Running & Reading

Just saw this over on Brad Feld’s blog and had to repost.

It’s a video mashup of Will Smith talking about the “keys to success in life”: running and reading.  I totally agree.  Over the years I’ve had the privilege of speaking about entrepreneurship several times at Tufts, Babson and a few other schools.  My shtick includes a not-so-eloquent version of this speech.

Will describes the two keys to success as running and reading.

Running is a metaphor for hard work.  As Will says, when you run you learn to defeat that inner voice that says “I’m tired” or “quit now.”  I love the bit where Will says, “I knew I had to work hard…when other people where sleeping, I was working; when other people were eating, I was working.”  He summarizes, “the person who works the hardest wins.” 

I was fortunate to learn this at an early age.  I remember when I was in college and team leader of the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, I was often asked something along the lines of, “what’s your strategy” or “how did you win [a national championship]” and my answer was always, “we work harder.”  That is so the creed of entrepreneurs.

Reading is a metaphor for learning from the work of others.  As Will says, nothing is new; everything has been thought of before.  The trick is to learn from others mistakes.  In my shtick, I usually talk about tactical and strategic reading where tactical is daily news and weekly/monthly magazines and strategic is in-depth analysis in book form.  The key is to get a mix of both.

So with that, here’s the video.  Enjoy!