who has their own idea for a startup, is building a business, is thinking about selling one, or who already has.

Access to this formidable brain trust generally requires a minimum of $10 million in investible assets and an annual fee of $30,000. Until now! In the following pages I will take you deep inside our exclusive network—and happily waive the fee.

Sharing this wisdom has never been more important. That’s because we are at a very precarious economic and political moment in our nation’s history. The wealth gap between the rich and poor is starker than ever. And our country’s once-thriving middle class is eroding, largely thanks to globalization and the advent of brilliant new technologies.

Concern over the lack of good jobs here at home reached a fever pitch during the 2016 presidential election, in which candidates of both parties promised to bring jobs back—even if it meant passing protectionist policies that, in reality, would actually harm the very people they are trying to help. Such promises create false hopes.

The hard truth is that the jobs that have been offshored to China, Mexico, and the rest of the developing world only represent about 15 percent of the job losses everyone is talking about. The rest—85 percent—were gobbled up by automation. No one is going to retire the robots that play a growing role in our factories. No one is going to unlearn the technology behind self-driving cars, and no one is going to unplug the computers that run so much of our lives.

If we want to create jobs in this country, we can’t look to steep tariffs on imports or impenetrable borders. We need to look to entrepreneurs.

Historically, entrepreneurs have created many of the private-sector jobs that have underpinned our economy, contributing mightily to the steepest rise in standards of living that the world has ever seen. The same has been true of the past 70 years. Jobs haven’t primarily been created by the big, established firms, but by the entrepreneurial enterprises that continue to be the engine of American economic growth.

This will be the case even more in the future. The primary source of new, sustainable jobs will be small companies founded by entrepreneurs, some of which will grow into behemoths in the years to come.

Those entrepreneurs will need all the support they can get from political leaders in Washington and statehouses across the nation. Some would define the challenge as removing all the obstacles that have been erected. The problem is that right now, far too many members of the political class, even the most pro-business among them, have a faulty understanding of who entrepreneurs are and why they do what they do. My hope is that the stories in this book will give policy makers a better understanding of how we tick and, thus, what we—as a country—need the most.

Entrepreneurs are not saints, of course, nor are we public servants, even though the enterprises we’ve created have contributed mightily to our nation’s prosperity.

But if working on this book has taught me anything, it is that successful entrepreneurs are a special species in the world of business. They are different from corporate leaders (though many of the best entrepreneurs are also great leaders) and from professional investors (though many talented investors have built their own companies). And while the best entrepreneurs do display certain psychological and character traits that are common to success stories in other fields—like self-discipline, grit, and tolerance for risk—I would bet that if you took a random sample of entrepreneurs, you would find that the most successful among us tend to have even higher levels of those traits, supercharged by an optimism that psychologists would label delusional. When you add to that mix the ambition that a poor or lower-middle-class background or a broken home can nurture, a unique set of traits comes into focus.

If you come up short on too many of those traits, even years of study, planning, and dedication will not suffice to make you an entrepreneur. But if you do have them—and I suspect you might if you picked up this book—you can cultivate and develop them.

To those people who can’t stomach the idea of going back to school, or formal education in general, take heart: Many of the most successful entrepreneurs I know are not book smart, but are quite brilliant in their own ways, and they are often particularly well endowed with a level of emotional intelligence that makes them inspiring leaders. They are often endlessly curious, too. I’ve also detected a high incidence of learning issues, such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, among entrepreneurs. It seems the more obstacles they have successfully overcome, the more likely entrepreneurial success becomes.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned can be summed up in a quote from David Russell, one of our original Tiger 21 members: “When I was young, they used to say on TV, ‘The smart money is doing this, the smart money is doing that.’ I finally got to be wealthy, and I find out that ‘the smart money’ is just as stupid as everyone else.” Amen to that. As smart as you and I might be in one area or maybe two, we are likely to be clueless in many others. I’ve been humbled enough times to admit that I have my own blind spots—and I’ve relied on other entrepreneurs to help shine a light on them. I sincerely hope this book will help you do the same, no matter where you are on your journey as an entrepreneur.

Note

STAGE 1
Self-Assessment

That degree in business or finance or accounting definitely looks good on your résumé. You’ve also got an MBA? Well done. You’re probably qualified for a job at a great company.

If you’re looking to build a company from scratch, however, you’ll need a lot more than book smarts. In fact, being too thoughtful or analytical is likely to keep you from making the fast decisions that are required to keep a new company afloat. But if you hate your job or your boss, don’t fit in, or can’t compete with your peers because of a learning disability—if you have this idea for a business but your friends and family think you’re crazy to pursue it—congratulations. You might have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. But before you make your move, you must look deep into your character and gauge whether you can really juggle an endless number of competing demands and are armed with the traits that mark the successful entrepreneur, a whole other species of businessperson. Some of you will have no other choice than to give it a go.

LESSON 1
Know Thyself!

Young people often ask me, “What should I do?” Many of us have been there, just out of college or business school, searching for a job or trying to make a decision about a career. If you’re lucky, you have some options. You wonder, “Should I take this job or that one?” Or maybe you think, “I just got an offer for a high-paying job in a major corporation, but I also have a great idea for a business. What should I do?”

These questions are posed as if one alternative might be better than the other on some objective scale. But nothing could be more subjective. It depends entirely on who’s asking the question. What’s your personality? How strong is your drive? How much grit and determination do you have? Do you crave individuality? Success? The only possible answer is: Know thyself.

Has there ever been advice so ancient, so well known, and so ignored ? “Know thyself” was already a common maxim in the fourth century B.C., when it was emblazoned on the entrance to the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, home of the Delphic Oracle. In several of Plato’s dialogues, Socrates notes the importance of this wisdom to living a virtuous life. And it’s just as relevant today as it was back then.

I realized the importance of self-awareness as I grew older and was transitioning from one career to another. By my midtwenties, I had ruled out working for the government or a large corporation. I had nothing against either type of institution; my problem was more personal.

I am about as proud of my father as any son I know. Richard Sonnenfeldt lived an extraordinary life by any measure. Born in Germany, his parents sent him and his younger brother to a boarding school in England when he was 16. It was 1938, and the decision was part of a plan to move the family from Nazi Germany. One year later, World War II was under way. England declared him, as it did all German refugees 16 and older, an “enemy alien.” He was deported to an Australian internment camp. But it didn’t take him long to convince his English captors that he was a Jewish refugee who wanted to fight Nazis—not be imprisoned with them.

On the trip back to England, his ship was torpedoed off the coast of India. As a 17-year-old refugee, he spent the next six months working as a manager of a radio factory in Bombay. In May 1941, he arrived in the United States, his fourth continent in three years. There, he was reunited with his parents, who had escaped from Germany and settled in Baltimore. Two years later, he enlisted in the army (receiving automatic citizenship for doing so), getting his chance to fight Nazis at the Battle of the Bulge and helping to liberate the Dachau concentration camp. In mid-1945, General Bill Donovan, the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and eventual founder of the CIA, selected him as an interpreter for the Nuremberg war crimes trials. He quickly rose, at the age of 23, to become the chief interpreter for the American prosecution. My father and a British major went from cell to cell to personally deliver the indictments to the 21 principal defendants at the first and most famous Nuremberg trial. He became the personal interpreter for Hermann Göring, the second in command of the German Third Reich.

Despite his extensive wartime experience, my father had yet to graduate from high school. Returning to Baltimore, he was directly admitted to the Johns Hopkins School of Engineering, from which he graduated in record time. Years later, he became the Distinguished Alumnus of the class of 1949. He held the final patents on color TV, which he designed while a young engineer at RCA, invented a circuit used in all radar detectors in the free world since 1951, and led the team that sent the first NASA satellite into space. And later in his career, he was dean of a business school too.

I can’t imagine a better set of genes to have inherited. Guided by his amazing intuition, he trained me from an early age to have the confidence that I could achieve almost anything if I put my mind to it. Unfortunately, my father’s capacious mind and amazing talent came with an emotional inflexibility and intolerance that took a toll on me as a child. It was only after years of analysis that I realized how much our relationship affected my becoming an entrepreneur. Being told what to do, when, and how would always remind me of some of my father’s worst qualities, and I would instinctively resist. I guess I should be grateful for his less-than-ideal traits because they led me to entrepreneurship. I could not have achieved a fraction of the success I have if I were someone else’s employee.

While I was writing this book, Marvin Israelow, my brother-in-law and an expert organizational consultant, reminded me of the work of Edgar Schein. Schein is a legendary MIT professor with whom Marvin worked in the late 1970s. One of the founders of the field of organizational psychology, Schein, now 88, is also famous for developing “a pattern of self-perceived talents, motives, and values” that organizes a person’s work life and career ambitions, which he labeled “career anchors.”1

Schein’s original five career anchors, derived from a study of business school graduates 10 to 12 years into their various careers, were:

  1. Technical/functional competence
  2. Managerial competence
  3. Security/stability
  4. Autonomy/independence
  5. Entrepreneurial creativity

He later added three more anchors:

  1. Service or dedication to a cause
  2. Pure challenge
  3. Lifestyle

Marvin pointed out the two values that anchored my career and also appear as common denominators in the success stories of many of the entrepreneurs featured in this book: autonomy, which was significantly a reaction to my father’s inflexibility, and creativity, which among Schein’s entrepreneurs was expressed as “an overarching need to build or create something that was entirely their own product.”

The real question for aspiring entrepreneurs isn’t about what job you should take. It’s about which job you are cut out for. It’s about you—your capabilities, your weaknesses, your strengths, and, critically, your emotional sensitivities. If, like me, you can’t stomach the idea of submitting yourself to the whims of an inflexible boss or a rigid institution—if the only way you can get satisfaction from a career is to create your own company—then entrepreneurship might make sense for you. But if you need a regular paycheck or your tolerance for risk is low, your career anchor is likely to be security/stability, number 3 on Schein’s list. In that case, I would advise you to forget about starting your own business.

Determining if the entrepreneur’s life is right for you takes self-reflection. It might surprise some people, but true self-reflection is the opposite of narcissism or self-absorption. And it’s no easy task. It’s undeniable that self-deception is part of what it is to be human. Psychotherapy was invented to get behind the mask we present not only to the world but also to ourselves. But it isn’t the only path to genuine self-reflection.

Schein devised a “career anchor self-assessment” to help people manage their career choices. It involves a series of questions that can reveal the kind of work that is likely to satisfy you and your ambitions. Popular among managers and human resources professionals for evaluating prospective employees, Schein’s self-assessment tool has been refined over the years and is now available both in book form and online.

As painful as self-knowledge is, it has a huge upside: Once you recognize your weaknesses, you will also better understand your strengths.

What is your definition of success? To answer that question, you have to step back—at every stage of your career—and make an effort to know thyself. I believe that the following lessons will help you in that never-ending quest.

Note