TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Yes, It's All Your Fault: Active vs. Passive Mindsets


The hard truth is that most things in your life - good and bad - are your fault. The sooner you realize that, the better things will be. Here’s how to cultivate an active mindset and take control of your life.

What happens when someone repeatedly says it - whatever "it" may be - is not their fault?

"It's not my fault I was late for the meeting. Traffic was bad."

"It's not my fault I lost money. I got the stock tip from a friend."

"It's not my fault I don’t have the skills for the job and was laid off. They should have trained me."

I don't want to get into edge cases. But most of the time these kinds of things are your fault. And if you don’t see that, you’re going to continue to find yourself in these situations over and over again.

You should have planned for traffic. You made a terrible investment and you have no idea what you’re doing. Stop waiting for people to teach you the skills you need to earn a living and go learn them.

When the passive mindset takes over, you say another phrase that drives me batty: "I can't." Actually, yes you can, you’re just not willing to pay the price. You’re not willing to do the work or spend the time. You’re not willing to do something hard. You're not willing to sacrifice what's needed.

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Why Startups Fall Apart at 50 Employees


Ask anyone who’s worked at more than one startup and they’ll probably tell you the same thing: Young companies start to go off the rails once they hit 50 employees. I call this the "teenager" startup phase, and I've been there several times, both as an employee and an executive.

What does this look like?

Employee one through 10: At a certain point, the original employees stop learning new people's names. They won't come right out and say it but they start to resent having to show yet another noob how to do the same simple things. Their tolerance for mistakes, even for the same mistakes they once made themselves, goes into the toilet.

Employee 10 through 25: The second tier of employees then starts to form small, protective cliques. They may occasionally drop references to the "good old days." They place a growing importance on things like titles and status. Discussions might start to percolate about adopting the title prefix "Senior."

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

At $50,000 a Year, the Road to Yale Starts at Age 5


The words are whispered under a cone of silence in moneyed Manhattan: cutthroat, ruthless, Darwinian, cruel.

Whispered, too, are the shimmering prizes: the future keys, it’s said, to Harvard, Princeton or Yale.

Welcome to the quest to win a spot at New York’s Baby Ivies, the private preschools and kindergartens where big money and bigger egos clash over whose three- or five-year-old will gain the first edge.

The recent college-admissions scandal has only confirmed what the Baby Ivy crowd has long known: Some wealthy parents will do just about anything to get their kids into the "right" school.

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