Secrets to Success From the 310 Billion Dollar Man
Written by: Alex Banayan
He’s richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined. And he started off as a broke Scottish immigrant. I’ve been dreaming of interviewing him for my book. The only problem? He died 98 years ago. How did Andrew Carnegie, the man with the world’s largest steel empire, rise from no money, no opportunity, and no connections — to the richest man alive? I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching Carnegie’s success, and here are the 5 best lessons from the man himself.
1. Get Out Of The Shade
One afternoon, a young man walked into Carnegie’s office to interview him about his success. Carnegie could have told the young man about his journey from poverty to riches or about his wild dealings with John Rockefeller. But instead, Carnegie talked about something else. His optimism.
Carnegie said the most important thing in his life was his “ability to shed trouble and to laugh through life.” He said that seeing life through a lens of positivity was worth more to him than millions of dollars. “Young people should know that it can be cultivated,” Carnegie said. “The mind, like the body, can be moved from the shade into sunshine.” And it makes good business sense, too. By not getting weighed down by the negative, Carnegie could keep his focus on the positive, bounce back from failures faster, and see opportunities where other people didn’t know they existed. Ask yourself: do you sometimes slip into pessimistic thoughts and negative self-talk?
Are you missing opportunities because you let your mind fall under “the shade”? How much would your business grow if you taped a note above your desk that reads: “move your mind into the sunshine”?
2. Tell Him to Keep the Ten Thousand
Carnegie and J.P. Morgan were once partners in a business. One day Morgan wanted to buy out Carnegie’s stake, so Morgan asked how much he wanted for it. Carnegie said his shares were worth $50,000, plus he wanted an extra $10,000 on top — so a total of $60,000. Morgan agreed to the terms. But the next morning, Carnegie got a call. “Mr. Carnegie, you were mistaken,” Morgan said. “You sold out for $10,000 less than the statement showed to your credit.” Morgan had calculated that Carnegie’s stake was actually worth $60,000, and with the additional $10,000, that made $70,000.
So Morgan sent Carnegie a check for the full $70,000. Carnegie responded by telling Morgan to keep the extra $10,000 — which, adjusted for inflation, is over $130,000 today. Morgan replied, “No thank you. I cannot do that.” When reflecting on this story, Carnegie wrote, “A great business is built on lines of the strictest integrity.” He learned from Morgan that it is better to lose money in the short-term if that means maintaining your reputation for the long-term. Think hard about this: Is your business doing everything it can to ensure that reputation comes before profits?
3. Follow the Rule of Nine-Tenths
There was a story that changed Carnegie’s life. It’s about an old man who lived a life of many tragic events. People in the town pitied him, but the old man said, "Yes, my friends, all that you say is true. I have had a long life full of troubles. But there is one curious fact about them – ninetenths of them never happened."
Carnegie learned from that story that most of the problems and “what if’s” we imagine almost never occur. Our brains have a tendency to dream up the worst-case scenarios and act accordingly — yet most of those almost never happen. And even if they do occur, they’re almost never as bad as we imagine.
By reminding himself of the “rule of nine-tenths,” Carnegie freed himself from the fear of the unknown and was able to take the risks he needed to achieve his radical success. Be honest with yourself: Do you get caught up on the “what if’s”? Would your life be better if you followed the rule of “nine-tenths” and reminded yourself that most of those problems won’t actually happen? Are you willing to make a commitment right now to live by that rule?
4. Jump On 'Flashes of Lightning'
When Carnegie was hired for his first job, the interviewer asked him how soon he could start. Most people would have asked for a couple of weeks to transition. But Carnegie’s answer? “I can start right now.” “It would have been a great mistake not to seize the opportunity,” Carnegie wrote. “The position was offered to me; something might occur, some other boy might be sent for. Having got myself in I proposed to stay there if I could.” Carnegie didn’t overthink it. He preferred to act quickly and risk something going wrong than to act slowly and risk losing the opportunity entirely. And this rule worked in reverse, too.
When Carnegie realized he owned shares in a company he didn’t like anymore, he told his partner to sell all the shares right away. When his partner said there’s no rush, Carnegie shot back, “Do it instantly!” And good thing he did… that company soon went bankrupt. Of course, it’s important to study the facts, but if you’re presented with a real opportunity, don’t risk losing it by taking your time.
As Carnegie would say, jump on the “flash of lightning.” How many opportunities do you think have passed you by because you didn’t jump on them right away? Are you ready to act like Carnegie and make your answer “I can start right now”?
5. Find Your "$2.50" Motivation
Early in his career, Carnegie was given a bonus of $2.50. When he gave the bonus to his parents to help support the family, he said “no subsequent success, or recognition of any kind, ever thrilled me as this did… Here was heaven upon earth.” And from that point on, Carnegie knew he wanted to be rich. But not for himself. He dreamt of making the money for his parents, so they could live a good life.
As soon as Carnegie identified that external motivation, his drive turned into high gear. The key is that he wasn’t motivated to help himself. He was motivated to help someone else. So whether you’re doing it for your parents, your children, or to help people who don’t even know your name — you need to have that motivation clearly in your mind to fuel you through the inevitable hardships on your journey to success. Are you clear on who your “$2.50” motivation is?
Who are you doing it all for, other than yourself? If you don’t know, figure it out. And if you do know, how can you remind yourself of that “$2.50” motivation everyday? Andrew Carnegie is proof that if you work hard, keep your mind “out of the shade,” take risks, act quickly, and build a reputation of the strictest integrity — anything is possible.
And the craziest part? Carnegie is just one example of how it’s possible to work your way from poverty to radical success.
China's Push Toward Excellence Delivers a Global Robotics Investment Opportunity
Written by: Jeremie Capron
China is on a mission to change its reputation from a manufacturer of cheap, mass-produced goods to a world leader in high quality manufacturing. If that surprises you, you’re not the only one.
For decades, China has been synonymous with the word cheap. But times are changing, and much of that change is reliant on the adoption of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”). For investors, this shift is driving a major opportunity to capture growth and returns rooted in China’s rapidly increasing demand for RAAI technologies.
You may have heard of ‘Made in China 2025,’ the strategy announced in 2015 by the central government aimed at remaking its industrial sector into a global leader in high-technology products and advanced manufacturing techniques. Unlike some public relations announcements, this one is much more than just a marketing tagline. Heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, the program is focused on generating major investments in automated manufacturing processes, also referred to as Industry 4.0 technologies, in an effort to drive a massive transformation across every sector of manufacturing. The program aims to overhaul the infrastructure of China’s manufacturing industry by not only driving down costs, but also—and perhaps most importantly—by improving the quality of everything it manufactures, from textiles to automobiles to electronic components.
Already, China has become what is arguably the most exciting robotics market in the world. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2016 alone, more than 87,000 robots were sold in the country, representing a year-over-year increase of 27%, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Last month’s World Robot Conference 2017 in Beijing brought together nearly 300 artificial intelligence (AI) specialists and representatives of over 150 robotics enterprises, making it one of the world’s largest robotics-focused conference in the world to date. That’s quite a transition for a country that wasn’t even on the map in the area of robotics only a decade ago.
As impressive as that may be, what’s even more exciting for anyone with an eye on the robotics industry is the fact that this growth represents only a tiny fraction of the potential for robotics penetration across China’s manufacturing facilities—and for investors in the companies that are delivering or are poised to deliver on the promise of RAAI-driven manufacturing advancements.
Despite its commitment to leverage the power of robotics, automation and AI to meet its aggressive ‘Made in China 2025’ goals, at the moment China has only 1 robot in place for every 250 manufacturing workers. Compare that to countries like Germany and Japan, where manufacturers utilize an average of one robot for every 30 human workers. Even if China were simply trying to catch up to other countries’ use of robotics, those numbers would signal immense near-term growth. But China is on a mission to do much more than achieve the status quo. The result? According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2019 as much as 40% of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots could be sold in China alone.
To understand how the country can support such grand growth, just take a look at where and why robotics is being applied today. While the automotive sector has historically been the largest buyer of robots, China’s strategy reaches far and wide to include a wide variety of future-oriented manufacturing processes and industries.
Electronics is a key example. In fact, the electrical and electronics industry surpassed the automotive industry as the top buyer of robotics in 2016, with sales up 75% to almost 30,000 units. Assemblers such as Foxconn rely on thousands of workers to assemble today’s new iPhones. Until recently, the assembly of these highly delicate components required a level of human dexterity that robots simply could not match, as well as human vision to help ensure accuracy and quality. But recent advancements in robotics are changing all that. Industrial robots already have the ability to handle many of the miniature components in today’s smart phones. Very soon, these robots are expected to have the skills to bolster the human workforce, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity. Newer, more dexterous industrial robots are expected to significantly reduce human error during the assembly process of even the most fragile components, including the recently announced OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens that Samsung and Apple introduced on their latest mobile devices including the iPhone X. Advancements in computer vision are transforming how critical quality checks are performed on these and many other electronic devices. All of these innovations are coming together at just the right time for a country that is striving to create the world’s most advanced manufacturing climate.
Clearly, China’s trajectory in the area of RAAI is in hyper drive. For investors who are seeking a tool to leverage this opportunity in an intelligent and perhaps unexpected way, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index may help. The ROBO Index already offers a vast exposure to China’s potential growth due to the depth and breadth of the robotics and automation supply chain. As China continues to improve its manufacturing processes to meet its 2025 initiative, every supplier across China’s far-reaching supply chains will benefit. Wherever they are located, suppliers of RAAI-related components—reduction gears, sensors, linear motion systems, controllers, and so much more—are bracing for spikes in demand as China pushes to turn its dream into a reality.
Today, around 13% of the revenues generated by the ROBO Global Index members are driven by China’s investments in robotics and automation. Tomorrow? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain: China’s commitment to improving the quality and cost-efficiency of its manufacturing facilities is showing no signs of slowing down—and its reliance on robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence is vital to its success.
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