The signal and the noise


I would contend that observations are more important than questions. What people say they are going to do isn’t near as important as what you SEE them do.

Ask to speak with 2-3 people currently working for the company. Do a reverse reference check. The company gives you employee references.

Ask what they like most about working for Company X?

Ask what do they like least about working for Company X?

Ask what is the greatest challenge facing the company?

Specifically, ask to speak with a person who is currently reporting to your prospective boss.

You want to know what it is like working for them. Are they going places in the company?

Working for the right boss has a greater impact on your career trajectory than the actual job.

If you are working for a boss that is on the rails and at risk of getting canned. Run away.

Discern the signal from the noise. What does that mean? Most of the crap we hear is noise. Occasionally, there are a couple of common themes that come up over and over again. That is the signal.

For example, I’m currently reading the book Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance. Lots of gossip and noise is spouted about Elon in the news and media. Most of it is crap. The book mentions it.

Yet, there are consistent themes you learn about Elon. He is ruthless and persistent to get a job done. That is the signal.

TMZ is noise. Reading 20 interviews Elon has done, that’s the signal. News equals noise. Signals are harder to get to.

Most questions you ask will get you bull shit noise. “Our company culture is so unique and amazing” and now I’m going to throw up.

The signal you need to know is found in the common themes you find from the people working for the company. Not from us recruiters working our ass off getting you to sign the offer.



Take that shot


How to take risks when all you have is one last shot to make it big.

Most people think of the heart pounding key moments that make a big difference and forget about the million small failures that happened along the way.

Kris Jenkins missed 1000 jump shots in his college career. The one that needed to go in went in.

Many of us are too scared to take the final shot. We are hoping someone else will call for the ball.

Call for the ball.

Kris called for the ball.

Take the shot.

What if  you miss?

Michael Jordan claims to have missed the most game winning shots.

Jordan thinks his team’s would have won more games if others were willing to take the winning shot.

Many games come down to the final shot.

Most of the shots don’t go in.

You only need ONE shot to go in and you are a hero.

You may miss 1000 times.

Missed shots are feedback.

Missing the shot takes courage.

Back to the drawing board.

What is the shot you need to be taking?

Is it starting a business?

Asking the girl to dance?

Asking the guy to coffee?

Taking the job?

Asking for the job?

Most of us are average at most things.

There is one thing, one niche, that only can be served by you.

Find it.

That is your shot to take.

You will make that shot more than most.

Michael Jordan is an average baseball player.

Average NBA executive.

You can’t be great at everything.

What is your one thing?

Take that shot.