The Beatles had it right: All you need is love

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My daughter is in college, and she told me something recently that really jarred me. “My friend and I were talking the other day,” she said, “and we realized we’re two of the few girls we know who have a good relationship with their fathers.”

It was one of those weird life moments where I felt happy and sad at the same time. Happy that I was one of those two dads. Sad that so many of her friends have no emotional connection with their fathers.

No doubt about it — parenting is hard. And the hardest part of all…

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How to go from self-critic to self-coach

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I recently watched with David Letterman and Jerry Seinfeld in which the two legendary entertainers took turns interviewing each other on stage. What struck me most was how much the two differed in their approach to compliments: Seinfeld was gracious and appreciative whenever Letterman noted his incredible career success while Letterman rejected or downplayed any positive comment Seinfeld made about his career.

It came off more as self-loathing than modesty. “I should have left [the show] 10 years ago,” Letterman said at one point, “because then I could have taken some of that energy and focus…


Community doesn’t just happen — we have to make it happen

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When I decided to sell my company and start a new chapter in my life as a one-man show, I was excited. No more 8 a.m. staff meetings. No more deadlines set by others for projects I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about. No more personnel problems to deal with.

As the saying goes, the world was my oyster. I would finally be free — free to focus only on the things that interested and inspired me. Free to learn new things and think new ideas and plot the course I, alone, wanted to take.

As another saying goes: It all looks…


Rewards are fun — but the fear of pain is what keeps you focused

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I have a freelance writing contract that requires me to deliver a newsletter of around 2,000 words to my client on the second Wednesday of every new calendar quarter. It’s a hard deadline; if I don’t deliver the newsletter, the company can’t bill their clients, which blows up their quarterly operations calendar and gets a lot of people pissed off. At me.

Some quarters, the work on this newsletter flows easily for me and I’m done well before the deadline. Other quarters, I struggle for ideas and direction; when that happens, I invariably procrastinate and wait until the last minute.


We’re not climbing a mountain; we’re navigating an expedition

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Thirty years ago, when I was in my mid-twenties, I remember going through goal-setting exercises. I read books and watched videos and did worksheets to help me determine what I wanted to accomplish in my life, personally and professionally. I was determined to get clear about my long-term goals and then, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, I was going to crush them. (Remember, it was 1991.)

Like most people, my big-picture goals were focused on the final destination — some hazy endpoint far-off in the distance where I would finally have all the things I wanted. …


Here’s how to silence the constant critic in your head

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The other day, I did one of those random acts of kindness for a stranger. I won’t go into specifics, because I don’t want to be that guy. I’ll just say it was nicer than holding the door for someone but not as nice as donating a kidney.

What was interesting to me, though, was the way my inner monologue played out afterward. When I got back in my car, I sat for a moment and enjoyed the warm, glowy feelings of doing something nice for a stranger. I thought, “Hey, that was a kind thing you did. Good job.”


New details are emerging about the tragic death of former Zappo’s CEO Tony Hsieh on November 27 from injuries he received in a house fire.

Recent articles in and…


The Oracle of Omaha just turned 90, and we can learn a lot from his observations. (Except, maybe, nutrition.)

Warren Buffett is widely regarded as one of the greatest investors of the past century, having amassed a fortune worth more than $70 billion. Despite his stratospheric net worth, however, Buffett is revered as much for his wit and wisdom as he is for his wealth.

Buffett has never left his Midwestern roots, literally and figuratively. He still runs his Berkshire Hathaway investment fund from his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, in the same office building he’s occupied for 50 years. He still lives in the same house he’s owned since 1958, now estimated to be worth about $650,000. He’s known…


You can outsource almost everything — except the things that matter

— Sumner Redstone

Sumner Redstone died recently.

You may, or may not, be familiar with him. Redstone was one of the true business moguls of the past half-century. When he died in August at the age of 97, he was still clinging to control of his vast $40 billion media empire that includes Viacom, CBS, theater chains, production companies, and more. All this, despite being on a feeding tube and relegated to communicating in short phrases through an iPad the last few years of his life.

There’s a lot to be fascinated about when it comes to Sumner Redstone’s storied business career. …


“Don’t try to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. It can’t be done, except by liars.” — Bernard Baruch

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“Don’t try to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. It can’t be done, except by liars.” — Legendary investor Bernard Baruch (1870–1965)

Is it time to get out of stocks?

That’s the question consuming many investors as they cast a wary eye on the gyrations in the global stock markets. They are both anxious about experiencing another big downturn in equities like the one we saw in February and March of this year, and equally worried about being too hasty in moving out of the market.

But it’s the wrong question. If you’re tempted to bail out…

Jack Calhoun

20+ years as managing principal of a wealth advisory firm. I write about the principles of sound investing, the solopreneur life and the wisdom of experience.

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