I read a bunch of thebrofessor's posts, here's my notes on what I learned

I haven't had much use for this website since I was an undergrad, but I remember the user thebrofessor being one of the few consistently insightful and mature voices and made a mental note at some point to read his posts and see what I could learn from him. The following are notes I took for myself, so they don't include potentially valuable information I already have 100% internalized or that doesn't apply to me. Still, there's a lot of good insight here and I thought I'd just post them so other people can get a bit of benefit.

On the topic of not burning bridges, you need to be able to call coworkers 5 years later and have them remember you in a positive light

Career planning should be ultra long term, optimize for when you're 45 not 28

"I always look at what I can get better at in life, prioritize those things, and then make a plan of attack. It's an honest assessment of where my weak spots are, what's a priority for me at the moment, and then discipline and repetition until the mission's accomplished. If you adopt a mindset of constant improvement, you'll never be bored, and you'll learn a lot about yourself."

"I never miss an appointment, never return a call late, never show up late, and will outwork my competition in every way imaginable"

Be proactive as proactive about removing negative things from your life as adding positive ones

You want your rainy day fund to be about 6 months of salary

Successful people are not just knowledgeable, but they know how to sell and how to distill that knowledge into intuitive pitches

Life advice books:
Dress for success
Millionaire next door
Emotional intelligence

Most wealthy people take care of their bucket list items relatively early in retirement and end up working again, but in a different career than where they made their money (second act mentioned in Managing Oneself)

Cold calling (especially as a young person) requires confidence to be taken seriously, and confidence reinforces itself with time

As important as reading is, you learn far more by doing than reading

Sales books:
Unlocking your legacy
How I raised myself from failure to success in selling
See you at the top
Winner's circle
Clients for life
Your client's story
Successful telephone selling in the 90s (about cold calling but might be interesting)

One of the biggest marks of intelligence is being able to take complex topics and distill them down to simple terms

"Can I do something about it? If yes, DO IT. If no, fuggedaboudit. This simple decision tree has helped immensely."

Robo advisors will replace the worst wealth managers but not the higher quality/more specialized ones

Frequently think about things from the clients' perspective

"I know it's boring ass covid, but when you're going to get takeout, chat people up, you need to get reps in, even if it's the 195 year old chilean lady working the register at the bodega, all practice helps. you need to be able to develop good conversation out of thin air and that's a skill that takes practice and repetition. chat up uber drivers, baristas, waiters, everyone who will respond back."

Learning how to talk with your hands without looking weird is useful

Learning to tell a story to make a point is useful

Travelling means experiencing other places outside of your comfort zone

Some of the most important things I've ever done in my life were not just goal setting, but also self reflection in advance of goal setting

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  • Intern in VC
Jul 13, 2021 - 11:38pm

Agreed. I tend to take thebrofessor's advice for better or for worse. Would love to grab a coffee/beer with that guy, although I know I'll likely never get the chance :'(

Jul 14, 2021 - 8:36am

you should take everyone's advice with a critical eye, I hope mine has helped you, but a good heuristic is to look at possible upside and downside of something. like if I advise someone to do informational interviews, there's incredibly limited downside, whereas if I advise someone to leave investment banking for PWM, there's tremendous downside, so the immediacy with which you trust someone's advice should not only take into account their track record, but also upside/downside

and I'm never opposed to meeting WSO people, if I'm being honest I worry about doxxing, I've posted thousands of things on this site and with the wrong context, it could lead to a bad place

Jul 14, 2021 - 9:34am

I enjoy thebrofessor's posts.  Even if I'm not in PWM, there is so much overlap especially with selling yourself and life advice from seeing how successful people live their lives (mistakes and all).

Have compassion as well as ambition and you’ll go far in life
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Jul 14, 2021 - 9:43am

thebrofessor is truly a stud. Although I'm 2 years deep into corporate finance out of school, my goal is to lateral into a Private Bank and take the road to becoming an advisor. I've been networking and interviewing ever since I graduated (obviously covid stopped hiring for a good chunk of this time) and his posts have had a positive material impact on the way I have these conversations. Definitely someone I'll need to thank once I can convert.

Jul 14, 2021 - 1:20pm

Learning how to talk with your hands without looking weird is useful

Learning how to talk with your hands without looking Italian is useful. 

Jokes aside, I really need to know if my hand usage is weird or not. It runs in my family and for the most part I don't notice it but occasionally I'll draw my attention to it and it makes me dizzy haha. 

Jul 14, 2021 - 9:14pm

"I know it's boring ass covid, but when you're going to get takeout, chat people up, you need to get reps in, even if it's the 195 year old chilean lady working the register at the bodega, all practice helps. you need to be able to develop good conversation out of thin air and that's a skill that takes practice and repetition. chat up uber drivers, baristas, waiters, everyone who will respond back."

I know this is good advice, but damn does this sound exhausting. 

Jul 15, 2021 - 6:06am

Good stuff. The brofessor has a lot of good comments here.

Although, fwiw, my top 2 contributors on wso are brotherbear and APAE. I actually echo with a lot of brotherbear's comments, and have asked if he would do an AMA. He declined quoting privacy reasons which I totally understand.

Jul 15, 2021 - 3:45pm
Jul 15, 2021 - 4:10pm

Bro, how do you deal with being stuck in a routine?

Let's put it this way: job is proceeding slowly. Granted, it can be part of the deal, you seek opportunities but it's slow until one takes off. You do your daily self-improvement tasks: learning/improving a language, reading, health and fitness, fashion and whatever. And... it's boring as shit. Nothing is happening, it's demotivating. Even your friends or people whom you look up to as inspirational are too busy with their own shit to help your own. You barely even notice getting better, more knowledgeable. When minor challenges arise, you can't be bothered, as you find them rather meaningless. Ever had any of this?

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

  • 2
Jul 15, 2021 - 5:08pm

Edit: link to WSO thread I commented on this

"Does IBPE kill your creativity and intellectual curiosity"


wrote an answer to this w/ examples but can't find it bc this app sux and won't let me scroll thru all my comments. Concept is based on this Harvard Business Review article - I'll attach hyperlink (99% chance it doesn't paste in tho). When I find my original post I'll edit this comment w link / copy n paste what I wrote. Hope this helps / others can build upon this concept.Harvard Business ReviewWhy You Should Become an "Intrapreneur"by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzichttps://www.google.com/amp/s/hbr.org/amp/2020/03/why-you-should-become-…Here's a good paragraph on what I'm talking about:Individual preferences aside, there appears to be one general element underpinning most effective approaches to job crafting, which is the ability to make your job (or work) more entrepreneurial. This goes way beyond starting your own business or launching a start-up: what I mean by the term is the overall tendency to harness innovation in your work, by finding better ways of doing things, and proactively nurturing progress in your organization. As it turns out, most organizations - especially large corporations - are awash in creative ideas that never get executed. Entrepreneurship is the process that turns those ideas into actual innovations, and when it occurs in large corporations we tend to refer to it as intrapreneurship or corporate innovation. In essence, this means acting like an innovative entrepreneur, but within the ecosystem of a larger, more traditional, organization.

Jul 15, 2021 - 5:21pm

I'm listening (actually reading but you get the point). Give me a bump when you find the post. I'll take a look at the article in the meanwhile.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Jul 15, 2021 - 6:25pm

in short: yes, I've been there. checking progress helps, a few examples from your examples

learning language: I schedule a chat with a new tutor who hasn't ever spoken with me, and when she says I'm at a level more advanced than I thought, I'm utterly ELATED. additionally, I listen to podcasts/watch movies/listen to music in my target language and when I revisit it a handful of months later and understand things I didn't recall, that's pretty freakin sweet too.

reading: this isn't specifically for self improvement except when done in my target language, so see above

health and fitness: when I see someone I haven't seen in a while and I'm complimented, not going to lie, that feels pretty good. that, heart rate recovery time, annual physicals and bloodwork, pace times on runs/swims/murph

job progress: I write out short and long term goals and look at them frequently. if I'm dissatisfied, I make a list of everything that's bad and categorize it between within my control and outside of my control. more often than not, there's a minority of things I can control and the rest is shit that's a symptom or just outside my control and not worth my time. this helps a lot, because I'd be willing to bet if you wrote 5 & 10y goals and keep the self improvement train going, you'll either meet or exceed them

on being bored, hey sometimes you're just in a rut but it shouldn't be the majority of the time. if you go through all of your hobbies and are still bored, maybe you just need a break. I've had many nights where I couldn't be bothered to read, nothing on TV was interesting, didn't feel like exercising or going on a walk, didn't want to talk to any friends or family, I was just BLAH. in that case, just get stoned, drink some wine and kick the fuck back. life is short, you gotta have some time doing absolutely nothing

TLDR: seek feedback from others, check progress to goals, and if all else fails, mary jane and vino tinto do the trick every once in a while

Jul 16, 2021 - 4:11am

Do you ever find however that your own standards for yourself are much higher than that others? Because that's the problem I'm having with others feedback. I'm given a some advice on things that could be done better, however those generally can be rectified quickly. There's no steep improvement. I find myself resenting people for their ''low standards''. I feel I can do more and too much focus on menial tasks is killing my brain cells. There's no excitement when a problem arises, just frustration and I don't see it as a good mental approach. 

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

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