Rich Karlgaard is the publisher of Forbes magazine, but when he was younger it wasn’t at all obvious that he was going to be successful. During this episode of the podcast he talks about growing up in North Dakota and developing an interest in running. He got into Stanford on a fluke when his coach misunderstood his race times but, in his words, squandered the opportunity. While his high-powered classmates were finishing law school and so on, he graduated with the minimum number of units and went to work as a dishwasher and a security guard. His story of how he went straight from dead-end jobs to working at Forbes magazine, and ultimately became its publisher, is the impetus behind his new book, Late Bloomers.
Late Bloomers laments the culture of obsession with SAT scores and early success and explains that finding one’s way later in life can be an advantage to long-term achievement and happiness.
Self doubt and the importance of self-discovery
Rich and Mike also discuss how people shouldn’t tie their self doubt to their self worth and how embracing self doubt can be a great strategy. They also talk about how early achievers can reinvent themselves in the face of job insecurity as more and more jobs are automated or taken over by artificial intelligence.
How harmful the culture of early success can be
Rich also tells the story of how shame around being academically average led to a spate of depression and even suicide amongst Palo Alto students in 2014 and 2015. It was discovered that the kids who were most at risk were B-plus students.
- The task of a late bloomer is to get off the conventional path and become an explorer.
- There’s no better decade than your 20s to take risks.
- Self doubt isn’t something to run away from, it’s something to embrace.
- Be prepared to find new friends and move to a different place if your current environment isn’t serving you.
One of Rich’s key teachings is that finding your purpose is everything. As he says, “When people feel pulled, they grow in amazing ways. And they surprise you.”
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
- Read: Late Bloomers
- Learn more at richkarlgaard.com
- Forbes: forbes.com
- MindSet by Carol Dweck
- Churchill Club: churchillclub.org
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