Quora: What small thing can each individual do every day to help shrink the wealth gap?


Figure out ways to own strong, appreciating, assets.

If you don’t own any assets and you just earn your salary and save your money. You strive for a certain percentage raise per year. Well, so does your boss and bosses boss and so on. They make more than you, so as time goes on, their dollar value increases faster than yours and the gap grows in perpetuity.

Another thing you can do, and many may not want to hear this — and I hate to get political — but perhaps something would be to get involved with politics and embrace capitalism. True Capitalism, that is.

To make myself clear, we do NOT have proper capitalism today. If we had true capitalism, the banks would have been allowed to fail and go bankrupt in 2008 during the GFC. Yes, it would have hurt, but we would have come out the other side stronger, with smarter institutions (in my opinion). Iceland was the model to follow.

But with true capitalism and limited regulations, it would provide more opportunity for the little guys to start their own companies, create more competition, and bridge the gap.

[Gee, for a self-proclaimed independent, I sure sound Republican, huh? To be clear, Establishment Republicans today aren’t real Republicans. And we definitely need some regulations in place and some social services. But enough of that political jibjab.]

Business ownership is the ONLY way to close the gap. If you have more businesses, it’s more competition, each business makes a little less money, and the gap closes. And again, the way to create more businesses is to remove as many barriers as possible to start new businesses. Case in point, look at what Amazon AWS service has done for the software industry. Million-Dollar, even billion-dollar businesses have started with an Amazon account and a credit card.

And to be clear, buying shares or acquiring equity in a business is a form of business ownership. I’ll even posit here that real estate is a form of business (it’s an asset, anyway).


[Quora] What are some signs that a person will be successful?


Success is totally subjective.

I think that the vast majority would classify Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet as “successful”.

Is Bernie Madoff, who lived the vast majority of his life as a 0.1%-er until he got caught, successful?

Is the single mother, who works two jobs and raises her kids to learn respect and hard-work, leading them towards productive middle-class lives, successful?

Is the rich and famous person that commits suicide (take your pick) successful?

I would define success as someone who is generally happy and leading a fulfilling lifestyle for them. And my formula for happiness is the difference between one’s Reality and their Expectations (E.g., low reality Vs. high expectations = negative happiness; high reality Vs. low expectation = very happy).

You can accumulate all the financial wealth in the world, but if you are not happy at the end of the day, you are NOT successful.

All that said, here are the 3 personality attributes common to these “successful” people:


I think it takes gratitude to best appreciate what you have. Happy people are thankful for all the people/things that helped them achieve what they’ve achieved.


Successful people are consistently asking: “How can <this> be better?”; “How can I make <x> better?”; “How can I be better?”. They ask. They tinker. They explore. They embrace a growth mentality. They embrace change (but not just for the sake of change).


I believe persistence and follow-through, sub-attributes of dedication, are a critical towards the predictor of success. They show a sense of mission and show a passion to complete it.


It is absolutely possible to only have 2 of the 3 and find success, as long as the two are intense so that they make up for the lack of the third.

[Quora] Why should a startup hire a sales consultant?

Originally seen at: https://www.quora.com/Why-should-a-startup-hire-a-sales-consultant

Startups should hire consultants to complement areas where the team is weak. If the founding team doesn’t have sales experience, it would be wise to leverage a sales consultant or find a strategic advisor with a sales background (preferably someone who’s sold a similar solution). This could save a lot of time and heartache instead of learning by trial and error.

Growth is driven by:

  1. Increasing leads (marketing)
  2. Increasing customers (sales … conversion of leads)
  3. Increasing margin
  4. Increasing frequency of sales (product and/or account management)

My guess is that your current challenge is #1 or #2. Which one or both? If you have had even a few leads, but have failed to convert them, then it is a sales problem. Yes, consider finding a consultant if you’re even pondering. Talk to folks in your network, get advice; it may not even be necessary to hire a consultant. Sometimes a professional that will provide you with proper attention can be worth it, though.

[Quora] I’m 25, bored at my job, and torn between starting a business or travelling. What should I do?

Originally seen at: https://www.quora.com/Im-25-bored-at-my-job-and-torn-between-starting-a-business-or-travelling-What-should-I-do

If your are confident in your abilities, in that you believe you can always get some job to survive, then I would recommend traveling.

You are only young once and those years are precious. I’m turning 40 myself, shortly. I have a wife and 3 kids. I’m not a mega-millionaire, but I’m doing well. I have everything I need and more. One can’t help but look back and think: “If I focused on my career more when I was younger, I’d be so much farther ahead than I am now” or “If I started a successful business earlier, then I’d be able to enjoy my money earlier in life”.

That said, on the whole, I have no regrets at all. I did an exchange program for a year in University. I met an incredible set of friends around the globe that I still keep in touch with. I learned to live on the cheap. I partied hard while my body had the ability to recover more quickly. All these experiences have shaped who I am. The younger you are with the experiences, the more profound they are in your life; think of it as the rooting system.

Having lived through those phases, I can appreciate the subsequent phases in life that much more. I have a wife and kids now; I’m settled and perfectly content. I don’t need to “party” anymore…been there, done that. I don’t need to chase tail anymore…been there, done that. I know what I like, what I want, what I need, and I can better appreciate what I get or have gotten.

I think getting out of your bubble teaches one empathy. Overall, this is better for humanity and society.

Last point, if you are really good, you’ll start to lay the groundwork for your business as you travel. Whether that means blogging you experiences and building a following and/or meeting future business associates/partners and/or generating ideas based on your experiences. There is no reason you couldn’t do both simultaneously.

[Quora] As a recent college grad interviewing at startups, how do I respond when I’m asked for my salary requirements?

[Image above is from https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/student-loans/negotiating-salary-study/]

Originally seen at: https://www.quora.com/As-a-recent-college-grad-interviewing-at-startups-how-do-I-respond-when-Im-asked-for-my-salary-requirements

First question to ask yourself: do I have a salary requirement?

If not, do some homework. If so, do this homework anyway to see if your number is realistic. 😉

Look on Glassdoor or other. Research salaries of roles in like companies in the same geography. Compare those with a little research on LinkedIn to gauge experience of people in those roles at those companies.

As others have suggested, I would always try to get the company to state their number first. Ask: “What is the salary that you have budgeted for this role?”. If they balk, they’re lying (or not serious about the role or not well organized and that is a red flag altogether). You can get them to provide a number by saying something like: “While numbers matter, it’s more about the work, the culture fit, and the opportunity for me that matters. I’ll weigh all of these factors in my decision”

Also, remember salary isn’t everything. But don’t accept anything far below your number. It is okay to sacrifice a small percentage for other factors (benefits, culture, interesting work, stock, etc.). And if you do, always ask for a 6 month review to re-assess.

Good luck!

[Quora] What Does it Take to be a Good Sales Engineer?

Originally see here: https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-take-to-be-a-good-sales-engineer

Don’t settle for good; strive for greatness.

A great SE will have a strong mix of technical prowess, business acumen, salesmanship, communication skills (written and verbal), and (what I’ll call a) likeability factor.

While most SE’s do come from a technical background, I’ve seen great SE’s without this. It depends on the maturity of the product/solution and who the buyers are. Typically, if it is a more mature solution and the buyer is on the business side, then the SE is more of a solution expert and doesn’t need to be “technical” by nature. For earlier-stage solutions or solutions being sold to Technical buyers, then the SE will need the technical skills (coding/scripting) to configure or customize the POC or demo for the target buyer.

A great SE will ask a lot of questions a be a great listener to uncover the business issues and technical challenges that the prospect has. He/she will then translate that and demonstrate (or explain) how the technical features/capabilities of the solution directly address this issues/challenges.

The great SE’s help the prospect visualize themselves using the solution. The SE will convince the buyer that the solution benefits will far outweigh any perceived risk. This is performed by gaining trust, through spending time with prospects and delivery of customized demos/presentations.